Whether we like it or not, the Covid-19 crisis has hastened the digital-first world. The question is, are you taking advantage of it?
All those events, in-person meetings, presentations and other BD that you had planned must now flow into your online and digital efforts if your business is going to grow again. Whether you are a consumer business, a b2b business or something in between, the way you engage with your potential clients has been forever changed.
For many businesses, this has been overwhelming. If you have only one source of work (referrals), you have to act quickly and effectively to make sure your business remains viable in a digital-only environment. A lot of businesses have done the sort sighted thing and stopped marketing, exactly when they should be doing more of it.
For small business understand that you are in a position of opportunity. It is easier for you to change faster. For big business, it’s time to be agile. It’s time to bring in experts on digital, branding and marketing and action plans like your smaller competitors.
So what can you do in the next few weeks?
Do you have a clear digital-first strategy? The answer for 99% of businesses is no. It’s probably low down on your priority list if your industry is still struggling, but it is critical for your medium-term survival. The sooner you can pay attention to it the better your business will be. All business, no matter its size, need a digital strategy. You need clarity on your branding, your options, your content, your engagement and your bd. It needs to come together and it needs to work.
There’s no point in having a great billboard if fewer people are driving (or if everyone is looking at their phone anyway!). There is no point in having all that marketing collateral if it can’t be sent online. EVERYTHING we do now has to be about maximising how we build trust and relationships in a digital-first environment. This means that your branding, website, content and social media footprints need to be outstanding. It means you have to impress your clients with how you look and feel online as you do when you put on an in-person event. It means for a lot of business that you are going to have to invest in this yesterday because there are only so many people who can help and your competitors are speaking with them now.
Thought about starting a podcast but never got around to it? Do it now.
Want to implement a video strategy? Do it now.
Want to start writing blog pieces or engaging with your client list with a newsletter? Roll it out this week.
Want to start a weekly webinar or client meetup? Lock in a time, use zoom or another platform, and get your hands dirty.
Doing the same old thing won’t cut it. Constantly talking about the horrors of the coronavirus or the difficulties around operating in the recovery won’t cut it. You need to make valuable content and valuable connections to your clients and referral sources. You need to capture more work and aggressively especially if there is less to go around. You need to be a positive voice.
Too scared to do anything I’ve outlined in this article? You won’t have a business for long. Even those that think they have been doing a lot will have to massively increase their consistency and output. With more people online engaging then ever, if you leave a void your business will be forgotten for whoever makes the biggest splash.
Whatever you do, put relationships first and keep in touch. Just because you can’t get on a plane doesn’t mean you can’t get on a call. If you’ve never used them, social networks are actually social. Use them to build relationships and trust. Make things that are valuable to your clients and referral sources, not just about your expertise either.
You can keep and build client relationships without being in the same room. We have to lean into that more than ever now.