Tips for Small Businesses When Managing a Crisis

With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, many businesses and organizations are panicking on what this means for their business and their growth opportunities for the remainder of 2020.  How does a small business owner prepare for a recession or an economic crisis?  Below are 6 tips for managing a crisis or potential downturn in the economy. 
1.) Don’t panic.  This sounds very simple, but extremely important.  So often, we become reactive, instead of proactive.  Our response to a crisis will often determine how we manage, how large the crisis becomes and how much it affects our business and clients.  Although we may have some anxiety, we know there are always opportunities within a crisis. 

2.) Look for the Opportunity.  As you stand back and look at the crisis or problem, which issues are not being addressed?  If you do not know your clients or industry well, this may be a challenge for you. (HINT: Know your clients and your industry).  What can you contribute or solve?  Get creative and gain a different perspective about the issues at hand. 

3.) Feel Your Clients Pain.  What are your clients/customers feeling right now?  Are their businesses on hold? Are they doing well (some businesses are thriving right now)?  Will they need to focus on other issues for a short time? Whatever the pain or issue, know it.  Feel it… and then act accordingly.  

4.) Talk to Your Clients:  If your business or society is facing a crisis, assess the situation by speaking directly with your clients.  Ask about their concerns and effectively communicate how you are dealing with a crisis.  Clients want to know that they can still trust that their business is being handled. 

5.) Be a Thought Leader: This is the time to show your value and expertise to your audience, if applicable.  If there is any aspect you know about the crisis, now is the time to write, blog, speak and teach about the subject in various ways. Look at the situation from different angles and determine how you can be of value to your clients.

Podcast:When You Don’t Know What to Post on Social Media

So many people get stuck on they type of content to post for their business or organization. This podcat will provide you with a few ideas on the type of content to post.
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Podcast: Yes, Blogging is Still Effective!

I am often asked if blogging is still effective. The answer is YES. In this podcast, I provide 3 tips on how to make your blogs more effecitve. if you have any questions about blogging or need to develop a strategy for your content, feel free to contact me at lee@ashbyandwatts.com business-coffee-composition-computer-265667

 

Tips & Tricks to Facebook

Facebook. It is still around and still relevant, specifically for a specific age group or brands that have significant content.  This social media platform continues to be the standard.  However, like other social media platforms, the algorithms continue to change and throw us off.  If you have a brand, business page or fan page, knowing best practices of Facebook is critical.

Below are some tips and tricks on how to work with Facebook algorithms.

1.) Engage.  I know we have heard this many times, but it important.  Think of Facebook woman on facebooklike a person… you can’t expect them to “like” you or show your page, if you only come to talk about yourself and leave.  Set a timer and spend time liking and commenting on other posts.  Facebook is watching.

2.) Respond.  This is another one that seems obvious.. but when people comment on your posts (personal or business) respond back.  The longer a post stays “active” – the longer Facebook will keep it living on the feed.

3.) Good Content.  Most of us believe all our content is good – right?  But Facebook favors those posts that actually engage others and add value or education.  Posts that are simply selling product or services – with no real value – FB will not promote as much.  Their goal and mission is to create conversations among users.

4.) Live Video.  Seriously.  If you are a brand and not doing some sort of video (specifically live) you are missing out.  This is one of the best ways to generate engagement and work with Facebook’s algorithms.  It supports the essence of who they are… engagement.  So they will continue to keep video (lives) on the feed.

5.) Be careful with links.  So here’s the tricky think with Facebook… it wants you to keep people on their platform.  So when you do too many links encouraging people to go away from Facebook, it hurts engagement.  This is not for every post that includes a link – but if you review your business page and notice all your content is sending people away from FB, develop a new strategy.

So there we have it – five Facebook tips and tricks for you. The important thing to remember is to see Facebook as a friend; would your friend like you if you never said thank you when they said “nice outfit”?  Would you want a friend to come to your house for a party and then ask everyone to go somewhere else?  Remember the goals of FB and learn to work WITH the algorithms and not against them.

Podcast: Marketing Trends for 2020

There are alot of new trends and new things in marketing for 2020. In my podcast, I highlight some of my favorite trends which include voice searches and customer experience. Check out the podcast and let me know which is your favorite marketing trend. women-typing-on-the-notebook-6168

Podcast: Creating a Connection With Your Audience

So often we get discouraged when our followers are small, the mailing list numbers are low, there are few likes or engagement in social media. However, we can still have an amazing impact when we make a good connection with our audience.

In my podcast today, I share 3 ways to have an impact with your audience.

Which Social Media Platform Is Best for You?

I know… social media can be daunting.

Today, there are so many social media platforms. In addition, there are so many features ON each platform.  It all can be overwhelming.

However, if you are in business, a solopreneur, author or speaker, social media is a African american woman using computer laptop at kitchen serious face thinking about question, very confused ideanecessity.  It is the fastest way to reach your audience, establish your voice and create a brand.  It is a critical vehicle for promoting your products and services and taking your brand to the next level.

But which platform should you use?  Below are a few tips when figuring out which platform to use:

1.) Focus on One.  Yes, I’m on several social media platforms, however, I put most of my energy and strategic efforts on one platform. You will make more impact and can dig deeper instead of going wider.

2.) Know Your Audience.  Once you know your audience and what they really want, then you can make a decision about where to plant your social media feet.  Some platforms are more visual, some rely on more content.  How does your audience consume information?  What do they want?

