Welcome to the first episode in our SPECIAL EDITION podcast series about how to market your online business in a time of crisis.

(This series comes in response to what’s happening worldwide with the recent COVID-19 outbreak.)

Before we dive into this episode, I want to remind you of 3 ways Team Hirsh is offering additional support throughout the next weeks (and ongoing!) 

  1. This Special Edition Podcast Series will have daily episodes to support your biggest marketing + business strategy decisions, starting now until all your questions are answered! SUBSCRIBE right here.
  2. Starting March 20, we will release a Special Edition Hirsh Marketing Report every week to share specific ads strategies, results, and behind-the-scenes information. If you don’t want to wait until Friday…. You can SIGN UP for our monthly marketing report and we will send you the weekly report as soon as it is released!
  3. And we’re opening up our Hirsh Marketing Insiders Facebook group where I’ll offer additional free video trainings and take your individual questions about marketing strategy and ads! JOIN the group right here.

Note – All these resources are FREE, because we want you to have everything you need to make the best decisions in the coming days, weeks, and months.

Now, let’s dive into today’s topic – the importance of pivoting your strategy, quickly!

The best news is this: As a small business or solopreneur, you have the ability to pivot what you’re doing right now. (You don’t need to wait for the trickle down effect like bigger corporations!)

In this episode, I’ll explain exactly what I’m doing to support my clients, customers, and team members, PLUS…

  • How to CONNECT with your audience during a worldwide pandemic
  • Where to put your energy first, second, and third
  • When to sit tight… and when to PIVOT quickly

I’ll also encourage you to ask this question over and over again, “How can I serve my customers / clients throughout this time?”

Yes, your bottom line matters (and I’ll share more about that inside a future episode).

But, we believe this situation (for marketing and otherwise) is temporary – which means, it’s important NOT to panic, but also to address what’s happening directly.

Tune in for my advice, best tips, and all the “how to’s” you’re looking for right now.

If you want 1:1 support in clarifying your marketing strategy through this crisis, we’ve also opened up additional strategy calls specifically for this reason. Head to HelpMyStrategy.com to apply!

And if you have a special request for a future episode in this series, please send me a DM on Instagram (@emilyhirsh) or email team@emilyhirsh.com.

Key Points:
[1:52] We’re offering 3 additional ways you can get support from Team Hirsh for free!
[4:41] You can’t do “business as usual” in the middle of a crisis
[7:56] Here’s what I love about small business
[10:40] Here’s how I’m showing up for my clients + potential clients
[14:26] This will look differently for every business
[17:10] Your customers (not your audience) are your first priority
[19:17] Here’s the takeaway: You will be okay, if you take action NOW

Subscribe To & Review The Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast

Thanks for tuning into this week’s episode of the Hirsh Marketing Underground Podcast! If this podcast has added value and helped you in your business journey, please head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review. Your reviews and feedback will not only help us continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help us reach even more amazing entrepreneurs just like you.


Episode Transcripts:

Hello everybody. Wow. Welcome to the podcast and this is a day I don’t normally release podcasts coming out. What a crazy time in the world. This is actually the first podcast I’m recording after having little William, for those of you who are regular followers of the podcast, you probably know I had a baby in early February, February 18th he was born. So I haven’t actually recorded a podcast since he was born and I wasn’t planning on it, but the world’s a little crazy right now with coronavirus and the economy and everything going on. And so my team and I decided last minute, yesterday, really, early this week that we were going to do something special for everyone. And so there’s three things we’re going to do and one of them is release a series of podcasts that are specifically around supporting you during this time, supporting you with your marketing, with your business, with your team.

I’m not an expert, nobody really knows what’s going to happen. And so I’m not saying I have this future, I know what’s going to happen and I have all the answers, but I do feel like I have a lot of valuable experience and intel and data to share, especially around what’s happening in marketing, how we’re going to pivot with clients, how we’re going to support clients through this, different strategies we’re going to probably use and as well as how I run my team virtually and how I am stepping in as a leader right now in a time of chaos and scarcity for some people and just an unknown time, right? So I’m going to be doing a series of daily podcasts, starting today when this one comes out, and we kind of paused all the ones I had recorded for release until I feel like I’ve been able to support you guys through this series.

