Communications Consultant and member of the Chislehurst Business Group, Clare Herriot, shares some valuable tips for struggling business owners during this global pandemic…
Have you dared to check the average daily screen time on your phone recently? For most of us, it might be quite a shock! While the world is on pause, we’re all living our lives online and social media is a huge part of lockdown.
While we all realise social media is a great way to stay connected, it can also create opportunities to get your business more visible over the next few weeks.
Right now, your business shop front is probably only online, so it is important to make sure the digital aspect of your business is in tip top condition.
Also, as a business owner, freelance or sole trader you may be low on funds as business has dried up. First off, don’t worry. You’re definitely not the only one! Secondly, updating and making effective use of social media is free, it only costs your time.
Thinking outside the box
In the last month many businesses have quickly adapted and moved completely online. Coaching, exercise classes, sports shops and even churches have recorded services on their social channels – these are all great examples of thinking outside the box!
Before lockdown, many of us had not even heard of Zoom. As scary as it was at first, this online meeting resource has helped businesses of all sizes to stay in touch with their teams and clients. It has even helped people to cultivate new business opportunities such as online classes and courses.
If your business cannot operate wholly online, this must be an incredibly tough time. Fear not however, there are definitely things you can do to keep your brand alive:
- Update Your Profiles: When a client looks at your social channels, do they get the right message? Are all your channels consistent in the way they look; your profile pictures, descriptions and even your handles? If not, now is the time to create consistency across your profiles. Help people recognise you.
- Update Your Information: Now it’s time to check your contact details, locations, ‘about’ sections, services and so on. Be methodical, go through each one and double check you have made use of all the options available to you.
- Have you Got a Google or LinkedIn Business Page? Both are free and easy to set up. You want to make sure your potential clients find you and that when they do, that they get an accurate picture of who you are, what you do and how you can help them.
- Measure: Create a spread sheet to measure your monthly success. Keep it simple! For example, list each platform and note your number of followers, web visitors and the most popular posts. Social media can be a time-consuming job so looking at how well you have done each month can reassure you that you are on the right track.
- Make a plan: Are your posts random or scheduled? Although personally, I’m not one for scheduling posts, I do stick to a loose plan of what I am going to post and how often. So, I aim to post every Tuesday and Thursday as a minimum, interact on all platforms whenever I can and all my posts either highlight my services, showcase my work or share knowledge. Scheduling posts also has its advantages. For example, you can plan exactly what time you will post and don’t have to worry about thinking of new things to post every day.
- Add a little more of you: People love people, especially people who are authentic and passionate about their business. With that being said, could this lockdown be an opportunity to do something new? Try hosting a live video on Instagram. Or film yourself on Zoom, or on your phone talking about your business and how you started. Many people are trying video for the first time and this is the time to be brave!
While you are at home, think about keeping your brand alive using social media. Try different ideas to help you stand out including some basic videos that include you!
Get the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted on all your profiles and social media content – these are the shop window of your business.
Be in the conversation. Interact with other people’s posts, demonstrate your expertise in your field, show you are active and get your name seen as much as possible.
Turn this difficult time into an opportunity.
If you would like to know more, take a look at my recent social media unpacked series, or drop me an email if you would like me to help get your social media profiles looking tip top. firstname.lastname@example.org