5 Questions You Need To Ask About Your Post-COVID Business Action Plan-

The period of various lockdowns nationwide forced businesses to re-evaluate many aspects of their daily operations- office usage, methods of communication (the big winners: anybody with shares in Zoom!) and the art of actually selling their products or services. No doubt you’ve also been affected by these changes to some degree or another.

But now as vaccines roll out here and overseas, and we dare to start thinking proactively rather than reactively, the people who do this the best are going to be the biggest winners. So it follows that if you want to fully capitalise, you need to have the right strategy in place when it comes to your business marketing.

As it happens, today is your lucky day because I’m about to share the cheat sheet right here with you. As the world begins to open up once more, and people are looking to buy from you again, THESE are the questions you need to be asking when it comes to your post-COVID business action plan:

#1- Who can help you?

During the First World War, a Chicago newspaper published editorials labelling Henry Ford an ignorant pacifist. Mr Ford sued the paper for libel and when the lawsuit was tried in court, the newspapers’ attorneys pleaded justification for their publishings. Here’s how they did it:

They placed Mr Ford on the witness stand and proceeded to ask him questions designed to prove that (beyond specialised knowledge of the automotive industry) he was ignorant- questions like “Who was Benedict Arnold?” and “How many soldiers did the British send over to America to put down the rebellion of 1776?”. Eventually, Ford grew tired of this questioning and told the attorney asking the question that, if he really wanted the answers, he had a row of electric push-buttons at his desk which allowed him to summon the man he needed to provide the answer to whatever question he desired. He asked the attorneys why he should clutter his mind with general knowledge, when he had men around him who could provide the knowledge he required?

The above story is told in the Napoleon Hill classic ‘Think & Grow Rich‘, to which Hill added:

Any man is educated who knows where to get information when he needs it, and how to organise that knowledge into definite plans of action.

The last 12 months have forced countless businesses, regardless of size, to re-evaluate “business as usual”. Right now the time is ripe to be engaging with those who’ve successfully adapted and discover what it is they’ve changed- especially those reporting that business is better than ever. It may not be that individual who holds the direct answer, but somebody they’ve taken on board who is delivering those results for them, in which case it’s really the old case of understanding who’s in your business network.

Are there challenges or weak-spots you’ve identified in your business, or areas you know you want to improve in? This should make it much easier to identify who can help. It might be a case of leaving your heavy lifting, research and planning to somebody else.

#2- When your target audience thinks of your industry, are you front of mind?

Or is it another name they’re associating with what you sell or what you do? 

It doesn’t matter if there are better burgers elsewhere, because people still primarily think of McDonalds’. It doesn’t matter who wins the blind taste test, Coca-Cola is still the #1 selling drink worldwide. It doesn’t matter how superior the quality of your product is or how much better your service is, if your ideal leads are thinking of somebody else- and going to them instead as a result- that’s x amount of dollars you’re missing out on every single time you lose that potential customer. 

However, it doesn’t have to be this way….

Because with the right content strategy, you can become the #1, front and centre whenever your leads think of your industry….

#3- Do you have a clear process of converting your leads into sales?

If you don’t, then every time a lead gets in contact with you or your team, it’s really left to a game of chance. Some of them might go ahead and buy from you and that’s great- but how many are slipping through your fingers, simply because you aren’t clear on your steps to conversion?

If you had specialised knowledge on the steps that lead to conversion, you could pare back all of your engagements with leads down to a simple process, and following this process you’d be converting leads much easier than you’re currently seeing. With this surge of customer activity incoming, the difference between leaving it to chance and having a process in place could end up equalling massive differences to your bottom line…

So needless to say- it literally pays to get clarity on this and get a process in place!

#4- What should you be sharing with your leads?

The way to become a prominent name in your industry is to first develop a connection with your target audience. To achieve this, you need to be sharing information that’s relevant to their wants and needs- but you also need to tell them about your business, and share your story. Which begs the question:

What information should you be sharing with them? 

What are they going to find engaging, and what would be a waste of your time and energy to be talking about?

As I’ve discussed more recently, publishing regular blog articles should be one of the top priorities (if not the #1 top priority) in any content strategy you implement, and with good reason. If you’re still not sure why this is, then take a look at these stats:

#5- What do you need to change/ adapt?

There might have been a way you did things up until 12 or even 6 months ago but it isn’t serving you any more. This doesn’t just apply to personal habits or routines, but also to your business. It might be the case that everything you’re doing still works just fine- but it might also be that the processes that feel normal or comfortable are actually holding you back, whether it’s wasting money or wasting that precious resource you can never refund- time.

So it definitely pays to take stock of:

a) How your business operates

b) How you serve your customers and,

c) How you’ve been promoting yourself- and ask if you’re entirely satisfied or if there’s stuff that needs to change in order to make sure your business is ready for the 20’s? This might be something you can identify through taking inventory of what you’re doing- or it might be something that can only be identified by acting on #1.

