So let’s talk about what’s happening lately. This week I should have been hosting my second Barefoot Luxe Business Retreat on the West Coast of South Africa, but I’m not. The Corona Virus is affecting people all over the world, so many people on my feed now are affected by the virus, schools are closed in South Africa, people are panic buying and things are just generally crazy. To date, South Africa already has over 23 000 cases of Covid-19 confirmed, and 2748 of them are in the province that I live in. Since 1 May, our country moved to Level 4 Lockdown and I’m continuing with my online business as usual.
Sadly, not everyone is so fortunate. Weddings have been postponed, many events have been cancelled, even Facebook has scrapped one of their big events, the travel industry has been hit hard, and small brick and mortar businesses are suffering. If you are a business owner who has suffered some loss (your clientele has dwindled or your in-person workshops, seminars, or live retreats are being cancelled), I’m going to chat with you about what you can do in this situation.
Let’s just walk back a bit.
On my way to the Spiritfest, which is a beautiful yoga festival in Swellendam, I received the message to say that the first case of Covid-19 was reported in KZN, SA. We were already on our way and it was in a different province, so we didn’t feel the need to cancel our trip (I packed in good old hand sanitizer).
Then I received a message from the lady who owns the beach house collection where I host my in-person Barefoot Luxe Retreat. I first hosted it in February last year and after its huge success, I decided to do another one in May this year. She suggested that we don’t go ahead with it because there would be internationals coming, I would most likely be saddled with travel insurance issues and she recommended that we postpone ‘til the end of this year or next year.
Making that decision was a blow, but fortunately, I don’t place all my eggs in one basket and didn’t bank everything on this one event. I have my signature online program – Build your Brand Online – in place so I don’t feel as affected as someone who only runs in-person workshops and seminars. I’ve got the Build Your Buying Audience course bundle that open up for enrollment once a year, and I may release a high-level program exclusively for those who are ready to launch. Build Your Brand Online is the main offering that I continuously launch throughout the year and as I go along, I improve it by adding more training and new modules. Because I’ve created a signature program with step-by-step modules, I’m able to offer that in a number of different settings: one-on-one, workshop, business retreat, or as an online program.
If you can take what you offer in your workshops or business retreats and turn it into a group program online, then you can still have the same result.
How you can pivot your business
What can you teach online? What can you package that doesn’t require you to be “people facing”?
If you are a hairdresser – for example – you could offer a courier service for treatment shampoos or top-up hair colours. You could offer online lessons on how to blow-dry or colour your hair at home.
A guy I know just told me that he would like to start offering surfing lessons. He would record videos and have his students record themselves surfing and he would give feedback on that.
One of my coaching clients Sharni Quinn teaches yoga online. Her signature program is a 10-week life transformation program, redesigning all 5 major areas of your life including yoga, stress management, coaching tools, nutritional advice and more! There are 3 options: Self Study, Group Program or Private Coaching. Then there is the 5 – week Living Yinly Stress Management Yoga course too. Check out Sharni’s online yoga courses here.
Show up with an energy of service
Now is not the time to give up and disappear. People need you now more than ever, and this is the time to show up and serve your audience. Don’t be afraid to market yourself. Figure out what the market needs but be sensitive.
Figure out what the problems are that your audience is experiencing
React to the market and change your messaging accordingly
Show up to your audience and show them how what you do can help solve the problems they might be experiencing now.
Market yourself tastefully, with integrity yet effectively.
My friend, Jojo Graham suggests that you find out what 5 problems your audience is experiencing right now. When I say problems I mean, what are they struggling with? Then find out what the top 5 pains are that your audience is experiencing off the back of the problem. Then figure out their top 5 fears, their top 5 limiting beliefs, and what their top 5 desires are.
Use this information to create content to support and serve your audience exactly what they are needing.
This Pandemic does not need to crush your Income and your Impact!
What you shouldn’t do!
Don’t claim that your products heal or cure Covid-19 – it’s actually illegal!
Don’t hike up your prices because of scarcity, that is just tactless!
Don’t tell you audience if they don’t buy your product they will get the virus – that’s unethical
Don’t use the word Covid-19 on any paid ads. Your account could get shut down. Actually unless you’re in a medical field, I would stay away from using the word in any of your copy at all.
Don’t ignore what’s happening around you, or just copy and paste your marketing message without acknowledging your audience’s feelings. They may feel ignored or find you insensitive
How to work remotely
Here are some great tools I use to work remotely. Learn how to use them and practice using them. There’s a wide range of tutorials available online!
