We are in the midst of a really crazy time with COVID-19 and its impact on the world. Our company has issued our own "work remote" policy for the unforeseeable future. It's been different for us for sure. And, like you, our emotions over the last week were just crazy. They were up and down, of course. I personally was full of confidence and comfort that we're going to make it through this at times - I'm home with my kids and we're safe. But I would also have moments of total fear about the gravity of the situation as well. Would my family and friends around the world be safe? What was going to happen?
It was quite an emotional roller coaster (and I was unsure of how to approach the entire situation), so I spent some time just learning and kind of watching.
I was really observing and wanted to see what people were reacting to, and how they were acting in the first place. It was very eye opening, and I learned a lot. I think one of the most important things that came out of last week was seeing how so many of my fellow business owners were basically going to just pause for a bit and wait things out to see what happened.
As I thought about it more and more, I just got this sense of action and an urge to keep moving. I got the feeling that we can't just sit by and pause during this crisis. It's ridiculous to think we have built businesses only to let something come along and require us to hide in our basements (literally where I work right now!).
I listened to a number of my favorite podcast personalities talk about what's going on, and the first one I was listening to was Amy Porterfield. She brought up some amazing points that I really like which summed up exactly what I was feeling. She said that we have to understand if you're a marketer or you're an entrepreneur & you're running your business, you shouldn't stop. You cannot stop doing what you're doing.
We have to make sure that we are moving things forward. We, the marketers, the salespeople, and the business owners of the world are the ones who are going to push our economy through.
Over the last several days, I received a ton of questions from people asking me things like, "John, what do you think? Should we stop? Should we just quit doing our marketing for awhile? Should we pause all of our sales communication? Should we cancel all these future plans that are six months down the road?"
I had to really think about that at first because, like you, I didn't know. But it's really clear now that we do have a very solid and stable answer.
Why You Can't Stop
We can't ignore the issues that the world is facing. However, we have to keep going. So many of you started building marketing plans and executing on January 1st, so you cannot stop now.
I went over lots of amazing plans with people at the beginning of the year, discussing their goals and their plans to make 2020 the best year ever. We've had sales calls, we've had meetings, and we've had masterclasses. A lot of people were saying, "we're ready to go, we're gonna make this happen."
We didn't come this far in our marketing journey to go all the way back to the beginning. We have to have hope that we are going to make it through. The world is really looking for leaders right now, and so is your company. So are your customers.
If we stick to the news and just watch the scary stories people are sharing, you're going to be trapped in your basement with no hope for coming out of this on top. That does nothing for us other than just put us in a state of panic where we live in fear and not in reality.
Marketing and sales as a profession are key factors in the US economy. If we stop doing our job, it's going to cause a lot more issues than we currently face. We have to show up for our customers and we have to be there and be present in a very positive way. I promise you this: those that stop what they're doing and live in a state of fear and panic during this time will not come out of this on top.
Grant Cardone talks a lot about the 10X method. He says to 10X your efforts and 10X your goals. I couldn't think of anything more appropriate than that right now for what we should be doing in our industry. We're also doing this for Web Canopy Studio right now. Over the next several weeks, you're going to see a tremendous uptick in blogs, podcasts, and other resources we are putting out. You should see the content plan we have going on!
4 Strategies For Marketing During The Coronavirus
To start today, I'm going to give you four strategies to continue marketing through the Coronavirus crisis. And, hopefully, they help you understand what it is you can be doing, how you can pivot, and how to make things happen for your brand.
1) Draft a message to your customers
You need to draft a message to your customers. This was actually something that Amy Porterfield had said in her podcast as I mentioned above. Tell them how you're going to manage this crisis by preparing a crisis message. Tell them how you're going to manage through the coronavirus issue. This is not only for your customers, but also the people who might read your content or listen to you for advice. If your clients are impacted by the Corona virus, tell them how you're going to mitigate that impact and give them hope through it. One thing you most certainly cannot do is be quiet and silent during this time, then just show up all of a sudden when you're ready to start selling to them. Be out there and present, and start by drafting your "Corona message."
