Welcome back to 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.)

Listen to Special Edition 1: Episode 160 right here.

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 – how to market effectively through a crisis.

I know the tendency for a lot of people (business owners + everyone else) is to panic… but I want to encourage you to remove emotion from your decision making as much as possible.

And look at your numbers!

As of now, we’re not seeing a dip in ad performance for our influencer clients (some clients are actually getting improved results!) – I think because more people are on social media than before.

Now more than ever, people are looking for answers, right? We’re living in a period of uncertainty, so we’re on social media for relief from everyday life and solutions to our fears…

Which means, YOU have the opportunity to serve your audience in a new + different way.

This doesn’t mean you can’t market a paid product (you can and *should* continue running your business – that’s your first responsibility as a business owner!)

What it means is, you have the opportunity to show up for your audience in ways that will provide incredible benefits (and actually grow your Know-Like-Trust factor in the process).

Tune in to this episode – and then get to work brainstorming your next best step a.s.a.p.!

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.

Listen to episode 145, “Let Your Numbers Tell A Story,” for more about leaning into the data to make better decisions with your marketing.
Listen to episode 12, “Everything You Need To Be Looking At Weekly In Your Marketing,” for more about our weekly reporting recommendations.
Listen to episode 9, “What You Need To Be Tracking Daily With Your Facebook Ads,” for more about our daily reporting recommendations.

Key Points:
[3:15] If you’re just tuning in…
[5:32] What to do if you need URGENT 1:1 support
[7:09] Don’t panic! Start by looking at your numbers…
[9:29] What does all this mean for paid ads?
[12:41] Here’s a few examples of what our clients are doing right now
[14:50] The main TAKEAWAYS from today’s episode…
[15:48] Think about how you can serve your audience right now (yes, that includes selling)
[17:18] And here’s why ad costs might actually go down right now…

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Emily Hirsh:

Hello everybody. How are you all doing? Hope everybody is surviving this week. It’s funny… so I run a virtual company, and we get on Zoom every day for the huddle. And most people have their kids at home, and it’s just like, everybody feels like their schedule is thrown off, and everything’s all weird. And I know for me, it’s like, I have a newborn, so my schedule is completely all thrown off, and then also throw this into the mix, and then also throw into the mix that we don’t have a nanny right now, and my life feels crazy. Literally today, I was on a team call with my AirPods in, nursing William with the video off, and my kids [were] playing in the backyard while I’m up on the patio, because my husband had clients that he was seeing in the gym. And one of our friends, his client, walked in, and she walked over and looked at me, and I just waved at her, and she’s like, “Wow, what a boss right there! But also, how many things can you do at once?”

I think even during that time, too, my four-year-old had to go to the bathroom, so I had to manage that. I don’t know what I’m doing, I’m crazy. I should just maybe take some time off work, but it’s too crazy right now. I want to be there for my team. Honestly, I feel like I need to be there as a leader for my team, for my audience, for our customers. And so that is what feels right. So I hope you guys are surviving, and everybody’s healthy and [your] families are healthy, especially those people who are more at risk… and also, you’re not going crazy with your kids home, or just out of routine. It doesn’t make me crazy that my kids are home […] they’re always home.

They’re young anyways, and we plan on homeschooling them. But it’s just hard to not have a routine. That’s what I’m noticing is like, to not have a routine and just, every day is a little bit different… and also it’s like, feeling like I have to just fit work into these times. And so not used to that. I’m used to my very structured routine, but I’m going with it, and I’m finding the positives in this, and I know it’s a season, and a just a season for the world right now, that we’re going through, and we’re going to get through it together. So today’s special edition episode, and just to quickly recap if you’re just tuning in, what I’m doing right now on the podcast is this special daily series that will come out for the next several days, at least seven. And if I feel like it needs to continue, it’ll continue, before we go back to the regular podcast.

