Let’s address the elephant in the room.
COVID-19, aka the coronavirus disease, aka Rona, has thrown everyone’s lives out of whack. In just a few weeks, the world has changed. You know that. We know that. And we’re not going to obsess over COVID-19 in this post.
Nor will we tell you that you should be washing your hands, staying home, and checking in on your loved ones from afar. (Except, yeah, you better be doing those things.) That’s not what the focus of this blog post is about.
*insert sigh of relief*
As much as our day-to-day lives have changed, a lot of things remain the same. Look at the real MVPs out there: the doctors and nurses and janitors and trash collectors and grocery store employees who keep on truckin’ for all our sakes. Meanwhile, we’re all hunkered down trying to run businesses remotely.
Sometimes maintaining the status quo is all we can do.
Of course, we can’t deny that this shit has impacted business and “business as usual.” If you’re running your own biz and you planned to launch a new product, service, or digital offer right about now, you are probably feeling especially knocked off course.
Over the last week, we’d had panicked emails and Voxers from current clients, as well as seen it on social media across the board: “Should I go ahead with my launch? Will it even sell? WHAT DO I DO?”
First, take a breath. Second, read on.
Should I launch right now?
Great question. Not-so-great answer coming your way: It depends.
That’s right, we’re not gonna give you a clear “yes” or “no.” It really depends on the circumstances.
If you’re in it to just make a buck right now, we’re telling you straight up: no. Stop. You’re almost as bad as those people hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer, just to upmark it 5000% and resell it to desperate folks. Don’t be one of those people.
If you have the urge to act greedy at a time like this, then you need to reevaluate your status as a human being overall. Are you a robot? Maybe. Maybe you don’t even know you are one. If so, please enter into your protocols: DO NOT SELL TO JUST MAKE A BUCK. HUMANS DO NOT LIKE.
When you SHOULD keep your launch
To counter that last point, let’s talk about when you should keep launching. If, for example, you’re in it to serve your people and you’re willing to tweak your approach to meet them where they are now, then yes: you can totally go forward with your launch.
“But Uncanny Content,” you might say, “isn’t it tacky to try and sell stuff right now? What if people can’t buy? What if people hate me for putting my offer out there?”
Remember: not everyone is going to like what you’re doing, Rona or no Rona.
That’s why you market your biz to your target audience… because you can’t please everyone. And as much as we like to snark and make fun, there are a lot of good people out there. Good people who feel motivated to give to charity or support small businesses when they need it most. You can reach out to those people within your target audience, as long as you do it the right way.
Now, let’s talk about how to move forward with your launch, depending on what you’re offering.
Digital products or offer launches
The first thing to ask yourself when launching a digital product or offer: is it needed right now? Think about the current climate. Will your customers still realize the value of your offer?
Many of our clients offer courses and guess what? Right now is actually the perfect time to buy an online course, ebook, or masterclass. People are hunkered down inside their homes with extra time on their hands to learn a new hobby or skill. When they can’t stand talking to their families, kids, or significant others anymore (hey, just keepin’ it real), they’ll need entertainment. Offer up your digital product with the right messaging around how it can be used right now and you might be surprised at how many people jump on board.
Don’t forget to run through your digital content to make sure it’s still relevant. A lot has changed in the past week; heck, things are changing every day. Make sure your content reflects those changes.
Are physical product launches cool still?
Have a physical product you were hoping to launch? Ask yourself: is it needed right now? Does your stuff fulfill a need in people’s lives? This is a perfect time to remind your existing customers of the value in your products, but it might come across as scummy if your product doesn’t have a place in a quarantined household or business.
Also assess how you are delivering your physical product to people: Are you using UPS? Shipping directly from your home? Is the post office even open right now?! We don’t know, we’ve been quarantined for over a week.
The point is, think of the logistics of delivering your products so you can keep yourself and your customers safe.
Launching or promoting your services
If your services are online, it’s your time to shine, baby. Show the value in what you do and how it benefits people right now. If your services are in person, you may have to work a little harder to demonstrate your value when you can’t get within 6 feet of people. But remember that many necessary services are face-to-face, and your business isn’t going to grind to a halt completely. You just have to be creative with what you’re doing.
Let’s say you’re a plumber, landscaper, or HVAC technician, and you’re understandably scared that no one will want to hire you right now. But you know what? People still need your services when a branch takes out their living room window. Or their AC or heat fails when everyone is at home. Or…a toilet backs up. During quarantine. When the entire family is stuck at home. *cue horror movie scream*
Take the initiative and ease your customers’ fears. Work out all the details and payment over the phone or through email so you can limit contact. Show up prepared with a mask, gloves, and sanitizing wipes. Set some ground rules for distancing yourself and everyone who’ll be in the home when you’re doing your job. We guarantee people will be impressed with your thoughtfulness. #winning
The bottom line on launching in the time of Rona
Whether you’re selling digital offers, physical products, or services, make sure your marketing is in line with what’s happening now. Ads, emails, social posts, sales pages: every piece of content you publish has to be post-COVID kosher. There’s nothing cringier or tackier than an email that’s oblivious to what’s going on. Don’t be that home decor company — we’ll call it Bottery Parn — who recently advertised their line of party supplies. #facepalm
Another thing: don’t guilt people into supporting your small business. It’s self-centered and reeks of desperation. Everyone knows times are hard, because we’re all in this together. Do your research, get creative, and show people why your business is still valuable. Then provide the value. Boom.