Has this virus been affecting me in ways that I never thought possible... definitely. I don’t know if I’m the only one but the craziness does get to me. It always hits me just when I’m about to go to the checkout and realise I’ve loaded up on a tonne of crap I don’t need, (I'm definitely no hoarder), probably will never use and never have. In all seriousness I have had to postpone my branding Perth sessions, my European branding sessions are on hold too and quite possibly my Hawaii branding sessions in September pending the pandemic status. So I’m aware it’s not just me, it’s affecting everyone.
One thing I’m not a fan of is this fear tactic to sell or market your products or services. Yes you might have something that’s helps but putting the fear in others intentionally is just a sham move. Nobody needs that right now. SO JUST DON'T!
Another thing I am conscious of is the toilet paper issue which is spreading just as quick as the virus throughout the world. People do crazy things and their actions are not of their normal persona so when the world seems to be spiralling over no TP we can choose to look at how we react. We can chose to be kind and support each other, we can ask ourselves how can we help or we can buy into this fear that has lead to so much craziness we see today. Which leads me into what I want to talk about today. In all seriousness I have no idea what might come, if we are at the peak of this or if we are not even half way yet but we can do something no matter who we are.
If you are a small business how can you stay afloat amongst the biggest thing of its kind since WW2 and the Great Depression. How can you, stay ahead of what might be to come no matter what size business you have. We are all being affected here.
Don’t stop… Keep going. We can make it through this and key thing is to support each other. That doesn’t mean buying or spending but living in a state of fear is not going to help anyone. I have been seeing incredible things popping up so lets look at a few ways we can help each other.
Shout out. We all love them and hardly ever do them. Why not do a shout out to another business in your field, friend, network or services/products that you just love.
Lets start thinking of who and what we have done business with and leave a review for them. Write the testimonial based on who you know them to be if you haven’t done business with them yet.
Refer them. If you know someone who has been in need, could use, or will benefit from their products or services in their life then refer them to that business.
I know this has gone around a lot but gift certificates are a fantastic way to help out a business if they offer them now and use them later.
Do an online course. Im a massive advocate for educating ourselves and others so if there is something you have been holding off doing. Now might just be the perfect time.
If there are products that you use/want - shop online. Just because we are beginning to isolate doesn’t mean you have to stop using those particular products. If they don’t have an online store, reach out and ask them if its something they are willing to do.
In a bit of a twist friends, I’m excited about what is coming because if you keep your heads in the game you will emerge from the flames, a bit like khalesi on Game of thrones yeah we all know that scene. Now is the time to get creative, take opportunity of your down and quiet time (still searching for that), or perhaps you have been on the fence about something maybe this is the perfect time to do it, like starting your own business, a new line or launch of a service or product.
I want you to be thinking about what value you can bring to those during this time. What can you do to bring it it being the value here.
Social Media platforms are free, take advantage of that and show up like never before, breathe life into your brands and business when it seems so grim, ugh how I wish I had my brand school up and running right now for you to all be a part of in this down time. But I promise you this it’s not far away. Wouldn’t that be a great thing to work on while your a bit quieter than norm?
What have you had on your to do list that you haven’t ‘had time for’ in the past? Do it now. Do a SWOT analysis on your business and build on your strengths. If you are unsure then reach out, to me, to your support groups, to your business and networking groups, you don’t have to go through this alone so don’t try and be a hero. We can get through this time together!
Personally I don’t think it matters if you have a product based or store based business. We can do things today, and tomorrow and the next day to get through this, we might just have to think outside the norm here. We might just have to start to ask others for help or connect a little deeper with our networks and support groups to bounce ideas and see what sticks.
Actually this is a perfect opportunity to get extremely clear on your branding. Look at your brand, look at your brand message. See what you are saying and how that is resonating with people. Do you even have a laid out brand message? Most people, don’t be surprised here, don’t. Kind of like the ship at sea without a sail they are at the whim of the tide. So why not raise the mast and hoist the sail (yes I am an avid sailor from back in the day) and direct your path. Start right now with your brand message.
Ok I hope that you have a pen and paper because I want you to write down 3 words that you believe sums up your brand.
Now under that write 3 things that you and your company values
Next write down 3 things that make you unique, your products and services
And finally write down three ways that this helps your dream clients?
What did everyone get? Is there a commonality? Let me tell you this, your brand message is working if your chosen words is what people are saying when you aren’t in that room. If they use these words to talk about you. I go into more detail on a previous podcast episode actually which is on apple now so if you wanted to get more info go check it out but another fun way to test your brand messages effectiveness is to ask people. Ask your clients, your potential clients, your peers (On a side note. Rarely will you have me recommend asking your friends and family because, they don’t tend to be your ideal clients and in my expereince have a set view on how things are and should be so anything outside of that isn’t their forte) but ask people. Why not go out and ask 5 people to give you three words they would use to describe you and your business and see what comes back. Its a fun little exercise. I get it, putting yourself out there isn’t the most fun thing to do but the feedback you receive might just delight you. Plus its a fantastic way to check your effectiveness of your brand message.
I hope you get something from this. We are some badass business people here so we aren’t giving up because of this virus, continue to grow, build and serve your community. In all seriousness wash your hands and stay safe out there friends. Much love an keep those questions coming in so we can do these weekly QnA sessions.