Over the past week or so, I’ve been listening to the coronavirus news and struggling with the question of whether or not to continue business as usual. Because, while working from home is the norm for my husband and me, we’re finding that some of our contacts seem to be off the grid. Hopefully, they’re busy struggling with the same challenge we are: how to entertain (and feed!) three teenagers who will be out of school at least through the end of the month.
But then I see commercials for cruise ships and other vacations, which seem not only tone-deaf but a waste of money.
And yet…what about B2B companies? They have to keep on truckin’. Our government has assured us that store shelves won’t be empty, so products have to be made, produce has to be farmed and harvested, and livestock has to be fed and processed. And somebody has to get all of those essentials to the stores.
And then there are service providers like us. Even if some of our clients cut back on marketing during the coronavirus pandemic, they’ll still need help figuring out what to publish, what not to publish, and how to let their customers know whether and how they’re doing business.
So I’ve kept busy working on existing edits, but I wasn’t sure what to do as far as creating new content. I feel like we’re in some sort of suspended animation, where everyone and everything has just stopped — holding their breath, and waiting.
But then I got inspiration from my “computer guy.” Rob Orr, of Foundry Web Works, has been my go-to guy for a few years now when it comes to my website. Not only did he transfer my site to WordPress from a different platform, but he’s helped me through a few other crises (caused by my own ignorance!). I continue to plague him with questions now and then, and he’s always gracious enough to help.
Today, Rob sent out an email about coronavirus that really struck a chord with me. I asked him for permission to share it, and he kindly agreed. So with no further ado:
Hey! What’s new? Anything interesting going on in your world?
Nothing really new here, but I did hear about this coronavirus thing….
All kidding aside, unless you live under a rock or off the grid in the backcountry of Wyoming, far from electricity or civilization, you’ve heard about the coronavirus and all that’s happening because of it.
I promise – this email is different than others you’ve received on the subject. My goal is to help you (and me) get focused on OTHERS during this time so that you can be of SERVICE and a source of help and hope.
First of all – do NOT let all this coronavirus uproar derail you from how you’re serving your audience!
As someone who’s a creator – a blogger, podcaster, YouTuber, etc – with an online business like me, we ALL have an obligation and duty to be there for our audience in the good times and the bad.
Here are a couple things that we, as thought leaders and content creators, have an OBLIGATION to be doing during this time:
You need to continue to care for and serve your audience with your content. They came to you to begin with because you’re influential and you know what you’re talking about. Don’t let them down now by disappearing.
2. Serve Your Audience
Travel bloggers need to be talking about how to get trips rescheduled, how to work with hotels on getting refunds for cancelled reservations, etc.
Food bloggers need to be talking about sanitization and safe food prep
Moms & home-schoolers should be talking about how to engage their kids with activities at home, create a “stay-cation” spring camp with a schedule, etc.
You know your audience – you know what their pain points are, so what do THEY need to know about during this time that they need to hear from YOU as a thought leader in your space?
3. Seize the Opportunity
Not to exploit, but to frame up how you can help people with your products and services in unique ways. Millions and millions of people are going to be looking for new ways to earn income from home, so how can you help them?
Bloggers, content creators and producers are going to have unprecedented opportunities over the next few weeks as people are spending more and more time at home and spending more and more time surfing the internet and scrolling through Facebook.
My friend Alex Elliot did a fantastic job of talking about rising to the occasion in a Facebook live that she did for our coaching group that I thought would be a great inspiration for you. You can check it out here:
I’ve done my last couple podcasts on how we, as digital marketers and online business owners need to be framing up our thinking on this. You can check out my latest episode, “Being A Source of Light And Hope: How to Serve Your Audience During A Crisis” at the link below:
Make sure that you are taking your responsibility to serve your target audience during this time and make the most of it — these people NEED what YOU can give them. Do NOT do them the disservice of not showing them how you can help.
I’ve got other good stuff coming for you later this week (one that could be the very solution to your traffic challenges) but I’ll tell you about that later.
For now – be wise. Be careful. Be thoughtful and be part of the solution as we all work to get through this challenging time. We’re going to come out of this on the other side better for what we’ve learned and done to be a beacon of light.
I keep telling my wife because she’s getting a little nervous that we got this – we’re going to be ok. I want to encourage you to take that message to your audience.
Until next time —
P.S. For me, I know that getting outside and getting some sunshine on my face does wonders for my ability to think clearly and get some perspective. I’ve got a friendly competition going with one of my best friends, Justin, about who can get more miles in in a week and we’re using Strava (strava.com) to track our progress. It’s a fantastic app I’d encourage you to check out and free to use!
Get away from the T.V. for a while and get outside – springtime is a GLORIOUS time of year – even in the midst of the “zombie apocalypse”!
Many thanks to Rob for helping me get “unstuck.” And I think his words provide a great model for all content creators in a world that seems to be changing by the minute!