This is going to be a slightly different blog than my normal ones.
COVID-19 has done nothing but wreak havoc on the world. That's the worst part about it.
I don't know anyone who hasn't been impacted. Mostly in a negative way, however, other companies are making money hand over fist.
Sadly, most people don't have that luxury.
Unfortunately, I fall into that category. I was supposed to have a record month with my company Baron Media Group, and that bright future was ripped away from me.
This gave me some time to think...
And when I say "some time," I mean way more time than I have had in the last couple of months.
Shortly after the first week or two of corona coming to New York, I realized clients started to freak out. I have the luxury of having a small office and working from anywhere, so I knew I wouldn't feel the full brunt of the impact, but I also knew I wasn't going to get off scot-free.
So far, we are about a full month into COVID, and I have finally caught up on all the work that I have been backed up on. It was mainly small projects that weren't a high enough dollar amount, and they had to get pushed to the bottom of the list.
Now, after one full month, this is the closest thing to being caught up I have ever been, and each day is getting easier.
If you watch my YouTube channel, I talk about a video that Jacko Willink made called "good." The basic premise of this is that if things are going bad, that's a good thing. It gives you more of what you didn't have.
If you didn't get a new contract, that's a good thing; it gives you more time to find a better contract. That's one of the many examples.
The goal of this blog is to shed some light on the good things that can come out of the Coronavirus.
I would venture to say there are thousands, if not millions of people in my shoes. Being a digital marketer, there is a bright side to everything.
Because most of the world has downtime right now, it's a great time to start doing all of those things that you normally didn't have time to do before Coronavirus.
1. Start Making Blog And Video Content
Now is the optimal time to start making blogs and videos. You have free time and that makes it an optimal time to start. Often when I tell people to make content, their first response is I am too busy.
Well, not anymore! Most people have nothing else to do, they're at home, they can't work, or no work is coming in for them to do. Now is the optimal time for creating content.
Learning basic digital marketing and SEO is rather easy. If you want to create videos or blogs, I am going to give you the secret!
Think of the top 50 questions people ask you on a regular day. What do you do, how do you do it?
For me, I get questions like...
What is SEO?
How do you make sales on LinkedIn?
What is wrong with my LinkedIn?
These may sound like silly questions to some, but to others, you may not have any idea what SEO is.
Well, now is the time for me to be creating a blog after blog and video after video answering your questions.
I would be lying if I said creating content is always fun or easy, but the rewards you can get over time can be tremendous.
The reason why I stress this is not because I want you to figure out something to do, but when you create content, it gives people to find and search for.
Hopefully, you provide the answers they need, and because of that, you will be rewarded.
The reason for this blog post is to give you ideas on things your competitors may not be doing.
When the economy starts up again it's going to be growing at an extreme rate, and when that happens, people are going to be ready to spend. If this lasts for 2-3 more months, that is when Google starts to show your content.
Writing blogs is a great way to keep yourself busy and catch up on creating content. Keep in mind this is free advertising and yes this cost you time but most of us have the extra time right now.
Take this opportunity to come out of this pandemic with a few more clicks and potential new leads.
2. Create Your Marketing Plan
When this is all over, the economy is going to ramp up. Now is the time to sit down and plan your marketing strategies.
This seems to get left to the last minute with most small business owners because they are always "too busy" and they can just "pay someone else to do it."
Now neither of these two statements is wrong but having an idea of what you want for the rest of the year is what you need to focus on.
With downtime speaking to your marketing person or future marketing person is a great way to get the ball rolling.
If a marketer knows you are looking to spend money on marketing once this is all over, they will be more than happy to sacrifice an hour of their day to help you get you to where you want to be. It's that simple.
If you don't know how to create a marketing plan, either head over to Google or YouTube and start doing some research. It's easy to start, but simply having an idea is doing more than your competition.
3. Develop A New Product
With free time being abundant, start to think of new ways you can make money. I am not saying go out and start a new business.
That is probably not the best idea. But with free time, it's a great way to get creative on creating new products to test out on the market. Use that to your advantage.
Take the time now to plan out the new products you can offer. If you can't think of new products, research what your competitors are doing and figure out how to make it better.
I know that sounds weird, but when you can do what your competitors are doing but better, it gives people more of a reason for people to buy from you.
Remember, people buy from people they know, like, and trust. Your existing customers are those people that know like and trust you.
Take advantage of that and create something your competitors do or don't have. This will give you a tremendous leg up on your competition because it will help improve customer loyalty and give them one less reason to leave you.
People like new shiny objects, keep that in mind when it comes to what you can sell. If you don't think these works think of Starbucks. They keep figuring out new ways to make at the end of the day, a cup of coffee.
People line up for it and are pissed when they can't get their pumpkin spice latte.
Is it that much better than a normal cup of coffee, or do they have 10+ similar products? No, but people still love it.
Create something new that people can get excited about.
4. Start A YouTube Channel
This can be both for fun or for work. For the sake of this blog, we are going to talk about just for work.
You may learn that video editing isn't as hard as you think. Building a YouTube channel isn't all that hard, and when you do, it's only going to help you grow your business.
If you aren't sure how to remember that writing isn't for everyone. Because of that, YouTube is a great option for those of us, I included who aren't the best writers.
Along with that videos are easy and a quick way for people to consume content.
If you have a company where people have seen results and show people how you got there, you may also make money with a YouTube channel through ads and affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing is when you link out to a product for people to buy and you get a commission on.
For example, I was on YouTube the other night, and I came across a video called "Fix an Ugly Lawn with Overseeding // Complete Step by Step Guide for Beginners."
I don't know much about lawns, but what I do know is it takes 15 days for grass seed to grow in and how to apply it. I also know what tools I need to get the job done.
The content caught my eye and I learned something.
Did you get value? Absolutely!
Did I learn something? Heck yes!
If I was going to clean up my lawn, would I watch it again and get what he recommends. Yes!
If I was close by, would I have Ryan Knorr Lawn Care, the guy who created that video comes and cut my lawn? You bet!
I know it sounds silly, but he has turned YouTube into a lead magnet that will not only help him grow his business, but this can help provide 2+ streams of additional income just because he is making videos.
I know it sounds crazy, but this is how kids that are 22 years old can buy multiple Lamborghini. They have amassed a tremendous following and are now growing multiple streams of income.
Is it easy? No.
Does your content work for you 24 hours a day and seven days a week? Absolutely.
I want to give you one last example before I move on. I don't know what day it is or what time it is but what you are doing is reading this blog, and that means you found my content on the internet.
It could be from Google, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or somewhere else.
Either way, I wrote this content for an hour and a half, and it has been working for me on the internet all day every day. That's the real beauty of it.
Now is everyone who reads this going to buy from me? No, and I'm more than happy with that. If you found value in this blog or another blog, my job is done.
That means you would be happy to come back and read another blog I have written.
Hopefully, you do that multiple times, either way, you're helping me grow my business. When you read a blog or watch a video on YouTube, you are rewarded.
They show your content to more and more people over time, and the more eyeballs I can get reading/watching my content, the higher likelihood of someone buying. This is the same principle for YouTube.
Start it, make good content, and let your content do the hard work for you.
5. Do A Business Analysis
Take a look at your business from 30,000 feet away.
What can be improved and what can be removed. I know it sounds crazy but most of the time, businesses are spending way more time, energy, and resources on things they shouldn't be. I heard a great idea from my friend Todd Ringler.
He said label your customers as A, B, and C.
A, meaning they are great. They have a good contract in place, and everything goes well with them.
B, meaning they need something. They either need a bigger contract, their existing contract to be explained to them again, or told they are getting more than they deserve, and they need to either pay more or be less of a pain in the butt.
Lastly, C, you need to either increase their contract or just fire.
Yea, you read that right sometimes you need to fire your customers. They make it not worth the money.
They are either the customer who is never happy and always complains, or they are the customer who has an old contract and is essentially robbing your company because they require more than they are paying for.
Regardless of what you choose from above, try to look from the outside in on your company.
When I first started my company, I felt like a king if I could build a website and have someone pay me $2,000.
Thankfully those days are long gone, and if you want to work with me, I tell people exactly what to expect, what they can do, what they can't do, and I charge more money to do it.
Because I am far better than I was, I am building a business, and I only work with people I want to work with. This will help "trim the fat" of your business and allow it to thrive the way it should.
I always relate to my old company, and while I was there, we had customers who didn't pay us enough to deal with their problems. It was one thing after the next time and time again, and they would bring the operation to a halt.
It sounds crazy but getting rid of customers like that or letting them know they have to pay you more if they are going to be a pain can help make them more worth it.
With the free time, you have done yourself a favor and look at it from an outside view. While doing this, ping your employees for their thoughts on customers. You may be shocked at what you find.
6. Speak To Your Employees
Go to the people at the front lines of your operation and interview them.
As a business owner, you aren't everywhere all the time. Because of that, take advantage of your front-line employees and get an idea of what their thoughts are and what the business or you could be doing better.
Far too often, I see employees who struggle to do their job because the business owner won't listen to them.
It sounds crazy but asking your employees for their thoughts can help make you a far more successful business.
They may have had a conversation or see issues with the flow of work that could be slowing down the operation. Either way, they see it and most of the time, they won't speak up to address their problems.
There can be things as simple as how paperwork gets processed or automating a process that will save time every day. Along with the benefits of this, they also feel appreciated and respected.
They think their voice matters. The best part is it does matter.
When an employee feels valued, they will go to the end of the earth to make sure the company is operating correctly.
You might be thinking, "Harrison how do you know this?"
You have a small company, well I was that employee once.
When I was an employee, and my voice got heard by the owner of the company, and actions were taken based on my recommendations, I felt empowered and worked harder for the company.
I felt a part of the team and felt like I mattered. Truth be told I was a part of a team and that was the best part about it.
I didn't have to get rewarded financially. I got rewarded by making my life and other employees live easier.
That alone was worth its weight in gold.
Not only did I see this with myself, but I saw it with other employees as well, and the employees that helped fix the companies problems by being heard worked harder and were more successful overall.
I know this blog may be longer than some and have a lot of personal experience baked into it, but there is a lot you can do for your company before coronavirus is over.
Take advantage of the free time you have and start to make your free time today work for you down the road. These six ideas that I gave you shouldn't be forgotten when Coronavirus is over.
They should be looked at from time and time again to help keep your company moving forward. I hope that you see the value of creating content not just during a pandemic but month after month as it can help you grow your business over time.
It's a powerful tool leveraged by few that can have a tremendous impact on your business.
If you are reading this during the pandemic or even after it, I hope you and your families are safe and healthy.