We are experiencing something like nothing else before. If you are a small business owner, independent contractor, service professional, or remote worker, this can be a time of anxiety and confusion. What to do next? How to stay relevant? How to stay connected.
Keeping in touch with your tribe, including clients, customers, and colleagues, is always important. At this critical moment, it is even more essential to being well-positioned move forward once the economy is restarted.
How you show up today is how the community will see you later. Keeping connected has never been more important. This is an excellent opportunity to create systems in your business to be consistently communicating with clients, customers, and colleagues. And if you are already doing that, to do it even more.
Rather than be overwhelmed by the prospect, follow these helpful tips:
- If you don’t have a Customer Relationship Manager, this is the perfect time to implement one. There are several free and low-cost choices for small businesses and solopreneurs. Check out this article to help find a good fit
https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-crm-software. I selected mine and am putting it in place this week.
- Meet for coffee (or wine) virtually. We all need to pivot to show up online. Start setting up coffee dates via Facetime or Zoom. If you have the budget, send a cool coffee mug before your time together. You will be remembered every day.
- Send handwritten notes – yes, by mail. The extra effort to reach out will be appreciated, and the card will stay on the receiver’s desk to brighten their day.
- Email works too. Send emails to your clients, customers, and colleagues with useful information or an interesting article. You can use Google Alerts to set up specific topics and have links sent directly to your inbox.
- Spin up an online class or community coffee hour using Facetime or Zoom. Think about what would be most useful or fun and make it happen.
- Make sure to follow your clients, colleagues, and customers on social media platforms and comment on their postings.
- Create a direct outreach strategy to connect with people you don’t know well but would like to. Start with a list of 10 and send an email, connect with them through social media, or do it the old fashioned way by picking up the phone. People have more time at the moment and are all eager to create new connections. Finished the first 10 – create your list of the next 10.
This only works if you are authentically interested in connecting and creating community among your tribe. Don’t use it as a sales technique. Instead, look at this time as an opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and create new ones.
And guess what? The systems you create at this moment will work just as well when you get busier.