Im Elena

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How To Market Yourself With Compassion During A Global Crisis

We are all experiencing this global crisis together. Even those who are fortunate are stressed and afraid. That being said, this crisis is particularly hard on the small businesses and entrepreneurs of the world, particularly photographers and those who’s jobs can’t be done at home. One question that is going around in all the entrepreneur or photography groups is “should I be marketing or selling right now?” It makes total sense that this is the question on all of our minds. We don’t want to seem insensitive. We don’t know if our ideal customer will be able to afford or services anymore. We are simply afraid of the unlimited list of unknowns that we are all currently living with.

Trust me when I say, I grappled with this in a major way when this all started. I had just come home from my mastermind, a time when we dreamed big and made big plans, only to feel like the world was coming to an end and feeling about as insignificant as a speck of dust. But I quickly realized that not only did my gut tell me it was okay to continue building my business, I actually had very little choice. I support my three children financially entirely on my own PLUS I have three part time employees that I want to continue to pay. There are a lot who depend on me and I had to think fast. My business literally puts food on my kiddos table. That is a non-negotiable. It is only human to be paralyzed with fear when faced with what we are being faced with.

I have a feeling you can completely relate to all that I have said thus far.

After lots of tears, some time to adjust, conversations and zoom calls with my peers, FB lives and DM’s with my students, and connecting with trusted loved ones, I strongly believe that it is okay to sell and market yourself right now because I believe that your business and mine deserve to thrive through all of this. If your business grows and thrives you are supporting a suffering economy, serving the world with your creative talents and gifts, and simply putting food on your table and keeping the lights on.

Now and before the COVID-19 crisis you will face those who don’t relate to your message and those who do. And now more than ever those who do will sing your praises and connect with you on a deeper level. This is an opportunity to reach your clients and future clients from a very personal place, which is a beautiful thing. But at the end of the day, you will have haters and that is okay.

Here are a few tips on how to market yourself compassionately so that you stay front of mind for your ideal clients. For those of us who have a service based business (photographers,) this income ins’t lost, it is delayed, as you should be encouraging your clients to reschedule not cancel. And for those of us who have online products or offerings, we can serve our audience in a way that will HELP them through this crisis. Either way, we bring value to the table.

Change how you speak to your audience.

For example, right now I know that my photography clients aren’t thinking about their fall family photos or even their confirmed newborn photos. They are concerned with homeschool, paying their bills, or if their partner can be in the birth room when they have their baby.

And for my education clients, I know they aren’t trying to build a six figure photography biz at the moment, they simply want to make sure that they are able to keep their biz afloat so that it is still up and running when our stay at home orders are lifted.

So I created an easy reschedule system for my confirmed clients. I have provided a PDF with tips on how to photograph their newborns themselves in the hospital since i can’t do my fresh 48 sessions I have booked.

For my education clients I have created email templates and social media guides to help them market their business during this crisis to ensure that they HAVE a business when this is all over. I met them where they were at.

Offer Some Incentive To Book Or Buy

Normally I am firm on pricing and offerings, however this is a time to be compassionate. You can offer a bonus service or offering, discount your services or products, or create a new offering.

For my photography clients I extended my end of year booking sale for all inquires I have received since the COVID-19 crisis.

For my education clients I have offered my membership at a discount so they can continue to develop their learning.

Think about how you can help your clients purchase during an uncertain time.

Focus on service and impact, not selling.

Okay I know we are talking about how to sell but I want to talk to you about how serving is actually going to lead to selling. You should always serve first then sell, even when the world isn’t in crisis. You should always think about how you can show up for your audience in a way that is authentic and impactful. You should provide value before pitching an actual sell. Now is the perfect time to build a strong “know, like, & trust” factor so that when clients are ready to buy/book, they will remember you. People will for sure remember who showed up during this crisis. That is for sure.

A few examples of how I have done this are:

I wrote an Instagram Post for my Fresh 48 clients giving them some photo tips for taking their own photos in the hospital. I also made a more detailed PDF for my confirmed clients that I sent to them directly.

I created an entire website for my photography education community that has a free webinar, free templates, and discounts to help them get through this difficult time on top.

My hope is that this give you a bit of inspiration on how you can continue to show up for your audience and sell with compassion. You don’t do anyone any favors by letting your business die. When this is over we will remember what is most important, our families. Photographing those families and special events will be even more of a priority. Get creative and personal with your messaging, Really use this time to connect with your audience. Grow your brand and reach. People will absolutely remember who showed up during this crisis. Make sure it is you they remember.

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