All of these special edition episodes are specifically about what’s going on right now, helping you through this time with the COVID-19, and helping you really get your business… making sure you’re still doing your marketing, and you’re still growing, you’re still keeping things as sustained as possible, you’re pivoting where needed, you’re feeling supported as a leader. It’s just a weird time, and I want to serve that way. So we’re doing a special podcast series. We’re also releasing a weekly marketing report. So we normally do the monthly Hirsh Marketing Report, but we will be releasing the weekly Special Edition Hirsh Marketing Report during this time period, on Fridays. So you can subscribe to that report by going to HirshMarketingReport.com. There’s no C in Hirsh, H-I-R-S-H. I’m going to say that so many times that all of you guys will just remember it, because everyone’s spells my name with a C. But, HirshMarketingReport.com, and you can subscribe to get that report.

In it, we’re going to have the average cost per lead we’re seeing week over week right now, cost per purchase, the purchase conversions, numbers. I’ve already had several messages of people asking me, “What is happening right now? What are you seeing on the backend in the ads?” We have so many client accounts that we get to see the backend of what’s happening, and the data. And every day my team and I are having a discussion on it. We’re having lengthy team huddles to talk about what we’re seeing and to bring that collaboration together. So I want to bring that to you guys, as well as bring strategy ideas and strategy suggestions that you can go implement, and show you how we are pivoting and adjusting and accommodating our client strategy and messaging where relevant, based on this time, and based on what’s happening and what’s going on out there.

So I want to bring those strategies to you. The third thing is, I will be in our free Facebook group, Hirsh Marketing Insiders. So you can join that [at] HirshMarketingInsiders.com. …doing some bonus trainings, just as a community support, so you can get that marketing help and engage with other people, but also get support from my team. So, and then the final thing is, we opened up specific strategy calls, if you go to HelpMyStrategy.com, to talk to our team about how to do your marketing, get support with your marketing through this next several month period where you’re going to have to be really strategic. And so if you want support with that, you can go to HelpMyStrategy.com and claim one of those… well, you have to apply, but… to claim one of those free calls that we’re doing. And they’re specifically going to be tailored to that.

So those are the ways that I am stepping up and supporting. And in today’s episode I wanted to talk about just basically marketing during this time. How do you market during this time? What are we seeing? And just have a conversation around that right now, because that’s the biggest question… I’ve been getting messages all over Facebook and Instagram and emails, just about, “What are we seeing? What are we doing? How do we strategize? How do we really stay positive through this, and make it profitable potentially? But basically don’t go backwards in business, and make it a positive..?” And there’s some thoughts I have on that, and strategies and things we’re doing with our team. But first and foremost, let me say that every day since this has really started to blow up and get crazy, I have asked my team, “What are you guys seeing? Are you seeing any results go down? Are you seeing cost per lead go up, or cost per purchase go up, or click through rates affected? And all of those ad stats?”

And for the most part, we have, with the exception of a couple of clients, especially with international audiences, we really haven’t seen a big hit on results at all. In some cases we’ve seen improved results on Facebook and Instagram advertising. And so my theory behind that, and what I want you guys to really see is, this might be a really scary time, and it might seem like, “Should I keep marketing? Should I turn down my ad spend? Should I change everything?” That’s going to be your reaction that you’re going to jump to, because your brain is overwhelmed, your brain is freaking out, and you’re trying to come up with the solution, because that’s what we do.

But remember and always come back to numbers. And so we are obsessing over our clients weekly and daily tracking and reports to tell us and guide us what to do. So if something starts to rise in cost or results go down, then we will obviously be taking action to fix that and adjust where needed. But if things are working, don’t sabotage the results right now just because you’re overwhelmed and the world feels overwhelmed. In my opinion, it’s actually a huge opportunity right now, because there’s way more people on social media. Even myself, like you guys know, if you listen to my podcast, I deleted all social media from my phone in October of last year, and I haven’t been back on since then, I’ve completely broken the addiction of it. I don’t even think about it. But through this, I have gone back on a little bit.

I’ll like, download Facebook, and tell myself like, “Oh, I’m just going to go and post a photo,” and then I’ll keep it on for like a day, and I’m like, “Crap! I’m going to the newsfeed to scroll it,” because I’m so interested in all the posts and the things going on in the news. And our brain is wired to be so drawn to everything going on, to get more information, to get updates. Because here’s what’s happening is, we don’t know what’s going on. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. We don’t know the next announcement that’s going to come out about the quarantining, and we don’t know the numbers, everything. We are scared. At the end of the day, most people, and at least their primal instinct right now, is to feel that fear of the unknown and of the chaos.

