10 Pivots for Marketing Agency Owners and Consultants in Challenging Times
Written by Joe Soto on April 2, 2020
This is one of the few times we can actually say we are truly in uncharted waters. Unprecedented is the right word. It’s also a unique time to step up and be there for yourself, your family and your clients.
Here are some ideas that might help you navigate more confidently when it’s most needed.
- Shift Your Focus. From yourself to focusing on those who need your expertise, your ideas, your help. Fear can drive people into themselves, making them feel isolated and helpless. Ask yourself two questions, “How can I help?,” and “Who can I help?” The best strategy here is to go in the opposite direction of fear, expanding your connection with your clients and prospective clients — focusing on helping them transform their negatives into positives. The antidote to helplessness is helpfulness.
- Be the leader and coach of your market. Being a role model is easy to say, it’s another thing to do. Right now your clients, your prospects, your community, and more importantly your family need you to be the leader and role model. How are you serving and leading them? You can lead with value in your daily content, coach people virtually through these tough times by sharing ideas, strategies, mindsets, and creative solutions they may not have thought of prior to you bringing it up.
- Creative Brainstorming. Now more than ever your creative ideas are needed. If you’re a digital marketing consultant, an agency owner, or an entrepreneur who other business owners turn to as a trusted advisor, it’s time to step up. Your clients need ideas to navigate the rough waters. This is also a good time to hone your problem solving and creativity which is why I highly recommend the book Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko. This will help you create new ideas and models for you and your clients.
- Defer client payments. Example: Have your client’s first retainer payment start in 60-days in exchange for signing a 6 or 12-month agreement with you. If you outsource and have some hard costs, perhaps charge them a small deposit and then the first month payment begins in month three (for example). Your clients will appreciate your flexibility and it sets you both up for thriving on the other end of a challenging time, rather than just surviving. Three ways you can do this and you can adjust the terms how you want; 1) Defer the payment terms and they pay the full term starting in month 3, 2) Defer payment terms by putting 2 months of payment into the remainder 4 months over the 6-month term, 3) Defer payment terms but ask for a small “good faith” deposit upfront to cover a few of the initial hard costs.
- Productize your service. Is there something that you offer as DFY service, that you could put into an online training program and offer it to existing and prospective clients? You can also productize a small part of what you do (i.e. “How to Engage Your Customers on Facebook with FB Live”) and it becomes your lead magnet. I prefer using Kajabi for creating digital products, but you can also create them in Clickfunnels. You may also elect to move your entire program to an online coaching or weekly live stream program, or create a new one from scratch. If you want help with this, let me know. A couple of students in my private mentoring program pivoted this way including Jeff Vanasdal who created CarryRewards.com, a unique marketing program designed for restaurants to maximize their carryout or delivery program, where they can creatively collect name, email, phone, get them subscribed to FB messenger and more.
- Change Your Marketing and Your Message. If you want your message heard, you need to speak to the market’s mindset right now. People aren’t looking to scale their business, they are looking to sustain their business. They want security and certainty. Marketing is now more about hope, positivity, solving problems, and brainstorming solutions than ever before. Overcommunicate your message. This means daily posts, more live streams, more videos, more touches with your existing clients, more everything that is centered around creative ideas to help people think outside of their box of negative challenges. Lead with value every time.
- Evaluate your output vs Input. Cut out news and email. Limit it to once a day, if needed. The news is literally designed to scare you — because then you keep watching and they get paid. And your email inbox is other people’s “to-do” list. Always create before you consume. What’s one idea or piece of advice that you need to hear most, right now? Write it down or record it on video. Share it with at least one person. Repeat.
- Focus on Your Health. Go to work on your immune system and keep your energy up. Immerse yourself into a 90-day health challenge so you reset and reboot your health. I know it’s harder to do this alone, so find an accountability partner or a company that is running challenges with their products and training. Personally, I joined the QuiAri 90 Day challenge. It’s 90 days, and it starts with a healthy breakfast shake and energy supplement to start my day. If you don’t have one already, I simply encourage you to create your own health and energy support routine.
- Plan Your Day and Week. Each day, wake up and plan out your day. Each week, start off Monday morning planning out your week. This routine high-performance habit will increase your productivity by 10 times. You’ll get much more done and won’t get consumed with the distractions that easily pull you away from work that can lead you or your clients to a better outcome. I recommend the High-Performance Planner to keep you on track and to help wire this in as a habit.
- Gratitude trumps complaints. The good news is this decision is entirely yours each day when you wake up: to complain or to be grateful. You will get what you focus on. Dan Sullivan states, “When things turn negative, the consequences of this decision are much greater. Complaining attracts negative thoughts and people; gratitude creates the opportunity for the best thinking, actions, and results to emerge almost effortlessly. Focus on everything that you are grateful for and open yourself each day to the best possible consequences.” Simple, important, and powerful.
The daily practice of gratitude is one of the conduits by which your wealth will come to you.Wallace Wattles
The overarching difference that makes the difference, is your attitude. This is why I recommend two resources from my friend Jeffrey Gitomer, Author of too many bestselling books to mention, including The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude. The other resource is to tune into his daily FB live rants which will help you spread the virus of the YES! Attitude and positivity – go here to sign up, it’s free – AttitudeVirus.com.
Remember…the antidote to helplessness is helpfulness.
I’m going to be going “live” on my Facebook page more frequently to share more ideas and to help you with more strategies to the positive coach to your market. I hope to see you there and learn how you’re helping and leading your clients in this challenging time.