Whoever thought we’d be living through this? As I share this blog, we’ve just entered week five of the Covid19 lockdown of 2020, and let’s be honest, it’s been tough right? Tough mentally, tough on our businesses, tough on our families and tough on our usual routines.
We’ve had to adapt. From finding new ways to bring in revenue to our businesses and changing our daily routines including, for many, home-schooling, and only being allowed outside once a day for exercise or to do an essentials shop. There’s no getting away from it, these are strange times.
But, as Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter fans unite) once said; ‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light’. So, with that in mind, I want to share my top five tips to help you survive and thrive through lockdown and long afterwards...
1. Plan for success
Chances are you’ve had to change things up. And you know what, that’s ok. Success is all in the planning, so embrace the opportunity to adapt and amend your plans - this is your chance to get super creative with what you want to do and explore new ways of working.
If you find yourself with more time on your hands there are so many things you can get planning.
PR - I’m a true advocate for planning and batching content. You can plan your social media, blogs, newsletters, media relations all in advance - no excuses. Put aside a few uninterrupted hours and get your planning pants on. You can do this monthly, quarterly, or you can even roughly plan out the rest of the year - just remember to be open to change, which I think we’ll experience more of before the year is out.
Business plan - something which I bet gets pushed to the bottom of the list all the time. But now is your chance to deep dive into your biz. Get clear on your vision, mission and goals, and develop your business plan for a sizeable chunk of time, three or five years is fairly standard. There are lots of templates available online, but my advice is to keep it simple. You want this to be useable and inspiring, not War and Peace that you’ll never look at again.
New products or services - That new product you always wanted to design, make or source, well here is your chance! Or that service you always wanted to offer but never quite found the time to develop (Hi online PR course - coming soon!), well here you go… Get creative, get developing and get planning. This time is yours.
2. Get social
People are spending more time online right now than ever before. You know it, I know it, they know it! So get social and show up for them. Here’s an opportunity to connect with your ideal customers, to build relationships with them and cultivate them organically.
By showing up consistently and authentically, you’ll get your brand in front of new people and existing followers, reminding them of your business, product or service, and who you are.
Focus on building relationships and sharing value or entertainment to increase the know, like, trust factors we’re often talking about. Keep the selling light and remember the 80/20 rule - 80% of your content should be fun or value-based, with 20% sales related.
Content which works really well includes behind the scenes, thoughts, opinions, tips such as how to or styling, and your story. These build connections and enable people to get to know your brand and you - focusing on this will pay dividends into the future. Be there for people now and they will be there for you in the long run.
3. Invest in You
Truth bomb: Never again will we be told to do less, to stay at home and to take a step back from everyday life.
Yes, some will actually feel an increase, or a different kind of, pressure; for example, if you have children at home and need to home-school. But for those of us who don’t, or if you can get into a routine which allows you to to have some ‘you’ time while the kids are studying, it is a prime opportunity to follow their lead and invest in yourself.
You can make a choice, binge-watch Netflix or upskill you; developing yourself, your business and your ideas. Either is fine, but it’s pretty much guaranteed that only one will help you in the long term (sorry Friends, it’s not re-watching you for the seventeenth time).
Chances are you have some business books gathering dust, you know, those ones you bought in an Amazon frenzy (guilty) and never ‘find time’ to read. Get them out, grab a highlighter and get learning.
And hey, how about starting a book club with your pals. Get yourself a notebook and note your takeaways in there, then do a swap with a group of business besties - that way you all get to enjoy lots of books together and motivate each other!
Or how about taking an online course, signing up to a masterclass or investing in that coach you’ve been Insta stalking for ages. Now is YOUR opportunity, take it and remember, investing in you is the best investment you can make.
4. ‘Pivot!’ - Get Creative
Friends fans, you said that à la Ross didn’t you?! Unlike Ross with his ill-fitting sofa, here’s your opportunity to change up your offer to survive and thrive through lockdown. If you usually do in-person workshops, coaching, training, events etc… can you take them online? Or can you adapt your products to help people now?
I’ve recently seen what I might call the perfect pivot from a former client, Katie Cardew Illustrations.
Katie sometimes runs illustration classes at her studios, so in a brilliant move, she’s just launched a ‘Draw with Katie’ online workshop - fantastic! Taking a proven product and pivoting it to adapt to the circumstances and appeal to her customers, old and potential.
She’s also launched a new colouring book - using her skills and core business activity, illustrating, to entertain and help kids and families. Adding a new product and revenue stream, but one which feels valuable and helpful to her audience, therefore inspiring them to buy.
People are still spending, honestly! You just have to find their sweet spot.
How can you pivot your product or service? What can you add or change up to help your audience, thereby inspiring them to buy?
5. Be Your Own Best Friend
You are your biggest business asset.
Read that again.
It’s vital to look after you in all this.
It’s absolutely ok if the juggle struggle is real; homeschooling or looking after teeny ones, trying to just get through every day, managing the house, the family, the daily challenges being thrown at us, it’s a lot!
So, it’s totally ok if, actually, you don’t have the brain capacity to do everything or anything else. If you need to put things on hold, or scale back, do it.
Do what you need to do. And if you are still full business-focused but you’re feeling the pressure, build some ‘you’ time into your day or week. Some time to just be, to do what makes you happy. Now is not the time to burnout. Be your own best friend and look after you.
And if you can, invest in some help to keep your business going. There are lots of VAs, social media managers and others who are still working, offering special deals or payment plans, so think about how you can keep things going, even if you yourself need to take a step back.
So there are my five top tips to survive and thrive in lockdown.
You can do all of them, some of them or completely different things! Whatever feels right for you is the best choice to make.
Normality will resume at some point, although it’s likely to be gradual and possibly different to before. But if we can take from this the positives, set ourselves up for success and become more open to change, embrace an adaptive business model and look after ourselves and each other, hopefully, we can survive and thrive through lockdown.
If you need any support or help pop me a message. I offer a free 30-minute strategy call and different coaching and consultancy packages to help you Kickstart Your PR and develop your skills.
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