These are strange times we find ourselves in. If you work from home, the tranquility of your home office may have been shattered by one or more fellow humans (some of whom may be completely new to the ‘work from home’ idea and may or may not be dealing with it particularly well). You may be home-schooling alongside your conventional working hours, or spending half a day doing the weekly shop – a job that previously took less than an hour – to comply with the strict social distancing rules. You may also have lost customers already in this period of economic uncertainty, with many businesses having to significantly cut costs in order to ensure that they can continue to function.
Despite the general weirdness, there are still potential opportunities out there – some business owners are using their time in isolation to work on their business; some are developing online courses to replace their in-person offerings, some are taking the time to ‘plug the gaps’ in their business marketing, rebuilding websites, creating funnels, etc. So don’t feel too disheartened yet. All is not lost!
Here are our top tips to help you connect positively with clients (past and present) during the Coronavirus crisis:
Check in with your current customers – Now is the perfect time to ensure that your current customers feel the full benefit of your work. If they’re new to working from home, why not put together an email with some useful tips/tools to help them work productively and efficiently in a home filled with distractions! It could be a useful value-add for existing customers and could be repurposed for your past and/or potential clients to show that you have their best interests at heart. It’s also worth reviewing their existing systems/processes to ensure that they are suitable given the current ‘lockdown’, and helping them adapt if necessary.
Check in with past customers – checking in with past customers (all except the very small minority you may not have had a positive working relationship with!) to see how they are dealing with the current situation can be a really good way of re-building bridges of communication. If you’ve created a helpful freebie, why not send it out to previous customers too? Ask them how they are coping with the current situation, and gently remind them of the flexibility and fabulous support you can offer. At the very least, you are having some much-needed interaction with adults! At best, a few may be reminded of how much value you brought to their business and want to work with you again.
Check in with potential customers – yes, I know that many people are cutting back on business costs, but there are still some people powering ahead with work, so don’t assume it’s going to be a ‘no’ from any leads you’ve been nurturing for the last few weeks/months. Remain positive and gently follow up, you never know who might convert!
Re-think your offerings – If work has completely dried up, why not reconsider your services, either temporarily or long term? Reach out to fellow VAs and see if anyone needs an associate at the present time, or ask them about their current experiences to try and identify areas that don’t seem to be as badly affected by the current Coronavirus crisis. It might be that a change of direction is just what your business needs, so think outside the box and try to objectively identify services that you could offer now or in the future with some further training and practical experience.
Here at APVA, we’re here – Coronavirus lockdown or not – to support you. Our VA Hub is a wonderful community of VAs and Digital Freelancers with a wealth of knowledge and experience in a variety of sectors about a huge range of services. We’ve also got our membership and CPD accredited VA training to help you and your business navigate these uncertain times. You’re not alone, so don’t be afraid to reach out!