Welcome back to our SPECIAL EDITION podcast series about how to market your online business in a time of crisis.
(This series comes in response to what’s happening worldwide with the recent COVID-19 outbreak.)
Listen to Special Edition 1: Episode 160 right here.
Listen to Special Edition 2: Episode 161 right here.
Listen to Special Edition 3: Episode 162 right here.
Listen to Special Edition 4: Episode 163 right here.
Listen to Special Edition 5: Episode 164 right here.
Before we dive into this episode, I want to remind you of 3 ways Team Hirsh is offering additional support throughout the next weeks (and ongoing!) –
- This Special Edition Podcast Series will have daily episodes to support your biggest marketing + business strategy decisions, starting now until all your questions are answered! SUBSCRIBE right here.
- We will release a Special Edition Hirsh Marketing Report every week into the foreseeable future, to share specific ads strategies, results, and behind-the-scenes information. SIGN UP to receive this weekly report right here.
- And we’re opening up our Hirsh Marketing Insiders Facebook group where I’ll offer additional free video trainings and take your individual questions about marketing strategy and ads! JOIN the group right here.
Note – All these resources are FREE, because we want you to have everything you need to make the best decisions in the coming days, weeks, and months.
Now, let’s dive into today’s topic – what to do if your sales dip.
The reality is, this global health crisis will likely last several months – and its repercussions, several more months.
I’m hopeful the economy will bounce back (and you will bounce back, too!)…
But that doesn’t mean this isn’t hard.
That doesn’t mean this isn’t making a difference for your bottom line.
While I’m hopeful for the future, getting through the muddiness of this season is deeply challenging – for everyone. And I want to acknowledge that.
AND. I want to encourage you to make growth your end goal.
Can you commit to becoming stronger, so that you’re a better version of yourself on the other side of this? That’s my priority, and I hope it can be yours, too.
But, what can you do if your sales are down right now?
In this episode, I’m sharing 3 ways you can leverage a non-growth season (if your sales are taking a hit), PLUS…
Why now is the time to OVER-deliver to your audience
What it means to have a non-growth month (or several)
And how you can hang in there with a long-game strategy
Tune in – and then SHARE your thoughts over on Instagram (@emilyhirsh).
If you want 1:1 support in clarifying your marketing strategy through this crisis, we’ve also opened up additional FREE strategy calls specifically for this reason. Head to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply!
[4:35] Some businesses will struggle through this
[6:03] So, what can you do about it?
[7:41] First, focus on your foundation
[8:51] Now’s a great time to OVER-deliver…
[11:10] Second, focus on brand awareness + visibility
[13:28] Third, think outside the box
[15:18] Quick listen: Here’s a summary!
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Emily Hirsh: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope you are all surviving. I’m going to be honest, I had a little moment last night where I had some anxiety about all of this and just everything going on because what hit me … So right now, I have a newborn, no nanny, three kids. My husband takes clients in his studio training them, personal training, and so I have to watch the kids during that time. We’re basically stuck at our house. My son’s preschool is closed. Then I also have to run my company, which I can be pretty removed, but during a time right now of crisis, people are looking to the leader for support and guidance and I have to make content, and so there are things I have to do, I have to work.
Even though my team is so awesome and set it up that I don’t have to be involved in the day to day, I’m feeling very busy right now and I have to step up and everyday just feels so like the same but not the same. It’s like everyday, I wake up and take care of the kids, keep them alive, keep them happy. I really don’t like to let them have a lot of screen time, so we still keep our regular limit of an hour of only select TV shows. It’s not like I want to put them in front of screens. No judgment for those who do. I just feel my kids’ behavior actually goes down if they … They get crazy if I let them have a lot of screen time and not burn energy. I just feel like every day is either there’s zero routines, zero predictability, zero consistency, but yet it also feels like the same. I’m just getting up and surviving, and then all of a sudden it’s nighttime and then I’m waking up and doing it again.
Last night I was like, “Crap. I’ve been doing this for about a week now, maybe more than week.” But I also have a newborn, so I’ve really been doing it for like a month because that’s kind of how having a newborn is too. I’m like, “What if this is like two more months?” It very well could be, and I was just feeling very anxious and down about it last night. What I did was I laid in bed as I was falling asleep and I made myself list out everything that I’m so grateful for right now because there is so much to be grateful for and I could have it so much worse. We have signed four new clients this week, which is amazing in a time like this where a lot of businesses are really struggling, and I can work from home and I can be here with my kids and be there for them.
I have the flexibility to run my team and be on calls with my newborn if I need to, with my other kids if I really need to. That’s like worst case because they are very distracting. I’m still able to make money. We have a big house and a big yard, so I just started listing out everything that I’m grateful for because even though it feels so hard, it could be so much worse for me. That helped a lot, so if you get to that point, if you have a moment like that where you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious or scared or just upset or angry or whatever at this, which is completely valid feelings, it helped me to step back, take deep breaths and just be like, “Okay. Well, it could be worse and here is all the things that I’m so grateful for and I want to acknowledge those things.”