But one thing’s for sure- it definitely pays to be certain.

On that note, I happen to know an expert team who can definitely help you with all 5 of these objectives, and have done just this for other businesses, like the Walkabout Wildlife Park: https://vimeo.com/506375051

So if you want to make sure your business is future-proof and ready to win big in this post-COVID business landscape, then it’s definitely worth getting in touch with the Digital Tribe: https://thedigitaltribe.com.au

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How To Make Your Story Sell: Another Demonstration…

I still remember being at an old friends’ place and we were talking about the TV sitcom ‘How I Met Your Mother‘. While discussing the characters, my friend mentioned that Barney Stinson (played by Neil Patrick Harris) thought Johnny Lawrence was the real hero of the original ‘Karate Kid’ movie. I cracked up at this: of COURSE Barney would think the bully in that movie was actually the good guy. You can check the clip out for yourself:

Skip forward a few years and I discover there’s a new series coming out on YouTube Red, ‘Cobra Kai‘- and it’s a follow on from the original ‘Karate Kid’ trilogy. As a Goju-Kai student myself (and someone who enjoyed the original trilogy) I was curious to check it out. Would they do the movies justice, or would they (like other franchises) tarnish the canon with poor casting, cringe-worthy characters or shoehorned moral lecturing to reflect Current Year sensibilities? So with a little trepidation, I signed up for the free trial of YouTube Red, sat back and played Season 1, episode 1 of ‘Cobra Kai‘…

What can I say? I loved it. They did the original movies perfect justice, and every featured character from the original movie/s were played by the same actors. And (instead of inserting sugary platitudes to reflect todays’ uptight sensitivities) in many cases they directly laugh at our contemporary moral puritanism.

Sure, there were a couple of character tie-ins that felt a little too convenient to the storyline, and some of the fight scenes are hard to believe- but aside from that, ‘Cobra Kai‘ was (is) a fantastic story that does perfect justice to the original franchise. And here was the other thing:

I no longer saw Johnny Lawrence as the bad guy. In fact, I might go so far as to say I was rooting for him and there was one notable reason for this change: For the first time, we got to discover Johnny’s story, find out more about his life not just back in the ‘Karate Kid‘ universe circa 1984, but also in the present day. All these gaps we’d given little previous thought to existing were filled in, and rather than presenting the picture of a spoiled rich kid using his physical (and social) prowess to bully poor Daniel Larusso, instead we saw a story that felt all too real. It was the story of a young boy with a sour, verbally-abusive step-father who bullied him and provided nothing Johnny needed apart from money. Here was the story of a young man who instead found that father-figure in the form of the talented, disciplined (but deeply flawed) Sensei John Kreese. Yet he would also let Johnny down, evidently leading to the downward spiral of Johnny’s life had taken in the years since:

From laughing about Barney Stinson thinking Johnny was the hero, to wanting to see Johnny succeed and identifying with him on some level- how did this happen? It happened because for the first time, as an audience we discovered Johnny’s story. He was no longer just that cocky blond teenager we wanted to see crane-kicked into defeat. He became somebody very real to us, somebody we cared about. We had Johnny’s story shared with us little by little over each episode and (to date) 3 seasons, and that resonated with us.

All it could take for some people to go from scoffing at you to becoming your biggest fan, is just sharing your story with them.

Just last week I spent nearly an hour on the phone chatting with a colleague of mine, she’s bubbly and energetic and has several business ideas on the go as I’m writing this. As we spoke, she told me about all of the different experiences she’s had and the things she’s put her hand to and I said “You need to start a blog or write a book!” I know that doing so will make people- even those who know her to some degree already- gain a new level of appreciation for her: what she’s really about, her story, her passion- and in turn it will draw them closer to her.

By sharing her story with new leads or colleagues she’s known for some time, she strengthens the connection they already have, which (in turn) makes it more likely that those people are going to mention her or recommend her to others. It won’t merely be that she has the personality, but she also has a story to share, and that is what’s going to make the difference between being a face in the crowd and THAT face in the crowd.

You might be involved in business networking online or offline, and there’s people you’ve come to know for some time in a professional sense. You know each others’ names, know what they do, the name of their company and maybe if you meet somebody new you can connect with them, reach out and arrange the meeting. But they still only know you at a middle distance. Safe. Neutral. They don’t know your story. In this day and age, people love to hear stories-

You go back through my articles over the months and years up until now and I’d like to think through that time I’ve shared my story. This is how you develop a real connection with people and get them to care about your goals, get them to remember you.

So ask yourself: What stories could you start sharing with your audience that would turn them from mildly interested to invested in you and what you have to say?

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