It seems like in a matter of just one week, we’re in an entirely new work & life paradigm.
It’s new, unknown, worrisome, and sometimes frightening.
As a business owning mom, you’re in a unique position to be a leader in these times.
Just because this virus is scary, doesn’t mean you can’t help lessen its impact on the people around you.
You can help your friends & neighbors figure out how to work remotely because you’ve likely been doing it for years. And even if your kids are school age, I’d bet you’ve figured out how to get some work done with them at home.
You can help your clients out with working remotely too. Even if they are traditional bricks and mortar businesses, many can move online. Lots don’t think they can, but you can be creative and show them how.
As I was writing this, I got an email from Mike Michalowicz who’s in a new book from Ultimate Bundles,125 Business Tips from Successful Entrepreneurs. It’s free until Thursday, March 26, 2020 at midnight EST. This is a great example of being helpful!
A pair of gym owners I work with had figured out how to train individuals online, but didn’t know how to broadcast a group class to members only. I helped them with options, including a free option that is easy for them to manage. This will let them help their gym members and will reduce the number of people that drop their membership during this time.
Even brainstorming sessions with you clients can help them out. I talked with a nervous restaurant owner who was understandably worried. Fortunately, she already had delivery set up with Door Dash. We thought about what people who were socially isolating would need and how her restaurant could help them the most. We thought through family dinner bundles and curbside take-out, as well as heavily promoting delivery.
Don’t let fear steal your power
My good friend and colleague, Emilie Grau of Marlie Digital reminded me that we do have the power to take ownership of uncertain situations like this new pandemic.
Fear can paralyze people and make them feel powerless. Instead of being afraid, think about who you can help and how you can help. Facing challenges with fear leads to avoidance and denial, which never really helps. If you arm yourself with knowledge and the truth, you can figure out how to make things better.
Fear weakens your immune system. The fear that this new virus causes makes us more susceptible to getting infected. So focusing on something other than fear is actually a helpful strategy to avoid this virus and other illnesses.
I recommend focusing on what you can do to help and give.
You may be a medical professional who can help treat the sick. Or you might be an online entrepreneur who can help others save their businesses by getting them online. You might be an amazing couponer with a stash of antibacterial soap that you can hand out to your neighbors.
Even if you feel like none of your talents are helpful, if you stay socially distant and keep your family socially distant, you’re slowing the spread of this disease.
How to Give to your clients in a helpful way
So if you’re convinced that helping is the right attitude, keep reading.
Like I said above, as business owning moms, you’re in a great place right now. All of the sudden, your clients are figuring out how to work from home with new technology hardware and software. They may be learning new job tasks as well as new technology. Oh! And they may be expected to home-school their kids with very little notice.
They’re trying to figure out how they can keep their jobs or stay in business themselves!
The best way for you to stay (and thrive!) in business is to help your clients stay in business. If they fail, they cannot pay you, simple as that.
A fear based instinct is to hoard knowledge and charge huge amounts of money for magical solutions. But a helpful outlook would be to step in and give people helpful solutions.
Give them the information they need to navigate their most pressing challenges. But don’t give so much that you lose all your paying work.
How to balance giving away information
Give away the WHAT.
In your free content, your newsletters, blog posts, videos, social media, let people know what they should be doing. Don’t hoard this knowledge. It’s pretty likely it’s already free out there on the Internet already.
Give away the concepts and the big ideas. Give away the high level path.
Your customers will need to know and digest this information before they can work with you anyway. Think of this information as building perfect customers for your business.
You will be seen as a leader, an authority, because you’re acting like a leader – making sure your audience has the information they need to be moving forward.
Teach people to think about the WHY
It’s taken me probably longer than it should to get this point. But we need to teach our audience WHY our recommendations make sense. This is how we connect our solution to the problems our clients or our readers have.
All of you moms know that when you tell a kid to do something, their first response is, “Why???” A good reason why usually results in general compliance. Kudos to you moms out there who have trained your kids to hop-to, but really, most still ask!
Clients aren’t going to accept the, “Because I said so,” answer. And if you don’t answer the why question, they’re not likely to seriously consider what you’re saying because it won’t feel connected to their problem. A good WHYmakes that connection.
Then charge a little bit for the HOW
So, like I said, give away the WHAT. You don’t have to give away the HOW though. You also need to stay in business so that you can continue to provide help to your clients. If you go out of business, you’re going to hurt the people you’re currently helping.
For each solution, there are many different HOWs your clients could use. Here’s where your experience and your insights can be valuable to your clients. Most would be able to take your WHAT information and figure out how to proceed. But they don’t have the time, or the patience, or the right skillset to do so. They may waste considerable time heading down the wrong path and become frustrated and unhappy.
If you can teach them HOW to implement the WHAT to solve their problems, you can help them arrive at a solution faster and easier than they could on their own. That faster & easier solution is worth compensation because it draws on your own intellectual property. It’s more than facts and high level ideas, it’s proven tactical knowledge.
And charge a premium for the DOING
Some of your audience are going to read the WHAT and WHY and want your solution right away. Some may even buy your HOW information, then decide that’s not fast or easy enough. This group wants you to DO the solution for them.
Even with the HOW information, there are lots of options when it comes to actually DOING the solution. Here’s where you charge your premium prices. You’re selling both your insights and your (or your team’s) skill and labor.
Your client is paying for a fast, easy, proven solution.
What can you give to your clients?
It’s still early days, and most of the things I see are at one extreme or the other, including what I see from in my own inbox. I either see people give away the farm in desperation, having fire sales, or people ready to pounce on those who need help.
Use the WHAT, WHY, HOW, and DO designations to figure out what you can give away and what you should charge for. Then give away as much WHAT and WHY as you can.
I want to help, so I’m going to keep writing on topics that I think are helpful. If there’s anything you want to read about or that I can help you with, head over to the contact page and let me know.