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.
Listen to Special Edition 2: Episode 161 right here.
Listen to Special Edition 3: Episode 162 right here.
Listen to Special Edition 4: Episode 163 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. We will release a Special Edition Hirsh Marketing Report every Friday into the foreseeable future, to share specific ads strategies, results, and behind-the-scenes information. SIGN UP to receive this weekly report right here.
  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 Sell During A Global Health Crisis (Without Being Insensitive).

Let’s start by acknowledging: Nobody knows the exact answer here.

We’re all stepping into the muddy waters of something nobody’s done / seen before.

AND. It’s your job to keep your company in business!

You want (+need) to keep your business going, to support yourself, your Team, and your community, right?

So, let’s start with what we know…

First, the core concepts of marketing your business still work.

You still need to warm-up cold traffic with free offers.
You still need to nurture leads through a Customer Journey, strategically.
You still need to provide quality service to a specific Ideal Client.

Because selling your product or service is (always!) a BYPRODUCT of incredible service.

You’re increasing the Know-Like-Trust factor per usual (+providing multiple touchpoints to cold traffic before selling…)

The only difference is – you’re being asked to SERVE to your audience in a new way.

Consider this your *opportunity* to double-down on genuine, authentic service to your people. (That’s what makes selling easy down the road!)

In this episode, I’m jumping into a conversation about marketing + making money during a crisis, including…

  • The absolute WORST thing you can do right now (+what to do instead)
  • What to do if you’ve NEVER marketed anything to anyone… but want to start!
  • PLUS, exact examples of how we’re helping our clients make this pivot

Tune into this quick lesson in marketing – and then SHARE with your #bizbestie on your prefered social media platform!

If you want 1:1 support in clarifying your marketing strategy through this crisis, we’ve also opened up additional FREE 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:
[2:49] “How can I sell during a global pandemic… without being insensitive?”
[4:44] Remember, selling is a byproduct of (incredible!) service
[6:32] What to do if you’ve never marketed anything to anyone before…
[7:06] The opportunity is in VALUE content (i.e. free content to cold+warm traffic)
[8:52] What is Team Hirsh doing to market + sell during this time? Here’s some examples
[10:12] And here’s what we’re helping clients do (+what you can maybe do, too!)
[12:22] IMPORTANT: Your Ideal Client will stay the same
[14:40] The *worst* mistake you can make (+how to avoid it)
[16:14] Now’s an important time to SERVE (which ultimately builds your warm audience)

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 Transcript:

Emily Hirsh: Hello, everyone. Welcome back for another episode. We’re on number five of our Special Edition Podcast series. We’re going to do at least seven of these, maybe more. I left it open, because I want to create as many as we need and respond to as many topics and questions and things and discussions that I feel like we need to have to serve the audience. And when I feel that’s complete, we’ll jump back into our regular Tuesday, Thursday podcast schedule. So far I am so enjoying this with you guys, and just enjoying, I’ve said it multiple times, but I’m grateful to have the platform and grateful to support you. I got an email today from someone who said like, “Thank you so much for encouraging me to get back up, to keep going in my business. You saved my business,” basically, which is just amazing.

I’ve had a few messages like that and emails so far, come in, just within the first episode that we released. By the time this one comes out, several more will be released. But that to me is just amazing, that I have that ability to, that platform to create a message for you guys and share something with you guys, and share my experience and my insight and what I know about business and running teams and marketing right now, and be able to impact you in your business, and in these cases, help people continue on with their business, because it can be a very scary, frustrating, discouraging time right now for people. And I want to be here for you guys.

So thank you, if you’ve been tuning in to this series, if you haven’t, I’d love for you to go back and listen. I think there’s some really valuable information there for all of you. And I kept them, like I always do, short and actionable podcast episodes. So today we’re diving into, how do we sell during this crisis? How do we still make money during this crisis? And how we do that by still serving our community. And one specific question I got was, “How do I keep selling and how do I sell and pivot during this crisis without being insensitive to what’s going on?” And that is a great question, and I think a lot of people are feeling that right now. And I want to just say that I don’t think anybody has a perfect answer to this. I think we’re all very hyper-aware of this, that we need to continue on with business. We need to sell, we need to make money.

It is our job to do that as a CEO, as a business owner, is to keep our business in business and keep our team able to be paid. And that’s our job as an entrepreneur, and that keeps the economy going, too. So we have to sell, it is a non-negotiable during this time. It is not the time to pull back, cut ad spend, stop selling, shut everything down. It might feel like that, but it is the opposite of that. You do not want to do that right now, and it is your job to not do that. But I do want to acknowledge that I think everybody is feeling this like, “How do I do this while still staying sensitive to what’s going on, staying sensitive to the way the world feels, and still keep my business making money?” And I don’t think anybody has a perfect right answer to that.

