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.
Listen to Special Edition 6: Episode 165 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 7 daily episodes to support your biggest marketing + business strategy decisions. LISTEN to all the other episodes 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 – 5 things you can do right now to support your business.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Stay grounded in yourself by doing one or more calm activities every day.
- Know exactly how long your business can sustain itself financially if your worst case scenario happens (i.e. sales stop completely).
- Have urgency with what you’re doing right now – otherwise you’ll quickly become irrelevant.
- Challenge yourself to think differently by coming up with creative solutions to every problem.
- And stay focused on your long-game – by not spending all day on social media!
Tune into this episode as I explain exactly how I’m doing these five things (and why!).
For more about the time I nearly quit my company to start from scratch, listen to episode 159, “Don’t Change Everything If Something Isn’t Working.”
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!
And if you loved this podcast series, please share your favorite episode on your favorite social media platform (tag @emilyhirsh so I can see, too!).
[3:03] Reminder – how to get additional support from Team Hirsh (for free!)
[5:42] Now, 5 things you can do RIGHT NOW – first, stay grounded
[8:38] Second, know your numbers
[11:15] Third, stay proactive (i.e. have urgency)
[13:43] Fourth, think differently / more creatively
[16:24] Here’s an example of a challenge we’re facing + our solution
[17:12] Finally, stay focused
[18:20] But also, do not spend all day on social media…
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Emily Hirsh: Hello, everybody, and welcome back to the podcast. How are you all doing? Are you surviving right now and staying sane? That’s a serious question, because it is not easy. Get out for a walk, get outside if you can, obviously staying distanced from people so you don’t spread anything. But, it’s crazy times right now. I have gotten on several Zoom calls with my team this week or Huddle, where we just kind of hold some time and space to just vent about what’s going on, and just connect with each other around it. It’s so interesting, because we’re all so… We have to be so isolated right now, and cut off from the world, I guess, because you can’t really…
You’re not supposed to really leave your house, and there’s no restaurants, you’re not going out. But I also weirdly feel super connected to people more. Just because we’re all connected on this one thing that’s happening in the world, and not even just a state or our country, the world is going through this all together. And it’s just been interesting to watch, because, on one hand I feel disconnected from people, and I can’t see my friends or… my family was supposed to come here to meet Will, and they couldn’t, super bummed about that.
But on the other hand, we’re all connected based on this one thing that’s happening, and the news updates and supporting each other, and it’s kind of cool to watch, in a way. So there are definitely silver linings to what’s happening right now, and if you can find them, it definitely helps a lot.
So today is the seventh episode of our special edition series, which I did seven of them. I decided to only do seven and stop at a week, and then go back to our regularly scheduled podcast, because I don’t want to overload you guys with content. And I might do another series in the future, because I think this will be around for a little while. But if you haven’t listened to them, go back and listen to some of those episodes. They were really good, I believe.
And also, we have our Hirsh Marketing Report that’s going to come out every Friday and continue to come out every Friday, that will give you behind the scenes numbers on cost per leads we’re seeing, cost per webinar registration, cost per purchase. What we’re seeing with those numbers fluctuating week over week, as well as giving you guys exact strategies we’re using with our clients to help them pivot their messaging or pivot their strategy, if needed, based on what’s happening in the economy and in the world and in society right now. And so we’re giving the real time strategies and actual strategies we’re using with our clients, which will hopefully give you some strategies you should use. So you can download that at hirshmarketingreport.com.
And then, also we’ve got Hirsh Marketing Insiders. That’s our free Facebook group where we are doing some extra trainings and content in there, and just really providing community support as people go through this together and market and figure out how to kind of navigate it. And then of course, we have opened up calls, strategy calls, with our team to talk about your marketing and how you can really leverage it. There’s a lot, a lot of opportunity in bad economic times, and also when the world is panicking and there’s chaos and all of that, there’s a lot of opportunity for businesses. Some businesses, obviously some are definitely struggling right now and need this to pass by, at least if their business had to be closed. But there’s a lot of opportunity, so if you want to talk about, “What should my marketing look like right now? And what strategies should I implement? How should I pivot,” all of that, we can help you with that. If you go to helpmystrategy.com, we’ve made those strategy calls specifically around talking about that and what’s relevant right now.
