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There’s no point denying it: the world is in flux.
And if you’ve been struggling to navigate today’s business environment, you’re not alone.
These 16 digital marketing experts run small businesses, too. And they’re trying to make sense of things, just the same as you are.
But here’s what they know—and what they hope you remember.
Focusing on lead generation, marketing, sales, and branding will help you get through these difficult times.
The people quoted here believe—as you surely do—that things will rebound. That despite all the turmoil, the way forward will require us to grow, not shrink.
And whether you’re working hard to make sure that growth happens now, or you’re confused about where to go next, know this…
When you’re ready, the expert who sent you this document can help you, just like the others are helping their own clients.
16 communities, across America and around the world, leaning into uncertainty and doing what it takes to succeed…
Told you you’re not alone.
Understandably, COVID-19 articles are getting a lot of Google traffic right now.
So think like a media company and consider using this an opportunity to create a piece of authority content connecting what you do to COVID-19.
For example, a cleaning services company could create a blog post or video talking about how to keep a home or office safer from issues—both now and in the future.
Another example would be for a bike shop owner to talk about how more people using bikes instead of public transportation could help curb the spread of the virus.
People are consuming content about the Coronavirus all day—so you might as well take advantage of this opportunity to spread some awareness about your business.
– Jeff Couret, SEOak | Harahan, LA
People are using their phones and screens at all-time highs right now.
So no matter what is happening with your business right now—even if you’re closed—DO NOT GO DARK.
Now is the time to get in front of them with visual content and virtual communication! We’ve been helping our clients get that done immediately, even in a virtual environment, and you can do it too.
– Vince Lujan, Vinrock Media | Pueblo, CO
Discover and learn how to implement innovation as a tool within your organization. Don’t be scared of Innovation—it’s for everyone, not just creatives.
Learn to incorporate innovation in your business. Ask yourself 1.) What do people desire? 2.) What is technically feasible—that we can do in our company? And 3.) What is financially viable? These are the foundational tools of innovation you can use in every season.
Then think of your project as its most simple version, always being updated into new versions. Start with the most basic version first, as fast as possible.
Innovating can be more important than simply increasing your ad spend—because if people don’t think they want your existing product or service, no matter whether or not they actually need it, you’ll become irrelevant. Innovate to stay necessary.
– Staeven Frey, Quantum Branding | Nashville, TN
Use this time to finally launch that course, online program, or one-to-many video you’ve thought about but never pulled the trigger on.
You can use it to leverage your revenue and reach beyond those four walls of your business.
Start now when you have extra time and your clients are stuck at home bored stiff—but still want to solve their problems.
– Josh Parkinson, Resonate Web Leadership | Seattle, WA
If you’re not already doing the majority of your business online, now is a perfect time.
Leverage your existing email list with one-to-many messages, information, offers, invitations to read content or watch webinars, small group coaching, and so on.
And consider reaching out to individual clients with customized product offers or virtual services. Drumming up business from your existing client base will be the cheapest, fastest and most effective marketing tool you have.
Yes, you CAN launch something quickly—using simple tools. And it’s easier than you think to get started. Especially now. What you need most is simply the confidence that you can do it.
– Stephanie Hofhenke, STRING Marketing | Minneapolis, MN
The best definition of a brand is “the gut feeling a customer has about your business.” You can build a positive gut feeling by caring about your customers in this stressful time.
I’m talking about genuine caring. If you’re thinking of faking it, stop reading right now.
If you’re for real, wrack your brain for ways to make a real difference however you can.
Consider all the things you could do to offer practical help to your customers. Look for every possible way to ease their minds.
You’ll become recognized as the alternative to the more well-known brand that didn’t go all out when it mattered.
– Jeff Stadden, Ten After One | Lancaster, PA
Unless you are in an industry that is totally closed for the next 30-90 days, do everything in your power to keep your marketing going.
Pay-per-click advertising, social, and all other digital streams—NOW is the time to double down.
For the first time in your lifetime, your buyers are almost 100% at home. (Or soon will be.) That means you have the most captive audience in the history of marketing.
Find your opportunity in the chaos we are currently experiencing—it is there.
– Shane Roberson, Integrity Web Studios | Metairie, LA
Focus on the things you can control. Don’t get overwhelmed by the possibilities and ‘what ifs’—especially the negative ones. Take action to move forward, in a positive way, based on the knowledge you have at hand.
Keep in mind that the things you need to be doing for the next few months are the same things you should have been doing for the past few months. It’s ok to pivot, and in many cases necessary, but stick to your process, and try not to get too distracted.
If you are trying something new, make decisions quickly, don’t get caught up with perfection paralysis, take fast action to implement, learn and refine as you go.
