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March 18, 2020

Stuck-at-home marketing & sales, part 1

7 low-cost/no-cost things to do with the extra time on your hands.

We’re in the midst of an unusual and unprecedented time period. Business owners simply don’t know how to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Some are promoting their services that can help right now… for example, offering to conduct online qual research, rather than doing in-person focus groups. Others are mentioning their enhanced healthy employee procedures. And that’s fine.

Most owners, though, are simply ‘hunkering-down, waiting to see what happens next and how long it will be until the dust clears.

But, just because we’re in the midst of a ‘cautious period’ doesn’t mean we should stop all activity when it comes to promoting our businesses. In fact, if your business is slow because of cancelled or postponed projects, take advantage of the available extra time to work ON your business and set yourself up for success for when we get back to a sense of normalcy.

The 'virus' doesn’t mean we should stop marketing. If your business is slow right now, take advantage of the available extra time to work ON your business and set yourself up for success for when we get back to a sense of normalcy. Click To Tweet

To help, here are several low-cost/no-cost things you could be doing while you’re in your bunker…

1. Get active on LinkedIn

And by ‘active’ I don’t mean just browse through it more often. You should:

  • Use this time to invite others to connect with you (at least 5 every day)
  • Post content regularly (this includes frequent social posts and publishing content)
  • Engage with others (reading others’ posts and, when appropriate, liking them – thumbs up – or responding with a comment).

The same applies to Twitter, too.

2. Employ email marketing

If you’re not doing it already, start a monthly eNewsletter campaign that goes out to the appropriate contacts in your CRM/database. Don’t sell too hard, but provide links to information that your recipients will find interesting, like your recent blog posts or webinars (see below).

3. Write and publish

Consider writing a weekly or bi-weekly blog post as a way to showcase your Subject Matter Expertise and Thought Leadership. These blogs can also be re-published to your LinkedIn profile. And it’s your blog posts that you can link people to (from your social posts and email campaigns).

What do you write about? Well, here’s the thing – what you want to write about doesn’t really matter. Write about what your clients and prospective clients are interested in – methodological how tos, research applications, new technology, industry trends, etc.

4. Host a webinar

Like your blog posts, webinars give you the opportunity to showcase your subject matter expertise, but in a more visual, engaging way. And remember, because of the virus, the people you want to invite to a webinar probably have a little extra time on their hands, too… and will likely be available for the presentation.

5. Update your website

When was the last time you read through your website with a truly ‘critical eye?’ If it’s been a while, now might be the time to go through it and make sure all the key details are accurate and up-to-date (services, staff, industries served, client list, how you’re unique, new testimonials, etc.). Also, make sure the website copy is written in a way that connects with your visitors. Remember, buyers don’t care about what you can do… they care about what you can do for them – so write through that lens.

6. Clean up your CRM/database

You’ll get maximum marketing & sales efficiency from a tight, clean database. Start by filling in gaps… especially email addresses and company names. Then, scan the list for malformed email addresses. Also, look at recent email marketing blasts and remove the email addresses that resulted in a “hard bounce.” Finally, compare your CRM to LinkedIn… if someone has changed jobs, it’ll be reflected on LinkedIn – use that information to update that record in your CRM.

7. Improve your sales & marketing skills

The vast majority of people in our industry who have some sales or marketing responsibility have limited sales or marketing experience. Use this downtime to enhance those skills… read blogs (here’s one we like: The Competitive Advantage); attend webinars; participate in online workshops (here’s one we like: The Seller-Doer Workshop); download eBooks and white papers; join marketing & sales LinkedIn groups; subscribe to magazines.

In conclusion…

None of us know what the next few weeks or months will bring… and sitting around worrying about it won’t do us any good. So, while you’ve got this extra time on your hands, spend some of it working on the growth of your business. You’ll be glad you did.

Good luck!

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