As the world continues to fight the coronavirus outbreak, we find ourselves adapting to new ways of life and work.
Our routines look vastly different, the economy has plunged and uncertainty looms overhead.
It’s certainly not business as usual, so how do we carry on? With this new space between us and our friends, coworkers and clients, how do we work with and support each other?
By taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, and by connecting with others on the phone and online.
This applies to your business as well. At times like this, it helps to go back to your roots.
By checking in with what matters to you and your community on a personal level, you can better align your values with your business and network’s needs.
Here are three simple questions to help you pinpoint what’s important right now and provide your community with something they really need.
This blog is the first in a mini-series about getting through the coronavirus crisis. The second post is about getting creative and staying connected during lockdown, and next we’ll be talking about how to get the most life out of your content!
#1 What are my core values?
The first step to identifying your core values is to take a moment to think about how you feel. This might sound silly, but what you’re feeling – specifically the emotions you enjoy experiencing – will guide you and your business now and in the long term.
Grab a pen and piece of paper (trust me, it helps) and think about what matters most to you, inside and outside of work:
- Do you value certainty? Do you feel completely lost without a clear plan for today, next month, next year?
- Or do you thrive on variety, experiencing different things often and doing what you can to mix up your routine?
- How about feeling connected to others? What role does love and compassion play right now?
- Do you always feel the need to contribute and be a part of the solution?
- Does your happiness derive from achieving something significant? Something that is respected by others?
- Are you driven by growing, learning, stepping outside of your comfort zone?
In this list, of things that mean most to you and the emotions you want to feel regularly, you have your values.
Once you’ve established what you value, your priorities will become very clear. Because whatever pushes you closer to these positive emotions is important and helps you live your values.
The next step is understanding what your audience values.
#2 What does my audience value?
Just as your priorities have shifted over the last few weeks, your audience’s have too. More people are working from home around partners, children and housemates, and everyone’s routine is shaken up.
Engagement is taking a hit as paid promotions aren’t striking the chord they ordinarily do, and people don’t have their usual commuting time to enjoy an article or video; you can almost hear the collective sigh on social media as the world looks increasingly bleak.
That’s why now, more than ever, it’s important to connect with your community on a human, personal level, and not as a brand to a consumer.
People will remember you for putting a smile on their face with an uplifting Instagram doodle, or helping their kids learn about art or history while they’re not at school.
Your community’s needs look a lot different than they did a month, six weeks ago and so do the problems they are trying to solve.
This means your content and messages should take on a gentler, more advisory and helpful tone: people need a helping hand and guiding light during these unpredictable times. Take a look at our next article for tips and inspiration for creating content that can really help!
#3 How can I help?
We may not be doctors, nurses, supermarket staff, or an essential worker on the front lines, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help and make a positive difference.
Brands across sectors are changing tack to support people through this crisis. Even if you can’t mass-produce hand sanitiser in a distillery like Brewdog or manufacture non-surgical masks like sustainable fashion brand Reformation, you can still support your community by extending a helping hand, whatever form that may take.
Work-from-anywhere gurus are giving free consultations to help people adjust to a remote lifestyle, fitness buffs are leading home workout classes to keep spirits high and bodies healthy, and chefs are livestreaming recipe tutorials so customers can enjoy their food at home.
Some of these things are directly helpful to our lives, health and finances, but some simply make us feel good and keep us happy. Now is the time to think outside the box: how can you and your business help people get through this?
We’re all trying to figure it out. As we get our content marketing heads around how best to approach this crisis, we’re here to help you too.
Throughout April, we’ll be helping you come up with a plan for creating content that aligns with your community. Whether that’s experimenting with a new media channel or joining forces with another entrepreneur, the all-important first step is aligning your brand with what really matters to you.
It’s cliche but it’s true — we are all in this together!