And so the way we’re kind of solving it, whether it’s good for us or not is, we’re getting constant updates, news updates, social media updates. If you look at your social media, most people are analyzing like, “Here is my take on what’s going on and what’s going to happen.” And that’s because it’s making them feel better. They want to have some predictability and control. And the reality is we don’t. But we’re being drawn into that on social media. So, for us advertisers that means engagement in social media is a way up right now. Scrolling the feed, way up. And not only way up, people are also home from work, their kids are home, they’re distracted, they’re pulling out their phone, they’re getting on social media, they’re spending way more time on Facebook and Instagram than they normally would because of this. And so that means it’s your opportunity right now to actually market really smart.

And so, my answer to anybody who’s been asking me, “How are you marketing during this time? And what do I need to do? What do I need to change? What are we seeing on the backend?” As of today recording this, we have not seen this huge crisis and chaos really affect our numbers for our clients yet. Which is amazing news. And in some cases, we’ve actually seen improved results, improved costs per click, improved cost per conversion or purchase, because my theory is, more people are on, engagement is getting cheaper. So my answer to marketing during this time is a couple things. One, follow the numbers. End of story, bottom line, your numbers will tell you what you need to do. So if you haven’t listened to a lot of my podcasts, go through and listen to the episodes that are specifically about your reporting and tracking and how to do that, and the numbers you need to look for, and letting your numbers tell a story.

I’m pretty sure we just released an episode that was [about] letting your numbers tell a story and how to track your ads. That still all applies, that does not change. That is foundational things that you need to really keep in mind right now, because you’re going to be tempted to be distracted and think that you have to change everything, and you don’t. You can still keep going, looking at your numbers. So your numbers should tell you what to do, and your numbers will tell you if it’s working or not. So let’s remove emotion, remove the overwhelm from everything that everyone’s feeling, including myself, and come back to the numbers, ground ourselves, look at the numbers, track them every day. Nothing crazy is going to happen overnight with your ad spend. And let that make your decisions for you. With that said, I also believe during this time there is a huge opportunity to connect and serve your audience in a different or new way by shifting [to] what they need.

So people need different things right now. They need to be spoken to differently. So a lot of your messaging might have to shift, or there’s opportunity for it to shift, which doesn’t mean shut down everything you’re doing and everything that’s working and start everything new, new campaigns with all new ad copy and new messaging. It just means add, add some different messaging, add some different ways to connect with your audience, because while your audience is sitting there scrolling Facebook or scrolling Instagram or watching stories, they’re in a different mindset. Put yourself in their mindset, and figure out how you need to speak with them and connect with them so that it works and it converts for you, and it works for your marketing strategy. So that’s the biggest thing, marketing during this time is, making sure you adjust your marketing messaging and strategy to serve your audience based on what they’re going through right now, based on what they need right now.

And let me give you a couple of examples. We have one client who serves teachers, daycare providers, preschool teachers is one of her main ones, and also people who run daycares… who basically set up curriculums. So immediately when this started happening, we knew that those people would need help with keeping their classrooms clean. And this was before schools and stuff started getting shut down. But, keeping their classrooms clean, activities for them, activities to give parents to do with their kids if they were home more, hand-washing tips, right? So there were all these different things. And so immediately with that client, we shifted and we started… she created an opt-in, and we had messaging and a strategy around serving the audience in that way. Another example is, we have a client right now who is in the online fitness space.

So they have a membership, online fitness, right? Okay, people can’t go to the gym right now. So how do we need to talk to people about this opportunity to work from home, workout online, because they’re not able to go to the gym, right? So that’s a little shift in messaging. Another bigger shift in strategy is, we have a client who does a ton of in-person events. We’re having to pivot a little bit, and help her get online, and have those events online, and create a funnel around that. So that’s a bigger example of where we’re having to actually shift strategy. So in some senses, it’s shifting of messaging, and others it’s shifting of their entire strategy. But every single client and every single business out there has an opportunity to where they can do that. Even a service business, right? I have a local coffee shop, they actually haven’t been shut down yet, but if they are shut down, I know they sell coffee online.

