The current situation we are facing is an unprecedented time in our generation. With the emergence of this pandemic, we find that no one is left unscathed, and many are just trying to get to the other side. As a business leader, you have planned and planned, but no amount of planning could have prepared you for what has arrived.
As the world shifts, so must your business. Not forever, but for now and one big important part is staying relevant so people keep their eyes on you.
How do you do this? The answer defies all things you’ve ever heard about marketing…
The business plan you have spent months in advance preparing and perfecting might have been excellent before the business environment changed.
You need to change your business model in order to match the air of the room and to stay relevant to your customers. Simply put, you need to pivot your business.
Changes in the business environment are inevitable and unavoidable, and thus you need to adapt to these changes just as quickly as they arise. Never aim to bury your head in the sand with hopes that you will not need to change your strategy.
Failing to change your business model when you need to can easily cost you to lose your audience and your business you have worked so hard to attain. This sounds scary, huh?
Take comfort in knowing that you are not the first business leader who has had to take a new direction after setting their plans. According to Balkhi from business.com, “Never be afraid to change...you might have to pivot your company in order to reach success.”
Forbes magazine also highlights several large companies such as Twitter, Paypal, Groupon, and Starbucks who have found their success once they pivoted their businesses.
Also, note that the change that’s needed now may not necessarily be permanent either. Once the air has cleared and everything has returned to some sort of normalcy, you might revisit your old plan and get your business back on its previous track.
It might be time adjust what it is you offer.
One way that you may pivot your business is to adjust your product offering. In the past, clients may have bought your other offers. Given the new state of the economy, though, they may not deem your old offerings as essentials of life, and they are no longer buying.
You can develop a new product that is in line with your business offerings that will add value to your clients. And by all means you should let your clients know. Invite them to check out your pivot offers if you believe they will solve a current need.
It may be necessary to move away from a selling module and move to a serving model in order to stay relevant. What this simply means is that we want to stay at the forefront of our customers’ minds even if we are not selling our product to them currently.
The objective of this strategy is to retain the customers you’ve worked so hard to ascertain. Because when business operations return to normalcy, and they will, you want your business to be the first your customers turn to.
Start sharing, connecting, and leading.
The same content and marketing strategies you have planned out a month in advance may not be suited for the current situation. You do not want to come across to your customers as ignorant or insensitive to the harsh reality of the world.
The type of content that you should be creating and sharing will depend on what your customers need right now and what they are feeling. Meet them wherever they are. I recommend going into your social media feeds, and implement any of the three following content strategies over the next seven days. I promise you will see a difference in your client engagement.
Let your customers in behind the scenes of your business, or let them know what is happening with you at home. Impromptu Facebook lives about home school, working from home, how you are handling challenges, or simply going for a jog can gain you more organic views than a Facebook live in the office.
These unpolished or unedited moments add a human element to your business, and it builds a connection with your customer. This drives home the point that everything is not always perfect, and that's ok. It lets them know that they have a lot more in common with you than they may think.
Create content to showcase your business success and that you know what you are doing. This can be testimonials, pictures of your past clients, and happy customers you have worked with. This reminds your audience that you are a leader. Let them know you are excellent at what you do even if you are doing things a little differently now, or if you are not serving clients right now.
Be the teacher your clients need. You are the expert in your business niche. Provide tons of tips, advice, and any insider know-how that is relevant.
Remember to always add massive value and continue to serve. Letting your customers know that you are there with them even in difficult times, and continuing to show up and provide value proves that you are committed to them.
In order to stay relevant, you need to connect with your customers. The easiest way to do this is to get in front of your customers. Get on to social media and start live streaming on the platforms in which most of your customers are active. Spend as much time getting to know and engaging your customers.
“It’s time to serve the world, not sell the world. --April Beach
Some great examples are to either host Facebook lives or upload videos on Instagram showcasing you and your brand. No matter your method, just ensure you get in front of the camera and speak to your customers. The harsh reality is that if you fail to be present and connect with your customers, you can expect to become irrelevant. That’s when your audience will start tuning you out.
As your business environment changes, so should your business model. It is imperative to embrace and accept change and not be stubborn to stick to a model that is no longer working. This will cause you to lose relevance and in the end, customers.
As a strong business leader, always be willing to address the issues, determine the pivot point, and reshape your business when and where it matters most.
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