Business Continuity Marketing and Communications Plan: How to Grow Your SOI, Share Extreme Value, and Build Your Business in a Challenging Market
It’s easy to feel the emotional heaviness of coronavirus media reports. If you know someone who has been diagnosed and is experiencing COVID-19’s severe symptoms, I am sending thoughts and prayers their way and yours.
Our current reality is challenging–there’s no doubt about it. But, I’ve always believed that we can shape our outlook, which also helps us shape our future. By having a plan with actionable items, we can execute the steps and remain in a healthy routine, both for our psyche and our business.
Remember the Business Continuity email template that I shared several days ago? Today’s resource is an extension of that thought process, and it’s called a Business Continuity Marketing and Communications Plan (or Business Continuity Mar-Com–whew! Say THAT 3 times fast!), and it’s easily customizable for your business and style.
Let’s get started!
1) Don’t be silent.
- If anything, it’s crucial to over-communicate in a time of crisis.
- Be sure to reach out intentionally to your sphere of influence. In normal times, you should be communicating with your SOI an average of 2-4 times a month. In times of crisis, you should be communicating even more–a minimum of once a week.
- Why: Your SOI needs to hear from you. Crickets do NOT inspire confidence. Instead, your communication naturally positions you as an authority and voice of reason in turmoil. What’s more? Most are paying attention even MORE right now.
2) Use empathy and authority in ALL communications.
- You are their guide when it comes to real estate and the housing market.
- Demonstrate calm and competency.
- Look ahead: what can they look forward to? What are the silver linings? How may all this benefit them in the end?
3) Build a bridge to a positive outcome.
- First, believe that there are infinite possibilities. There are opportunities and bright spots in every type of market and in every situation. List them.
- Detail the needs of your clients and SOI. What are their fears? What brings them peace of mind? What are their goals?
- Think about the needs you detailed above. How can you shape your audience’s reality by providing extreme value and support? Are there services that can be innovated or repackaged for the current environment? The answers to these questions help your messaging (and that’s coming up next!).
- Brainstorm how your message will pivot. What does your bridge to a positive outcome look like? How will you get there? Be specific. What words or phrases will resonate with your SOI? Examples of what you might include are (with keywords/themes underlined):
- Times may be tough now, but here are simple ways you can conserve resources.
- Touring homes in person may be discouraged, but now is the perfect opportunity to find a home and get a good deal while there’s less competition (right from your comfy chair!).
- Even though my stager can’t personally meet with you, she offers a great value with her virtual staging consultation where she’ll walk you through each recommendation.
- See what words and themes shine through? “Conserve resources,” “get a good deal,” “a great value.” All of these demonstrate empathy, authority, and innovation.
- While the general themes will be similar, keep in mind that there will be 2 phases of your Business Continuity Mar-Com:
- Quarantine plan – how you can help your SOI right now.
- “Climbing out of a recession” plan – how you can light the path forward for your SOI.
4) Inspire engagement with your SOI.
- Launch your Business Continuity Mar-Com Plan where you offer high-value, hyper-local information that helps your SOI and positions you as a guide and resource.
- Plan for 1 regular touch by email every week. (yes, REALLY.)
- Keep doing it. Keep going. Believe me, if you develop the RIGHT resources, your people ARE reading the stuff you’re sending.
5) Build your database outside of your SOI.
- Have you heard of a “sales funnel?” Here’s a crash course, starting at the top of the sales funnel:
1 – Create a pretty, branded single-page free report (aka, “lead magnet”). Here’s an example of a free report or lead magnet: “Waiting for COVID-19 to pass before selling your home? Download my free report to see the 5 things you can do RIGHT NOW to prepare.”
2 – Add a form to your website where a lead enters their contact information in exchange for the ability to download that free report. When the lead enters their info and presses “submit,” the free report is automatically emailed to them AND they’re added to your SOI database.
3 – Nurture this lead (and others) by offering regular, high-value, hyper-local information by email.
4 – At the bottom of the sales funnel, the ideal outcome is when the lead ultimately lists their home with you.
- Execute the sales funnel strategy, and you will build your SOI during lean times.
- Pro-tip: Have a niche audience? Start THERE. Immediately.
- Other free report/lead magnet examples:
1 – Name of resource: Home Buyer Resource Guide in a COVID-19 Environment.
Offer: We know money is tight, so we’ve created a must-do list for home buyers when buying a home during COVID-19.2 – Name of resource: 6 Crucial Things You Can Do to Prep for a Home Purchase Post-COVID-19. (credit prep, gather income documentation, research CARES Act that protects future buyers, research lenders, etc.)
Offer: Waiting out COVID-19 before buying a home? Check out these 6 things you can do RIGHT NOW to prepare.3 – Name of resource: 5 Ways to Read If a Home is Perfect for Entertaining.
Offer: Miss connecting with friends? Check out these 5 ways to find a new home that’s just perfect for entertaining.
6) Keep going.
- While your message may adjust, don’t EVER stop the momentum you build. Make your Business Continuity Mar-Com strategy part of your daily and weekly routines, and you will continue to build and nurture your database long after these challenging times. Do this in challenging AND good times. Whatever you do…DON’T STOP.
Have a question? How can we help? Email us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always here for you.
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