Shake-ups in the Status Quo Force Innovation.
This isn’t a motivational article — rather you will find proven, proactive steps that will allow your business to continue to move forward and place you on a springboard once this current pandemic passes. The universe moves in waves — you must be prepared for the downturns, as well as set up to optimize your success during the upturns… and the best way to do that is by deploying a strategic, creative growth plan while the rest of the world sits back and waits. These strategies work for any service-driven business, and even for plenty of product-based businesses.
Most people are paralyzed by their sudden unfamiliar circumstances and will continue to be so, as we learn to navigate through uncharted waters. By following these steps and deploying this plan, you can control your personal circumstances and be miles ahead of those who choose to quarantine with Netflix. Here’s how:
1. Audit your external-facing business assets and your marketing message
Visit your own website and walk through your user experience. This is a terrific time to enhance your assets… and that always begins with your pitch. Have you been “winging it” when people ask you what you do? Do you use phrases like “I wear a lot of hats” or “I work with anyone who or everyone who …”? These are signs of a weak business pitch. Being a generalist (meaning, that you claim to work with anyone or everyone) is dated. Find your niche, and speak to that group.
Here are a couple more of my articles to help you refine your pitch:
- A Perfect Pitch, Delivered with Authenticity, Can Change the World.
- Effective Networking at Holiday Business Socials.
- Can Your Pitch Captivate Your Audience?
Action step: set up a remote focus group of committed business owners who agree to hot seat each other’s websites and business pitches via video conference. Be open to all critiques and simply say thank you for any feedback… and then actually take that feedback to heart, and implement it. An honest, outside perspective (or several) will help you to clarify your messaging and improve your user experience too.
2. People who are considered industry influencers create more content than they consume
Don’t use this Work From Home time to binge-watch (consume) streaming TV shows. Instead, use this time to create massive amounts of content for your business. Each piece of content that you create is a business asset. Businesses with more assets are worth more than their counterparts. Create products for your prospects to watch, see, listen to or do. That will engage your audience and provide them with meaningful value. Suggestions:
- Content for your community to Watch:
- Educational videos – give away your best thinking!
- Instructional videos that show before/after results.
- Vlogs. Videos of any sort create the most engagement, so opt for video over static images or stand-alone audio content, whenever you can.
- Content for your community to Read:
- A blog with your unique perspective on a topical story.
- A white paper that shares your industry expertise.
- Write that book you claim you: “should write.” It isn’t a coincidence that the root of the word “authority” is “author.”
- Content for your community to Listen to:
- Time to start that podcast that you have been putting off because it requires valuable time to research! Go. Research. You have time now.
- If you’re already a published author, congratulations! Now, create an audio version and open your book content up to a new audience who prefers to listen rather than read.
- Content for your community to Do:
- Create a quiz for your prospects to take once they reach your website. Your quiz should be specific to the services you provide — and the problems that you solve — in your unique way. The questions should re-frame the quiz taker’s thoughts about how they prioritize the services you provide, as it pertains to their circumstances. This is a terrific way to both engage your perfect prospects and deter the “tire kickers” who aren’t ready to commit, but want some information for the future.
- Create a 5-step to-do list (kind of like this one) that will set you up as an expert, and show your prospects that it would be easier to reach out to you, rather than to try to DIY.
3. Follow and engage with your favorite business influencers online
Make a list of what you love about their content and start implementing those strategies with your own content. Beyond that, actually engage with the influencer and their followers by liking and commenting on their posts, and by joining the on-line conversations. Then you will become an integral part of their circle of influence, too — as long as you are sharing your own unique and valuable insights with the influencer’s community. Here is one of my favorite business influencers and visionaries out of Australia who also creates a ton of excellent content. He’s a good one to study for strategy, and his business insights are executable, too.
Another influencer who is not only a digital content master, but a trendsetter for the sports industry:
As you gather content assets, don’t release them all at once. Put together a Content Calendar and share your new assets regularly. Please engage with me online and share how you are implementing these strategies. And let me know of other influencers who are creating exciting content, too. We have so much to learn from one another. As we practice social distancing, perhaps we can utilize social media in the way it should be intended… to connect us together for the improvement of our society.