In the wake of COVID-19, millions of people around the world are practicing social distancing. Countries are mandating lockdowns, states in the U.S. are implementing stay-at-home orders, schools are shutting down, and most employees are now working remotely.
Amid such unprecedented times, is it really possible to grow your business?
You better believe it.
This isn’t the first time economic upheaval and worldwide chaos has disrupted entrepreneurs’ ability to scale their businesses. And yes, the coronavirus pandemic is unique in its own right, wide-spread, and downright scary.
We can’t control that. But we can control how we respond, both personally and professionally.
We can choose how we respond to the situation at hand, how we decide to be there for one another through this, and how creatively we pivot our marketing efforts to grow our business during moments of crisis.
In times of uncertainty, the way you show up for your audience, clients, and community can make or break your business. Before you throw in the towel or allow fear to drive your decisions, here are seven ways to market your business while the whole world is social distancing.
1. Go Virtual
If you haven’t already established your presence online, now’s the time to do so. And if you already have an online brand, it’s time to pivot your marketing efforts to meet your clients where they are. Now more than ever, online brands have a captive audience who is physically distant, but virtually present.
Consider creating and marketing a self-study online course, live online workshop, virtual group coaching program, digital templates, online shopping options, or virtual happy hours to keep people connected to your brand.
2. Stay Present
Yes, people’s priorities have shifted. We’re valuing life in different ways, hugging our loved ones each day, and embracing things we’d otherwise take for granted. That doesn’t mean your business isn’t critical enough to capture your audience’s attention through impactful content marketing in the midst of it all.
Every brand should have a mission deeper than just the product or service they offer. One that makes a greater impact in the world in some way, shape, or form. Whatever that is, now is the time to be present online and help bring that to life in your marketing. Optimize tools like social media, video, podcasting, or blogging to inspire, encourage, and transform people’s lives for the better despite the circumstances around us.
3. Create Community
There isn’t anything extroverts (and introverts) want more than connection and community. As an entrepreneur, there are far too many online resources to not stay connected with your clients, customers, and communities.
Market virtual events, training sessions, or meet-ups using tools like Zoom, Slack, Facebook groups, Google Hangouts, Voxer, and Marco Polo. If you had an in-person event planned, consider a virtual live stream event. If you’re a publisher, consider starting a book club. If you run a health club, consider online fitness classes.
The sky’s the limit in how you can foster community during social distancing. Just show up authentically in your marketing approach.
4. Health and Wellness
Life looks a little different at the moment so the ways we’re used to caring for our health and wellness have shifted. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are heavy weights on people’s shoulders right now.
Regardless of your industry, you must relate your brand to your client’s well-being for them to take notice. Remember, people are prioritizing things differently today (and for the better). Figure out how to pivot your content strategy to connect the dots between your business and your client’s mindset, physical health, or mental wellness.
5. Teach, Educate, and Share
Those who can’t do, teach. Well, ladies and gents, it’s time to take the doing to a whole new level. The e-learning industry is expected to grow to $325 billion by 2025. Now’s a perfect time to pivot your marketing efforts towards a booming industry.
Are you a consulting agency? Create a digital academy program relevant to your industry. Are you in the handmade industry? Ship a box of supplies and host a virtual class that walks clients through creating the products themselves.
It’s time to share the wealth of knowledge your team is known for, educate your audience, and teach the people what you know!
6. Be Generous
The goal of this article is to help you market your business during times of crisis—with integrity. That means you have to find the balance of making profits while giving back during a time where people need to feel supported, heard, and connected.
Consider donating a percentage of your profits to a charity or family in need. Offer giveaways, contests, or free promotions to keep your brand top of mind. Share any and all opportunities to give back with others.
7. Give Them Some TLC
If you execute the above simply to grow your bottom line and not to add value, spread the love, and show genuine interest in the life of your buyers, it’s all for nothing. Business profits will always ebb and flow, as will its strategies.
Now is the time to spend even more time serving, caring, and offering support through your marketing practices. Do that, and the growth will follow, not just today, but for the long haul.
Marketing your business during the age of COVID-19 can be intimidating and sensitive. It’s not only possible for you to show up in your marketing efforts, but it’s also prudent.
How do you market your business while the whole world is social distancing? Simple — decide doing nothing isn’t an option.
Nicole Nieves is the founder + CEO of The Brand Vibe, a marketing & personal branding agency helping entrepreneurs, executives and brands build credibility and profits through story, strategy, and digital impact