And so that’s what I did, and it did help me. I woke up today feeling like, “Okay, we can do this. It’s another day.” My husband and I are just kind of tackling it day-by-day right now and trying to stay a team and not fight too much, not drive each other crazy too much. No, we’re doing pretty well. We do make a good team in situations like this, we always have, so I’m also grateful for that. Today, I want to dive into how to leverage this time for your business if your sales are down. I’m not going to pretend like some businesses are for sure going to struggle and are struggling through this time. I know a lot of my content has been talking so far about all of the opportunities out there and the ways to leverage, especially in the online business.
I think we’re really fortunate right now that we’re not impacted as much as, as some other companies, especially in the service industry or the events space. I do think there is a lot of opportunity, but I’m also not going to pretend like it’s not a possibility that your sales could be down. What should you do if your sales are down? I truly believe that this is going to last a couple of months and that the economy is going to bounce back, relatively bounce back. I think it’s going to still take a hit, but definitely not to where it is right now. It’s for sure going to take a hit. I’m not going to argue that. We already were kind of in a bubble, so it was coming anyways. We just did not predict it was coming like this. But I do think it’s going to go back in a couple months once this passes, and I do believe it will pass.
But a couple of months feels like a long time from now. It feels like a long time if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re very stressed about money and money’s tight and you have a team to pay, or it’s just like you’ve worked so hard for this to have it go back. You know? I feel for that. I feel for people that feel that way and are going through that. I believe that it’s going to bounce back, but in the meantime, if your sales are down, obviously number one, do everything you possibly can to get those sales up and leverage what I’ve talked about, especially in the first episode of this special edition series. Leverage your messaging. Leverage your strategy. Figure out how you can pivot, how you can speak to your audience, how you can serve them right now with their current problems and their current desires and needs and how do you talk to them and how do you connect with them.
You should do all of that, and if your sales are still down, hopefully you’re okay and you have some sort of a savings in the background that you’re able to count on. If they are down, here are basically three things I think that you should keep in mind. My whole mentality behind this is at the end of the day, what I want for all of you is to come out stronger from this situation, to come out on the other side and have learned something, have accomplished something, have shifted something big that’s created opportunity for you and your business. Make it a priority and a goal for yourself that whatever that looks like for you, you’re going to come out on the other side stronger. For everyone that might look a little bit different, but one thing that’s great about problems is we have to find solutions and we have to think outside of the box to create those solutions.
As entrepreneurs, we’re pretty good at that. We can do that. You’re being challenged right now to solve massive problems, hard problems, and you will find a solution. That’s going to look different for everyone, and you can do it, and so make that your goal. If sales are down, here’s what you can really focus on. First of all, your foundation. I think it’s a great time when sales are down, if they slow down, if things slow down in your business a little bit, I think it’s a great time to go back to the foundation of your business and fix things that are broken, improve things, go back to that foundation of your delivery, like for your customer or your client, like what can you do to actually make that better, to overdeliver even more, to improve it? Take the time to do that, or the foundation of your marketing or your processes or your systems, how you have things organized in your company.
Fix that foundation with the mindset of, “y business is going to grow so much in the future. It’s going to explode again. We’re going to go through that explosive growth phase again in the future. When we do, I want to be ready for that, and so I am going to go through and make an even more solid foundation for myself and my company.” Take the time to hone in on your skills, to improve process, to build out some more of your foundation if you have to. I feel like right now is a time more than ever to overdeliver on your services, so for the existing customers and clients you do have, ask yourself, “How can I make their experience even better?”
I talked to my team about this on last week and I said, “Right now is a time more than ever for us to overdeliver in every aspect. From our ad copy to our delivery, to our strategy. We’re going to have to be thinking outside of the box for our strategy for clients.” Right now is the time to do that, and to support our clients in that way. If you have customers or clients, which you do if you have a business, ask yourself, “What is three things I can do to improve the delivery and the experience that they have?” I’m sure you could come up with three things if you ask yourself that. Now is a great time to be working on that. Now is also a great time to kind of analyze your business and all the parts in it and ask yourself like, “Where do I need to fix cracks and fill holes for when that time comes, when my business is going to go through explosive growth?”
When it’s a slower time, a scarier time, sales are down, that’s the time to fix the foundation for the anticipation that sales will be up. Anytime that happens in my company, not even during a crisis, ever since I’ve started my company, we always … I don’t know what it is. There’s something with the energy where we sign a bunch of clients all at once. It always, always happens that way where we’ll sign like five clients in a week and then the next week we’ll assign no clients, but we’ll have some in the pipeline and then we’ll sign a bunch of clients. It just always ends up like that. It’s not that we have different number of leads and calls in the pipeline. It just ends up like that. We have people, a flood and then it calms down, and a flood and it calms down. It’s like this ebb and flow.
