Last year for Mother’s Day my 2-year-old gave me a morning glory seedling she grew with her teachers and classmates at daycare. The seedling turned into 8-foot-tall vines that overtook the side of our porch!
In the fall when it was time to cut it down my heart was broken. Why did it have to be an annual?! I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the flower, or summer, or my baby being a chubby-cheeked baby. Planning ahead, as the sappy mom I am, I plucked some seeds in hopes to recreate the magic again this year.
Over the weekend I came across the baggie of seeds, so my daughters and I sat around a little terra cotta pot and wished them to “grow big and strong!”
It got me thinking… about change, and how hard it can be, but also how beautiful it can be.
It got me thinking about business, as everything inevitably does, and how entrepreneurs are in a season of change right now.
And it got me thinking about this particular quarantined period of time, and how similar it is to that little seed, sitting in the darkness, knowing it will emerge but not knowing when.
It got me thinking…
What can we, as business owners, be doing right now to plant seeds of profitability, wealth, and success for our futures? For our employees’ futures. For our customers’ futures.
In my webinar last week I taught three mental shifts for bringing your marketing and branding full-circle amidst uncertainty. (Email me if you want the replay.) And one of my first points was to shift your perspective on advertising from cutting the budget and pulling back, to staying the course but shifting your message to a branded one instead of pushing sales. Because 75% of businesses aren’t advertising right now, so why WOULDN’T you invest in strengthening your brand while there isn’t clutter to cut through? Why wouldn’t you communicate about your business with such honesty that people will connect with you, at a time when that’s all we’re yearning for… connection. And why wouldn’t you want your customers to remember you when their wallets are healthy again? They’re going to remember, consciously or subconsciously, the businesses who shined in the darkness.
After the webinar, I was reminded by a dear friend… “But, Maria, you have to understand that there are a lot of businesses out there that literally canNOT afford to spend money on advertising right now.” And my response was, “I know, but that doesn’t mean they can’t show up.”
Now is the time to plant seeds, and I’m not talking about morning glories. Now is the time to invest in growing connections. But what if you don’t have any money to invest? Well, you probably have time and/or resources. And my question to you is…
How can you invest your time and resources wisely in order to plant seeds and nurture them, allowing them to be rooted in truth and emerge when the time is right?
Here are THREE ways to promote your business for FREE:
#1: Social Media
We all have a love-hate relationship with it. I get it. But, it’s free, and 3.8 BILLION people are active on social media. Here are a few ways to use it to your advantage:
Set up accounts you don’t already have. If you don’t have FaceBook, start a business account! If you don’t have LinkedIn, what’s holding you back?
Groups… Join ‘em. You can join up to 6,000 in FaceBook! (That’s a little ridiculous, I’m talking about joining 2-4.) There are current groups in FaceBook and LinkedIn, and what I love about them is that they each (usually) are filled with people with the same interests and pain points. Join the ones that have your ideal audience, hang out, and connect with people strategically, one at a time.
Consistency is key. No matter what you choose to do, you’ll have to do it every day, at least every other day, if you want to see results. Trust me, I have a hard enough time taking my own advice!
Good old-fashioned networking.
Pick up the phone! Call your top clients/customers, send them thoughtful emails.
Check on friends, family, neighbors. Strike up a conversation!
Donate your time. What are you passionate about? People are in need… how can you grow your network by getting personally invested in a cause that means something to you… that means something to the mission statement of your business?
Sincerity is key. You’re not selling. You’re planting seeds. You’re making connections. You’re building a relationship, and all strong relationships are built on honesty, truth, and compassion.
Collaborate and CREATE! We’re all in this together.
Join forces with other businesses in your industry, maybe in another niche of your industry, to create a new package, product or service to help BOTH of your audiences.
Support each other, encourage each other, help each other. Get creative!
I think we should all be doing more of this, quarantine or not.
Creation is key. Make something new!
You CAN invest your time and resources in a way that will nurture your business in this season of new beginnings… for FREE!
And, if you do happen to have a few bucks and a few days, you can certainly invest in building a solid foundation for your brand right now… rooted in YOUR truth. You HAVE the seeds, I’ll bring the soil—within a week you and your team can uncover your why, define your marketplace niche, and harness the power of emotions to create a powerful message that will resonate with your ideal audience. Grow a strong foundation for marketing your business with my Digital Workshop, Build a Better Brand.
Yesterday, I went Live in my own FaceBook group (guys, I’m not just talking the talk) where I went over these ideas… plus FOUR specific ideas for specific businesses to use as communication tools right now. I’m committed to SHOWING UP Live every day this week in me Building Inspired Businesses FaceBook group. I’d love for you to join the conversation with me… trust me, as an extrovert no one misses people as much as I do! 🙂
I want to inspire you as you’ve inspired me. Stay the course my friends, we’re all in this together.
Love and light,
🖤 Maria Conigliaro Traino
President/Creative Director/Lead Inspirer