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“How to grow your business during the Covid-19 times, 5 tips”

In the Japanese language, the word ‘crisis’ consists of the characters (kanjis) ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity.’ Let’s follow the example of the wise Japanese and try seizing opportunities when things get gloomy.

So, a million-dollar question is: can we sustain and – dare I say – grow our businesses during the Corona outbreak? I think we can if we adjust and take some actions. Here’s what we can do.

1. Learn. Now is the time to start gearing up for the future. Improve your skills in whatever business field you consider necessary if you don’t want to invest much,  Coursera  and  Masterclass  providing solid courses for a fair price. Besides, currently, many experts offer their courses/webinars/books/services for free or with a discount.  In case you want to jazz up your writing for all those web pages, product descriptions, newsletters, etc., here are a few options.

  • Copyblogger offers an impressive library of blog posts, articles and podcast episodes, plus, the results-driven programs.
  • Copy Posse is a new kid on the block. But the reviews are promising so far. And, taking in mind the record of its founder, Alex Cattoni, I wouldn’t expect anything less. 
  • If you want to dip your toes into copywriting waters and get a few easy to implement yet game-changing tips, a 1:1 copywriting training session is an excellent option. Remember, the web runs on words. It could be a great investment to improve your writing and get your words converting.

2. Share. In these uncertain days, we can use a boost of basically anything. Brilliant, if you sell online. But it would be fantastic if you can share something for free. Offering free content:
a) attracts potential customers;
b) builds your credibility and proves your expertise;
c) gives you a valid input into your customer’s needs;
d) ignites engagement;
e) boosts your brand’s visibility; 
f) provides you with a sweet opportunity to test-drive a product that you may be selling in the future;
g) brings satisfaction, as doing good gives nothing but happiness.

3. Work in your business. Often, we simply lack time for our own business. Up to the ears in projects, we may randomly post on social media. C’est tout. But that’s not enough. Now, when the projects slow down, and the clients are lying low, it’s a great time to give your own business and content priority. Mastermind your next step. Where does your focus lie? What channels can you use to get visible? Is there a strategy in place? Copyblogger has tons of useful information on content strategy. Why do you need a content strategy and calendar? Because regular sharing of relevant and reliable content builds a solid base of followers and like-minded buddies. In other words, a community that is interested in your product or service. And, therefore, when you are ready to offer your product or services, you won’t have to sell hard as they’ve already opted in. 

FYI: “The success rate of selling to a customer you already have is 60-70%, while the success rate of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.” – Belina Weaver. 

4. Refer your ambassadors. Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s the best proof of them all? Social, of course. Nothing boosts business as great reviews and solid recommendations. It’s not salesy, cheesy or arrogant to let customers know what you are capable of. On the contrary, you do your potential customer a favor – you save up his/her valuable time. After reading your testimonials, the customer will know what to expect and whether you’re his/her perfect professional match.

So, what to do then? 

  • Ask your existing clients to write a testimonial. Help them out by outlining what you’d like them to talk about. E.g. “Hi Jack, do you mind spending a minute on writing a review of my work? You would really help me out here as I am about to launch my online service. Can you please mention in your review: the name of my service, your problem/project for which you hired me, what was your experience of working with me, and what tangible results did my service bring. Thank you in advance. I really appreciate your time and help.” NB: ask your client to specify the results, preferably in numbers. E.g. After hiring Emma to work on my email funnel, I noticed that my emails and newsletters got a better opening rate. 22% vs. 13,5%.” Don’t forget to share the testimonials on your social media channels. 
  • Ask for a Google Business review and rating.
  • Inform your friends/ relatives/ex-colleagues and anyone in your network about you looking for a new client. Ask them to refer you to anyone they have in mind and who potentially could hire you for the next job.

5. Be proactive. 93% of my projects I got through referrals or by knocking on the doors. I am not saying it to brag but to motivate. Yes, there will be plenty of ‘no’s’ thrown into your face. But there will be some ‘yes, please’, too.

The easiest way is to start with existing clients. Call or email them saying something like the following: “I am planning my next few months of work. As you are my long-term client, I would like to prioritize your projects and budget time for them. Can you let me know whether you need my support with anything?” With a message like this, you do three things:
a) You let your client know that you appreciate him/her;
b) You let your client know that you are busy. And folks love working with busy people:
c) You require, in a humble way, whether there is work for you.  Even if you get a negative answer, your client will have a very positive impression. And, most likely, will hire you for the next job available.

Cold leads. Approaching new clients isn’t easy. What can you do to increase your chances for success? Tailor-made your offer. Go through their websites and find what you can potentially assist them with. “I’ve noticed that your landing page (insert whatever applies to your expertise) can use a polish up. Text is such a powerful way to make an impact on your customers. In fact, in the online world, which is what we are in right now, we’ve got only words and images to draw the attention and influence the decision-making process. My clients (insert the list of names) are extremely satisfied with my work and confirm that their sales have increased (insert the numbers), after hiring me to do their copywriting. I would like to find out if jazzing up your landing page is something you are interested in? If yes, I’d love to schedule a free consultation call.”

A tailor-made offer shows that you invested some time and attention into your potential client. It’ll give a positive impression. Even if the client says no, he/she can refer you or use your service/product the next time.

And finally, I want to finish with Don Draper’s words to London Fog exes: “There will be fat years, and there will be lean years. But it is going to rain.” The business carries on. And hopefully, with due adjustments, we will not only survive the corona crisis but prosper. 

Written by A. van Eck-Samarina, AVES Copywriting