It’s that time of year! The kids have gone back to school, and despite the hot weather, summer is quickly drawing to a close.  In a way, it’s back to school for our businesses too!  Use these 5 tips to make the most out of those age-old Back to School lessons.

1. Use your summer vacation to spark your creativity:

Remember grade school when your teachers asked you to share what you did this summer? Sometimes it was an essay, sometimes it was a couple of sentences in front of the class, and sometimes it was something fun like a collage or creative project.  Now think back on what you did this summer.  Did you see an inspirational sunset from a new part of the world?  Did you take a family adventure?  Or maybe you connected with your family in a new, interesting way.  No matter what you did, rest and relaxation can provide you with inspiration to come up with creative ideas.

2.  Use technology, and use it wisely:

In the classroom, technology is one of their biggest tools.  Everyone in my niece’s 7th grade class received an iPad the second week of school!  How do you use technology in your marketing?  Are you using social media and video to connect with your audience?  Are you taking advantage of SEO tools and tracking your lead conversion?

3.  Make solid content:

Over time, students learn to write and communicate effectively through essays and papers.  Well, we were all students once – don’t let those skills atrophy!  You don’t need to write essays or papers, but you should be writing content about your business.  Case studies, factoids, video scripts, online seminars (or “webinars”), or taking great photos, it’s up to you to create the content that will increase your sales. Tip: create a calendar to plan your content, and use your online presence to drive viewers.

4.  Expand your knowledge:

Learning isn’t just for your kids.  Constantly learn about your industry, whether it’s through books, trade publications, conferences, webinars, or even going back to school yourself.  Use the knowledge you gain as tools to engage your clients and your social media audience.  After all, if you learn something new, you can teach it to someone else.

5.  Go above and beyond:

Remember that perfect classmate back in school?  The one who always won the science fair and always got an A++ for “going the extra mile?”  Maybe that classmate was you!  There’s no reason to give up that spirit.  Learn what your customers expect from you, and then exceed their expectations.  Extremely satisfied customers will often take care of your marketing for you, pro bono.  Have you seen the Yelp reviews of a 5-star business lately?