You’re a small- to mid-sized company. Your business was chugging right along. The future looked bright. Then came January 2020 and the coronavirus. And there went your momentum. Ugh!
The phone stopped ringing. Email inquiries disappeared. Cancellations became a daily occurrence. The only thing that didn’t stop or slow down were the bills coming due.
Everyone is struggling in some way thanks to COVID-19. It truly is unbelievable how much it has changed our world, near and far, in a matter of weeks!
So here’s what I’d like to propose. Instead of crawling back into bed and pulling the covers over your head, make the most of your downtime. This could be an opportunity for you to write the copy for your next marketing campaign. With the right tone, it’s appropriate to market your business during the coronavirus crisis or make preparations for the future.
While the rest of the world hunkers down waiting for this horrible pandemic to end, could you be working on those elements that will allow you to grow and prosper once it’s all over?
Consider some of these ideas:
Web Pages – Add some pages to your website promoting new products or services. While you’re at it, go through your existing pages and update them with any new information.
Landing Pages – Create some landing pages to target vertical markets. Perhaps there are some new niches you’ve been wanting to explore.
Sales Letters – Write that sales letter you’ve been meaning to compose. Make it tightly focused to your target market. Identify prospects to send it to and start building your mailing list. When COVID-19 passes, you send out your letters and start generating new leads.
Brochure – Design a brochure. When you meet with clients, wouldn’t it be nice to have something to leave behind for them to remember your company? You could even use it as a follow-up to phone calls, thanking the prospect for his or her time and saying the attached brochure summarizes what we discussed.
Blog – You’ve been meaning to write more posts for your blog. Now is the time. Have them written and ready to go when the time is right. Not sure what to write about? Here’s a hack I often use. Go on Amazon.com and browse books in your subject area. Look inside to see their table of contents. That almost always yields ideas for topics.
Promote a Sale – Could you offer your products or services at a special coronavirus price? Or could you package some of those products or services in a new way? Discounts generate business. And when you offer them during a crisis, you get to also look altruistic; you’re helping people to better afford what they need.
Communicate with Your Customers – You don’t want your clients to wonder if you’re still in business. Talk to them, whether via a Zoom conference call, Facetime or send them a well-written email. Wish them well and tell them you’re still here, working hard and planning to be around long after this pandemic disappears.
Social Media – Improve your visibility. Got a Facebook page? A LinkedIn account? An Instagram? Engage with your customers through uplifting posts. Use relevant hashtags. Get your name in front of your followers again and again, so that you remain top of mind when things get back on track.
Ad Campaigns – Write and place some ads – whether on Google, Facebook or some other medium – to generate more leads and drive traffic to your website.
SEO – Refine your website’s search engine optimization. Take action to help your website pages ranker higher on Google and other search engines for your chosen keywords.
You can improve your meta-tags, increase content length, add subheads, include more links and work to get more inbound links too – all of those strategies are proven effective. Pick your most important pages and get to work on making them better.
That’s enough of a list to get you thinking. Now is not the time to stop marketing efforts. It’s an opportunity to do more and plan for the future.
While you may be focused on cash flow and generating sales in the near term, don’t neglect the future. Now, when things are slow, is a good time to double down on marketing and product development activities that will give you an edge once the economic recovery process gets underway.
Take a look at your pricing. How can you tweak products or services to maximize value for customers? Consider offering more options at lower price points to accommodate people’s tighter budgets post-pandemic.
Reach out to customers more frequently to learn how you can support them. Approach them with empathy, putting humanity ahead of profitability.
Think through your strategies for business continuation once life returns to normal, even if it is a different normal than the past.
COVID-19 and the stay-at-home orders it’s caused means you probably have more time. Perhaps you can get to some of those items you’ve been putting off, especially as relates to your business.
Research – Are there new areas you’d like to pursue for your business? Start researching them today. Then determine how best to apply what you learn.
Read – You always say, “I’d like to read more but I never have the time.” Now you do! Take a deep dive into a subject related to your business. Whether you’re reading blogs, books, magazine articles or just surfing the web, you can actively get smarter and leave COVID-19 behind knowing more than you did when this whole crazy pandemic started!
Productivity Tools – Discover new apps or tools. There are numerous free tools business owners can use to stay in touch with their teams and keep working even if they aren’t located in the same place.
Maybe your current business can’t operate the way it did prior to COVID-19, but you can adapt to stay relevant and perhaps mitigate the lack of cash flow. Consider these inspiring examples:
Fish Tanks — A manufacturer of fish tanks found demand for his company’s products plummeted during this health crisis, but he discovered a way to keep working; he’s using his manufacturing facility to build glass partitions that can be placed in grocery stores and convenience stores at the registers to help keep workers protected.
Leadership Coaching — One leadership coach is offering sessions online to help executives learn skills and techniques they can use when the crisis is over to accelerate their success. With shrewd marketing and well-written landing pages, she’s encouraging executives to use their downtime now to enhance their education so they can return to work smarter and more confident, ready to apply for that promotion or land that new position. “When life returns to normal, don’t you want to be better?”
Software Design — While their usual client work has slowed, this software design company is using their time to develop several apps with plans to market them to customers as soon as the crisis is over.
Fitness Trainer — A fitness trainer who works at a gym now closed has found a way to offer her private training sessions and fitness classes online for fee. Her clients are thrilled they can continue working out even if it’s at home and with limited equipment. And a yoga trainer is offering daily group yoga classes for fee at a local park with the one stipulation that participants bring their own mats and maintain a distance of six feet between each other. Payments are done online so no actual money is handled.
Trivia Contest Hosts — A company in business for 15 years hosts trivia contests at bars and also at companies as team-building exercises. They’re now shifting those contests online using Zoom conferencing and a scoring app. They first tested the concept on Facebook and were able to attract 900 participants in one hour. They’re now working with a freelance copywriter to pitch those online trivia contests to their clients as a way for businesses to stay connected with their employees stuck at home.
Pool Slides — A global company that makes pool slides is marketing its products to homeowners throughout the pandemic with cleverly composed copywriting that makes points like this: “A pool slide is a great way to keep the kids safe at home and entertained for hours.”
Get the picture? You can be down but not out if you think creatively about a way to pivot your business during the COVID-19 outbreak. Look to a copywriter for help in generating sales for your concepts.
If you have a business that serves the general public, such as a restaurant, store or hair salon, your local or state government may insist that you create a written COVID-19 plan that explains your strategy for returning to operation. It should state the measures you are taking to ensure your customers and employees are safe. Here are a few examples:
An amusement park in my local area that encompasses go-karts, a snack bar and a bowling alley has had to write out its policies. It includes details such as:
A dentist in my area has written a plan stating policies such as:
A local gym has written a COVID-19 plan for reopening that includes the following procedures:
It’s important to create a proper COVID-19 plan. If it lacks specificity or is difficult to understand, it likely won’t be approved by your local authorities.
Writing a plan can be difficult, even if you know what policies you wish to implement. Consider working with a professional copywriter who can succinctly state your intentions so you’ll be permitted to reopen your business as soon as possible.
This pandemic will end. We will get past this. And while things may not ever get back to exactly the way they were, we will all find our new normal.
Need some help with your marketing? Want to promote your new ideas and attract customers ? Work with a freelance copywriter. A professional writer can execute your projects quickly and effectively.
When the COVID-19 pandemic ends, will you and your business be the same? Or will you be better? Shoot for better and get started with a professional copywriter today!