Talking about the fast pace of change in the modern world had become a cliche. And I’m as guilty as the next marketing guy for overusing it. So much so that I’ve consciously tried to avoid the term for at least a few years. [EDITOR’S NOTE: A quick site search tells me you’re not very good at it]
But gee whiz! The last couple of months have impacted everyone’s business pretty darn quick!
Entire industries that have either vanished or collapsed since Covid-19 took over the world.
In fact I’m already having discussions with friends, colleagues and competitors about what we did in the “before time” and what we’re going to do in the future. The hard truth is that everyone needs to pivot and pivot quickly to the current situation. Those businesses that are just waiting for everything to “get back to normal” won’t survive. How can they? Zero revenue for 6, 12 or 18 months is not sustainable. Not when others are trying to figure out a way to actually service clients now.
Everything has changed
Nobody knows what the new normal is going to be. But whatever it is – it won’t be the same as it was last year. If you want to thrive in the future you need to be able to keep your head above water now. And that means experimenting with your services and adapting your delivery to whatever the market currently needs. AND THEN MAKING IT CLEAR ON YOUR WEBSITE.
My “before time” business model was helping consultants, speakers and trainers market themselves to get in front of the decision-makers who were most likely to hire them.
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Obviously live in-person programs have been wiped from the menu. And with them went a lot of the reason people engaged me.
Like yourself, I had two choices. I could keep beating a dead horse and continue selling a service that no longer had a market or I could adapt.
I chose to adapt. And so should you.
In my case I already had an easy pivot in my back pocket. For the last two years I’ve been helping clients adapt their in-person training into online programs. It’s been a small but growing part of my business. At least it was. Remember when I said that businesses depending on live in-person programs had suddenly become dormant?
The demand for virtual programs is only going to grow
Once I’d decided to focus on this part of my business the next job was to make sure my current, former and future clients knew this was something I did. I couldn’t simply wait for folks to find the page on my website – I needed to make it front and center.
The first thing I did was to change the homepage of my site to focus exclusively on my ability to help folks turn in-person programs into online experiences. Then I created a free online workshop to talk about how developing online programs was so important to content speakers and trainers AND how they can market it. Go ahead and watch the on-demand replay here.
Now ask yourself – is your website still marketing your “before time” business? Are you still pitching in-person programs to a planet filled with empty rooms?
The time to adapt is now
If I start zipping around to different speaking, training and consulting websites – most of them are still exactly as they were last month. They haven’t changed a word. But the market for these services has. And it will take years to get back to what it was – if it ever does.
If you are a service provider you need to articulate your value in the market as it is – not the market as it was before.
If your content was valuable before, it most likely continues to have value. But the way you deliver that value must change. You must not only adapt in the backend, you need to broadcast that you are open for business and ready to help your clients through this difficult period.
You have a choice. You can prepare for the future or dream about the past. Change your website copy to reflect what you can do for clients now. That will be the bridge to what your business will become when the pandemic recedes and the economy recovers.