Even now, maybe it’s a more extreme calm down for you, but you will have the flood again. If you can hold through this and stay strong through this, you will. Anytime when it’s in that calm is the time to go back and focus on the foundation. I’ve always done that, even if it’s a regular time and we’re in the calm. It’s like, okay, during the call is when you fix everything to prepare for the next rush basically. Focus on your foundation is the first thing. The next thing that you can really hyperfocus on and put your energy and time into, I believe, is your brand awareness and building your warm audience at the least right now. Now is the time to increase your visibility online because everybody’s on social media right now. Everybody’s on Facebook, everybody’s on Instagram. They’re looking for updates. They’re looking for good content. They’re bored at home. Maybe, I don’t know. Not me because kids, but a lot of people are finding more time to scroll the newsfeed or scroll the Facebook or Instagram feed.
Now is your time to, at the least, if people are buying less from you, at least show up. Show up more than ever. Show up and go through this experience with your community and build that warm audience even bigger than you have now if you have one, or start building it if you don’t have one. Build that brand awareness up of your brand so that when it’s time, things improve and selling goes back up and people aren’t as afraid to spend their money, you’ve built a warm audience and you’re going to be able to make those sales up. For me right now too, I’m even doing that. I don’t anticipate so far that our sales will be down too much, but I’m also using this time to connect with my audience and to build a bigger warm audience and brand awareness.
By supporting my audience through things like this podcast series, I’m going to, as a byproduct, grow a bigger audience of new people who are going to tune into this podcast who maybe in the future, three, four, five, six months from now, become a client. Remember, business and marketing is always about that long game and now is not any different. You don’t have to only just see as far as next week right now. Next week might seem scary to you. Sales are down. You don’t know what’s going to happen, what Trump’s going to announce next, what is going to happen with the virus and the economy. Next week might seem scary, but we know we will get through this. We know there is a future place for us and we don’t know exactly when that’s going to be. If it’s going to be one month, two month, three months, four months, but it’s going to get there.
We’re going to get through this. When we do, what are you going to have accomplished and built and worked on in that time to then continue to grow? Okay, so play that long game. Use this time to work on the foundation, build your warm audience, work on your brand awareness. The third thing I believe that you can do to leverage this time is to think outside the box. I really believe right now, because we’re faced with this challenge and no one really knows how to fully navigate it, we are in a place where we have to come up with very creative solutions. For you, this could look like creative ways to connect with your audience, creative ways to serve your audience. Maybe it’s that now you’re having to shift things serving them online versus in person or online events versus in person events, but that creates opportunities.
By creatively solving the problem for what’s happening right now for your audience, you are able to come up with solutions that might create more opportunities in the future for you, for your business. Literally, if you hear kids right now in the background, I don’t know if this will be able to be edited out, but this is my life right now. I’m choosing to do, probably the hardest thing is record podcasts with three kids free in the house. My husband’s out there, but gosh, husbands sometimes don’t understand that noise factor. He’s watching the kids, but watching the kids to him is just making sure they’re good sometimes while he does something. It’s all right. Hopefully my team can edit it out. If not, sorry guys.
For right now, thinking outside of the box, coming up with those solutions can create potential amazing opportunity for you in the future. I think you should see that right now as how do I solve the problems that my audience is facing, serve them with their desires that they have right now, their needs in a new way that could potentially create new opportunity in my company in the future, in six months from now, 12 months from now, or a new way to serve your audience maybe, or get your business through this problem? Right now, when sales are potentially down, how can you leverage it? One, focus on your foundation, make your foundation better. Ask yourself, how can you better serve your customers or clients? And come up with at least three things you can work on right now today to improve that experience.
Two, build your warm audience and your brand awareness. Use this time to increase your exposure of your brand so that when sales are up and people are buying again, you have even more people to sell to because this is temporary right now. We are going to get through this and it’s all going to be okay. It might not feel like that right now. It feels very scary right now, especially for some businesses, but think about how you can make this as positive as possible of an experience. The third thing is thinking outside the box. How do you create new solutions and new ways of solving problems right now that you may not have thought of if this problem was never presented to you, and how can you create those opportunities that actually lead to growth in your business that you may not have even seen before if you were not presented with the current situation that we are in?
Thanks so much for tuning in today guys. We have one more special edition. We did decide we’re going to do seven this round because I want to be a aware, too, of overloading you with content, so that’s where I decided is we’re going to do seven in this special edition series, but I may do another series like this in the coming months just depending on what happens and what I feel like is needed. We will, after the seventh special edition episode, go back to our regular Tuesday, Thursday scheduled podcast, but we will be sending out our weekly Hirsh Marketing Report. That’s going to be into the foreseeable future probably for at least a couple of months. That’s going to focus on specific strategies we’re doing during this time, specific messaging shifts, all the data that we’re seeing right now behind the scenes for our clients, cost per lead, cost per purchase, cost per webinar registration, so that’s coming out weekly every Friday and we’ll continue to do that.
If you’re not subscribed to that, you can go to HirschMarketingReport.com, and we’ve already helped several people create new strategies and new messaging positioning in this time that’s been very profitable and beneficial to their company, so we still have similar spots for those free strategy calls with our team to talk about what that could look like for your business. You can go to HelpMyStrategy.com to claim one of those free strategy spots. Thanks so much, guys, and I will see you all here for the next special edition episode tomorrow.