The Ins and Outs of Selling In A Tight Economy
If you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking… will this global crisis ever end? At this time, more than 30 million people are unemployed and there is a lot of uncertainty about reopening the economy. Dealing with all this uncertainty while running a business makes things even more complicated.
But as you know, the economy always has its ebbs and flows. While the bull market raged since the 2008 recession, there has been quite a correction in recent months. So if this is your first time going through a major economic crisis as a business owner, we want to help you out.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not sure what are the best steps to take but there’s always something you can do. The worst thing that you can do is sit on the sidelines and try to wait it out. Your business needs you now more than ever.
During times like these, you need to adapt and make the most of this time because a lot businesses won’t survive. But if you’re feeling uncertain about how to proceed and maybe feel guilty about selling, keep reading this post. You will learn the mindset shifts that you need to make and the exact steps you should take to grow your business.
Should You Sell During a Tight Economy?
If you’re like a lot of entrepreneurs, you’re not sure if now is the right time to sell your product or service. Maybe even running ads feels strange now. It’s easy to feel guilty selling your products when some people are losing their jobs, getting hours cut, and the economy is basically at a standstill.
But here’s the thing, this situation is only temporary. While a lot of individuals have been impacted by the global pandemic, not all of them have. And sooner or later, all of this will end and everyone will get back to business as usual.
Here’s how I like to think about balancing selling in awkward times. I think if you have a product or service that can help people or businesses in some way or another, it’s your obligation to sell… even during a tight economy.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should use high pressure sales tactics or become a fear monger by any means. But if your online course, group coaching program or other product/service moves people closer to their goals, they need your help.
Here are some ways to help you begin to feel the same so keep serving your audience.
Work on Your Mental Game
Having the right mindset is key to making sure you show up correctly when you’re selling during a tight economy. So before you start marketing your offer, start by working on your own inner game.
Start by looking inside yourself and ask questions like:
- How am I feeling about all of this?
- Am I stressed or worried about losing your business?
Get clear and make sure that you are okay with selling now and that it makes sense to offer your specific product or service. Because if you don’t have the right mindset, it’s easy to come off as desperate or greedy to your customers. As you can imagine, this could make it harder to bounce back when things do get back to normal.
Remember, success is an inner game. Master your mindset so you can show up for your business now more than ever.
The second way to help you sell during a tight economy is to update your messaging; you need to meet people where they are emotionally. You can’t push the same marketing message as if a global pandemic isn’t happening.
Avoiding something the entire world is thinking about isn’t a viable solution. Ignoring the situation will make you seem out of touch with the current reality and lose trust with your audience.
Instead, show compassion and speak to individuals where they are now. Mix up your messaging and connect with them on an emotional level. Let them know that we’re all in this together and act as a beacon of hope.
Remember, people are looking for leaders right now. How you act in challenging situations will not only help build your brand, but will likely boost your own confidence as well.
Adapt or Pivot If Needed
The final thing to think about with your marketing is to evaluate if you need to pivot or stay with your existing offers. Depending on your industry, your entire business model might be upside down right now.
Adapting might be the only chance you have to keep the lights on. For example, Subway and Panera started selling groceries, toilet paper, and miscellaneous items to offset lower foot traffic to their restaurants.
This is a great example of being resourceful and doing anything they can to serve and stay in business. As Tony Robbins said, “Resourcefulness is the ultimate resource.”
Sometimes you need to pivot to survive during uncertain times. Don’t forget, you’re an entrepreneur and you’re in this for the long run. Get scrappy and adapt or pivot (even it’s short term) to keep charging ahead.
5 Ways to Grow Your Business During a Pandemic
Now that you have a big picture strategy on how to sell during tough times, let’s dive into some tactical next steps.
If you have an online business already (or have moved to an online business model since this all started) we have some tips to help you. Remember, just because it feels like the economy is at a standstill, doesn’t mean you should just wait it out.
Instead, take advantage of social media and people being at home to build trust and grow your business. Here are five tactics you can start today.
1. Build Stronger Relationships with Your Existing Audience
If you already have followers on social media and an email list (no matter what size), now is the time to build strong relationships with them. These are known as your “warm audience” and help you refine your messaging and attract new people (aka a “cold audience” as well).
So before getting into how to talk to a cold audience, let’s start by learning more about your warm audience. This is the perfect time to get to know them and reconnect with your audience. Whether you have 10 people on your list or 10,000, the same principles work.
Use this time to learn more about their biggest problems, their biggest goals, and other issues they might be facing. This way, not only can you connect with them but you can work on your messaging for future launches/promotions as well. Connect with your fans by asking for their help on Instagram stories, emailing your list, and sending short surveys.