Today’s episode, I want to dive into the five crucial tactics during scary economic times. And I did not have my business in 2008, so I haven’t lived through something like this. People are comparing this to, obviously, that with the economy “crashing” and a possible recession. We don’t know yet. So I haven’t lived through that, but I do have a lot of amazing mentors who have, and I feel very prepared for what we’re going through. But also, [these are] five tactics for what you can do right now. So this is not what you should do so that in the future your business is okay. This is what I’m focusing on. This is what I’m keeping top of mind myself and I think what can really support you with your business. So let’s dive into those.
The first one is staying calm and grounded. I think that’s super important. I don’t know if you went through this or you’ve been feeling this, but I’ve talked to several of my friends and other entrepreneurs who kind of went through this. Once it hit, once it got real, what was happening and the repercussions, the economic repercussions and just what was coming, there was a little bit of a, “Okay, I got to do this and I got to do this and let’s do this, and a new product and this.” And it was just a little crazy. I don’t know if you experienced that, but I for sure did, of initial, “Let me solve all these problems with all these new ideas and action items,” but then I stepped away and realized, I still can find calm and focus and effective ways to respond to this that don’t involve getting super overwhelmed or freaking out or panicking.
So I think the most important thing as a leader and a CEO, if you are, is to make sure you stay calm and grounded right now, because your team and your clients and your audience needs you to be that. To be calm, to be grounded, to try to remove emotion from decisions, from the fear of it. Your thoughts might be crazy at times, especially over the coming weeks as we still find ourselves in this, and we can’t go back to regular life. So staying calm and grounded is super important. How can you do that? Personally I go out for a walk every day. I try to meditate. To be honest, it’s not really happening for me every day, to meditate. The walk is non-negotiable, because I can bring my newborn on the walk. But meditating is pretty hard. If you can do it, I would highly suggest it.
I used to do it every day before I had William, and I will get back to it. But it is definitely hard to find time for that right now. But whatever you can do to separate yourself from the news and social media and the fear and the overwhelm and the anxiety and everything around it, and literally just breathe. Get some space from it, to give your brain time to actually think through good solutions. Because sometimes when we are panicking or feeling like everything is crazy and the world is falling [apart], we come up with some crazy solutions.
I recently did an episode about changing everything if something is wrong [episode 159], and how I went through a time where I was like, “I’m just going to change my whole business and all the clients that we serve.” And it was everything. And I thought it was the best idea ever, until I realized I actually don’t have to change that much. I can just change a few things and get better results. So right now, you don’t have to rebuild everything or throw everything away or freak out and change everything. Stay calm, stay grounded, and look at what really do you have to do to get through this time? So that’s the first thing.
The second thing, so important, know your numbers. Now I say this with marketing all the time, but also you need to know your business numbers right now. This is more important than anything. You need to know all of your expenses. Is there anything that you can trim down that’s like, “I’m using this software, and I don’t really need it.” Or, “I’m subscribed to this membership, and I’m not really using it, but I’ve kind of held onto it.” Trim that down, unless it’s supporting your business, and it’s an essential expense, or it’s making you money by still paying for it.
So know your numbers, know your expenses, and know, how long can your business go, let’s say, if everything stopped, you stopped making any money? How much cash do you have to last? So what you have to know is, how much does it cost to run your business every month? So your team, all those expenses that you couldn’t cut that are like, “We have to have these,” what is that minimum expense that you have to have to keep in business every month? And then, how much cash do you have, which will tell you, if you divide that by your, what’s called burn rate, how long can you last if you were making no money? You should at least know that, even if it’s scary, and it’s one month or less if you’re in that boat, at least you know that that’s the reality.
You need to know those numbers for worst case scenario. Look at your expenses, cut down what you can, and do this both in your business and your personal life. And what’s cool about this, I think, is, whenever you go through these times, you always find ways to trim back and save that you really wouldn’t have found if you weren’t forced to go through this time. So that’s how I look at this is, we all have to go through this kind of refresh, reset time, and now is the time to look at your numbers, to look at your expenses, and to be really smart about them. But you need to… even if it’s a scary reality, at least you know what you have, what you’re dealing with, and you can make better decisions as a CEO, and as a business owner, than you would be able to if you were flying blind.