Some other things we’re also doing, so of course if you’re listening to this, you probably already subscribe to the podcast, but subscribe to the podcast to get all those daily podcasts episodes. I’m going to keep them short, actionable, really value packed podcast episodes. And if you have any that you want me to touch on, send me a message on Instagram. You can send an email to team@EmilyHirsh, just if you’re like, “Hey, I’d really love it if you’d cover this topic and support me through this in this way,” send that in because I want to support you guys. Truly I’m doing this from just a place of serving. I want to help. We’re all stuck at home probably right now or a lot of us are and so we have time to listen to a podcast. So I want to be there for you guys in this way, which I think is a cool way that the community can come together.

The second thing that we’re doing that’s really cool is we are releasing a special edition Hirsh marketing report every single Friday starting this Friday. So with everything going on in the world with the economy and with ads, we’re going to be telling you with the millions of dollars of data and ad spend we have behind the scenes what we’re seeing and what strategies we’re doing for our clients to pivot to accommodate to this time, to speak to their audience during this time, and ultimately still get results during this time. So every single Friday we’re going to send out a marketing report just like we send out the monthly Hirsh marketing report. But this will be a weekly special edition into the foreseeable future until I feel like it’s not needed anymore. So if you want to get that report in your inbox, you can go to Hirshmarketingreport.com and if you opt in there, you’ll be on the list to be receiving those reports that are going to come out every Friday starting this Friday with some incredible data. We’re going to give you really valuable behind the scenes.

I want to become the resource for anybody marketing online or running Facebook ads or wanting to run Facebook ads. In this time on what to do, how to pivot your strategy because you can’t just act like business as usual right now because it doesn’t feel right. If you’ve been doing that, you might feel that way. You should still sell and you should still run your business. You owe it to your team to do that. And we can talk about that in later episodes probably, but you have to accommodate to what’s happening in terms of your messaging and your strategy. And so I’m going to share how my team is doing that for each one of our clients.

The third thing we’re going to do is open back up my free Facebook group, Hirsh Marketing Insiders. So you can go to Hirshmarketinginsiders.com and that will direct you straight to that Facebook group. In there, all be doing some bonus trainings, but also just make it a community where people can come and bring their marketing questions or business questions during this time and get that community support. I’m going to be pretty engaged in there and also have a really awesome community of people going through this together. Remember that Hirsh doesn’t have a C in it, so you can get the Hirsh marketing report at Hirshmarketingreport.com and then Hirshmarketinginsiders.com is the Facebook group. Whatever resources you think are valuable for you use them and that is great and that is how I’m serving in this time to our community of people.

The last thing we’re doing is opening up some strategy calls with my team to talk about your marketing during this time. So if you’re feeling like I don’t have a solid strategy right now or I feel like the strategy I have isn’t going to work and I need support and how I’m going to get through this, you can go to helpmystrategy.com and we opened up specific strategy calls to talk about your business and marketing during this time because I believe this will blow over, but I think it’s going to be a couple months at least until things go back to quote normal. They may never go back completely to how it was right before. But I do think that it will bounce back, especially when we look at China right now and what’s happening and they’re ahead of us with the curve and they’ve relatively gone back to work and normal life.

So I think it will, this is temporary and that is a good sign, but it’s still actually an opportunity and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. So that’s what I’m doing. That’s why these daily episodes are going to be coming out. And I am excited, was not thinking I’d be back recording podcasts in this manner, which is just crazy. Like what a time for William, my new baby to come into the world. But he is also reminding me that so much miracles still exist and I look at him and he has no idea what’s going on, no idea of the chaos. And he just needs lots of milk, lots of love and snuggles and he is good. And so just getting out for a walk with him and slowing down and remembering nature’s still going on, miracles are still happening. Life is still going on and it’s going to be okay. We just have to breathe is helping me through it.

So, okay, let’s talk about this. So today’s special edition episode is the importance of being able to pivot and adjust. And I want to talk about this because I think this is how every single one of you should be thinking right now if you’re not already. And I’ve seen a lot of people already doing this. Here’s what I love about small businesses. In a corporation, it would take them weeks to be able to respond to something like this. In most cases, at least in a big sense in terms of a marketing strategy or ways they have to shift around their team or their product or their delivery or whatever.