3.) Clarity Comes from Action.  Your audience may be in several places.  So if you are confused and realize they are all over the place, choose one platform and keep going. Stay consistent with one.  You just need to put in the work and the effort… every day.

4.) How Do You Communicate? Perhaps you are not a writer and very short with words, but you like video – then you will know that YouTube is critical for your brand and communicating to your audience.  Think about what works for YOU, your strengths and how you most effectively communicate.

If you are struggling with your social media platform choice and need to talk it out, feel free to contact me for a complimentary 15 minute session and let’s CONNECT!! Or perhaps you need a clarity session because you are unaware of your target audience or how you best communicate, contact me!

 

The Magic of Having Clarity

Life can get so busy, with a million distractions every day.  These constant distractions can easily lead to a lack of clarity in our life, business and even relationships.

Each time I engage with a new client, my primary objective, despite their business or industry, solopreneur, author, minister or executive, is to help them find brand clarity.

What is Brand Clarity?

Brand clarity is the core values, feeling and purpose of your brand, whether it is your personal brand, business or organization. Once you are aware of your brand, your values, your purpose, your why… it is critical to make sure this is communicated throughout your brand consistently.

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Why is Clarity Needed?

Confidence. I am convinced, that true clarity equals confidence.  And when you have confidence, you also have courage.  Just imagine where your business or career would be if you had ultimate confidence in yourself, your business and your brand.  The things you would do, the people . you would approach and where you would network.  How big would you dream?  What would you go for?  The words you would say to yourself.  It would be the ultimate courage, right?

Storytelling.  Brand clarity is also needed to to tell your story to your clients and customers. Storytelling is the foundation of branding. Have you ever heard someone tell a story and get lost in the details, miss the punchline or critical points to the story.  You tune out, right?  The story becomes less interesting and the storyteller loses credibility.  You should know your story, connect your dots and tell it in a concise and interesting way.

Personality. You also need brand clarity because people buy from people. A buyer wants to fall in love with YOU.  Your brand needs a personality and style.  This comes out in your logo, your colors and even your content.  But when you are not sure of who you are and your core values, then you may communicate several different messages and voices.  You will talk too much, to too many people, in too many different ways.  This creates confusion.  When there is no clarity – people either do not buy or take longer to buy.  Let the personality and style of your brand shine.

Time & Money.  When you are clear in your branding (or any aspect of your life), you can easily make decisions. You know what to say “no” to and who to align with, which events to attend, where to invest your time and money.

Clarity is priceless. Take the time to find clarity with your brand, business, career, relationships and even your money. When you are clear, things change.

If you are struggling to find clarity,  consider a session with me.  Sometimes we are too close to our brand to see it clearly.  Feel free to contact me for a session.

 

Tips on Managing Your Mailing List

So many of us spent time trying to figure out why our photos were not loading on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  This isn’t the first time major social media platforms crashed.  It is happening more often, including issues with security and data privacy.  This is one of the reasons why brand owners, companies and organizations cannot solely rely on social media to communicate with their audiences, nor rely only on social media for their marketing strategy. laptop woman.jpg

Below are some tips for managing your mailing list:

1.) Offer value.  No one wants another email in their crowded inbox.  However, the right audience is always looking for value.  What kind of value can you offer in your newsletter.

2.) Collect Emails.  Think of every communication you have with new contacts, whether it is at an event, trade show, answering questions or a transaction, make sure you collect email addresses.

3.) Focus on Quality.  It’s easy to get caught up in the number of people joining the mailing list.  However, the key is to focus on the quality of the contacts.  Not everyone will be interested in what you have to offer.  Getting quality contacts, even if it’s a low number, should be the goal.

4.) Make it Easy.  Make everything easy for you customers and clients, this includes signing up for the newsletter.  There are different ways to sign-up, but be sure to only capture information that is needed.  Resist the temptation to have a long sign up form.  Keep it simple.

5.) Don’t Ignore Them.  It doesn’t matter how many people are on your list, take care of them and speak to them.  Decide how often you want to communicate and provide value to your list and remain consistent.

If you need assistance with your marketing or branding strategy, please let me know.  I would love to help you.

Was this article helpful?  If so, let me know or be sure to share.

Get Your Business Ready for Summer

Summer is almost here! Yay!

Time for vacations and to slow it down a little.  But hey, don’t slow it down too much. This is the time to build your pipeline so that you can finish strong in 2019.  Time to think about what you will offer and sell for the holidays.

So how do you build a pipeline?

Below are some quick tips on building your pipeline to create momentum in your business for the rest of the year.

1.) Focus on a Few.  You may have been doing mass marketing all year – social media, watts marketing challengespublic speaking, etc.  Who stood out during your efforts?  Were some potential clients more engaged than others?  If so, focus on those people for the rest of the year.  What do they need?  What services can you provide?

2.) Create Your Bag of Tricks.  What are those things of VALUE that you can offer to your customers or potential customers that don’t require a lot for you to create?  Perhaps its an audit or a top ten list.  Create 3-5 “trick” or value adds that you use to create more relationships with your current or new audience.

3.) Use Your Referrals.  Referrals are sooo important in growing your business.  Using your referrals is a brilliant marketing strategy.  Be sure to take time to put your referrals on your mailing list, check on them, talk to them, engage with them.  The more they trust you, the more they will talk about you.

Don’t let the summer pass you by!  If business is slow, that is the time to focus on marketing and growing your pipeline.

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