So definitely don’t fly blind right now with your numbers. Cash is super important to hold onto as much as you can, just until we get through this, because we don’t know how long it’s going to be, and we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. And I don’t say that to be scary. I say it because I believe it’s smart to prepare for the worst and to know exactly what you’re dealing with versus not, and [to] be making decisions blindly is definitely not a good idea right now.
The third thing is to stay proactive. So I think it’s very important to look ahead at what you believe is coming, and not change everything, but to have some urgency in your decisions and in what you do. Meaning, you can’t sit there and pretend like nothing is happening right now. Staying proactive might be looking at all your expenses and making changes, or it might be reaching out to all your customers, making a video for them, and explaining to them what your company’s doing to support them through this.
Or it might be changing your marketing plan to either speak differently to your audience or solve a different problem that they have now or connect with them in a different way. Whatever it is, you have to at least acknowledge what’s happening with a sense of proactiveness and urgency. You can’t wait two weeks to do this. If you haven’t done it yet, you need to do it right now, and you need to do it strategically, because otherwise you’re going to become irrelevant in that time. It’s not business as usual. Every single person’s life is affected by what’s going on right now. So your customers are affected by it, and your potential customers are affected by it. So stay proactive, and what I was saying with the know your numbers, prepare for the worst by staying proactive.
So look at what your numbers are, what that reality is. Look at everything that you’re doing and what do you need to shift or change, because it’s not relevant or priority right now? So staying proactive and having that urgency. How I talked about in the first episode of this series [episode 160], my response to all of this and how quickly we put together both a response for our current clients, in auditing their accounts and helping shift their messaging and just helping them stay relevant based on what’s happening today in the world, and what we did in our marketing. I did all of that by being proactive and acting with a sense of urgency that I think corporations lack, because it has to be approved by four people before it can go out. So stay ahead. Try to stay ahead. We can’t predict the future. We definitely can’t. But we can prepare for the worst and be prepared going into it versus just ignoring it and being ignorant to what’s happening, which we don’t want that.
The fourth thing is thinking differently. I think this time more than ever is such an amazing opportunity to challenge us to think differently, and to really come up with solutions that we may not have come up with if we weren’t faced with this problem. And that’s what I love about hard times is, you always are given opportunities to come up with solutions or change things or learn new skills or build… make yourself stronger, in ways that you [wouldn’t be] if you weren’t given that hard time, which is why we have to go through difficult things to grow. So use this time right now to really ask yourself and really challenge yourself on a couple of things. One, how can you make your client and your customers’ experience better? How can you deliver a better quality of service? How can you build the foundation of your business stronger?
How can you improve what you have? If sales are down, and I talked about this in a previous episode [episode 165]. If sales are down right now for you, how do you improve what you are doing right now? At least we can do that. We can put time and effort into that. And, think differently with solutions. So if sales are down, customers are leaving, or you’re not getting the same amount of leads that you were getting before, really question, and just ask yourself… Do a brain dump, literally with a blank piece of paper of, what are all the possible solutions that I could come up with right now to stop this problem? Here’s an example. If your clients are leaving or they’re saying, “We don’t think we can manage this expense right now, or keep buying this,” or whatever, because of this, what could you do to either add value to what they’re paying for or make it so that you include something else with what they’re paying for or you support them in a different way or maybe you even discount what they’re paying for for a month just to keep them on as a client?
Or if you have product you’re selling, or something you’re selling, how do you shift it so it’s relevant to your customers today. And just blank paper. What are all the possible solutions that you could come up with? No bad answers. Then you narrow those down, and you actually come up with a solution. But when you’re presented with challenging problems, you have to come up with creative solutions. And just sitting there and coming up with no solutions is not going to help your business. It’s not going to help anyone. So you will benefit right now from just challenging your brain to sit down and present yourself with a problem and then write down every solution you can possibly come up with, and then you’ll probably find some really good solutions.