First, I want you to acknowledge that feeling’s not going to go away, because you care, because you care about your audience, because you care about the way they feel, and you care about the impact that you have on them. You’re going to have this awareness of like, “Is this right, what I’m doing?” Right? And so that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing to have that, because that means you’re going to be aware of it. You’re not going to be slimy, you’re not going to be gross. You’re not going to push people away with your selling. And we’re going to shift the way that we look at things right now and our mindset, and I want you to see it from [a place of] serving. Because selling is like a byproduct of serving. And so here’s how I see making money and selling right now during this crisis.

A couple of things. First, the foundation and the core of what we know works, still works. So if you have a funnel or you have a marketing strategy or a customer journey that you know works… it goes from a webinar and it sells people, or it goes to a challenge and it sells people, or you get people on application calls and it sells people… that probably is still true. So don’t feel like you have to change everything right now, just because of what’s going on. And so that core foundation of what you already know works, if you have that, is still there. So breathe, and don’t forget that. Okay?

And if you don’t have that, then you still know your audience. You still know who you’re trying to target right now. And you know that. So step back, put yourself in their shoes, and ask yourself, “What is that customer journey? What is that sales funnel they need to be able to buy what I have to offer?” Those core foundational marketing tactics of creating a customer journey for your customer, for your audience, creating an experience of connection, of giving value, of taking somebody who maybe doesn’t know who you are and then selling to them, still is top priority. It still is a completely relevant marketing tactic and should be your focus. No matter if you’re shifting the messaging in a current funnel or offer, if you’re not at all, because it’s still working and you’re still going to run that, or if you have to create something totally new, because let’s say, you offer in-person events and now you’re having to shift them online.

But even then, they’re still going to be relevant strategies that work [different] from what worked in the past. And if you’ve never marketed before, then you have to put yourself into the shoes of, “What is that journey that my audience needs to go on right now to go from somebody who doesn’t know who I am, doesn’t know what I sell, and become a paying customer?” So that’s still the foundation, you guys, that hasn’t changed. Okay? So we’re still going to focus on that, no matter what, no matter what level you’re at, no matter what pivots and changes you have to make, that is still the key to selling. Okay?

So, here’s how I see selling right now. Right now the opportunity is in value and is in serving your audience. And where you’re going to step it up is in the way that you show up for that audience in your free content. So if you follow The Hirsh Process, you know Step 2 is visibility and brand awareness. The first part of getting somebody hooked on your brand is getting them to consume free content, getting them to build trust with you, getting them to look to you as an expert in your industry or in your field.

And then you usually bring them through the rest of your customer journey, whether that’s an opt-in or a sale, whatever the steps are. But the first step is usually a touch point with your brand, if they’re cold traffic. And you guys have, probably, two camps right now. You’ve got people who are warm traffic, who know who you are, who are in your audience that you could potentially sell. And then you’ve still got people who don’t know who you are. They’re cold traffic. And you need to figure out how to continue to attract them.

So right now where you’re going to massively increase your efforts is in the visibility and brand awareness stage. I think, yes, it would feel insensitive or not right to just go out and be like, “Well, I have to make money, so I’m just going to start massively selling.” Right? That would be like throwing away our marketing strategy and… already understanding that we have to take people through a customer journey, usually takes five to seven touchpoints with a brand for them to buy. All of those things are still relevant right now. So right now with this crisis going on and with this chaos and overwhelm, there’s more people on social media, and your opportunity lies in the visibility and brand awareness space. That’s where you have to start.

So how am I doing that? Let’s look at my strategy right now. The podcast series, the Hirsh Marketing Report, the free Facebook group, our free strategy calls with our clients or potential clients. Those are all brand awareness, visibility strategies. The strategy calls, they’re applying. So that’s considered the next step in a funnel, but it’s still free. So I’m massively ramping that up to make sure people .. here’s exactly what I said to my team, and this is my goal, and I will openly share this with you.

My goal is that we are the agency and the marketing team that everyone who’s marketing digital products right now on Facebook and Instagram is turning to for advice, for background intel and data, and for what to do as we go through the next couple of months. That’s my goal, and that’s what I’m doing with my brand awareness and visibility with you through the podcast, the Hirsh Marketing Report, the Facebook group, and it’s all serving. As a byproduct of that, I will get more calls booked with my team, more clients, and probably some course sales through this, but it’s a byproduct of me upping my brand awareness and visibility strategy to get more eyeballs on my brand, new people, warm traffic, all of them to then move them through my funnel that I already know works.

So for clients, we’re doing the same thing. Hosting a specific webinar answering a problem that their audience might have in this crisis. Shifting messaging in a funnel to solve a new problem that their client or customer might have in this crisis. But do you see how everything is still around that free brand awareness and visibility? Doesn’t mean give away your products for free, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying, create that initial content that’s attracting leads to your business and your brand in a strategic way, and then selling will be a byproduct of that. Okay?

