Keep Your Business Top Of Mind During The Pandemic
Be The Expert
No doubt the past 2 years have been tough on all of us, especially those small businesses that have had to endure the lockdowns. We know it’s tough to run a small business on the best of days, never mind when your are forced to ‘close your doors’ during a pandemic. However, it’s in times of crisis when only the strong survive. It’s important to keep your business top of mind, even when you may not be doing business.
Any relationship is a ‘two-way street’ that requires on-going communication. For a relationship to be strong both parties must get something out of it. A business relationship is no different. To have a successful relationship with your customer(s) it’s vitally important that you keep communication on-going and that both parties are getting benefits out of the relationship, even when you may not be selling a product or service. This has never been more important than during COVID. As business slows down due to lockdowns and health restrictions it is vitally important to the survival of your business that the communication does not slow down.
From the perspective of a thought leader as the ‘go-to-expert’, being a thought leader means to consistently answer the biggest questions on the minds of the target audience on a particular topic.Wikipedia
Enter Thought Leadership….
You are very good at what you do, right? Whether it’s selling products in a local retail store or a trade like plumbing, electrical or HVAC, or maybe you are a real estate agent. Your success is usually determined by how experienced and knowledgeable you are in your chosen field.
Well, Thought Leadership is sharing your expertise with others. Good thought leadership brings valuable insights to your audience (your customers) that helps them improve their lifestyle or helps them solve a problem. Think Life Hacks. This is usually done in the form of content that you can publish through various channels, both original and shared content. The great news is that this is relatively easy and cost effective to do through the various digital channels available today.
So How Do I Do It?
We know you are busy. Full warning this takes time and effort, but we all know building a business takes work. Success doesn’t come easy and requires hard work.
Content Is King
This is all about content. Whether it’s advice, tips, news or interesting trends happening in your industry, the content you create and share MUST BE HELPFUL TO YOUR AUDIENCE. We will say that again just to make sure… any and all content you create must improve your audience’s lifestyle. How? It must either save them money, make something easier, solve a common problem, make them healthier, make them happier or entertain them. The information must be credible, authentic and truthful. The good news is that it doesn’t all have to be original, written by you. You can mix it up with original content and shared content from other authors and websites. Just make sure you clearly source the content if you share it. If you follow those guidelines, your audience will engage and will look to your brand with trust.
Engage With Multi-Media
Where you create this content, how you distribute the content and what type of content you create really depends on your audience and where they spend the most of their time. The good news is that with a little research and creativity you can easily create a content plan and engage customers. Is your audience mostly on Facebook? Do they use email daily? Are they Tik Tok users or maybe they prefer Instagram? Knowing your audience and matching this against the usage demographics will get you the answer you need.
Here’s a link to get you started
Once you decide on the channel(s) you are going to use it’s time to come up with a strategy and create content. Using a variety of mediums including text, images, video, graphics and animation will provide you with the most flexibility. To help get you here are a few idea starters:
Create a blog or post on your website or social profile with valuable tips, advice, industry trends and news.
The good news is that there are plenty of cost effective platforms to use for blogging including WordPress, Hubspot and Tumblr.
You don’t need to be a technical wiz to use the platforms either. Better yet, social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn will allow you to post long form articles, so you won’t need to set anything up. Again remember to keep the information helpful to your audience and if posting on your social platforms include a link back to your website.
Here’s a link to help you get started.
Email Still Works
Newsflash…. email still works. While there are so many platforms available to consume our digital lifestyles over 99% of consumers still check their email daily. Some up to 20x per day!
Create a monthly email newsletter that you can easily send to current and potential customers with helpful tips, industry news, trends and updates about your product and services.
There are several, easy to use email platforms on the market including MailChimp, Zoho and Constant Contact. You can easily create and send newsletters. Keep in mind, to be compliant with Canadian spam legislation you must get permission from existing and new customers to send them promotional emails.
Here’s more information on starting an email newsletter from Hubspot
Ready For Your Close Up?
Want to get your Hollywood on? While your kids are using TikTok to showcase the latest dance, you can use video to grow your business and stay connected to your customer base.
By simply using your phone or laptop you can record helpful tips, on-job demonstrations, interviews with industry experts or monologues for your audience.
Video is a great way to show your audience your expertise in action. You can also distribute the video across numerous platforms including YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more. You can even include an informal discussion with other industry experts using the plethora of video conferencing platforms available. If you are feeling really ambitious and after you’ve built a following you can even host live Q&A sessions with your audience allowing them to participate and ask you questions about your craft. WARNING: Make sure you have a following before attempting a live Q&A session, there is nothing worse than throwing a party and no one showing up.
A little camera shy? Use the same strategy, but just through audio episodes and create a podcast.
Here’s more information from Adobe about how to start a Vlog (Video Blog)
When you take into account all the different types of content and multiply that by the various platforms, the possibilities are truly endless and can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you have a business to run. Some key advice, start off slow and keep it simple. Build a schedule that will have you posting content on your platform of choice on a regular basis. Frequency matters. There is nothing worse for an audience than stale content, it basically says you don’t care enough about our relationship to finish what you started. So again, start slow and aim for providing at least weekly content updates to keep the audience engaged.
Once the content is live you will have customers leaving comments and thoughts. Make sure you are active and participate in the discussion. Respond to comments, both positive and negative. Always take the high road and even if negative, ask why they disagree. Remember a good relationship takes work and is about open, honest and respectful communication.
What Is They Payoff?
At this time you may be asking ‘So what? What’s the payoff’. When business is slower than normal it’s important to keep your brand top of mind. Implementing a Thought Leadership strategy will do just that. Then when your customer needs your services, you will be top of mind and they will make that important call or email for a quote. Better yet, if you do it really well, they will recommend your product and services to others growing your business exponentially. As the stat indicates, Thought Leadership leads to sales!
Thought leadership can lead directly to sales. Almost 60% of business decision makers said that thought leadership directly led to their awarding of business to an organization.LinkedIn Marketing Blog, 2018
99% of people check their email every day, some as many as 20 times per day!OptIn Monster – 2020
If you still have some questions or would like more information feel free to reach out to the team at Pointricity. We’d be more than happy to spend some time with you discussing your needs. It’s free, no obligation. We are here to help businesses grow.
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