So whatever issues your business is facing from this… I’ll tell you, we’ve had a few clients who have said, “Hey, we don’t know if we can stay on, because of this extra expense.” They’re freaked out about it, which is completely normal. And so our reaction to that has been coming up with the custom strategies, based on what we’re going through and the marketplace today. And that’s worked. We haven’t lost a single client yet from COVID and from people having those financial issues. So, the way we’ve done that is we’ve thought differently, both as a whole company but also individually in their account, like, “How do we solve this?” We’ve got to get through this. The only way to do it is to get through it. So how do we get through it together? How do we get through it creatively? How do we come up with the solution, because the solutions are there.
The final thing is to stay focused, and I have a few different points about this one. One, stay focused in your company. I’m saying be proactive and think differently and come up with new ideas, but I don’t want that to be mistaken [for] is, that does not mean come up with new products and a new audience and all these things and five new funnels. And that is going to be the reaction that some people are going to have, because we’re entrepreneurs, and the way we solve problems is we just come up with a bunch of ideas and we just try to implement them all ,and then we stay super busy and we’re crazy, and feel like we’re solving the problem, but are we really? So remember that first point of staying calm and staying grounded.
Allow yourself to come up with those ideas and be proactive and think differently, but that doesn’t mean lose focus. You still need to have focus. You still have goals in your business. For me, my goals have not shifted. It’s still to sign more clients, sell my Ignite course. I’m shifting a marketing strategy by doing these podcast episodes, but it’s still helping me accomplish my main goal. I’m still staying focused.
The other point to this, though, I really think is so important, and I’ve been very aware and careful of it in the last week for myself is, social media right now and the news is not… Do not spend all day on updating that and filling your brain with that. It can suck you in so easy. For those of you who have been following me for a while, you know I actually took social media off my phone in October of last year, and I found myself recently going back in and scrolling the newsfeed. I re-downloaded Facebook for a day and I was totally hooked on it, because of that, because it’s just like a movie I’m watching, the movie of the world unfold of all these stories and scenarios. And our brain is also craving updates, because it’s so unknown what’s going to happen that we’re every day like, “Okay, what’s going to happen?”
So we’re craving those updates, and it’s okay a little bit to have that connection on social media, and to obviously stay up to date with the news. But if you do it all day, it’s going to be extremely distracting from what’s important for you in your business, and you need to worry about your priorities. For me, my priorities is, number one, my kids and my husband. Number two, my own health, and my business. I don’t know if that’s the right order, to put my health after my kids and family… I don’t know. I feel like right now my kids are top priority for me.
But I have my priorities, and I need to stay focused on making sure everything is okay, my family is okay, my team is okay, my business is okay, financially we’re good. Especially during a time like this. So making sure you still are setting goals, setting weekly commitments and to-dos for yourself, and you’re staying focused on those, and [you’re not getting] dragged into all of the distractions out there right now is so important for your mental health and for your success, I believe, in getting through this time and actually making it a productive and positive time for you.
So those are the five crucial tactics I believe that you should focus on right now. Staying calm and grounded, know your numbers, stay proactive and have that urgency, think differently, and stay focused. All right guys, this is going to wrap up our seven episode series, and if you loved any of these episodes, I’d love it if you either left us a review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening to this, or shared this. I’d love for this content to reach even more people. My goal, obviously, with it was to support entrepreneurs and business owners through this.
So if you feel like sharing it, tag me on social media, Instagram or Facebook, I would love that. And through this, over the next several months, remember to come back to these five things, and we will get through this. We can do this, all of us. And we have communities here for support. Use the resources that your communities do have for support. I know I’m leaning on my mentors right now for support and guidance and to not feel alone through it. And that is exactly what you should do, too. Take care of yourself, stay focused, stay grounded in your business and in your life, and take care of yourself, so that you can show up as a leader. All very, very important things. Thanks so much for listening. If you listened to all of these episodes, it was so much fun for me to be recording them and giving you this content to support you through this time. And we will resume our regular Tuesday/Thursday podcast episodes [from now on], and I can’t wait to see you guys on the next one.