[ WEBINAR REPLAY ] How to Keep Your Business Relevant During COVID-19

[ WEBINAR REPLAY ] How to Keep Your Business Relevant During COVID-19

Recently I was featured on a webinar with the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida where I presented on How To Keep Your Business Relevant During Covid-19. We’ve been telling our clients during strategy consultations what they’ll need to be doing to keep their brand recognition alive during this time of quarantining and social distancing. Not all businesses are open, and some are but operating with limited products and services. Meanwhile others are taking steps to keep their marketing efforts in tact to be ready for when the marketplaces open back up.

In this webinar I give a bunch of tips, strategy, and resources that you can use right now to create engaging content for your audience and keep relevant during this time.

Special thank you to the AACCCFL for having me as a guest presenter. They’re really doing a great job with featuring various local business professionals as well as elected officials each week answering questions and providing resources for the community here in Orlando and beyond. Be sure to visit their website to see upcoming webinars and resources.

Duck – Machine Gun Webinar at 1:00!

On July 12th I was a part of HubSpot’s highly anticipated webinar “The Science of Inbound Marketing” in which they attempted to host the World’s Largest Webinar. Although they had thousands of people online, unfortunately they didn’t make their goal of surpassing the Guinness Book World Record they had last year.  One of the big hooks for it was that depending on how often you Tweeted during the broadcast, you could win big discounts on their upcoming seminar and possibly even free attendance which is worth $600 bucks!  So I thought AWESOME – I can surely do that.  I mean I am a digital age, multi-tasking gal – how hard can this be?

But despite having great minds both behind it and as the slotted hosts/speakers, it was rather overwhelming to me in a myriad of ways and I was sorely disappointed with it.  Their format and dissemination of information truly felt like being on the end of a machine gun – and not the one pulling the trigger I tell ya!  It was rapid fire information which caused lack of focus, confusion and even fatigue – all typical of complete information overload in a short period of time. Now I don’t want to give the impression that is was all bad. The information itself was extremely illuminating and the slides gave rock-solid statistics and trends.  But it was the METHOD of delivery that was like an assault rifle experience.  Now I have NO desire to go to war with HubSpot as I truly respect them as a company and industry leader in many ways. But I feel compelled to say why it wasn’t effective for me and I’m sure many others, that were online.  Here’s why…

The webinar started off like many do.  Introductions from the moderator as to who the talented speaker will be, what their credentials are and what benefits will be graced upon the attendees.  So I removed every distraction, ready with hands on keyboard for note-taking and awaited the flow of great information to make me better at Inbound Marketing than ever! Soon after they began I found myself, a self-proclaimed great multi-tasker, losing ground quickly.  I mean we’re talking like A.D.D. Multitasking without any Ritalin-Tweet, read, listen, store this in your brain and look at these slides…all at the same time! And as the information infantry moved in, they wanted more Tweets – no 20 isn’t enough to get tickets, now you need 120 during the only ONE HOUR broadcast to win free entry to this gig.  The great slides contained a lot of information of which I could only GLEEN the wealth contained therein before they were on to the next.  I counted over 20 during the one hour webinar but I am confident of the inaccuracy of that amount because I lost count numerous times as they flew from one to the next. Once again, it wasn’t a “waste of time” kind of experience.  It was a “Gee, I wish they had done it differently” so myself and the thousand others could have really reaped the huge benefits ascribed to it.  So what have I learned from this?

Bullet Points for Successful Webinars
Doing webinars is a great tool for networking, marketing a product or service and conveying information in a structured way.   But I believe that a few things need to be considered for success of the mission:

Informational Impact – If you are considering hosting a webinar, take your time during it to convey the important information in an ear & eye-pleasing way. If possible, offer the audio or full broadcast on a limited replay for the attendees. As I’ve opined above, if a person can’t take notes during the webinar without knowing shorthand or feels frustrated by the speed (or lack thereof), they’ll lose interest, log off before it’s done and may not tune in again.
Allow Absorption Time – You have to disseminate the information in a manner that allows for total absorption via both eye and ear so attendees can formulate solid questions or just make sense of what they are being told or reading.  If not, they will not reap the value of your hard work & time as well as your industry expertise.
All the Artillery is Not Always Needed – If you have a lot of information, don’t feel pressured to convey it all in one webinar broadcast.  Try breaking your information into several webinars or a multifaceted series.  If you are conveying good, solid industry information, you will create a following and people will return for more. What better way to earn some Social Media street cred!
Who Is Your Comrade? –Isn’t creating relationships at the heart of Webinars?  I often think it’s about touching an audience with your business prowess, conveying information that creates dialogue with your contemporaries and building your business network.

