Well, what month March was. As we started the month, I think many of us had the spread of Covid-19 on our radar but few of us thought that as we go into May, we would be where we are now. The pace of change and the impact on our lives has been phenomenal.
But we are where we are, and we will ‘be here’ for a while so why do you need to continue to market yourself and how do you communicate with clients and wider stakeholders in a way that is sensitive to their situation and true to yourself and not spend a fortune in the process?
- Keep marketing (I would say that wouldn’t I?!). You need to remain front of mind for when this passes, and it will. Yes, you will need to adapt your messaging and the products or services you were due to launch may not be appropriate at the moment, but you do need to keep your brand out there. People are still buying, not just products or services relating to our current situation but ‘business as usual’ purchases they need to run their business.
- Resist the temptation to revolutionise your business model just because everyone else is (or says they are). This is a temporary situation (although it may not feel like it at the moment!) so if your business is usually delivered through face to face mechanisms and that works for you and your clients, then offer online interaction during this period but go back to what has worked previously when you can. Clearly if the current situation has revealed previously untapped opportunities or flaws in your delivery then by all means, make some changes but don’t feel like you HAVE to.
- Where you do need to adapt and think about differently is about how you generate leads. For example, I relied heavily on in-person networking for my own marketing and business development so am now seeking out opportunities to network online instead. I am also continuing to utilise LinkedIn to build relationships and share content and if you had previously shied away from LinkedIn, use this time to familiarise yourself with the platform and how it can benefit your business.
- A little goes a long way – don’t rely solely on mass marketing messages via social media to communicate with your contacts. Pick up the phone. Those of you who know me, know I am passionate about client service and there is no better way than connect with your clients right now than to pick up the phone and ask them how they are. They will hugely appreciate the personal touch. And those who do not reach out to their clients -the silence will be deafening. People will have more time to reflect on things like the service they receive from their current suppliers and to research alternatives – don’t give them a reason to do so.
None of us know how long this will period will last, nor the long-term effect on our economy. Not all businesses will survive this period but give yourself the best chance of doing so by strengthening relationships with your current clients and putting yourself in the best position to win work from new ones.
If you would like a free initial consultation about how to market your business throughout the pandemic, please contact me.