It’s a strange time for most – Particularly for business owners, solopreneurs and freelancers trying to make a living in the gig economy.
While we get by most of the time, an unexpected global pandemic doesn’t often get listed in our SWOT analyses. Full marks if it’s in yours.
This means we’ve hit stormy waters that can quickly wash away everything we’ve managed to accumulate. Like it or not, a lot of businesses survive month to month. It’s not just self-employed individuals who are feeling the strain of cancelled contracts – Take a look at the travel giants and you’ll see that we’re not as robust an economy as we once believed.
Yet the key to survival, for species and businesses alike, is adaptability.
What does that mean exactly? It means that we can’t comfortably stroll at our usual relaxed pace – We need to make big changes to how we operate. Just because we’ve been doing something one way for years, this doesn’t mean it’s the only way forward.
If your business is primarily offline, using online tools as a means of marketing and nothing else, you have to make the switch in your brain to digital.
In just a few days, people have gone from social butterflies making regular landings in bars and restaurants, who have gym memberships and hobbies, to home-based hermits hiding from a virus. This is with good reason – We want to curb the spread of coronavirus, but what does it mean for all those service and events industries that depend on our footfall?
Those fearing for their jobs or who are forced to survive on statutory sick pay are watching the pennies, so any non-essential purchases have been put on the backburner, affecting sales universally. SMEs worried about not being able to pay staff are cancelling contracts left, right and centre. You’ve probably experienced this already.
What can you do as a business to put your brand on life-support?
First and foremost, now is not the time to hide your business away. People might be emptying the streets, but they’re going somewhere. Where would you go when forced to stay home with nothing to do but catch up on Netflix? At some point you’ll need social interaction from the usual platforms. If you’re not there because “Well, there’s no point, is there? No-one’s got any money anymore” then you’re doing your business a grave disservice. When people aren’t spending, brand awareness is even more important.
Get Your Content Hat On
Sat at home, your customers will be in a position to consume more content than ever before and so you need to be providing it for them. We’re not just talking about adding a few social media graphics and the odd blog post link. We mean taking social media back to its social roots. People want to see you and be able to feel you there with them when they’re unable to see friends in the pub – That means daily honest interactions, stories and valuable advice. Authenticity is key here. Show your human side.
Create a Tribe
We’re more than ever looking for people to see us and empathise with us – So start a community to bring your fans together where they can exclusively enjoy the content you’re creating for them. If you create content daily, preferably videos, they’ll feel excited about checking in each afternoon to see what nuggets of joy you have provided. They can interact with you and each other and won’t be able to get through a day without it.
Upsell to Your Fans
Having created a warm selection of prospects, you’re in a great position to ask for something back, as per the reciprocity principle, where people feel compelled to give back when they’ve already received something for free. At this point, it’s not unreasonable of you to advertise a paid service that gives even more exclusive value you’re not providing your whole community – Just your VIPs.
So what next?
First of all, you need to ask yourself, “What do I do that I can put online”. You might be used to painting people’s sheds in your day-to-day life, but your knowledge of colour theory and tutorials on painting might prove invaluable to someone has a couple of weeks extra time on their hands to get in the garden and do a few jobs.
Likewise, if you’re a beautician who varnishes everyone else’s nails daily, help them to keep up their spirits with a video showing how they can keep their nails looking gorgeous despite all the handwashing.
It’s about making the transition from service provider to knowledge provider – Everyone has expertise from which to build an online arm to their business, but sadly, in a lot of cases, they lack the confidence and the technical expertise to set it up.
Then… Call Bold
If you’ve been thinking for a long time about getting out there online, there’s no better time than right now. The Bold team can help you get set up with your squeeze page, email funnel, online forum and a calendar of ideas for daily content.
To find out more, have a virtual coffee with us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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