Soft Marketing Ideas For Challenging Times
By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching at Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
Challenging times can also be opportunities. In the words of Jimmy Dean: “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” How are you adjusting your sails?
First of all, stay visible – be sure you have something on your website to let people know that you are “open” for business and what that means and how you are operating according to your local and state requirements. This is the time to re-evaluate the ROI on your marketing expenses – both financial and time involved and possibly make adjustments, even if temporary. Be very focused about where and to whom you are directing your marketing.
Review your ideal client profiles and ask yourself what you could do to help and serve past, present and potential ideal clients – and try to make it as personal as possible – adding a bit of extra value. Reach out to them and get them involved by asking them to share the greatest challenges they are finding while spending so much time in their homes and outdoor living areas. Then address these challenges and include not only ideas they can put into action immediately, but also ideas for planning for the future changes they might make.
If you have a blog, this is a great way to reach out and share these ideas. Ask yourself what will help to improve their current situation. Many may be challenged by suddenly having multiple people in the household working from home – what tips can you offer to help. What creative ideas can you share to make their home – both indoors and outdoors – more of a sanctuary now that they are spending so much more time there?
Through your ideal client profiles identify those in community who share those clients and call them to meet for coffee (or virtual coffee) and brainstorm ideas for working together now and in the future; think of ways for both of you to reach out to past, current and potential clients – with fun gifts, creative ideas for clients while they are having to spend so much time at home; if you have a blog, consider asking those referral sources to do a guest blog for you and they can share your blog with their list as well as it reaching your list.
Contact local media sources (local magazine, newsletter, newspaper, etc.) and offer to provide one or more articles on tips for “cocooning” and making their homes not only work more effectively for them as they are self-quarantining, but also tips on how to make it more of an oasis during this time – or come up with 5 or more challenges they may discover about their homes while being stuck at home along with solutions they can implement immediately – and then more extensive solutions that they can consider later (kitchen remodels, etc.)
This is a time to develop relationships and create a foundation from which you will be ready to build once the market turns around.