I have been holding off joining the hype about COVID-19, but the coronavirus has changed the world we live in and impacts us all. I have had my family personally affected by it, both medically and financially. The market is shifting by the day, sometimes by the hour. I know many businesses are scared. Many are all doom and gloom, thinking that this is going to ruin them. Some have told me they wonder if they will be in business a year from now. The worst thing you can do as a business owner is take the attitude of let’s wait and see. I did a couple of webinars recently addressing this very issue. Here are the links if you want to see the replays:
- Webinar #1: Virus-Proofing Your business
- Webinar #2: The New Reality of Covid19: How to run your business online
It’s no exaggeration to say that connecting with people digitally has NEVER been more important. With everything that has been going on in the world, my inbox has been flooded with cancellations, updates, and notifications. My customers have been asking me to put these notices on their websites. The whole world is craving hope, normalcy, and connections (at least from a distance). I’m hoping with my whole heart, that what we are going through is a very short-lived experience, but its possible that we may be feeling the ripple effects for months.
Your first instinct may be to reduce budget where it’s easiest, but this can be problematic. You need to be careful that this doesn’t have a negative impact on your long-term business. Remain calm — trust in the brand value that you’ve gained and be strategic with your marketing.
Most businesses pulled back on their advertising when businesses needed to close and especially when ‘safer at home’ policies started to be enforced. The good news, more people are at home, and instead of spending on restaurants and travel, they are spending time and money online. Those who are advertising are seeing the cost per lead and conversions come in at an all time low! This may actually be the best time to advertise. Imagine setting up a Facebook campaign that is tied into growing your email or text-messaging list, then offering a great incentive via text messaging for delivery (of anything). Not only will you get sales now, but you’ll have grown your list while the cost for doing so is low!
Even if you choose not to advertise right now, you have to do something. You have to make moves. And that does NOT mean giving everything you have away for free. That is NOT going to help the economy.
Giving something away can be beneficial, both as a way of showing support and as a way to grow your impact during this time. For example, my friend Lori Ruff has graciously offered her book, LinkedIn: the 5 Minute Drill to anyone who wants it.
If we continue to find new ways to put offers out there that resonate with people, we can
sustain during this time. Ask yourself, “How can I make some part of my business virtual?” You may need to make a total pivot.
One suggestion I have is to make lots of short videos for your customers. They need to hear from you. Keep in front of your customers with Zoom meetings. You need to see your customers and they need to see you, so don’t be camera shy. Ask your customers for positive reviews. Google has suspended posting new reviews right now, but when this is over, you’ll get a ton of new reviews displayed all at once. The good-will that you’ve built up is going to pay huge dividends.You need to see your customers and they need to see you. Click To Tweet
If you have employees who are now working remotely, use a project management tool like BaseCamp , Asana, or my personal favorite: Milanote. If you are a solopreneur, the free Microsoft To-Do app may suffice. Microsoft is also offering Microsoft Teams as a free app for collaborating with your employees or customers.
While you got the time, consider updating your website. This does not have to be a huge expense – I’m going to be running an online class in a couple of weeks where you can learn to maintain and update your website yourself. Take this time to learn this skill. This will be a live class with one-on-one instruction available. Contact me for details.
People are consuming more content than ever right now as they are stuck at home. Make sure you are providing them with positive content coming from your heart. This might be a good time to start blogging or podcasting. Use this time to build your list. Create irresistible offers that get people to opt-in to your email and/or text messaging lists. My course on lead magnets may give you some ideas to get started on this. And of course, we’ve got a text-messaging tool that allows you to keep in touch with your customers on a more personal level than email.
This is uncharted territory, but we’re in it for the long haul and we’re in it TOGETHER. No matter what the world might throw our way, I want to help you move forward into the bright future that you’ve always imagined for yourself and your business.