You also need to let people see you. Embrace the fact that you're working from home and your kitchen is a mess. Let people know you're real. We don't need a big presentation or formal approach to professional video right now.
We're all at home. We're all working remote now. I've got 4 small kiddos that are constantly around while I work. If my 3 year old decides to bust into my office screaming about needing to go to the potty during my podcast, I'm just going to completely embrace it and let it happen. It's funny, and you know what, it's going to happen.
2) Start Something Immediately To Offer Help
Content is key here. What can you do quickly and immediately to help people? Everyone has a few extra hours in their day. Give them something to digest. You can easily write a few blogs really quick and get them out. Maybe you've been talking about doing a podcast for a long time. That time is now! It is not hard to do a low budget podcast to get great sound. In fact, we have a guide to producing your own podcast available already that may just help you out!
I also know you receive all kinds of emails regarding sales or customer service. These may be frequently asked questions or other items that the sales team get regularly. You can start your podcast by simply answering some of these questions on air! It's very simple. You could try an AMA (ask me anything) where people post questions to you on social media and you answer. Or, maybe you can do a one-on-one call with people who have specific problems. The point is - you should do something immediately that allows you to be present so you can offer help.
You're not asking for money. You're not asking them to buy anything. Most of the time in these situations, they're not even submitting contact information to you. You're just being present and you're ready to share information.
3) Deep Dive Into Your Website And Marketing Performance
Now is the perfect time to work on yourself and your business, and evaluate what you need to do to increase performance. You are likely never going to have another time in your life where you are required to be isolated and required to slow down. There are so many good silver linings to this.
See if that site audit that you've been meaning to get to for the last six months is worth doing now. See if talking to that website design agency (eh hem, Web Canopy Studio) is able to do an audit for you. Whatever it maybe, if it makes sense for you to evaluate your own marketing data, analytics, and return, now is the time to do it.
4) Pivot & Start Building Something Bigger
Again, you will not likely have another time like this to do something greater with your marketing. You have all the time and resources at your fingertips. Now is the perfect time to execute.
Start to ask yourself... "What can I do to generate and nurture better quality leads?" The answer is likely easier to spot than you think.
Most businesses attend one, if not several, tradeshows or conferences per year. In fact, many businesses rely on them as the major sources of leads and revenue for their business. So what do you do when it's cancelled? You pivot!
Consider hosting an online workshop, or an online virtual conference. You can have keynote speakers give presentations from their front porch, and involve the community in a Facebook Group. You can do zoom workshops with 15 or less, and have people opt in to be a part of these special learning experiences.
Maybe your sales team has 15 or so prime targets they are working. Why not invite all of those to a free workshop where you guys breakdown the 3 biggest mistakes [insert your buyer persona's job title] are making in their industry? It is a great way for you to build tons of value while easily making content from home.
The beautiful thing is, these are not things that have to go away. You may find that they actually work even better for you as time goes on. Start building something greater that's more longterm and see where it goes!
To help give even more context here, we've developed a brand new free guide called lead generation in a time of crisis. This free guide is about how to keep your business moving forward in uncertain times. In fact, we go through 5 different strategies and ideas you can do RIGHT NOW to pivot and make things start working together.
Wrapping it all up
I know this can be a scary time, but this is such a blessing in disguise. Yeah, it's scary. Yeah, there's a ton of unknowns at this point. But you are not going to let that overwhelm you because you have to make sure that you are constantly progressing. You are constantly moving forward. Again, if you sit and wait idly by during all of this, you are not going to come out on top.
And here's my favorite part - People are going to say you're trying to capitalize on the situation. They will say, "Oh John, you're just trying to find a way to capitalize on this coronavirus thing," and "it's awful that you're doing something like this."
But you know what? Let them say that! You have to help get your business through this time. I have to help get my business through this time. I have 10 other families that rely on me to see them through this, and I'll be damned if I give up.
You should do what you can to make sure that you're taking care of the people that matter most.
If you are following Web Canopy Studio, you're going to continue to see such good information over the next four to five weeks as we put information out about this regularly.
So, stick with us, stay out of the news, and stay positive! That's all I got.