In times of consistent month-after-market growth and near perfect employment (occurs when the unemployment rate is between 2-7%), professionals rarely think about how they will recruit clients in tough economic times. It is too late to start thinking about your business back up plan once a recession hits.

Personal and professional brands, similar to those of large corporations are susceptible to market slow downs. Whether you are a lawyer, doctor, or entrepreneur working on a side hustle, it is imperative that you strategize a plan B (or C) to prepare for a market downturn.

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When the market performs well, economists see increased levels of disposable income spent by consumers throughout the economy. Once leading indicators predict a slow down, news sources and pundits herald calls for recessionary spending cuts and budgeting. Unemployment levels will begin to rise simultaneously as companies and families cut back spending habits and the economy contracts.

What does this slowdown in personal consumption habits have to do with your side hustle or law practice you may ask? Simply put: when confidence in the market drops, discretionary consumer spending also drops.

Since the rise of the .COM boom in the early 2000’s, entrepreneurs have monetized the Internet, and capitalized on its benefits during economic slowdowns. Three simple digital marketing strategies below will add to your armamentarium to recession proof your personal or professional brand:

Content Marketing: It’s a free way to exhibit thought leadership and increase the authority of your personal or professional brand. If you aren’t able to convert clients or customers during their first experience with your brand, a consistent flow of content can help convert them sometime down the road.

PPC Advertising: Rather then spending money to attract business with traditional outbound marketing initiatives (while an individual is not in the market for your products or services), refocus your marketing budget towards inbound channels such as pay-per-click marketing on Google, Yahoo, or Bing (to quote a Millennial friend of mine, “Eww lol”). By targeting spending toward interested individuals when they are ready to purchase, you have the ability to ensure a higher ROI on your campaigns.

SEO: Inbound marketing efforts touch individuals in the research phase of the digital customer acquisition cycle. Enhancing one’s search engine optimization strategy will improve digital authority and entice individuals to click through to your website and engage with your products or service. The best part about SEO initiatives: they’re free!

Strategize your recessionary marketing plan today before it’s too late. During economic dips, turn your free time into a marketing asset that can boost and maintain your digital brand for your professional services or products. Discounting marketing and advertising initiatives during a recession can spell out the death of your brand. Do not, I repeat do not, fall victim to a slow down. Utilize your understanding of consumer behavior and economics to build out a robust, recession proof marketing plan that will keep your personal brand afloat in challenging economic times.

Garrett Meccariello is an aspiring brand strategist and researcher based out of NYC. In his free time he can be found building the next great brand, exploring the city, and eating a lot of cured meat and cheese.

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