Making Connections in Isolation
As a business owner, I am my product.
My viewpoint, passion and insights are my marketing strategy. I hope that I will say something or write something that will spark an idea in someone else and we will forge a connection and create something great together.
In the initial weeks of the UK’s lockdown, 50% of freelancers had lost at least 60% of their income as businesses and agencies slashed their freelance budgets, according to a PR Week poll. On top of this, over two thirds said they didn’t qualify for the Chancellor’s emergency package as they’re directors of their own limited company or have been self-employed for less than a year.
I cried with frustration on the evening that Rishi Sunak announced the self-employed relief scheme. I was in the 5% who wouldn’t benefit from any relief. (Side note: I’d say 50% of the freelancers or small business owners I speak to have not been able to claim any relief so far.) However, this sparked a fire under me to drive my business forward, ensuring that my pipeline was healthy and my clients were happy. I started to work on a plan to grow Moth Marketing during The Great Lockdown: Worst Economic Downturn Since the Great Depression.
By avoiding the feeling of panic and flipping my mindset, I managed to take what felt like a disaster and created an opportunity. Here are some ways you can use this time to forge new connections and grow relationships:
Collaborate with like minded people.
Arrange a call instead of writing an email.
Video call with someone you don’t know.
Say what you really feel - saying nothing is the worst thing you can do right now.
Recommend a friend - do you know someone who is struggling for work? Facilitate a connection with someone who might need it.
Social media - Comment instead of like to spark conversations.
Share a link to something interesting with a connection.
All of the above is free. When it comes to building relationships, spending time is often far more important than spending money. Some businesses may still be reluctant to finalise marketing plans or launch campaigns during the pandemic, but don’t write them off as a waste of your time. Fostering a relationship right now means building trust and a good reputation that may equal exciting new projects in the future.
Above all, remember to talk to people as humans, not just customers and potential clients. In times of anxiety and isolation, a lot of people appreciate genuine human connection over a formal elevator pitch.