Get Creative and Stay Connected During Lockdown

As we find new ways to connect with our community and adjust to this ‘new normal’, it’s difficult to know how we should be offering to help.

Like always, we want to provide solutions and make it easier for people to reach their goals. Only today these problems and goals look a lot different.

Now, more than ever, our job is to add value to people’s lives. Whether you’re a tour guide or clothing brand, here’s when thinking outside the box comes in handy: how can you (not just your product/service) help people through these unforeseen challenges?

How to stay connected

The first step to staying close to your community right now is by being present and acknowledging what’s going on around us. Listen to and connect with your community on a personal level and pivot your approach to meet them wherever they’re at.

This means throwing any agenda out the window. Just as our lives aren’t the same right now, neither are our jobs – don’t think about how you can sell your service, focus on how you can best be there for your customers.

By being a guiding light through the haze, you can build that all-important connection with your audience and keep them engaged with your brand. When daily life slowly returns to normal, they will remember you for your funny video, engaging podcast or cute animation that brightened their day, rather than conducting business as usual.

Be a friend, and recognise your customers’ shifting needs, offering solutions inside and outside of your trade. They’ll thank you for being there as their needs and wants change over time.

Thinking outside the box

Businesses of all sizes and types are adapting their offerings to cater to our current way of life. Whatever you did before social distancing, you can now do from the comfort of your home.

Being able to connect with the outside world through Instagram Live workouts, National Theatre livestreams or Zoom-guided mindfulness sessions certainly help with feeling less isolated.

This is an opportunity to get creative with how you use content to help people through these stressful and solitary times.

You can try:

  • Testing out new media formats: a podcast or vlog instead of an article
  • Using Loom, Zoom or IGTV for a video tutorial
  • Getting arty with an animation, gif, infographic or colourful doodle
  • Hosting an interactive experience on Instagram or Facebook Live

User-generated content is another great way to build connection:

  • Collect photos of your products from customers to share on your Instagram story
  • Strike up a conversation on Twitter
  • Write a blog post about your audience’s stories

Where to find inspiration

Across the internet, you’ll find people who are helping in lots of different ways. To get you started, here are some inspiring content campaigns we’ve spotted over the last few weeks.

We (Celeste and Rachael) also chatted about our favourite content offerings in our first-ever IGTV, filmed together remotely from our living rooms!

Stripe & Stare has opened its inbox to stories about frontline working heroes, offering a free box of their sustainable knickers each week to the randomly chosen winner. The team also plans to start a blog on the stories they hear to spread thanks to those working hard to keep us safe and healthy.

Katie at Look Up London is doing virtual tours three times a week. With her expert Blue Badge Tour Guide knowledge and Google street view technology, it’s almost as good as the real thing!

Freelancing Females have turned their Instagram feed into a handbook of advice for working from home. They’re lifting up other creators by sharing their visuals, and helping us get through this — one WFH day at a time.

HistFest took their Spring 2020 festival online last week, with talks from leading historians streaming free on YouTube, covering topics such as 19th century shipwrecks, the victims of Jack the Ripper, and the history of celebrity.

Photographer, film maker and all-around visual story-teller Xanthe Berkeley runs online film making courses. To help people get creative and inspired in this period, she’s been offering free film making tips and tricks on her blog!

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I created this stop motion for @thewhitecompany a few years ago, but it’s still one of my favourites, so I’ve revamped it with some text and music. At the time, I remember being so pleased that I managed to shoot this without messing up the recipe and having to start again 🙈 . Thanks to everyone who’s been trying out my free “Creating Stop Motions On Your Phone” lesson on my blog… One of the best ways to get started with Stop Motion is to use your phone. Would you like to have a go? Head over to my blog to get started… Also, coming soon is a mini online course with project ideas, more tips & tricks and lots of creative fun to have with Stop Motion, while staying at home. . #xanthefilms #handmadefilmmaking #StayHomeMakeSomething #stopmotion #inspiremyinstagram #documentyourdays #makefilmscourse #hurrayforplay #vllo

A post shared by ☆ Xanthe – Photography & Films (@xantheb) on

This blog is the second in a mini-series about getting through the coronavirus crisis. The first post is all about checking in with yourself and your community, and next we’ll look at how to get the most life out of your content!

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