Shawnda wakes up to a CNN alert on her phone and decides to ignore the snooze button tempting her to close her eyes for a few more seconds. Jumping out of bed before her brain could provoke her body to stay seemed like the solution, so she grabbed her workout bag and headed to the gym. Getting up when it’s pitch black outside guaranteed her two whole hours each morning before the littles woke up and the crazy begins. Driving back home with a good dose of post workout hormones and watching the sunrise in her hometown always warmed her heart. Shawnda turned the corner and passed by her practice, only two years old now. How she loved that building, her team and the patient stories she hears every day. Distracted by something on the CNN morning report, she turns the audio up. Officials have officially announced that the U.S. is in a recession. Dang it. She swore to not consume the news during her morning routine, but the questions racing through her mind needed answers. What should she do? Her patient numbers had been considerably steady, but what if that changes in the next couple months? Would her husband need to start working outside the home?
Riding the wave of a health crisis has been difficult for everyone. Business owners, all industries, families, employees, students, sports and religious institutions have all felt the continual affects of the COVID health pandemic. Parents hold their breath every time the school district makes a new announcement about the fall academic year. The stock market has fluctuated more than in decades, and almost an entire country of business owners survived May and June on something we fondly refer to as PPP. It seems as if the current Whitehouse administration and the CDC are not getting along, leaving the liberal and conservative news networks at war. Everyone is experiencing this health crisis differently, however there seems to be one singular symptom…FEAR. Not the kind of fear that’s motivating, but the kind of fear that spreads panic, alarm, and anger. The immobilizing kind.
What Can We Do
Last month, as our team gathered around on a Wednesday to discuss the health and growth of our company during the Coronavirus pandemic. A familiar reminder popped into my head: personal crisis reminds me of my desperate need for bigger inspiration. I need to hear from people who have overcome similar obstacles and have the battle scars to prove it. The people who carry a mark of maturity and wisdom not because of age, but because of how they led through adversity. When people communicate fear, I tend to back away because of its’ controlling nature. When we give into fear, it quickly takes over and renders us “stuck”.
Let’s look at three simple concepts to help you move forward:
1) Find your visionary voice.
Your family needs you, your team needs you, and your community needs you. This is not the time for you to be quiet. Reach for your computer and write that article, or record some micro pieces for your tribe on social, or maybe sit down with your children and have a conversation that inspires hope. We need you and they need you. Now is not the time for silent leadership.
You might be just the right person to inspire someone from a place of fear to what’s next.
2) Discover your brand’s unique and get LOUD.
First, it’s important that every company is creating a sustainable brand that wins. In a world with faces covered up by masks, which is beginning to feel like a zombie apocalypse is near, standing out from the crowd is more important than ever. Define your unique and be LOUD and consistent in your messaging. The most obvious place to conquer your unique is in your digital presence (website, digital ads and social media content).
3) Raving fans = Best Marketing
Creating authentic relationships with your clients and patients right now is instrumental in whether they become raving fans for life. True buy-in happens when they experience true empathy and exemplary customer service.
“Managers often forget that consumers are real people with many different needs, interests and responsibilities. A community-based brand builds loyalty not by driving sales transactions but by helping people meet their needs” (Marketing Rebellion by Mark Schaefer).
People prefer buying products and services from kind humans. If you behave as such, you’ll have an entire client base of raving fan-marketers.
This is Not the End
Wherever you’re reading this today. Whatever you’re facing, know that you are not alone. Whether you’ve been fired, overwhelmed with financial pressure or loss, experiencing increased stress with your partner, or are fighting for your business to thrive…you’re going to make it. I believe you can and deep down you do too. The courage is there…just take a look inside.