Above all, double down where you know you can add value. Clients and prospects, partners and promoters are seeking expertise and ideas. These are unprecedented times, make it your moment to shine.
– Bryon and Kellie McCartney, ArchMark | Estero, FL
Your health is your #1 priority. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
But once you’ve made that a habit, your next priority should be to add value wherever you can—blogs, social media, emails to customers and so on.
We always see new ways of life come out of a crisis—which means we may be witnessing a fundamental shift in not only business, but in life as a society.
I have to think that the way through is in caring for others and providing as much value as you can.
– Austin Crane, Bellaworks | Charlotte, NC
We all need more TRUST these days.
T is for Truth. As in, “always tell it.” As confusion and panic creep into the national conversation, what people need from marketers now are sanity and reassurance.
R is for Respect. Let’s remember that we’re all in this together. If you keep our buyers’ best interests in mind, and their well-being at heart, you’ll naturally sell more.
U is for Understanding. As a society, we’re on edge. So if there’s a way to talk about your product or service so you can help set buyers’ minds at ease, embrace it.
S is for Sincerity. Don’t try to take advantage of your buyers—the world needs honest business right now.
And T is for “Trustworthiness.” Because people simply won’t trust you if they don’t feel you’re worthy of that trust.
– Aaron Wrixon, WRIXON | Ontario, Canada
During these times where so many people are stuck at home, more people than ever are searching online for your products and services.
One thing to consider is what your Digital Footprint looks like. Your Digital Footprint comprises all the places your business is visible online—including your website, your Google My Business page, your social media profiles, directory listings, review sites, Chamber of Commerce, and so on.
Updating your Digital Footprint will improve your visibility, increase awareness, and build your audience while attracting new leads—all benefits for your business now and in the future.
– Barry Alt, Motorhead Digital | Palmyra, NY
– Laura Theaker Sutherly, Agtivation | Troy, OH
Keep your marketing going—or, if you can, ramp it up. But make sure you’re offering value and helping. Consider offering lower-cost options or create new high-value virtual options that make them feel safe.
People are online. They’re searching and scrolling. This means that even if they can’t purchase anything now, they’ll remember you later if you’re providing as much value as you can.
– Debra Friday Scarpa and Ashley Blaesing, Friday Marketing | El Dorado Hills, CA
In times of crisis, sales often slow way down. Make sure you’re out there in front of prospects much more often.
Use all possible means of communication to be in front of potential clients and provide real, valuable content that helps them survive or thrive during these difficult times.
You will create loyalty and future sales this way.
– Alexander Galarraga, SPIN Internet Media | Willemstad, Curaçao
During times of anxiety, children’s’ television host Mr. Rogers liked to repeat words his mother told him when he was scared: “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
This is an incredible time to be one of those helpers—and go out of your way to encourage and serve your clients.
Use this time to share personal stories behind why you love your work, and talking about what motivates you to keep serving. You’re also likely to have things to share about how to move past hurdles and use them as a way to grow. Talk about this part of your personal focus and determination to inspire your followers.
– Gretchen Ozee Cawthon and Trina Fisher, Left Right Labs| Decatur, IL & Orange, CA
Let’s be honest… This sucks. And you may find yourself with time on your hands, but there’s a silver lining. You now have the time to focus on—and level up—your business, so that when this is over, and it will be over at some point, you come out stronger and more durable.
What should you upgrade? I’d like to answer that question with another question: What will make the biggest impact?
Here are some possibilities:
• The clarity of your messaging
• The way you’ve positioned your brand
• Whether your visual identity is serving you
• How easy it is for customers to use your website
• Whether your company looks consistent across all your digital channels (LinkedIn, Google My Business, Facebook, Instagram, etc)
• The effectiveness of your sales tools: slide decks, case studies, brochures, trade show materials, videos, landing pages, lead generators, and so on
• Your authority in the market: articles, LinkedIn posts, recorded webinars, and videos, etc.
Regardless of when, where and how much you choose to upgrade, changes in any of these areas will make a big impact.
– Tracy O’Shaughnessy, Branding & Beyond | Austin, Texas
As a business owner, I understand how difficult it can be to serve your current customers and still grow and evolve your own organization.
But the one thing that the most successful companies have in common? They know how to implement a three-pronged strategy that helps them become the business they hope to be running in the future.
First, you need to identify what your dream customer looks like, so you can make decisions that attract and engage them.
Then you need to let those people know that you exist.
Finally, you need to talk about how you solve problems in a way that nobody else does—and ask those dream customers to work with you.
At the end of the day, your growth rests on nothing more than those three things.
– Nate Freedman, MSP Lead Generation | Swansea, MA