I hope this podcast finds you and those you love doing well, not just physically but also mentally, emotionally and financially. As we go through these turbulent times, I like to check in with myself, my family, my clients, my friends and really anyone I talk with just to see how they’re doing because sometimes we just need to stop and be aware of those feelings.
I’m really excited that I recently sat down with a great business owner, friend and colleague, Dr. Michelle Mazur, to talk about messaging, marketing and selling during a global pandemic.
A little background before we dive in. Michelle currently lives just a few miles from my house and we check in with one another on business and life stuff. In fact, Michelle and I got together in late October to begin our early 2020 planning and we both felt so great about the plans we had in place.
So when everything started going sideways, I reached out to Michelle for a bit of a sanity check.
Michelle Mazur wants to know what makes you angry. Working with brilliant business owners who are shaking things up (but having trouble talking about it), she combines the tools of successful social movements with the qualitative research skills she earned in her communications Ph.D. By getting clear on both what they stand for and what they’re rebelling against, she helps her clients craft a powerful, captivating message that has audiences flocking to hire them and desperate to spread the word.
The author of three books (including the newly-released 3 Word Rebellion) and the host of the Rebel Rising podcast, Michelle has been featured in Fast Company, Entrepreneur and Inc. She founded Communication Rebel® in part because she thinks nothing is more heartbreaking than watching someone who could change the world fail just because they took thirty, rambling minutes to explain what they do. She knows that having a clear and captivating message is the key to reaching the people you could help the most, in a way that is powerful and feels effortless.
Michelle’s Survival Tips:
Tip #1: Take care of yourself and your family first.
- If you’re in this space of just cocooning, not doing any marketing, not doing any selling, freaking out, or just trying to get everything in order, honor that. Take exquisite care of yourself.
- Realize you’re most likely having a trauma response to everything going on and that’s normal. That’s what happened to me when this first started, and I did a lot of self-care and spent a lot of time on the phone with my coach, friends, and support system.
Tip #2: Be open to pivoting in your business.
- What needs to change about your message? What needs to change about what you’re offering in your business?
- My business is online so I did things like communicating immediately with my clients and discussing what would happen if they or I got sick. I got rid of my rescheduling policy with them. If we need to extend, we can extend. I also gave them more time with me as far as implementation of their messaging and their marketing. Instead of a 30-day period of implementation, I extended that to 45 days.
- Then, I examined what I already had queued up for things like my podcast, and decided if what had previously been created was still appropriate. I started looking at some of my messaging around my offers and tweaking little things. I pretty much scrapped my content schedule.
Tip #3: It’s okay to still be marketing and selling.
- This isn’t the time to hide out and not market or sell, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a pause to reflect and tweak things.
- We don't know when this pandemic is going to end and the reality is that money is the lifeblood of your business. People are still spending money and investing in their businesses.
- Consider this: If you're not marketing and selling during the pandemic, you’re not going to have a business. You have to be thinking ahead — how do I want to sell my services? Do I need to sell something different? Do I need to create a new offer?
- Most of my services are very high touch so now I'm looking at other services such as consulting offers. Do you have a course that you haven't touched in a million years (that's still very aligned with what you offer, and who you are, and your message) that you could dust off and put out there that serves your audience? What can you be putting out there right now that can really help people?
Tip #4: Don’t act like it’s business as usual, but don’t panic either.
- People are proceeding with their big affiliate launches like nothing has happened. There's no mention of the pandemic. There's no mention that we’re most definitely headed for an economic recession, if not a depression, because of the pandemic. These offers are out of step and alignment for the times we're in.
- The other end of the spectrum there are people who are doing what I call “anxiety promoting”. The economy's uncertain and maybe their business isn't on the best financial foundation so they're giving away their courses and other stuff for free. This can be problematic because people don’t always value free and they can often sense the panicky energy behind the messaging.
- If you want to be of service and are thinking about offering something for free, consider the messaging and the marketing. Ask yourself what your intention is. Do you genuinely want to help and be a leader to your audience or are you desperate to make some sales?
Tip #5: Be ready for the great reset.
- Now is your time to show up, to do business differently, to really double down on relationships. This pandemic could level the playing field because for so long we've had this guru culture. The gurus have been selling us these one-size-fits-all templates, blueprints, and formulas for so long now but guess what? They've never been here and they don't know what works. They don't have a proven formula for a pandemic. None of us have that. Nobody knows if what worked in the past is going to work anymore.
- This levels the playing field. All the fancy automations, funnels and hacks that treat people like numbers don’t work in times like these. The best way to go is by being human and creating a strategy that works for your business.
- People are going to want more high-touch, personalized service instead of high price tag DIY courses that don’t actually get results.
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