I’m sure I’m not the only one who has found challenges with this shelter in place (SiP) order and seem to be more easily distracted when the deadlines are fewer and far between. In fact a lot of people are just furloughed altogether so what do you do in these unprecedented times?
Perhaps now is the time to look at ways to sharpen the tools you have.
As you may already know, I’m a huge fan of podcasts. It used to be that I would say “everything good I learned I learned from talk radio” but that was before it became so politicized. Now podcasts are the new talk radio in my life with educational and learning podcasts that are an even better source of information than talk radio ever was even in the glory days.
For example, there are daily business podcasts, marketing podcasts, funny podcasts (who doesn’t need a break nowadays?), travel podcasts (we can dream, can’t we?) and so much more.
If you’ve been looking to improve your skills check out your podcast app and see what there is there. You might be surprised what you can learn just from your arm chair and podcasts are totally free. Plus you can listen to them while you do whatever it is you’re doing nowadays.
Think of something you’ve been wanting to learn. There’s a podcast to teach you more about that subject.
In so many fields great photography can help so much with marketing. I’ve talked about this many times in the past and it’s even more true today. While there is no substitute for a great photographer, if photos are part of your marketing (even the Braille institute has pictures on its website!) now might be a good time to polish your photography skills.
For example, if you do product shots perhaps practicing taking pictures of small items in your home could be a way to improve what you do. If you’re in real estate, see how you can improve your game by shooting your own house. Try out different lighting and staging techniques and see what a huge difference it makes.
And, of course, taking food pictures not only means that you can practice that skill but someone’s got to eat the subject once you’re all done, right?
Here are some articles I’ve written in the past about polishing your photography diamond:
One of the more powerful marketing tools is video. It used to be the barrier to entry for video was incredibly high but the phone you’re likely reading this on is the new high-quality movie camera of today.
And authenticity is the biggest quality that makes a video “sell” nowadays rather than sheer production value. In fact, if the video is too slick it can be a turn-off for marketing.
With all the craziness in today’s world there is still opportunity. For example, for anyone in California who has ever had to deal with our Alcohol & Beverage Control folks probably fell over when they announced that restaurants could offer to-go drinks with their meals. This business-friendly stance by the ABC might be a historic first (not that they’re not business friendly...wait, they’re not).
So one of our local eateries has been doing a daily cocktail video to show what’s available that day. It’s a totally authentic and fun look at what’s available to go for that day. This has kept this local establishment front and center and also reinforces their menu and their to-go status.
The video is shot on a smart phone and is truly authentic but isn’t what anyone would consider a polished video.
Perhaps it’s time to think of how video can help your business. Here are a few resources:
One of the articles that got a lot of mixed response was this one: Should you unmask your business secrets?
Keeping in touch with your fan club
In the past we've talked about newsletters. If you've been following this you should have a nice mailing list by this point. Now is the time to start empowering those fans of yours to start supporting your business but remember, in an email newsletter, make sure your content offers them a lot of value as well.
If you’ve got something to teach or have been doing workshops, you probably have already jumped on the Zoom bandwagon. Of course there are a number of ways to do digital or virtual meetings but Zoom has really jumped to the forefront during this time.
Whether you use Zoom or any of the other virtual meeting services, know that setting this up has never been easier or had a lower barrier to entry. Hosting a meeting couldn’t be simpler (here’s a YouTube video on how to do it) and the cost is minimal. In fact, even their free service is pretty good and may be all one needs.
We’re sick of the negative
If you have a fun sense of humor or see the ridiculous side of life, now might be the time to play that up. As exemplified by the cocktail video example above, not all your messaging has to be really serious. In fact, as official messaging is a bigger and bigger bummer now would be a great time to bring out your sense of humor.
My friends at Forest River’s Rockwood Division did this recently with a video of their marketing head, Alyssa Cox, and some of the challenges she was facing dealing with a toddler at home while also trying to manage the company’s marketing.
Opportunity is always out there somewhere. Sometimes it’s well hidden but other times it’s just around the corner.
Whatever the case now is the time to test your resilience, flexibility and sense of humor. I mean, honestly, who doesn’t love a good toilet paper joke?