Google Apps: Trust me, you can do just about anything with all these nifty apps. Just hit the 9 grey squares on the top-right of your screen when you are on Google, and you’ll have a host of cloud-based – mobile and desktop-friendly – apps to make life and work easier!
Google Calendar: My absolute favourite calendar app as it syncs with most online booking and meeting software. You can set yourself reminders for your next appointment or any important task that needs to be done.
Google Forms: Is a quick and easy way to get someone to fill in a survey.
Google Docs: This is an amazing, free alternative to Microsoft Word, which is so dynamic. I can easily collaborate at the same time on a document with my team even though we sit in different provinces or even countries. We can comment and provide feedback on the document as well.
Calendly: Is a free online meeting scheduling app that I use.
Zoom: An online meeting software that can be recorded. You can either use audio-only, video, or share your screen. I use this for my one-on-one and group coaching calls. If you are a teacher, you can register using your school email address and use the Free version without the 40-minute limitation! Remember, safety first. Don’t share highly sensitive information such as credit cards, personal identity, and other private details when using this app. Here are some Zoom tutorials that my VA created.
Loom is a great free screen-recording software that I use to train my team. Loom has announced that they are removing their recording limits on their free plan until 1 July 2020, they’re cutting the price of Loom Pro in half, and making Loom Pro free for teachers and students forever!
Asana: Free project management software. I use this to task my team and to keep track of pending and completed projects.
HelloSign: Complete forms and have your documents and contracts signed without having to be in physical contact with anyone. They have even updated the software so that you can initial each page!
Coping with anxiety
Try not to consume too much news and media. Read this post from my blog for some great relaxation tips and how to cope with anxiety.
Look at the positivity around us: So many people have adapted to quarantining, entertaining themselves and their family at home in fun ways. If you are in need of a good laugh, perhaps it’s time to download TikTok 🤣🤣 There is such a vibe going on there right now. Doctors dancing and people having fun.
Working with Kids at home
First of all, breathe and relax into your new role. This is new to your kids as well. Enjoy some time to just talk to them, play with them, read some books, bake, etc.
This is a time of uncertainty, know that our kids are going through a lot too, here is a fun way for kids to practice, yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation for kids aged 3+: Cosmic Kids Yoga.
Here is a list of sites for families to use while schools are closed including some maths, reading, and some virtual field trips.
Learn about space: Nasa has made its entire media library available to the public and copyright free.
Bestselling Children’s author Mo Willems teaches kids how to draw online with videos every weekday.
Here is an awesome Family Youtube Channel, teaching art lessons for any age: Art for Kids Hub
Scholastic provides a Learn at Home Website for Pre K to Grade 9. There are some really cute interactive books and activities here for the younger kids!
Here’s another list of education companies offering free subscriptions due to schools closing. Amazing Educational Resources.
Pay it forward
If you are financially able, and you don’t want small businesses to close their doors permanently, support small or local businesses that depend on the regular influx of customers by buying gift certificates that can be redeemed at a later stage eg a theatre pass, massage therapy certificate. Spread the love and positivity and it will come back to you!
If you are someone who has a permit to travel and you are healthy, assist the elderly and immunocompromised with their grocery shopping and prescriptions.
If you know someone who is struggling financially with the current economic situation, assist them with some meals or anything else they may need. There are many individuals and organisations you can donate to who are doing great humanitarian work.
If you are a musician or artist, a creative way to still do what you love and benefit people at the same time is to perform whether from inside your living room or on your rooftop and donate proceeds to charity. A great example of this is Ard Matthews who plays his music and donates 50 % towards food relief.
Stay at home and Practice social distancing as much as possible when you need to leave the house. Follow the recommendations of a reliable source of information, and your government. Remember to do what you can to keep yourself healthy – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Most importantly know that you are not alone in this! We need to practice physical distancing but it doesn’t mean that we have to distance ourselves socially! Come and join my Facebook group. There have been some amazing lives, challenges, and posts shared with positive and uplifting messages. We’d love to have you join us.
Chanelle is a business coach/consultant and personal branding specialist with over 20 years of experience. She's been featured in Forbes, Thrive Global, Stylist Magazine and COACH Magazine. She runs a global training business and works with women helping them launch, grow and scale their online businesses and create a freedom-based life through entrepreneurship.