So we have to shift the way we’re thinking about selling. It’s not just going out there and being like, “Hey, you’re struggling with COVID-19, and so buy my stuff.” Of course, that’s going to feel not authentic. Of course, that’s going to feel like you’re not being sensitive. But instead you’re going out there and saying, “Hey, I see you, audience, and you’re struggling with this problem currently,” which my audience’s problem is, “How do we market during this? How do we know what’s happening with Facebook ads during this crisis? And how do we know how to change our messaging? How do we know?” And my answer is I’m going to guide you through that for free. That’s my value. As a byproduct, I will sell my services and my product.

My client who does a specific webinar, same thing, free webinar. They know the questions their audience and the feelings their audience is having right now. “Let me answer it for you on a free training. And then as a byproduct on that training, I will sell you my offer.” And they might shift their positioning of their offer on that webinar so it’s still answering their clients’ questions. For example, if you have a business where you’re teaching people how to have systems and process in [their] business and build the foundation of their business, right?

You could have two mindsets. You could say, “Nobody’s going to be focusing on that right now in their company, because they’re so worried about staying in business.” Or you could say, “Now, more than ever, is the time to focus on the foundation of your business so you don’t lose your business, and go into a protection mode of your business,” and shift that messaging. Do you see what I’m saying? So, you’re not changing your audience or changing your product or changing the strategy, even, of how you sell and how you have a customer journey. You’re just changing how you’re talking to people, because people have, they need something different right now. They have different problems or different priorities or a different mindset than they might have had a month ago when things were totally fine and it was business as usual on a regular day.

So, you don’t have to overwhelm yourself thinking like, “I need to change my product or sell a completely different way.” Remember that the foundational pieces still work. The foundational piece of having a customer journey, using brand awareness and visibility to attract people, by giving away valuable free content that people would pay for, for that content, to attract them to your brand… that all still works. And then selling becomes a byproduct. Selling becomes easy, because selling should feel like you’re serving your audience.

So for me right now, I feel like, okay, so here’s how I see this for my own business is, it is my job right now to help people through their marketing during this time. They don’t know what they’re doing, right? Unless you’re a marketing expert or you know how to run really high level Facebook ads, you don’t know what you’re doing.

Bring it to the experts to help you through this time, to change your messaging for you, to strategize for you, to bring you strategies, to tell you what’s working and not working in this industry, because they have all the background information. For me, it’s so easy to sell that, because I’m serving when I sell that, I’m answering the problem that my audience is having still. And you will be doing the same when you sell what you offer, as long as you shift the messaging to answer their current problem, their current need, their current desire.

Now, focus on serving. So here’s the recap of what I’ve said so far. It is okay to still sell. It shouldn’t feel … it’s okay to question yourself if it feels like, insensitive to sell. But the answer is yes, you still need to sell. But you don’t have to change everything, and you can go back to the foundation. Focus your strategy on serving and connecting. That’s still the same.

And here’s my last point. Don’t change your audience or completely change your audience. Here would be a mistake. This is what I believe is a mistake. If you’re sitting there as an entrepreneur, and you see an opportunity where you’re like, “Oh, this group of people is going to need help, so I’m going to completely change my audience, completely chang my business, completely chang my product to help them.” That would be a mistake.

So, here’s an example. Someone came to me and said, “Emily, you run a virtual team, so you should make a product and start teaching people how to run virtual teams. Start teaching companies how to do that.” And for me, yes, I might be able to make money from that, but it would be very confusing to my audience if I was like, “Hold up. We’re not going to focus on offering Facebook ad services anymore and marketing services and helping you with your marketing strategy. Instead, I’m going to teach you how to run a virtual team.” I might be able to profit off of that. I might be able to make money off of that, but it’s not going to serve my business in the long-term by completely throwing away what I already have, throwing away what I already know works and switching gears to sell something totally different or serve a totally different audience.

Do not do that in a time of chaos. Don’t change everything and make a massive pivot like that. Your pivoting and your adjusting is in your messaging. You’re still serving the same audience. Your ideal customer avatar, your ideal client should stay the same. The way you talk to them and their problems and their needs and their desires might have changed, but they’re still the same person. Okay? That’s so important for the success of your selling.

And then, finally, the big focus I want you guys to remember is, you need to focus on building that warm audience and using your existing warm audience if that’s relevant. Use your existing warm audience. Build up your warm audience, that still is priority, especially right now. People are not going to buy from you if they don’t have trust. If they don’t trust your brand, if they don’t trust what you have to offer, the problems that you can solve for them, they are absolutely not going to buy from you. It’s not going to work, because there’s going to be even more of a trust barrier right now than there was before, because people are on high-alert. But if you can break that down with valuable content and serving people, selling will become so easy. Okay?

All right, guys, I hope this helped. Get out there, deliver valuable content, shift the way you talk to your audience. Remember to focus in on their needs and their problems and their desires have changed, the actual person has not changed. You still have that ideal customer. Get out there and sell, get out there and connect with your audience. Nothing in the core foundation of marketing has changed. It’s just the way you look at it. I’ll see you guys on the next episode.