So at the end of the day, HubSpot is still the amazing inbound marketing strategy powerhouse it was before this famed webinar and more than likely, I will attend several of their webinars in the future.  Just maybe armed with a little Kevlar…lol. What about you? If you attended this event or have an opinion on this subject matter, shoot me a comment.



Getting over the Hump – An Inspiration for Blog Writers Block

Even those who have great aptitude in writing sometimes find themselves with literally NO WORDS! Unlike our verbal language, writing is actually one of the most difficult activities that we humans use to formalize communication sin la boca (without your mouth if you don’t speak Spanish).  It sounds simple but as Wikipedia has defined it:  writer’s block is “a condition, primarily associated with writing as a profession, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work. The condition varies widely in intensity. It can be trivial, a temporary difficulty in dealing with the task at hand.”  Uh, yeah- I couldn’t have said it better.  But what does one do when the deadline is looming and the children are to bed and it’s man vs. machine and you realize…I’VE GOT NOTHIN’!  Thank God writing pro’s like Mike Rose (famed UCLA Graduate School faculty member and author) even acknowledges that it truly is “an inability to begin or continue writing for reasons other than lack of basic skill or commitment“. Whew…I’m off the hook a little!  But now what do I do about it?

Why do you we do this to ourselves…it‘s supposed to speak back to you right? Like in some gone from a book to the big screen movie—the leading character is some highly paid British actor/actress paid to throw their laptop out the window of their 5th story NYC walk-up in utter despair.  Yeah…in the real world most of us don’t have the kind of money that allows for those despairing moments.  So I have opted not to spend hours wasting good wine or time employing this useless tactic. Instead I think it’s best to stare at something else.  Walk around your house- look at some pictures, clean, cook, do a little laundry or run an errand.  Heck, play with your kid or a game of chess with your spouse.  Do something else besides stewing in the quagmire of I have no clue. You would be amazed how making the best salmon with a lemon dill sauce can jump-start a blog idea.  Personal Example: One day I was frustrated about a concept I dreamt about (and DID NOT GET UP & WRITE IT DOWN.. I know bad, bad, bad) and was about to scream when my daughter asked me to color with her.  As I was taking note of how precise my “staying within the lines” was and how the unbridled charm of a child’s Crayola skills were, yes the cliché lightbulb went off.  And before you knew it, while she was still coloring outside the lines, I was pecking away on my laptop.  Writers cramp over came writers block and I was grateful for it.

You know what they say in real estate…Location, Location Location.  And I agree. After a very busy weekend and stressful morning I found myself not able to color in anybody’s lines or muster up enough energy required to even stare at a blank page.  So what else could I do to get the boost usually relegated to a high-priced cup of Starbucks coffee?  I went outside. Yup in the lovely 70° weather, I listened to the sounds of a almost perfect May day  in Connecticut.  And before I knew it, several titles/concepts came to me which enabled me to write this blog AND  birth 2-3 ideas for some other projects.  Fantastic right!  Sometimes a simple change of location can do wonders for inspiration.  Being jailed at your desk is not worth it when you can get some fresh air and use the objects/sounds/feelings around you to motivate your imagination. Like an artist who can use a host of colors or materials to create their masterpiece, so can writers.  And I’m not talking laptop vs. plume…I mean what you use to connect ideas/concepts/words together to tap into your linguistic intelligence and unlock the door to your next novella. 

1.) Interview a customer about particular concerns/challenges as well as solutions and then blog about it.  I’m sure they will love the attention & it gets their name advertised in social media for free. Or you can opt to share an anecdote about an issue that occurred in your own business, from the problem to the solution.

2.) Dialogue with industry-friends via social media and let the responses shape a blog post or video blog with them weighing in on topics relevant to industry news items.

3.) Consider product or service comparisons, a Consumer Reports of sort but on issues like social media, graphic design, use of WordPress themes vs. traditional HTML websites.

4.) Report on a conference or webinar you attended giving perspective to real issues facing people in your own industry or some great highlights and tricks of the trade that you learned.

5.) Address customer questions you’ve received on the same topic/aspect of service.  This lets them know that you’re listening and are willing to receive feedback once it’s out on the www.

6.) Expand upon a comment you wrote on someone else’s blog & parlay that into your own blog post. Tread lightly here, these are your peers after all.  But bringing in a different angle never hurts.

7.) Correlate what inspires your daily life into the business world and create a blog connection. Hence, look out for my upcoming blog “Coloring In and Out of the Lines in Social Media” – thanks to my daughter’s crayons.