At the time of writing this article, we’re about to go back into Level 3 lockdown in Auckland. As much as I hope it’s the last time, there’s every chance that this will become a recurring situation.
So when it’s all shut, and the only businesses doing well are the essential services, what can you do to help your business survive?
You work with what you’ve got. There is a huge correlation between mind and body during stress and the way you think about stress could add decades to your life. Reframing stress as helpful rather than harmful can improve performance and reverse the psychological changes brought about by stress (research from Harvard here).
You can’t change the situation, so roll with it. A good way to reframe the stress, is to think of it as more time to spend on your business rather than in it.
Before trying any of the suggestions below, open a new ‘incognito’ window in your browser. This will help you look like a fresh visitor rather than a repeating one. Essentially, Google customises search results based on your search history. Incognito mode gives you a clean slate.
Step 1: Google yourself and your business
Start with your personal name and see what the internet has to say about you. What links are they finding that need updating?
Then try your business name. There is a saying “The best place to hide a body is page two of Google.” I think it’s more like page three, because if someone’s really hunting, they will at least click on one more page result if they haven’t found what they’re looking for. Where are you showing up? If at all?
Fix: update any old links you find with fresh information. Then, get some keyword help. Sometimes you can do it yourself, sometimes you need to call in some help.
Step 2: Google your service or product in your location
What would a potential customer be typing into Google when they are looking for the service or product you provide? ‘Best lawyer in Manukau’ perhaps.
Come up with the key search words someone would find you with. You must really step outside of what you already know, do not assume anything.
Fix: if you’re not showing up with the keywords you’re typing in, perhaps a Google AdWords campaign would work for you. It’s a short-term fix to get some work in the door.
Step 3: Experience the customer journey
So now that you’ve found yourself online. Keep pretending to be the customer. What is the journey that they take? From a social media channel through to your website. What do you think their first impression of you or your company is?
Now could be a good time (during lockdown) to ask others who have had nothing to do with your business, what they see.
Then what ‘call to action’ does the potential customer have. Are they just left hanging there, expected to click on the contact page and call you? Or is there a decision-making journey you can take them on to collect their information and be able to seal the deal?
The sales pitch
This is what I do within the realms of Gilligan Sheppard. I look at the reasons why people wouldn’t buy from you, the barriers, and then with marketing, we break them down.
I look at how people find you, then what they find when they arrive at your site.
If you need help in this area, be it a basic review with some recommended action points, send me an email and let’s work it out together.