Using A Personal Brand To Save Business During Coronavirus Pandemic
Spring 2020 has been a massive blow to many small businesses. Anyone relying on the general public or clients visiting their premises have been affected by lockdowns and quarantines. Anyone supplying such companies has also come to a stall.
This can feel devastating for business owners, but I always encourage my clients to see the bigger picture and use what indeed is in their control to invest time and effort now into activities that will help to revive their businesses faster when the time comes to reopen.
We are experiencing a situation where we have to stay home and reduce social interaction. But we are not experiencing tech apocalypses and with tech being so user -friendly, every business owner has an incredible opportunity to focus on building relationships with their existing and potential clients using the platform the people are inevitably spending more time these days: social media.
Building relationships is a long term investment of time and effort. It does not need to be complicated, and it does not need to be expensive. It only requires to shake off limiting beliefs and anxiety and get active on the platforms that your potential customers hang out most: Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
Social Media is not a new phenomenon in marketing, and most likely, you have already been somewhat present – so you know where most of your followers are. Let’s go through what you need to start doing, literally from today, to make sure your future business is safer and probably much more robust than if you choose inaction!
People buy from people. But in the lockdowns, shopping is not always on their minds. Boredom and isolation make us crave connection, and you can use this to show your audience who you are behind the scenes. Trust me, and this is what makes your customers come back every time. Not your office or shop, not your services. It is YOU they like to come back to.
When we cannot stand someone, we rarely choose to do business with them. Everyone wants to be happy, and happiness gets affected with negative vibes experienced in contact with you, your staff members or even other customers in your premises.
By showing up on video, you give your customers the feeling of reassurance. Even those who did not really have any opinion of you will have a choice to either really like you or not when they see you talking to them through video, which is great, as those who dislike you are usually fall into the nightmare client category, and we really do not want them around.
Yet, the difference it makes to those who resonate with who you are, slightly outside the business environment is priceless. And they will become loyal customers and refer more people like them to you, just because they feel connected to you.
One of my clients in Ireland, an award-winning destination boutique owner, Marian McKenna, has seen the silver lining as her business had to close at the start of March 2020. Video marketing strategy has become the straw that allowed La Crème Boutique to continue through the crisis.
Marian has been posting two to three short videos on Facebook showcasing her stock every day. Generally, her online sales weren’t that impressive, as the audience that her boutique attracts are Mothers of the Bride who tend to be older and less tech-savvy. Her main business came from shop visitors and phone orders.
This March, it all changed. Marian has been showcasing and promoting her fabulous casual clothing collections using video – and the online orders have been pouring in.
But the secret was not to do with people not being able to visit the shop, not exactly. Marian has been building an extraordinary level of connection and trust with her Facebook followers – and it showed in a shift from being unsure about shopping online, to confidently ordering from La Creme Boutique! A vast difference that may also open a new opportunity to boost her online sales further when the world comes to normal. Here is a screenhot taken just after one day of posting one of her videos and look at the organic reach!
Marian herself is not a Millenial. 2020 could have been a year when she could retire and leave it all behind. Yet, it may have just opened new opportunities for her as an expert in boutique operations, styling, merchandising and now social media marketing for boutiques around the world. Because if she could do it at 65 using just a phone and a ring light, you can do it too! And look at the results of the focused and decidated live video strategy implementation! 1 million people reaches in a space of one week!
Marian did not just try one various cute tops and dresses. She indeed showed up as a Personal Brand – sharing her values and her thoughts, connecting deeper with her audience members, reading passages from her favourite books, encouraging and reassuring them through the difficult times. She took time replying to comments and looking after people while openly admitting that by buying an outfit from her during the crisis, customers are also supporting her team and keeping them employed. This level of care and responsibility for her team showed her integrity and her heart of gold.
THIS is what sells. THIS is what matters.
You can change what you focus on and choose to invest in long-term results. Or you can choose to do nothing worrying about your short term losses. You may have no control over what is happening right now. It is hard, and I understand that. But if you look past the current moment and make an intention to do whatever it takes to save your business in the long run – focus on showing up RIGHT NOW.
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YOUR VISIBILITY GUIDE
Juliette Stapleton is a Visibility Strategist for coaches and experts. She teaches how to attract clients online, creating your OWN marketing experience that feels good, easy and aligned with who you are and brings results.
Juliette has been featured in Forbes and several major business and marketing podcasts, like SocialChatter, 365Driven, Rising Tide, iHeart Radio, and Confident Live. She is an active contributor to world-leading online publications, such as Entrepreneur.com Influencive, Addicted2Success, Thrive Global, Good Men Project and many more.
She lives in Tallinn, Estonia.