Right now it seems like everyone I know is spiraling, either because they have too much or too little to do. Businesses that rely on physical interaction with their customers are the most obvious at risk of economic disruption, but it would be impossible to imagine how any business is going to come out of this Covid Crisis unchanged.
As you focus on balancing your business or career against a daily onslaught of terrible news, there is also opportunity. Now is the time to stop and think about why you are here and how your story, your brand, matters. Here are a few things I've been thinking of as I look at my community of small business owners.
Celebrate Opportunities to Share Good News and Create Brand Loyalty
After you've sent out your obligatory "this is how we are responding to Covid-19" email, what is next? How will you continue to communicate that your business is viable and worth continued investment? Now seems like an opportunity to cultivate your strengths, share your core values, and demonstrate how your brand is more than a commodity.
Tell behind the scenes stories of how you are rethinking your business - be real and open up a space for conversation and connection
Offer rays of hope by showcasing the good around you. Do you have a customer that is delivering meals? Share their story
Highlight your staff and humanize your brand as much as possible
None of this means you should stop your current content strategy, but find ways to weave in more of your personality and contributions could help set you apart from your competitors. These are great elements to add to your social media presence and newsletter.
Explore Ways to Optimize Your Online Presence
If I had a brick and mortar store that relied on in-store sales or classes, here's what I would be doing:
Invest in a quick cleanup of your website - make sure it is easy to navigate and your message is clear. There are a lot of excellent writers and designers who need work now --if you have even $500 to $1000 to spare you can elevate your online presence pretty quickly
Offer new ways to experience your products. Do you offer in-person classes? Put them online. Create subscription boxes, printables, or services that build off of your core offering
Look to new mediums: maybe it's time for a podcast, video, or TikTok account
Give tutorials or deep-dive your typical product spotlight
Look to the Next Generation of Customer
Consider if there is any way your offering would be relatable to children. All of these working from home parents who are homeschooling their kids are looking for any and everything they can do to keep their kids entertained. This may be a great way for you to step in and offer your services remotely, either as a private tutoring or mass online subscription. Teach these kids your trade - cooking, arts, math, science, sewing, language, exercise, the opportunities are endless. And speaking as a parent, we can only watch the same videos so many times.
If you are an introvert or don't fancy the idea of online training, maybe look to printables or mail services you could offer students that is actually engaging and keeps the kids entertained for 20 minutes.
If Necessary, Get Wierd
Social distancing is taking its toll on all of us, we need levity and humor in our lives. Bond with your customers in these moments with content that shows your shared experience. Be true to your brand voice and personality in the process, but don't be afraid to try something off the beaten path.
Remember, all any of us have right now are our devices. Figuring out you can reach us on these may be the only way you can ensure your business survives the weeks and months ahead.
Want a professional to help you scope out some of these ideas? Email me to schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation.