This Too Shall Pass.
When I go through hard times, my mantra is just that – Be Still and Know – this too shall pass. I have found myself saying this a lot over the past few weeks; and while I am not really holding still, I do know that this will pass. I urge you to tie a knot at the end of that rope and just hold on….just HOLD ON. Continue to use the budgeting tool from last week and stay on top of the stimulus packages that are coming out. If you need help on where to go for this, please let me know and I will put you on the forwarding list of the relevant information I am getting.
For this week we are going to look at #1 (Our Network) from my original email describing my top priorities for this time. As we walk through these weekly topics, please continue to reach out and ask questions. The response has been so great and I am thankful to be able to help in any way that I can.
Check-in on your people.
Our network – from my first email, I urged you to reach out to everyone. Reach out to clients, vendors, networking partners, and any other types of relationships you have. ASK THEM HOW THEY ARE DOING. Everyone is taking this differently – some are energized by the puzzle of all of this, others are terrified, and even more, are paralyzed not knowing which way to turn. A simple text or email of “I’m checking on you….how you holding up” will go a long way. I have been asking my relationships if they need to chat, vent, or grab a drink virtually together. It is amazing the response you will get from just the simple question of “how are you holding up?“. This is also a great time to reach out to people you have slipped out of touch with, letting them know you are thinking about them and see if there is anything they need from you.
A warning for this – reaching out is about only asking how people are doing. IT IS NOT TO SELL TO THEM. Don’t be tacky. My goodness, the emails I have received or the posts I have watched of “is your business in trouble, if so, you should call me” are gross. Just don’t do it. Business is personal. So be a compassionate and helpful person right now.
01. CRM or Relationships Management System
If you don’t have one of these, it is probably time to get one. There are a ton of them out there, but my favorite is Cloze. This is more of a relationship management system than it is a CRM or pipeline tool, but you can work with Cloze to do both. I like it because I don’t have to add ANY information to it. The technology is brilliant. I do have to warn you that it is a bit invasive, but I would rather it be invasive than for me to have to do any entering in information.
02. Organize your Contacts
If you don’t want to have a CRM system, then get all of your contacts in one place. There are a ton of ways you can do this. The first place to look is your inbox. If you are with Gmail, there is a plugin from Cloud HQ that will scrape every email address you have and dump it into one spreadsheet. (If you don’t have Gmail and can’t find anything online, email me and I will help you!)
03. Reach Out
Go through your CRM or spreadsheet that you have now just created and start calling, texting, and emailing. Like I said, my simple communication has been:
If you haven’t spoken to the person in a while, I will add: “Hey, you popped up on my radar and I know it’s been a while, but I wanted to check in on you.”
You can also do all of this via text and by phone call. I have filled my calendar with conversations to have with people as well as promised appointments to reconnect when all of this settles down and we can have drinks in person.
04. Keep Track!
Keep track of this! In your CRM system or your spreadsheet – keep track of who you have reached out to, what you spoke about, and when you are getting together or if you need to follow up with them at a later date to check in again.
I promise, if you follow these easy steps you will feel energized and be productive within your relationships. You will stay top of mind for many and be able to help some.
Tools that can help:
Virtual HH – I have been using Google Hangouts – I don’t like it. But if you feel comfortable and it is appropriate with your contact, FB video chat has been amazing! The quality of the experience is hands down the best of any other platform I have tried. Another great tool for Virtual Happy Hours is Zoom! My email – if you want to be put on the forwarding list for all things stimulus package related that I find valuable.
Email me if you need anything!
TODAY’S MARKETING TIP
Since we’re talking communication and staying top of mind, let’s look at your email marketing!
There are so many astounding statistics on why email marketing works and the positive impact it can have on your business. Here are a few steps you can take during this time to make sure you are staying top of mind with your customers or your network:
- Like we discussed earlier, get all of your contacts organized in one place. We recommend getting as detailed as possible here – tagging by industry, type of relationship, so on and so on.
- Set up your email distribution platform – there are so many out there, but we recommend MailChimp or Flodesk.
- Come up with your strategy and plan – will you start a drip campaign that is set to go out every few days in a certain sequence? Will you send out monthly or quarterly newsletters? Or a simple touch base when needed? The it Crowd sends out on average a monthly newsletter that keeps everyone in the loop on what we’re up to – events we’re working on, new clients and relationships we’ve formed, relevant blog articles and more! But if you are a B2C company, you may want to set up a drip – for example- you can send an email once someone hasn’t been to your website or booked with you for 30 days and you can make sure you remind someone to finish completing their cart purchase or filling out a survey. If you are looking to nurture leads, you can set up automatic birthday emails or an automated check in.
- Now for the exciting part – create + press send! There are so many tools out there that allow you to create beautiful email campaigns. But there is also strategy and beauty in sending something super simple and authentic. MailChimp will even recommend time to send and grade your subject lines for you! Flodesk, Canva and many other websites give you simple – easy to use templates! Be sure to check out our blog or more similar articles and tips on email marketing. We recommend starting with “Increasing Read Emails And Click Rates” !
As we have been reaching out to check in on others, we reached out to our dear friends at Hunger Busters. Trey, their CEO, asked that we share this video and message with our network. Please click below to read the letter and we encourage you to find ways to get involved or to donate to help with the many children that need food during these uncertain times!