Are you starting to think, “How will I market my business after the pandemic is over?” This Friday, I’ll be holding my 4th Going Radically Virtual Webinar to explore this in more depth.
At the end of this month, we can expect to see some easing of the “shelter in place” orders across several states. But this hardly means we’ll be back to “business as usual.”
In fact, for most states, nothing will change substantially. We’ll still be in lockdown. We won’t be visiting clients, leading workshops, or giving keynote speeches.
If you haven’t yet embraced Going Radically Virtual yet, it’s time. What this looks like is doing all client service and marketing activities by phone, Zoom, and email.
The worst thing you could possibly do in your business right now is wait for the pandemic to end. What we all need to do is figure out how to conduct our businesses virtually as well as generate new business this way.
If we have some current coaching or consulting clients, this isn’t too big a stretch. We can set up Zoom meetings or talk to clients by phone. Working virtually this way is pretty easy for most of us.
What is more challenging is generating new business.
After all, most new business is generated passively, by referral. You wait for the phone to ring or for an email inquiring about your services.
This is wonderful when it happens, but the flow has slowed down to a trickle, hasn’t it?
Your past clients are occupied putting out fires and figuring out how to keep their businesses afloat. And new clients are nowhere to be seen.
What you need to do is very simple, but for many it’s scary. You need to reach out and explore how you can be of service.
Right now, clients in my programs are doing a lot of this. Lots of outreach and lots of meetings. No, they are not selling, they are simply having conversations and seeing how they can help – mostly with current and past clients.
In several cases, those conversations are turning into new projects. And in other cases, they are building relationships and the foundation for future business.
What they are also realizing is that this is the best way to generate new business, even if there wasn’t a pandemic!
Reach out, have conversations, explore ideas, share insights, and resources. See how you can help each other or make connections to those you could also serve.
Many of my clients have discovered that this connection-conversation approach is the most effective marketing activity they have ever done in their business.
This is what to do now during the pandemic and also long after it’s over. Because it really works better than anything else you can do.
Connections -> Conversations –> Relationships -> New Business
If you’re already doing this, great! Keep reaching out, having conversations, discovering ways you can serve.
And anything you can do live (including webinars) I think is more effective these days than social media, articles, and other content. Nothing wrong with those of course, but there really is power in connecting personally.
The biggest barrier to this approach is fear. Fear of being rejected. If you send an email to a past client or associate, they may not respond. They may not be interested in speaking with you.
But this has not been my clients’ experience. Sure, nobody gets 100% positive response when they reach out. But for the most part, people are glad to hear from you, glad that you’re showing interest in them.
All it takes are very simple emails asking to connect.
How hard is that? And simple emails like these get a response. They get meetings and conversations. And it’s those conversations that will ultimately result in new clients.
When the pandemic is over, I recommend you get out there and network in person, as well as give talks. But I hope you don’t stop making these personal connections. This really is the essence of effective marketing for self-employed professionals.
Be safe. Stay connected.