On Instagram, I saw a funny post from Laura Belgray about how we need to #flattenthecurve on free helpful free content.
Of course, she was promoting more helpful free content in the form of somebody's affiliate launch proving that irony is not dead.
I do appreciate the effort to adapt.
But how what is the strategy to lead your business and your audience with intention during uncertain times?
Being a keen observer of the online business world and having the “good” fortune of being the first city to be hit with the virus, I've had more time than usual observe.
What I've noticed is that people have four different responses to what is happening in the world right now.
Business as Usual Response: People proceeding with their messaging & marketing like nothing unusual was happening at all.
The Cocooning Response: People taking a break from marketing their business to take care of themselves and their families (note: if this is you, please don’t beat yourself up — taking care of you and yours is the most important at this time — we all get it).
The Responder's Response: People sharing how they are coping and creating during this time in order to lead and serve.
The Anxiety Response. People who are showing up and giving it all away for free because they are uncertain about what’s going to happen to their business and their livelihood.
No matter what your response (or if you’re cycling between all of them).
All of these responses are normal right now.
I’m not here to judge any of these responses.
When trauma happens (at let's not pretend that this is not what this is…it's trauma), we all react in different ways.
Eventually, adaptation will have to occur.
Because I am in Seattle where our first case was confirmed January 21st and we’ve been dealing with the outbreak since the end of February, I will say I’ve adjusted to the new normal.
My anxiety is way down. You will adjust too.
And if you’re still adjusting, I want to acknowledge that and say you might not be ready for my rosy reframe.
Because in all of this chaos I do believe there is hope.
I believe we are in the midst of a Great Reset.
Not just in our world but also in the online business industry.
We are going to see a new generation of business leaders rise as an older generation of leaders fall aways (especially those who don’t adapt and keep pretending that it’s business as usual).
Automated funnels, three-part launch series, and marketing and sales systems that treat people like numbers instead of HUMANS are going to feel out of touch and out of step with the times during and after the Great Reset.
Blueprints, one-size-fits-all formulas, proven formulas no longer work when the foundation they were built on shifted overnight.
All of the promises that building a business could be easy, fast, and simple with zero thinking are proving to be hollow.
For the record, I don’t have proof. This is just a hunch. This is my hypothesis. This is my hope during this time
Because I believe this is our opportunity to step up into leadership!
Where do we begin?
What Do You Need to Lead Your Business & Your Audience with During this Great Reset?
Begin by being HUMAN. Double down on building connections.
The opposite of automation is building relationships.
My work has always been about putting your audience and your people at the center of what you do.
It’s why I create client journey’s for my clients instead of relying on Bro Marketing tactics.
Double down on building relationships with people now.
Connect with them. Reach out. Ask your existing clients what they need. Reach out to your former clients to see how they are doing.
I’m spending more time in my DMs on Instagram than ever. I’m enjoying the crap out of it. I’m getting to know more people. Ask questions. Be helpful. Sharing what’s working for you.
Being human wins. It always has.
Yes, we have to give up the dream of a 4-hour workweek while sipping cocktails on the beach. As we isolate, I think we are all remembering how much we do really like people.
Strategy Trumps One-Size-Fits-All ANYTHING During the Great Reset
The big disservice of the template and formula culture is that it deprived us of the opportunity to THINK strategically about our business.
These courses and programs never taught people how to problem solve or how to strategically plan.
Right before the shit hit the proverbial fan, I did a survey of my audience about what they were struggling with, what prevented them from showing up consistently to market their business, and if I was going to do a virtual retreat what would they want to walk away with.
The answer was pretty resounding a PLAN,
I keep thinking about this quote from James Clear’s book Atomic Habits
“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.”
For those business owners who have a strategic plan in place, we keep working on our plan. We may have to tweak and pivot it. Create a new offer. Tweak the marketing. Turn off marketing systems.
We fall back on that system. Make changes. Keep going.
But if you have a patchwork plan based on other people’s tactics, it can be hard to know what to do next.
Do not despair.
You have the opportunity to create your strategy now!
In this post, I talked about thinking through what’s next in your business. Go read it, pull out your journal and respond to the questions. Create your strategy.
Once you’ve done that you can start tweak and creating your marketing plan.
One of the things I am doing for my business is NOT creating a 90-day marketing plan.
Right now, I would usually be doing my Q2 90-day marketing and content planning.
I’ve decided to do a high-level 90-day plan with a focus on what I am going to sell, to who, and what my content themes are for each month.
I decided to do 30-day plans instead because I don’t know what the hell is going to happen in the next 30-days.
It makes sense to stay nimble and flexible so that way I can tweak my messaging and marketing strategies as things change for better or for worse.
Plus, creating strategy is my jam (3 out of my 5 top strengths on StengthsFinder falls into the Strategic category).
If you want my help with that for your own business, you can book a 90-minute marketing & messaging power hour (ok it’s over an hour) where we’ll develop a strategic marketing plan for your business — you can find out more here.
During this Great Reset, go inward and ask yourself about the message and the marketing you're putting out there or that you want to put out there.
If you need to cocoon, cocoon. Take care of you and your family.
If you’re putting out helpful free content ask yourself are you putting it out there because you're panicked and worried about how you're going to make money?
(And if you're panicked and worried about how you're going to make money, please know you're not alone)
If you’re thinking it’s business as usual or hoping it will all go back to being this way, take a pause. Pause all things. Take care of yourself.
The bottom line is how can you be more human? How can you double down on relationships?
How can you be more strategic and implement a plan?
Just don't put “helpful free content” out there to put things out there, be intentional.
Take a moment, take a breath and figure out what your best move is,
How can you best serve your business and your audience at this moment?
That is going to serve you, serve your business and your audience much more than random acts of helpful free content.