Guest Blog From Crabapple Communications

The past couple of weeks have turned our worlds upside down, and it doesn’t look like things are going to change in the immediate future.

Personally, I must admit that it has taken me a couple of days to shift my mindset. My last in-person meeting was last Friday and it seems like since then the whole world has shut down. It made me alternately scared and really angry. I found anger a more productive emotion than being terrified, but now my new ethos is to be determined, and I’m determined to help.

I’ve been pretty much glued to social media over the past week and some consistent themes are coming out from small businesses in their concerns. As a professional marketer, I wanted to try to share some of the good ideas I’ve seen in response to our new normal.

The main concern a lot of small businesses have is around business continuity. How can they adapt their business operations to a mainly virtual world? Every business is different but I wanted to share some examples of how businesses are pivoting to provide inspiration.

Giving advice to help the home-bound

Example: Abby Cooks Wild – home cooking service

https://www.facebook.com/AbbyCooksWild

Normally Abby does all the grocery shopping, goes into clients’ homes and does all the slicing, dicing and portioning of meals. Now, she can’t. So instead she is providing free videos live on Facebook to give people meal inspiration as well as cooking activities to do with children home from school. She also shares the ingredients needed ahead of time so that you can cook along.

This is a great way of providing a service that people really need right now, and raising awareness of her offering through a channel a lot of people are spending a lot of time at the moment.

Providing an online version of a fitness class

Example: Kindness collective yoga studio

https://kindnesscollective.com/online-yoga/

If you’re a sports or movement-focused business, can you set up to offer an online service? There are lots of free videos on YouTube but some businesses are still able to monetize their offering through online classes streaming at specific times of day for people to engage with.

Providing a special time-limited service

Example: The Portland Pod podcasting service

https://medium.com/portlandpod/the-show-must-go-on-and-we-can-help-9d0beb8814d4

The Portland Pod podcasting service is connected with a lot of Podcast Engineers and COVID-19 is impacting many of them. Their clients, and in particular their small-business or non-corporate creative clients, are cutting bait in an attempt to save money in these uncertain times. So they came up with an ingenious solution using an old-fashioned telephone service bridge to still be able to create podcasts. Read more on their Medium blog.

Pivoting to a part of your business that can still work

Example: Restaurants doing takeout and delivery only

https://www.visitgolden.com/takeout-takeover-golden/

As restaurants shut around the globe, many are shifting gears to provide more takeout, delivery and take-and-bake offerings. The link above is a list of restaurants in my local town of Golden, Colorado, that are still open for takeout or delivery only, promoted on the Golden Visitor Center website. Can you pivot in this way and also encourage local institutions such as chambers of commerce or directories to promote the fact that your business is still open?

Getting creative with your marketing

Example: New-born photographer using alternative props

https://www.facebook.com/theflashladyphotography

At the moment it might be hard to do your job as normal. But there might be another way to showcase what you do.

This photographer has been using baby toilet paper instead of babies to show how she approaches a new baby shoot, resulting in beautiful photos that also help her stand out.

The local media have discovered her and have been eating up this fun idea, at a time when journalists are desperately looking for some good news to share.

Also, this is genius.

Over to you

Do you know any more businesses that you’ve seen with great ideas for business continuity and promoting their efforts?

If you want more

For more inspiration, or to brainstorm marketing ideas, I would be happy to have a free chat, which you can arrange on my Crabapple Communications Facebook page.

If you’d like an additional or alternative perspective, my friend Vala Vincent is also offering free brainstorm sessions for online entrepreneurs and small businesses through her Facebook page.