If you’re feeling anything like me, you probably feel at an utter loss as to what to write about and share at this difficult time. If you have a suitable product for home workers you may feel weird pushing it and capitalising on an awful situation and taking advantage of people during a challenge time. If you can’t work or none of your products or services are suitable, then you may feel you have absolutely no content you can share at the moment.
After a great online session with fellow business women last Wednesday, I wanted to share some of the thoughts and ideas we had about what content you can create during this time in ‘lockdown’ and how you can remain motivated to care for your business, even if you are finding yourself with little work.
Audit your products and service…what can you still offer?
It is possible that even in these weird times, you have products and services which are still needed and of interest to people. I find myself in a very strange position with much of my usual regular content creation unnecessary but, instead, being asked to use my copywriting skills for communicating key messages regarding hygiene practices and temporary closures. Furthermore, as times goes on, I wonder if I will receive more enquiries about blogging and getting websites sorted because people have a little more time at home to focus on their business, rather than working in it.
Take a good look at what you offer and be honest about what may be of use or interest to your clients at this unique time. Secondly, consider how it is best to offer these products or services. We know that many people may struggle financially and also that there is severe restriction on movement and this will affect delivery abilities, as well as any social interaction. You may be able to offer items online instead. But, remember two important things: 1) if you decide to discount significantly, consider what you are going to do when this is over…and it will be over one day…and the message you are sending about the worth of your course or service; 2) Consider what everyone else is doing, so many things are suddenly ‘online’ – consider how you can do this with genuine value.
Check through what you had already planned…back when life was ‘normal’?!
If you are organised and have planned some content for the next month or so…or perhaps even further, don’t just abandon it all. Take a good look at what you have and how much can still be used. People still want to be educated, entertained and informed.
Importantly, however, do not schedule too much in advance. Circumstances are changing so quickly, as is advice and restrictions and you don’t want to post something inappropriate or incorrect. Schedule only a day or two in advance and just double check everything, especially if some of your content is very topical referring to the coronavirus or government/public health advice.
Remember we all have a lot in common…use your content to connect with your audience
We are in a really unique position that we are likely to have much in common with our clients and followers. We are all coping with this weird global pandemic. We are all being asked to social distance and isolate. We are all aware of the illness and how some people will become very unwell. With this in mind, you can create content which is really relevant to your clients. If you feel comfortable to, share how you are experiencing this pandemic, coping with work and working from home or in a key worker role.
If you do need to stop work, reduce hours, change your product range or the way you work, then you will have communicate this. Consider which channels will be best to do this most effectively and if you need different messaging for different platforms. For example, a short, precise social media post may be appropriate but perhaps a more personal and explanatory email for your loyal clients, thanking them for their support.
Investigate national days and trending topics…time to get involved
Let’s acknowledge that creating regular content at this time is going to be difficult. I’m not sure you necessarily need to be as consistent as usual. Social media, in particular is absolutely overflowing with content. At the moment, in the UK, a lot of it is more personal. People are craving the social interaction they are missing and using the opportunity to entertain people with more light-hearted content. I think this means that for businesses, engagement will decrease for a while, and that’s ok.
It is really ok to take a break from content creation and focus on you and your family at this time.
If you would like to get involved with ‘the conversation’ to help the reach of your content, it is a good time to investigate National Days – I find this website quite good: https://www.awarenessdays.com/
Also consider what is trending, we have had some wonderful ‘occasions’ and ‘movements’ already, like #ClapforCarers, #StaySafe and #rainbowsofhope. Even as a business, these are all wonderful campaigns, that you can get involved with and create content around – if you feel comfortable and it right for your business.
Consider what you can prepare…it’s time to be super organised
If you are having to slow down for a bit and have some time on your hands (I know this is probably not the case if you have children at home or caring for the vulnerable), rather than spending all of your extra time watching Netflix ;-)… why not start preparing some content for the future?
Easter will be celebrated, the summer will arrive…even Christmas. Get ahead. Consider promotions you can do, advice you can give in blogs, imagery you can design and social media posts you can have prepared.
Drawing on the ‘national days’ research above, is there content you can have ready that won’t date…even if it’s for International Women’s Day next year??
Be adventurous! Spend the time you have on designing ‘wow factor’ imagery; delve into the world of video if you haven’t already…perhaps, even start a blog!
Use time wisely…look in diverse places
Another temptation, as well as gorging on Netflix, is to scroll endlessly through your favoured social media newsfeed. Why not try a new social media channel that you haven’t used before or search your current channels in different ways using diverse hashtags loosely related to your business?
Search for different blogs and articles – read more internationally and cross-subject. It’s so easy to binge on the news or get dragged in to reading the same depressing messages at this time, which is not good for mental health. So diversify!
Diversity is wonderful for innovation. You may come up with some really interesting content ideas based on your new areas of research.
Hashtags are a great way to access diverse content – I’ll write a whole blog on hashtags research, comparing platforms and usage, very soon.
Share your ideas….comment below
It is a truly difficult time – one of the most important things I have found is to continue to stay in touch with lots of different people. I love my family, but I miss hearing different opinions and viewpoints…different stories. So don’t forget to continue to connect. Leave comments below offering your content ideas during this challenging time and connect with me on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn – engage with my posts…please! I want to hear from you.