Everything feels surreal and somewhat upside down at the moment. Routines are out of the window, our days merge into one, what day even is it? We’re trying to run our businesses, stay healthy and fit, look after our mental health and, in many cases, home-school our kids.

When it comes to running our businesses, staying visible is an essential part. So how on earth do we promote our businesses and what do we say in the midst of a global pandemic? It’s yet another thing to overwhelm us.

But wait! Here are my top four tips to help you:

You need to be visible

If you are running your business and still selling, even if you’re not but want to kickstart your business when ‘normality’ returns, you need to keep talking. People are spending a lot of time consuming content and on social media right now and you need to stay visible so that they remember you.

Whether you’ve changed your offering, or even if you’ve kept it the same, the same advice applies – you need to tell people what you are offering. You still need to keep in touch with them. You still need to keep in touch with your audience. You still need to build your personal brand.

Be mindful of others

It’s about communicating with your audience in terms of what you are doing, whilst being mindful of their situation because, of course, everyone’s in different places. Some of your clients and customers are probably home-schooling at the moment and feeling really stressed about not having very much time. Lots of your clients will be concerned about key workers they live with or know.

So, your usual messaging isn’t going to be right. If you batch produce loads of content that was based on what reality was a couple of weeks or a month ago –  then start again. You need to communicate in real time and respond to what’s going on now, because the world has changed since then.

In terms of content, when you put something out, put something out that really means something – not just for the sake of putting something out. People have got less headspace at the moment and they get overwhelmed. Make your content count.

Communicate from the heart

Communicate from the heart and help people in terms of what you offer – it doesn’t have to be free and it doesn’t have to be a new business idea. It could be what you already do.

It’s just letting people know what you’re offering and that you’re still around, that you’re human, you’re still juggling everything around your new ‘normal’ and you are committed to keeping doing it. Because your business is part of you, it’s what you do. It gives you a focus and it helps you to keep your normal life going, which is a big part of feeling well and maintaining yourself.

Take some time, because there is no right and wrong here. It’s much more about what feels right and trusting your intuition. People want to hear good stories and positive things, but don’t worry if you can’t share at the moment –  just do what’s right for you – and that is different for everyone.

I reduced the amount I was posting for a week or so because I had to take a deep breath and work out what the heck I was doing! I dived into helping a charity with some PR. That helped me in terms of focus during those early weeks but I equally want to help my audience to communicate through this period and this series of blogs is part of that.

A great example I’ve seen of communicating during this crisis is from Emma at The Jewellery Makers. Emma had already set up an online business selling stunning handmade jewellery made by a collection of talented designer-makers (including herself). The messaging I’ve seen from Emma has been spot on. Her emails are thoughtful and friendly, striking a lovely balance between acknowledging the current situation whilst offering her customers some light relief in the form of her stunning collections of jewellery. Her Instagram stories showcase the reality of life as a business owner at home with three young children whilst her Instagram feed cheers and inspires with pictures of lovely jewellery.

A note on charging

It is NOT something to feel awkward or uncomfortable about. You are helping people whichever way you look at it.

For example, I got my amazing yoga teacher Binny set up on zoom. She’s now delivering online yoga classes for the first time ever and she’s taking payment for those classes. She has offered the classes for free to people who’ve lost their jobs, because she feels like that’s the right thing to do. But for those people who can afford to pay and are happy to pay, she’s charging a fee. I’m paying the fee – for me it’s a no-brainer as she’s the best teacher I’ve ever had. Her classes keep me grounded and calm and because they’re delivered right into my home I have no excuse for missing them so I’m doing more yoga than ever before!

So please don’t feel uncomfortable about asking for payment because we still need the economy to flow through the exchange of goods and services for money. We need this for our future, because things won’t stay like this forever.

 

How have you adapted your communication style? I would love to hear in the comments below!

 

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