For the last two weeks I’ve helped my Mom get into her Zoom exercise classes. On Tuesday or so she said, “This week is the last week they’re doing classes. They can’t keep paying their instructors without collecting membership fees.”
I asked her, “Did they even ASK you guys if you would pay for classes to continue?”
So it wasn’t a liability thing. It wasn’t a “The instructors don’t want to do it” thing. It was a “We didn’t ask” thing. (That is the SHORT version of an ongoing conversation we’ve been having about this situation.)
If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
This is literally my life motto.
But asking someone to do something for you or asking people to buy is terrifying for a lot of people, so let’s reframe it to:
If you don’t offer, you can’t help.
I keep seeing people saying they feel weird about selling anything right now.
Here’s the thing, though — if someone wants or needs what you have to sell, you’re not helping them by not offering it to them. If somebody doesn’t want or need or have money for what you’re selling they just won’t buy it. No harm. No foul.
I ask you to not make your customers’ decisions for them.
Reframing Your Message
It’s not a good idea to sound completely tone deaf right now. There IS massive trauma going on for everyone, whether they still have a job or not. Whether they’re healthy and their friends and relatives are healthy or not. You’d have to be a robot to remain completely unaffected.
Pounding people with “buy this,” “buy this,” “buy this,” isn’t the way to go. Berating people for not buying is also not the way to go.
What seems to be working right now are offers and messaging that helps people cope in one way or another.
- My friend’s nightly art auction on her instagram. It’s fun to see what she puts up for sale each night and it’s fun to win! She’s providing entertainment, a link to other people, and some cool art for sale. (My heart tree and rock just arrived yesterday and I love them.)
- Family meals from two of my local faves (when I’m in Wilmington), Spoonfed Kitchen, and Epic Food Co. (People are tired of cooking and want something healthy and delicious. A LOT of restaurants are doing this, but they’re my peeps, and it’s my newsletter, so I can give a shout out.)
- Make & take kits & online classes like the one Sunshine Garden Center created. People are home and need/want things to do and this garden center made it easy for customers to support them, get their hands dirty, and have fun.
- Silver in the City’s Puzzle Club. For $100 you get a new puzzle delivered each Saturday. Um, FUN! Local business! (Think about how you can set up a subscription service. A box of plants at my door once a month? I’d totally go for that.)
- Garden centers everywhere offering curbside pickup and delivery. (Which is massively difficult to implement on a dime, and takes more resources, but it offers their customers safety, convenience, and items the customers desperately want right now. Especially food plants.)
- Garden experts offering online classes. (They don’t have to be high tech. They just have to be available. And you. ABSOLUTELY can charge for them.)
Messaging always works best if it is benefit-driven,(What’s in it for the buyer?) but that’s even more important now, because everyone is carefully weighing their purchases.
People ARE still making purchases.
If people want something, they will find a way to get it.
So whether they need hand cream, gardening info, tomato plants, a tutorial on how to cut their own hair, a virtual exercise class, or a little “inner peace through impulse purchasing pick me up,” make sure they know they can get it from you and not amazon or a chain store.
“Just Fix It”
Here’s my offering. A bunch of people have been struggling with new tech and they can’t or don’t want to become a retainer client. So, I made a thing. (This is for you if you cannot watch another tutorial and just want someone to solve your particular problem, RIGHT NOW. Sometimes I just want to pay someone to fix it NOW. If that’s you, here ya go!) You’ll get the best results from Just Fix It if you have a tech problem or want to talk about quick pivoting with a business problem.
If it would help you, nab a spot!
Artisan Toilet Paper
My art museum sent out this link. What a funny, clever way to relate what they do to what’s going on and make people laugh. (And if you need TP, well, this might work for you.)
The cutest thing I’ve seen in ages
My dad is a retired attorney and he did a little “career day” zoom with my niece and her friend. It was AH-DORABLE. The kids took turns reading the PowerPoint and talking about different questions with Dad. Now *I* want to do career day!
What’s working for you? Have you hit a wall? Need some help? Found something cool? What was your weirdest zoom experience?
Hit me up! I’ll always answer you back. (Just not Saturday or Sunday.)