Updated: Mar 28, 2020
We are all in this together.
Lockdown has hit the whole of the UK and all we want to do is go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint and wait for this all to blow over.
But that's not going to happen, so we best make the most of it while we can.
There are restrictions.
Due to this restricted interaction with other human beings, everything that is business and entertainment is going online. Business owners are having to adapt their business model, shop front and customer interaction with the fear of losing their business altogether.
Digital is now. Whether you like it or not.
People are wary.
The thing is, even though people are still spending, they are very wary about what they spend their money on. They aren't going to go out and buy that flashy new car when their job might be on the line, they aren't likely to purchase a service from you that they don't feel is useful when their business hangs in the balance.
Not without giving to your customers first.
Hard sells are not going to work in the current climate. They are just going to put off your customers and they'll close up. Like belly-flopping into the swimming pool from a great height as opposed to slowly dropping yourself into the jacuzzi - the first one is gonna hurt.
Just like watering plants.
You give your plants water, daylight, bigger pots... hugs if you really like plants. You nurture them so they grow and thrive while sitting on your desk.
And that's what you have to do with your audience. Not water them and let them outside, but give to them.
Now, this sounds counter-intuitive, so bear with me.
Give them tips on how to do better at what they pay you to do. Show them how to do those things. Give them your favourite tools to help run their day. Send them free advice to implement into their business
Give to them so that they'll give back to you.
Humans buy from people they trust and you've just created that trust by giving to them a little bit of value that they can have for free. This is my favourite marketing strategy, and when people are holding onto their money for things that provide value to them, you'll be grateful that you've given them free value in the first place. They'll think that when they need the product or service you sell, there is no-one else in the world they will want to buy from.
Give it all away.
So, how do you provide value to your audience? Let's get into it.
1. Show up every day (and ACTUAL value)
You see people all over social media say to show up every day and to provide value, but quite a lot of the time, they just show up...
Make. Sure. You. Add. Value.
This could be in the form of a helpful video/podcast/blog post you've found (or even better, created yourself) that helps people understand something that relates to what you sell better. This could be your top tips, your favourite productivity app, a how-to - something that your audience will find helpful about the problem you solve.
Show them how to do something that will break down a barrier for them. Teach them how to do a small part of what you do so that they want to keep coming back for more.
And do this every day. Don't let them forget you. By being in the front of their mind all the time, you'll be the one they trust the most and start to look forward to your posts every day (and even get a little sad when you are just too busy to make a post - it happens).
2. Be everywhere and engage
Don't shy away from social media. Be everywhere you can and have the time to. On your personal Facebook profile and business page, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn - you name it. Be there. Networking events are not a thing during this pandemic so you will need to go everywhere else that your customers are.
Just like you would at a networking event, make sure you interacting with what they tell you (their posts). Catching up with existing clients in person? Make sure you're liking and commenting on their posts about their personal stuff (unless it's something you don't agree with). Share anything that they have shared that helps their customers - you might help to bring in traffic for them. The same also goes for people you hire - interact with them. They have families and lives too.
3. Ask for feedback from existing customers
This is something you should be doing all the time to improve your services for your clients - current and future. Reach out and see what they feel like could be missing from your service, what could be improved, what they liked and didn't like. Get them to be brutally honest and make sure you implement those changes.
This does two things. Firstly, you create a better service, improving your client work greatly. Secondly, during this pandemic and always, it shows the client you are thinking about them. You are in their mind and they appreciate you for asking. They value and trust you by you asking them for feedback that you can implement into your services for them.
4. Case studies and testimonials
Showing that your service has worked before is a forever fool-proof way of creating trust around your brand. Taking your word for your own work is unconvincing, but other people's words are worth their weight in gold.
A detailed case study can really resonate with someone's current problem and seeing the solution can be invaluable. If a customer sees your solution work for someone else and gets them the same result the customer wants, it's a no-brainer to come to you for the product.
People buy results, not the product. The product just achieves the result they want.
Sometimes just having testimonials and case studies are enough for people to trust your worth - they might not even read them in-depth!
5. Share your work, achievements for clients
Your work is what gets people to the result they want. Seeing how it gets the result is of great interest to your customer because your style might not even fit in with your brand. If you're a videographer with an edgy style, a corporate company isn't going to hire you to create clean training videos.
But what your customers want to see even more than the work you produce, is the results that you provide. Share your customers' success stories, how much ROI they have had from hiring you - numbers speak louder than words in this case.
6. Be grateful
This is a short but powerful one.
Be grateful for your clients. Say thank you to them. They are what keeps your business alive and kicking. Give them loyalty discounts and other benefits, or offer them something first before you offer other people.
Show them that you care.
7. Don't pressure your customers
Are you about to close a deal? Have you finally got them onto the other end of the phone? Have you given them all the value you can possibly think of and they are willing to buy?
Now don't be a dick.
Customers are humans too. They have families to feed and bills to pay for. They want to make sure that the investment they are making to you is going to give them they return they expect. Don't give them the 1970s car salesman tactics. No-one responds positively to that and it will tarnish all the trust you've built up, or worse, destroy it. With one sentence.
That isn't to say you shouldn't implement soft scarcity into your conversation, but don't try and force the sale down their throats. If they need to go away and think about it, then let them do that. They could very well call you up the next day and go ahead with it, but if you've shoved uncaring and arrogant sales language in their face, they are just going to never respect you again if they say no.
Treat your audience and customers with respect. Always.
Be the authority in your space.
These are unprecedented times and businesses are having to think outside the box and think of new ways of appealing to their customers.
Being a trustworthy source of valuable information is going to be the most effective way of speaking to your customers.
If they trust you, they buy from you. It’s that simple.
Go forth and create!
If you need help figuring out the best way to implement all of these, or if you have any questions about what I’ve spoken about, feel free to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can help you create value to provide to your clients.
I also have a free ebook available to download:
It will give you a breakdown on different topics for your course and the benefits that you can use in your marketing for each one. Check it out here.
Look after yourself out there and #StayTheFuckHome
How's that for a slice of fried gold.
Ciao for now!