It would usually take a long time and have to go up the ladder and have to get approval. And I think that is such a crippling thing for bigger companies. For smaller businesses, and I have 22 employees, so whatever you consider small, I have a good sized team, but we are able to have this happen and in one to two days have an entire, not only marketing plan, but we sat down and were like, “Okay, how are we going to serve our clients through this?” Because you can’t just act like it’s business as usual. It just doesn’t feel right. It won’t feel right to your potential customers, to your current customers. You have to at least acknowledge what’s happening. I am not saying in any way that means you stopped selling. That means you stopped doing business. In fact, I’m saying the opposite because I believe you owe it to your team and your company to keep selling and to step up as a leader and ride this through whatever it means and get you through the other side.

It is your responsibility as a CEO. And I feel honored right now to be in this position to be able to lead my team and to be able to be that voice and be like, guys, here’s what we’re doing. So I’m going to give you guys the background of what I did and how I handled this so you can get perspective and understand, maybe get some ideas for your business. But the core message in this episode is that it is so crucial that you’re able to pivot and adjust in times like this. I talk a lot about staying focused on your goals and making sure you’re focused on your outcomes and what you’re doing. And all of those things are great.

But when a crisis happens and when a pandemic happens, you’re going to have to pivot and adjust. And the faster you can do it, the faster you’ll get ahead and the faster you’ll come out okay from whatever is happening. And right now it’s a pandemic. In five years, three years from now it might be something totally different. This is what you have to do for having a business, running a team, and being able to connect with your audience still. Remember that marketing and business is about that connection. And at least you’re acknowledging that big things happening in the world that are impacting everyone. They’re impacting everyone’s customers right now in different ways, but they are impacting everyone. You won’t survive because people won’t pay attention to you during it.

So here’s what I did. I feel like last week everything went crazy when Trump announced the ban on all European travelers and that’s when people really started to freak out. Before they were kind of freaking out, going to the store, getting toilet paper, all of that. But people started to really freak out at that moment and that’s when I was like, okay, this is going to get worse. And I still believe like it might get a little bit worse. As of now, recording this, they haven’t announced a state travel ban or complete national lockdown for the US but I do think it might be coming and I think it will get a little bit worse before it gets better. But then I do think it’s going to get better for sure.

So what I did was as soon as that happened, I started thinking about two things. One, my customers and two, my potential customers. And just like in any marketing strategy or any company delivery strategy to your customers, I put myself in their shoes. So first priority for me was our current customers and our current clients. And I said, what are they going to be feeling right now? How are they going to be reacting? And I put myself in their shoes. What’s the information that they’re going to want? What are they going to need to feel supported?

And what I did was, first, probably a lot of people’s reaction is, do I keep running ads? What do I do? How do I adjust my strategy? Do I keep spending the same amount? Lots of questions. What’s going to happen? Is my product still going to sell well? Those are all the things that I was thinking our client was thinking. And as of Friday I got on my team huddle and really nobody was panicking yet in terms of actually reached out to us and saying, “Hey, I’m freaking out about my ads. Tell me what to do.” So first that happens. Second, my team said as of Friday they had not noticed anything like any increase in ad spend, any increase in ad cost, and so we’re monitoring that.

What I did was immediately I sent out an email to our clients and I said, and I made sure they knew that they’re supported, I made sure that they knew we are watching what’s happening, we’re watching the numbers and we are going to pivot their strategy as needed or their messaging as needed. But we got it, and I made them feel supported because truly we were. And what we are doing this week, by the time this comes out it’ll probably be done. But I got on with my team and I said, “Every single client account needs to be audited right now for strategy shifts and changes, product shifts and changes and messaging.” Everyone gets a new creative version of copy and images to be able to resonate during this time. But on the flip side, we’re not turning off anything that’s working.

And that is one of our core company values that I said in my message to our clients too, is what we all have to come back to is breathe. We have to breathe. It’s an emotional time. It’s a scary time. It’s easy to get our brains in this like overwhelmed questioning everything, trying to come up with solutions state, and remember that marketing is numbers. And so with everything right now, if something is still working, it’s still working and we can keep it on and we can keep spending money on it. And with that, there’s also an opportunity to pivot your strategy or expand your strategy to speak to your audience with what’s going on today. So every account got an audit, every account got new messaging and creative and every account got a strategy adjustment if needed. And so the ads manager is talking to the client this week about that.

