How to pivot your in-person business online
The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed personal and professional interactions, and that means your business needs to change too. Thankfully, pivoting your business online has never been easier with an evolving array of applications that can quickly build your brand and presence - all without the need for lots of expensive development, time, or tools. In order to bring your business online, you’ll need to focus on four main things.
CONNECT WITH CLIENTS
The most valuable asset of any business is your clients, so make sure you have their contact information - names, emails, phone numbers - for all of your people. Every client’s needs are a bit different, so as you transition from in-person to online, or one online service to another, make sure you are walking your clients through every step of the way. Let them know about where and how you’re evolving your business and go the extra mile where you can!
If you can help set up your client in a new software platform - or better yet that the software platform can do this for you - make sure that you’re making the process as frictionless as possible. Connect with your clients, understand their needs, make sure the platform you’re using meets those needs, and use this as a baseline to grow to your full potential!
SET YOUR SCHEDULE
A “brand promise” is very important. In our growing gig-economy, individuals are becoming their own brands and establishing their own baseline for their “brand promise”. What is that uniform, repeatable, and memorable experience you are giving your clients? First and foremost, even as an individual, you need to set up your schedule. You’re in charge of your own schedule, and whatever you set up, stick to it. Humans are creatures of habit, so the more predictable your schedule you can be, the more your clients can rely on you to meet their needs. Planning a month in advance at a time is a good place to start, and when you need to take breaks, plan early and often so your people are ready and can plan alternatives. When possible, find some colleagues with who you can share some clients, so if you need some time off, your colleague can step in (and vice versa). Burnout is real, so establishing a healthy and predictable schedule for you and your clients is essential for long-term success.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Working with your clients in a one-on-one or class setting is different than in person. There isn’t any other way around it other than diving in the deep end, trying out Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, Twitch, or whatever service you like, and practicing! That means you should be familiar with all available tools for each service - screen sharing, audio sharing, waiting rooms, break-out rooms, chat windows, link sharing, and more. Practice makes perfect, so grab a few of your favorite clients (or friends and family members), and give it a shot until you’re a master of this new online space!
EMBRACE THE FUTURE
Vaccines or not, some industries are forever changed. Why would I drive in traffic to sit in a small dark room for an activity I can enjoy from home and have a similar experience? The future includes streaming services across all industries, so embrace the change, think about how you can be one step of the game (what are you working towards, what’s coming next), partner with a platform that works for your needs and enjoy working for yourself as you build your brand!
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