So it’s like, okay, if you have to shut your doors for a month or a couple of weeks, let’s double down on your online sales. Let’s figure out how to get your online sales up. Everyone kind of has that opportunity to use this time to connect with their audience, to serve their audience in the way they need. The key is to slow down and ask yourselves, “What do they need?” So marketing during this time, one, numbers are not being affected [so far]. That’s my message to you today. Don’t be afraid and pull back on your marketing until the numbers tell you to do that, if they tell you to do that. Okay, come back to the numbers, obsess over the numbers, remove the emotion. Have your weekly and daily tracking of your ads so that you know how to make decisions based on them. And the third most important thing is, adjust your strategy and your messaging right now, as needed, to speak to your audience so that it works and connects with them during this time, because there is an opportunity to do that.

There’s an opportunity to stand out and connect with people, based on what they need. And it’s your job as the CEO or the influencer or the face of your brand or the creator of a product, to do that. And so the faster you can do that, the more strategic you can do that, the better that’s going to work for you. I said this in yesterday’s episode, but I believe right now that this chaos is creating a lot of pain, and pain creates opportunity. And whether you like it or not, somebody is going to capitalize on that opportunity, and it’s not opportunity in terms of taking advantage of people. I’ve seen so many posts that are like, “Should you sell during this time or not? Should you continue with business?” But I’ve mostly seen posts about people that are like, “Duh, of course you should sell during this time.”

It’s your job to keep yourself in business. I haven’t actually seen a lot of negative ones around that, but I feel like maybe there’s some shame around how to navigate… Do I want to keep running ads and marketing to people if they are upset over what’s happening in the world? And I want you guys to just see everything you do as serving. Because if you see everything you do as serving… Right now, I’m doing these podcast episodes purely because I know that they’re going to help people, they’re going to help people feel less alone, less overwhelmed, less scared, less confused about what’s going on in the marketing world. And I’m taking my knowledge, my experience and serving you in that way. Yes, it will help grow my business. Yes, it will help grow my brand awareness. Yes, it probably will bring us some clients.

That’s the byproduct of me serving my audience, and that’s how you should see it, too. One, how do I serve and connect with my audience, in the right way that I can also grow my business? And if you can answer that and do that strategically during this time, you will see great results. The last note I want to make is, I believe that some big companies and advertisers will pull back spend, because they’re going to freak out and use emotion and not numbers, which is good for us, because it will actually make ad costs cheaper. The less people [with] that are pulling back on advertising, the cheaper it is to get impressions and reach on your ads. So I believe, truly, and I’m seeing this happen for our clients, that the businesses and the CEO’s and the entrepreneurs who do market through this and actually are committed to business growth through what we’re going through and about to go through for the coming months, are going to actually grow their business during this time … when most people are like, “Oh, it was a recession or economy crashed,” or whatever.

You can still grow your business during this time. There is opportunity. You just have to be in the right mindset, and not just mindset, but also take action in the right way. And so I’m giving you all those tools. I’m telling you how to think. And it’s not complicated or secret, it’s really a matter of taking a breath, removing your overwhelm, your emotion, your fear… not removing it, because I don’t want to not make it valid, but just separating yourself from it. Getting calm, grounded, and putting yourself in the shoes of your audience and your customers, and then coming from a place of serving and connecting, and your business will grow as a byproduct.

All right guys, thanks so much for tuning in. I did share at the beginning of the episode all the ways that I can support you right now, and Team Hirsh and myself would love to support so many of our amazing entrepreneurs through this, in whatever way it makes sense for you. If there’s something you want me to talk about in this series, send me a message on Instagram [@emilyhirsh] or email team@emilyhirsh.com with your request, because I really want to support you. I know we have more time right now for content consumption, and so also, these daily podcasts, hopefully, will help you through that, and will make you feel less alone. And I will see you guys all back here tomorrow.