Updated: Oct 14, 2020
I had planned this post to be all about the ins and outs virtual staging, but as I'm sitting Indian-style, pillow in lap and laptop on pillow, I can't stop thinking about my fellow entrepreneurs. Side note, what if we thought of COVID as an acronym for Creating Our Vision In Downtime! And even better, what if we used this time to actually do that?! Read on, reader.
I've come up with 3 things you can do to keep yourself cool (for your clients), calm (for yourself & loved ones) and collected (for the fate of your business) no matter which type of entrepreneur you are.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have observed three types of entrepreneurs and how they respond to chaos. I'd be curious to know which category you fall into or maybe if you've dipped into all three categories over time. I've also been paying close attention to the way companies have chosen to market during the uncertainty of the economy. What message they are spreading and what their overall tone is.
It should be noted that I respect and admire the three individuals and the three companies I have been observing (don't ask me why my brain works in three's... if you do, I'll probably give you three reasons!)
Alright, so let's talk about the different types of entrepreneurs first.
Entrepreneur Type 1: The Upbeat
Amidst the obvious bleakness of the situation at hand, this type of entrepreneur can't help but find the Pollyanna positives in everything. Saying things like, "Well thank goodness we have virtual tools so we can still communicate" and "I can't wait to see what good comes of this." This type of entrepreneur is probably making the other two types be on edge. However, be mindful of the fact that while Pollyanna may be peaceful and poised on the surface, this may be their way of coping and also balancing out the negative emotions in the room. Though they may come off oblivious, you want these people in your circle, believe me!
Entrepreneur Type 2: The Exhausted
This type of entrepreneur was likely already 'up in arms' when the catastrophe was just finding its way to the news. And well before everyone was feeling the impact of the situation, they were already concerned with how it would affect their monthly goals and numbers. Therefore, and rightly so, this entrepreneur is exhausted and mentally drained when it comes time to improvise and fight to keep their business running. They had every good intention of using this time to knock the things off their list that had been moved to the back burner during the busy season, but now? They just want sleep, solitude and to wait it out. Self preservation means something different to everyone and there is nothing wrong with being a bit down during downtimes. Hence the words: down & time, right? This entrepreneur brings grace, a calming energy to the mix and is very empathetic to those who are struggling. It's important to respect their process.
Entrepreneur Type 3: The Intense
The conspiracy theorist for sure, this entrepreneur is in a constant state of expecting the next economy crash to be right around the corner. This doesn't necessarily mean that they are totally prepared for it, but this is the person who likely knows how to lead their team to safety and success during big challenges. They are intense usually on both ends of the positive and negative spectrum. Saying things like "This has been blown way out of proportion" and "How will we ever recover from this!" Don't be surprised if this type of entrepreneur is suspicious of every tingle in their throat and that every news story is either pathetic or planted. Although The Intense type can come off a bit strong, in times of uncertainty, strength is just what people need.
Hopefully by now you know where you fall in the categories of entrepreneur types, or at least which combination you are. Me? I'm mainly a type 1 at the onset but then slip into a type 2 pretty quickly. For example, I've spent an entire Saturday planning out content for the rest of the year, went for a morning run on that Monday and Tuesday, but then starting feeling the need to focus on resting instead of ramping things up.
POP QUIZ! What are the 3 types of entrepreneurs I just mentioned?
Each type has their good and bad sides, but each type of person deserves for their coping process to be respected. I hope you agree!
Okay, now let's talk about tone... because sometimes how you say something is just as important as what you're saying.
The 3 Tones of Marketing During Crisis
Based on what I've seen, companies are playing to the marketing methodical tune of either distracting, encouraging or supporting their audiences. Some are using the distraction method to get people's minds off the trying times with products and ideas to relax. Some companies are encouraging their clients to continue with business as usual as much as possible and providing empowering tools do so. And others are supporting their clients by way of promotions or financial leniency. What we should ALL be doing in my opinion? A little bit of each.
The 3 Non-Negotiables as An Entrepreneur
Three things I'll be doing as an entrepreneur right now THAT YOU CAN TOO!
1. DISTRACT by connecting and inspiring.
I'll be doing this by calling on my clients to see if virtual staging would help their listing be more eye catching while lots of people are likely home with time for online viewing.
What you can do specifically: Call your clients to check in and then use virtual staging as a talking point if you want - or even just ask how they are faring! It requires no one to leave home and is an instant win-win for all involved, showing your clients you care.
2. ENCOURAGE by creating & sharing business tips & ideas.
I'll be putting out emails, blogs (like this one) and social media posts to educate on virtual staging and how for every $1 spent on staging, a likely potential of $4 will be gained, for example.
What you can do specifically: Send an email that offers ideas to be productive without ever leaving the house - like ordering virtual staging! It's truly using technology to our advantage! Encourage your customer to pivot instead of panic!
3. SUPPORT by providing promotions and being real with your clients.
I have scheduled a few promotions for virtual staging to support my customers financially - allowing them to take advantage of a lower price to increase their selling opportunities. And to be honest and real with you, virtual staging is my business and I want to keep it and my team thriving.
What you can do specifically: Share and utilize this promotion with your fellow connections: I'm taking $15 off virtual staging orders / invoices through the month of April. Supporting local, encourages others to do the same.