This episode is about some of the very practical marketing actions that you can take if you are rebuilding your business. Whether you’ve been trading throughout lockdown, or you’ve had to put everything temporarily on pause, then you should find some key points in here that apply to everybody.
The very first thing I think you need to think about is “What is your product?” Or “What is your service now?”. The world has changed. There are lots of things that we can’t do for the moment and some things that we may not get back to at all. So your very first step is to think about what that new service or new product offer looks like. During lockdown, you may have had comments from your customers telling you what they want or what they appreciate about your business. If you haven’t, have you got the opportunity now to ask them? What are their priorities, what has changed for them, and what they are looking for from your business?
I think you also need to think carefully about your supply chain and the staff that you need to deliver that service. It may be that your suppliers are not yet back to business and that impacts on what you can offer. It may be that you’ve got staff on furlough and you need to think about how they come back to work to safely deliver the product or the service. You need to be really clear in your mind what your offer is, because until you have that clarity, you can’t start to communicate it to anybody else.
Having done that, I’m going to give you five steps that I think you need to take to get back on track.
Contact your existing customers
If you have not contacted your customers at all during lockdown, you really need to do this first. It’s always much easier to sell to an existing customer than to create a new one. And your existing customers may not know that you are open to business, they may be wondering what’s happened to you. They may have completely forgotten about you so take that step first.
If you’re struggling to know how to approach that conversation, listen to episode 8 of the podcast. Let your existing customers know that you’re open for business and let them know what you’re offering, particularly if it’s significantly different to what you’ve been offering before. Your current customers are the people who will come back to you first. If you provide quotes to potential clients in advance of getting the business, do go back through your quotes that you’ve done since the beginning of January and follow those people up. You don’t know what position those people are in. You may be pleasantly surprised people may be ready to buy from you now
Get onto your website
Is it clear from your website that you are open? Have you added anything to the site at all since lockdown started? If you haven’t, now is the time to update it. You could add a new blog or add a message on the front page or the opening hours. It needs to be really clear when people land on your website that you are open, how they can get hold of you and what you are offering at the moment. Do the same job across your social media channels. Check your biographies and the pinned posts on each social media channel, and make it really clear that you are open and how people can get hold of you.
Do you need a promotion?
This step is not for everybody, but do you need some kind of sales promotion to get people back into your premises? Do you need some kind of incentive for the first people to book with you? Do you need to offer a discount?
It’s not appropriate for everybody’s business and it may not be for yours. But do consider offering your customers something to entice them back if that feels right and appropriate.
Who is on your team?
Who can you get on board to help you promote that you are back to business? Think about your own team and your friends and family. Think about business associates. Are there businesses that you have worked with before? Maybe you’re in a high street and the other businesses in the high street can support you. Make sure you’re consistently communicating with all those people and make sure they know that you are back to business. They can help you share that message.
Social media is booming
So many more people are on social media at the moment. Whichever platform you are looking at, more people are using it and engaging with it. Can you run a pre-opening campaign to say that you’re reopening? You can share what precautions you’re taking behind the scenes, any additional cleaning regimes, or if your customers need to come into your premises in a different way. Social media is a really good way to tell all those stories. Think too about social media advertising to go alongside the organic posts.
Now, I appreciate that those five points may seem incredibly obvious to a lot of people listening to the podcast, but actually you would be surprised how many businesses seem to have stopped communicating to customers and potential customers in the last few weeks. This is really the time when you need to be spending energy on your marketing because if you don’t make it really clear that you’re about to business, your competitors absolutely will.
The final thing you need to do as a business owner at the moment is regularly evaluate what’s working and what isn’t working. There is no marketing handbook for running a business in a global pandemic. So it’s good to see what works and review and adjust things. It is really hard when you’re trying to deliver the business in very strange new circumstances, but you may need to adjust your marketing tactics appropriately as the year goes on. Good luck as you start to get back to business. I hope it’s successful for you and do let me know what’s working.
Don’t forget to download the free Turnaround your Marketing guide which covers three crucial steps to getting back to business.
As an extra bonus for podcast listeners anybody booking a Power Hour with me from now until the middle of July will get two hours for the price of one.