How to turn obstacles into opportunity (a COVID-19 Pep Talk)
Just one month ago things looked very different for all of us. Most of us still had our jobs, clients, and consistent work coming in the door.
Today there are at least 16 million people who have filed for unemployment in the United States alone.
We’ve been hearing it everywhere.
- We are in unprecedented times.
- This is uncharted territory.
- The future of our economy is uncertain.
And all of it is true.
Since COVID-19 entered the picture, most of us have already gone through the 5 Stages of Grief:
✔️ DENIAL – “This isn’t that serious. Everyone is overreacting.”
✔️ ANGER -“What? They’re shutting everything down? What are we supposed to do now? Who’s buying all the damn toilet paper?”
✔️ BARGAINING -“Please God, If you let me survive this, I promise never to take life’s simple pleasures for granted ever again.”
✔️ DEPRESSION -“This is so hard. I’m scared, I’m anxious, I’m worried – I don’t know what to do. I feel so out of control!”
✔️ ACCEPTANCE-“Ok…it is what it is. I’m ready to do what I need to do for myself, my family, my community and the world.”
If you’ve made it to stage 5 then things are going to start looking up for you.
Yes, everything may still be as they were when this all began (or maybe even worse), but you are not.
And by the end of this, none of us will be.
Although there are things we can’t change, there are many things that we can.
In your business you can change how you perceive the obstacles you’re faced with and shift them into positive opportunities (without being insensitive or unkind).
Listen, we’re the only ones responsible for the food we put on our table and the good we bring into this world. Your gifts, talents, light and love are needed more than ever right now.
But you worry about whether people will think you’re exploiting their vulnerabilities. You think that because so many people have lost their jobs they may think you’re distasteful and sleazy for trying to sell anything in a time when so many are struggling.
Believe it or not, people are looking for help right now. And not just help from the IRS.
The problems that people were struggling with before the pandemic have not gone away. They’re likely even worse and more complicated now.
Here are a few examples:
You’re a yoga instructor and your studio had to shut down – People are more anxious than ever and need help finding their breath and being present in their body.
You’re a hair stylist and had to close your salon doors – People need help knowing what to do with their hair right now (their kid’s and their husband’s hair, too). It’s growing out, it’s unmanageable, and untamed. What options do they have?
You’re an interior designer – People are locked up in their homes indefinitely. Their space is cluttered and uninspiring. They’re stuck and just want a comfortable house that’s more livable, beautiful and more conducive to their “new normal”.
Now you can see how their problems are the same, but different.
You’re still needed, you’re just solving problems unlike anyone has ever seen before.
I know you have the survivor mentality and that’s why you’re reading this. Your business can and will survive the pandemic as long as you stop resisting the change and start embracing the opportunities.
Here’s how to do it:
#1 Identify the new problem
All you have to do here is go onto social media. Listen to what people are saying and feeling right now. At this point, everyone is putting it all out there.
Schedule a zoom call with past clients to check in and see what they’re struggling with the most right now. What’s keeping them up at night? And how can you help ease their mind?
Personally, I’ve got a whole host of new problems that I never had before. I’m a full time mom, a full time wife, and a full time entrepreneur. I feel like I’m being spread so thin and I know for a fact that I’m not the only one.
#2 Create a new offer
If you’re lucky, you already had a strong digital presence. But what’s changed is that people are uncertain about the future and are holding onto their money a lot tighter.
This is where you really need to flex those creativity muscles and be super empathetic.
Homework: Brainstorm some ideas. Write a list of 10 – 20 new offers you could provide and then edit it down to 1 or 2 that are easy for you to put together and adds the most value to your customer’s lives.
The cool thing about this exercise is that when the pandemic is over your new offer will still exist and it now becomes a regular part of your revenue stream.
#3 Pivot your message and announce your offer
Your message will need to change in order to address the current status of the world and all the fear that people are experiencing. However, your message should still align with your brand values.
Be kind and compassionate, but also be ready to serve. Don’t dwell on the sadness, fear or uncertainty. Offer your audience hope and a new bright perspective for the future.
Here are 5 ways to ethically announce your new offer while being sensitive, kind and compassionate:
- Educate – First people have to understand the problem. You become the teacher, which also positions you as the authority in your industry. Some great ways to do this are – sending consistent emails to your list, writing blog posts, creating live videos on IG or FB, and posting content on all your social media platforms.
- Demystify a Myth – Sometimes people don’t realize that there is an alternative to what they think is the truth. Help them see that there is another way and you can show them how.
- PinPoint the Problem – Without a problem there is no solution. So be very clear what that problem is. Oftentimes people don’t even realize that they have a problem until it’s pointed out to them.
- Tell a Compelling Story – With sincere empathy you can win hearts. People make purchases through their emotions. There are so many stories to tell right now. Share them.
- Provide Social Proof – Test out your new offer with a few clients for free in return for a testimonial. Reviews and testimonials are game changers. Consumers need social proof before they make a purchase.
I just want to remind you that you matter like crazy! Millions of people are scouring the internet looking for help to solve their problems. That could be you.
Remember, if you have any questions on how to create that amazing new offer or pivot your message I’m here for you. Just click here and send me a note.
I’m in this with you, friend. I really am.
Need extra help writing empathy-driven emails that also set the stage for announcing your new offer by using the above strategies?
Check out our Email Sequence Conversion Kit in the Shop.
All you have to do is fill in a few blanks and infuse some of your own personality. Et Voila! Done in a day (or less!).