And that was like a requirement. We put a checklist, every single account needed to have this, it’s being executed right now. I emailed my clients to connect with them and make sure that they acknowledge what’s happening. And so here’s the thing. So you have to take what I’m saying, knowing my clients. We work one-on-one in very personal partnership relationships. What I don’t like is the companies right now emailing, my water company emailed, “We’re taking it seriously. We’re cleaning things in our office.” I don’t care if you’re cleaning things and I don’t need that email telling me that you’re taking precautions for your employees as my water company in Austin. And maybe that’s mean. Maybe that’s just me, but that’s not connecting with me. So that’s not what I mean. I’m not saying, sorry, it’s not corona.

I’m not saying that everyone needs to send out an email to their customers. That’s not what I want you to take away from what I’m saying. I’m saying put yourself in your customer’s position and ask yourself what they’d want to feel supported by you as somebody they’re paying. And that might look different for everyone. For some people it might not be anything. It might not be that you need to send out an email acknowledging it. It might just be give them an amazing quality service. Go above and beyond. Do something to release their stress. Send an extra gift in a package. I don’t know. But for me it was that I knew my clients needed to know. We are acknowledging what’s happening. We’re watching what’s happening, we’re monitoring it closely in every one of your accounts and we’re giving you additional strategy and messaging support in your account.

Because I knew that’s what they’d all want. So I put myself in my client’s position and I did that. And that’s what first everyone needs to be able to do is put yourself in your client or customer’s position, ask yourself what they need to feel supported. And for everyone that might be different. And this is what I love because people could say everybody should be sending an email to their client or everyone should be acknowledging this with their customer. It’s going to look different for every business. But the key is that you’re able to make this pivot, adjust the way you’re messaging. It was not on my weekly commitments last week and my to do list to write that email and to adjust everything and to record this podcast series. And all of this was not actually on my to do’s, but a crisis has happened.

Chaos is happening and my audience and customers needs me to respond in this way. And so the key is that in business you can stay focused. You can have projects and goals and all of that. But when something like this happens, you have to pivot and you have to pivot fast. And I don’t mean pivot, like change your whole strategy. I just mean address it, take action on it, do something about it so that you are staying ahead of what’s happening. So that’s what we did for our customers and that’s what I want everyone listening, if you haven’t already, think about your customers and they should be number one priority, not your audience who are your potential customers. I know everybody is probably worried about business and sales and continuing that through this period and how can I leverage it to still make money.

Of course, we’re all business owners, we’re concerned about that. But number one is your current customers and clients. And so what do they need to be supported? What do you need to change? I mean, I had to talk to my copywriting team and I said, “You guys, you’re going to be working late for the next three days. We’re turning around new ad copy for every client to speak to this messaging and I need it done. And I need it done now.” This is a time where, sorry, but we have to do it because we have to be able to pivot and adjust and accommodate to what’s happening and we cannot wait two or three days. We can’t wait two or three days to even just start responding. We have to do it now and that’s the benefit of small businesses, we can do that.

Then to our audience, I’ve shared with you what I’m doing to serve my audience. The podcast series, the weekly Hirsh marketing report and the Facebook group as well as opening up strategy sessions with our team to talk about your marketing right now in this time. That all came on Monday. See, I didn’t even think about, I was thinking about my customers Friday, Saturday, Sunday, what I needed to do for them. So then on Monday I was able to think about marketing and I was able to think about how I can serve our audience. Got on with my team was like, here’s what I’m thinking. I got collaborative feedback. We shifted a few things and it was like, okay go.

We had to put this podcast episode out with one day’s turnaround time. We have to change all the other episodes that we had created that are already numbered. Push them back. We have to write all these emails last minute, my content writers got to turn it around. I’ve got to record these podcasts episodes with not a lot of turnaround time. We have to turn around this Hirsh marketing report special edition in three days. There’s a lot of last minute, but we have to, because it is needed right now and if I waited until next week to do anything, it’s already been a week of time that I could be serving and I could be supporting the audience.

And so the message behind today’s podcast episode is one, maybe my actions have given you some inspiration in how you have responded. But two, you will come out on top of this, and you will quote win right now. If you have the ability to pivot and adjust and take action and do it quickly with urgency. Because I see right now a lot of opportunity in the time of this chaos. This chaos is creating pain, which is creating the chaos and the overwhelm and pain creates opportunity.

