Businesses all over the world are being hit hard as the world reels under the scourge of Covid-19 (popularly known as the Coronavirus).
Thousands are dying. Hundreds of thousands are being infected. Businesses are being shut. Employees are being laid off.
At the time of writing this, there are almost 190,000 Coronavirus cases in the US and the death toll surpassing 12,000 in Italy (source). India has crossed the 1600 mark.
In this atmosphere of extreme chaos, how do you keep your business running?
By “keep your business running” I don’t mean promoting your products and services and asking people to buy them when they are in no position to buy them.
What I mean is, how do you maintain contact? How do you reach out to your customers and clients who may be affected by the pandemic, in various degrees?
What sort of emails should you send to your mailing list?
People are not interested in business offers because they are dealing with a much bigger problem.
On the other hand, you shouldn’t put a stop to your usual communication with your customers and clients.
In fact, this is the right time to inculcate a sense of normality, without aggressively promoting yourself.
Talk about the Covid-19 pandemic
This Inc. article suggests that you should address the problem head on. Talk about the Coronavirus pandemic or the Covid-19 outbreak and how it is affecting practically everyone, directly or indirectly.
At the time of an outbreak, people want to be informed. They want to get the latest information.
If you have a mailing list, you already have a platform to raise awareness about the virus.
I often order medicines from an online medicine delivery service. Recently they sent a very nice infographic on how to practice social distancing and how to wash your hands properly to keep yourself from getting infected.
There was no marketing message.
Pretty much everyone is aware of the importance of social distancing and properly washing hands, but the infographics was pretty nicely done.
Inculcate hope amidst negativity
Everyone is stressed out. Even if people are not sick, they are confined to their homes. They are losing their livelihoods. Their sources of income are vanishing.
Whenever you come across positive news, share it with your mailing list, with your subscribers or your blog readers.
If new medicine is been discovered, let it be known to your customers and clients.
If immunity can be improved, let it be known to your customers and clients, how.
If there are examples of communities pushing back the outbreak, talk about it.
Spread positivity. Show genuine concern.
You can also share your own experience of how you’re coping with social distancing
Should you completely ditch non-coronavirus updates?
This blog post seems to say so.
Dismiss all non-virus stories out of hand. There is room for stories about other topics, just think through how they’ll be received in the current climate.
I personally believe as long as you are genuine, you can talk about anything. Of course, you have to be sensitive about the situation – not just pretend to be sensitive but be actually sensitive.
Everyone can relate to the need for carrying on. Everyone knows that the world is not ending. This dark phase is going to pass. People haven’t stopped working. They simply work from their homes.
They still have to use services. There are many products that they still need.
These days I’m continuously coming across updates on how you can use Zoom better.
I’m getting G Suite updates on how to work better from your home.
There are many cloud-based services that are promoting themselves because people need them.
More people seem to be inquiring about my content writing services because they think that while they wait at homes, they can work on improving their SEO and generate better content for their websites now that other things are on hold.
So, business, career, livelihood and marketing are realities of our times. People don’t mind marketing. But people mind if you just focus on marketing.
Instead, focus on providing help. Focus on being there. Figure out how you can help people using the business assets you have built.
Use your blog to publish useful information. Use your mailing list to disseminate useful information. Use your social media profiles to raise awareness.
We can deal with this. We will emerge victorious.