Marketing in uncertain times
marketing dos & don’ts as the world responds to coronavirus
A lot is changing right now in response to growing concern about COVID-19, or Coronavirus.
How are you? You OK?
My loved ones and I are healthy and safe. And I am gratefully running a business that operates almost exclusively in a virtual space. Meaning: my plans remain largely unchanged at the moment.
I know not everyone is this lucky.
And actually, I’ve been doing a lot of marketing planning and copywriting for clients whose work is impacted by all the shutdowns, cancellations and anxiety related to COVID-19.
I know this uncertain time can create a lot of stress around communications, and I want to offer support.
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Here’s what I recommend for your marketing right now:
Make short announcements to keep your clients and audiences informed when plans and events change. Clients want to know how any changes in your company will impact their plans, their investments of time, money and energy, their travel, their access to you, etc. Be clear about policies, scheduling, etc. You can even create a quick, text-only landing page on your website and lead people to it if there are many changes for them to be aware of.
You are in a unique position to help your audience with that thing you do best. Consider offering some advice if you’re an expert in your field and people need your insights right now. Consider setting up an opportunity to hop on a call or join you for a livestream to ask for specific help.
If you have the bandwidth, form virtual communities to replace in-person gatherings. Maybe a keynote speech becomes a webinar. Maybe an in-person class becomes an online one. Maybe a book club becomes a discussion via Slack. Find ways to offer connection at a time everyone feels anxious and overwhelmed.
Invest In Yourself & Your Company
What better time than now to invest in building your skills and knowledge, to create room for your own growth and professional development? Yes, you might wanna sneak in a few hours of mind-numbing Netflix shows for comfort and entertainment. Enjoy. But you can also carve out time to work on your website, create a Welcome series for your email subscribers, plan ideas for social media, update your personal bio/”About” story and so much more!! I’m encouraging all my clients to find rest and relaxation with loved ones, but also to find pockets of productivity and ways to grow!
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Here’s what NOT to do:
Don't be Opportunistic
No joke, this morning someone shared with me an internal memo from a big company. This memo informed their employees that they must commit to continuing “work as usual” so the company could take advantage of business that will arise as others take care of themselves and stay home.
No “hope you’re ok — stay home if you’re feeling nervous.”
No “we’re working to make things safe and better for you.”
Only “this is how we’re gonna profit!”
WHAT THE ACTUAL F.
Real people operate this way?
It’s not just caricature corporate villains in the movies?
Well, YOU SURE AREN’T ONE OF THOSE MONSTERS. (I hope!!)
Continue to care for your people, offer genuine support when you’re able, be of service where you can, and do not feed the fearful energy unless there is a real reason to do so.
One of my biggest character flaws is that I hermit myself away in times of stress. I cancel friend-dates, I ignore phone calls, I stop responding to social media comments…
I can understand not wanting to add to the noise right now. But going dark is not the answer. Going dark disconnects you and the people who want to hear from you or support you most.
There are several things I had planned for the next two weeks (a giveaway! a program launch!) that I am re-planning as we go.
Know that I am actively preparing some helpful resources for you if now’s the time to invest more time and energy into yourself and your company. Those are coming soon.
And as always, I encourage you to use my free and existing workbooks, workshops and resources as needed:
- Read tips on my blog
- Download my workbook to define your ideal audience
- Sign up for a workshop (& take it on your own time)
If you need any specific advice or a second set of eyes on copy/communications, please feel free to reach out.
Stay healthy, stay safe, find peace and joy in your day!
I strategize, consult and manage digital marketing and communications for small businesses and creative entrepreneurs. I’m based in Brooklyn, because I have a thing for exposed brick, cozy, local coffee shops and the can’t stop, won’t stop energy of New York.
Because I work with small companies, I get the chance to really know my clients – what makes them tick and how and why they should stand out in a crowded marketplace. A lot of my clients have a smaller staff, a limited budget and are already stretched thin for time. This leads us to tailor marketing strategies and solutions to each company’s unique needs and actual capacity.