And I’m not saying capitalize on the pandemic at all, I’m not saying take advantage of people or do that, but there’s opportunity to serve, and everything I’m creating for our audience and of course for our customers is serving them. It’s helping them through this because I want to see all these amazing small online businesses win through this. We can get through this and we can grow. It’s such, Oh, it’s like listening to [inaudible] doing a series on chaos right now and she was talking about all of the opportunity that’s going to be created from this. And I just think that’s an amazing perspective. Yes, this is a stressful time. Yes, it’s awful what’s happening, especially in Italy with the people dying from this, and just the effect of the virus. It’s terrible, right? We would never have wished this.

But on the other side of it, if you can open your eyes. This is going to change the way people look at online education, online business, working from home, using the internet and using that remote ability to work, to go to school. The homeschool community, it’s got these number one selling books or homeschool books and colleges are closing for the year and bringing it online. That’s going to change it forever. They’re opening up all these opportunities and so I believe there is a whole silver lining, positive side to this, not just for the world but for you too, for everyone in business right now because it’s your job to see that.

You have two choices. You can sit there right now and be like, well this sucks and I don’t know what’s going to happen to my business and I don’t know what’s going to happen to my customers and I don’t know what to do. Or you can start thinking differently and say, “How am I going to pivot? How am I going to adjust? How am I going to accommodate? And how am I going to serve my customers, my clients, and my audience during this time?” And I guarantee you’ll come up with an answer. Put yourself in their shoes and come up with an answer. I put myself in my client’s shoes. I came up with a whole plan, communication, everything we needed to do to support them. I put myself in the audience shoes and I knew everyone’s going to be asking, how do I market during this time? What’s happening in the audience?

I actually already got messages of people asking me, “Are you guys seeing ad cost increase?” I have the advantage of having hundreds of thousands of dollars every week that we run ads through. So we’re able to take that and teach people and provide that intel that no solo company has because they don’t have all the different industries and the different strategies and metrics that they’re seeing. So I knew that’s what my audience needed and I created a plan and put it in place and I’m taking action fast. And to be honest with you, I feel super in momentum right now, and so does my team. And I’ll talk more about leadership in another episode in this series, just how to lead in this chaos, but it is your job right now. I’ll just say this. If you are a CEO, if you are running a team, even if it’s one person, even if it’s a subcontractor, they are looking to you right now for support. They’re looking to you right now for guidance of what to do.

I didn’t get on my team huddle yesterday and have my team tell me what we need to do. I got on my team huddle and they were all looking to me for what we’re supposed to do and I brought it. I was like, here’s what we’re doing guys. Here’s my thoughts on this. Here’s what we’re doing for our clients. Here’s how we’re going to serve our clients and we are going to be okay. I could clap and jump around, that’s how I feel because it’s my job. I’m made for this. You are made for this. We can do this. We have to just be able to pivot, adjust, take action, have urgency and serve our audience and customers. And if you are a leader right now, you are being called to step up in whatever way that looks like in your company and take action and serve in this new way and find the opportunities in the chaos because they are there.

They are there for everybody. Everybody. You bring me one business. I can tell you one opportunity. If you’re feeling like you don’t have an opportunity then send me an email, send a message to me, I will probably make a podcast episode about it or talk about it because there is opportunity there. It’s your mindset. And I’m not a big mindset woo woo person, but I truly believe there’s two ways to look at what’s happening. One as a victim. Two as what’s the opportunity for me? How do I learn from this? How do I grow from this? How do I come out stronger on the other side?

All right you guys, I will see you all tomorrow or you’ll hear me tomorrow for the next special edition episode. Thanks so much for tuning in. Again, if you have any requests or you’re like, I’m really struggling with this one thing, you can message me on Instagram, Emily Hirsh, or you can send an email to team@emilyhirsh.com I really want to serve you guys through this. I’d love to know if there’s something you want to speak about. I’ve got several episodes already planned. I’m super excited about this, but I want to bring it for you guys and we’re basically doing daily episodes until I decide we’re not anymore.

So we’re pivoting. We’re adjusting here at Team Hirsh and it’s awesome. We’ve already actually seen several clients launch a new strategy. One launched a whole new funnel around this and doubled their sales last month. That was actually early this month, I guess it happened, so there is opportunity in the chaos. All right guys. See you next time.