Finally, if you’ve already sold your product or service, this is a great time to reach back out to existing students as well. Check in on their progress, ask for testimonials for your sales page or webinars, and see if there are any case studies to create from your top students. Plus, since people are home now more than ever, it’ll be easier to connect for a quick call or video conference.
2. Offer Tons of FREE Value
If you’re still not 100% sold on offering your product or service during a tight economy, then focus on creating tons of FREE value instead. You can do this in so many ways, including:
Run Free Webinars
Webinars allow you to build more trust in 60 minutes than any other marketing platform. Even if you don’t want to pitch anything, you can help your audience and build trust for future sales.
Not to mention, the more webinars you run, the more comfortable you will get speaking about your offer and running online events. Free webinars helped me overcome my fear of public speaking and grow my business significantly when I started in 2012, so I know it can work for you too.
Create Fresh Content
If you haven’t been consistent creating free content for your audience, now is a great time to batch out large amounts for the next few months. You can batch out Instagram videos, hire writers to create blog posts, or film a ton of YouTube videos.
Repurpose Old Content
While fresh content is effective, it’s not always scalable, so don’t forget to repurpose your old content as well. This is one of Gary Vee’s top suggestions for entrepreneurs who want to grow their following online and it’s never been easier to do so.
Gary is the king of repurposing content so hack is strategy by using the “reverse pyramid” model. It all starts with a piece of pillar content (like a webinar, keynote, Q&A show, etc.), and creating smaller, micro content from it. That way, you can use these smaller pieces of content for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Don’t forget, webinars are easy to repurpose as well. Click here to learn 5 strategies to help you get started.
Go Live With Your Audience
Another strategy to engage with your warm audience is to go live on various social platforms. If you have a free Facebook group, announce that you’re going to do a Facebook Live or do an AMA live webinar.
If you have a paid group of students who’ve already purchased your product or service, do the same for some extra training. Go above and beyond to provide tons of value for your customers. They’ll likely get motivation from interacting with you and seeing you step up as a leader in a tough time.
3. Grow Your Email List
Another way to grow your business during this pandemic is to build your email list. Don’t forget, the money is in the list and it’s still the best way to sell your products!
You can do this a few different ways. Since more people are at home, it’s a great time to create new lead magnets or freebies.
You can promote them organically (on YouTube, podcasts, or blog posts) or with paid ads. Since the pandemic started, ad costs have dropped significantly as a lot of marketers have decreased or cut their ad budget entirely. This makes it a perfect opportunity to build your list for a fraction of the price.
Also, don’t forget that running webinars are one of the best ways to grow your list as well. With a few steps, you can set up a Facebook ads campaign to get people to register for your live or automated sales webinar. Even if they don’t buy anything, you’re building your list and getting people introduced to you and your offer.
This is the exact strategy that Amy Porterfield used to grow her list to over 250,000 loyal fans! Learn more about how Amy grew her business with webinars here.
4. Grow Strategic Partners
This is also a great time to brainstorm strategic partners that can help grow your business in the future. With pretty much everyone at home checking emails, this is a great time to connect with like-minded individuals and form new relationships.
One way to do this is to simply reach out via DM on social media or email brands or people you want to connect with. Let them know them about your business and see if they’d be open to a quick conversation.
Or, if they have a podcast or YouTube show, offer to be a guest. And if you have your own show, reach out to potential guests and invite them on yours. Not only can this help you provide valuable content to your audience but it can help you find new strategic partners as well.
5. Offer Discounts or Payment Plans
The final way to provide value during this challenging time is to offer discounts or payment plans for your offers. Since so many people are tightening their wallets, these tips could help you generate revenue and make it easier for your audience as well.
Use Discounts or Trials
If you have a membership site or digital course, this is a great time to offer discounts or trials to get students enrolled. You can do something like “$1 for 7 days” or a similar promotion to introduce people to your offer. While some won’t continue after the initial trial, it’s a great way to entice more customers who might be on the fence.
Offer Payment Options
The final solution is to offer more payment options for your products or services. This works great for online courses as you can easily add a 3-pay, 6-pay or even 12-pay to make it more affordable for people to get started. If you do choose this option, make sure you have a failed payment plan in place to deal with billing issues in the future.
Now is the time to upgrade your mindset and learn how to get resourceful to keep your business going. While it’s easy to think that everyone stopped spending money, there are still opportunities. This won’t last forever, so do what you do need to do now and keep adapting.
Remember, if you have a product or service that can help people speed up success, you have an obligation to get your offer in front of people. As long as you address your audience with where they are and have the right messaging, you can make it work.
Don’t forget, this is the best time to show up for your audience and build trust that can last a lifetime. Show others that you’re confident in your product or service and help your market achieve their goals. Stay positive and keep going!
At EasyWebinar, we want to help you and your business however we can.
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