By Peri Kinder
In March of 2020, everyday business practices were dumped on the trash heap. We worked from home in our PJs, eating take-out, and finding ways to pivot our business offerings to fit into the new virtual, socially-distanced landscape.
It was a vast experiment that caused many small businesses to close their doors as they lost customers and connections. Moving into 2021, we’re using those hard-earned lessons to develop brand new business models. Here are some trends happening in companies from Fortune 500s to mom-and-pop shops.
- More working from home. As employees set up office space in their homes, employers wondered if the traditional, brick-and-mortar office building was still necessary. Many companies discovered employees enjoyed working from home. With no commute, workers had more free time in their day, which ironically led to a greater sense of freedom – even during the COVID lockdown. Many employers plan to keep their workers virtual – or a mix of in-person and online workdays. In 2021, many employees will look for this benefit while applying for jobs.
- Create a virtual experience for customers. The big question of 2020 was how do we keep customers connected to our business? Online shopping went through the roof. People subscribed to online classes in record numbers. So, how can you jump on this trend? What services do you provide that can be done online? Some restaurants offered a virtual “tasting” menu or made videos showing their kitchen preparing meals. Skincare companies invested in programs that created customer avatars that could virtually try on clothes or experiment with hairstyles or make-up.
- Find your company’s purpose. As the younger generations take on leadership roles, creating a meaningful purpose might keep them invested in your business. Millennials want to make a difference, and if they feel your mission is aligned with making this world a little better, they’ll be completely on board. If you haven’t tied your mission to a purpose, this is a great year to start. Maybe partner with a non-profit or find a way to bring your product or services to underserved communities.
- Generate authentic social content. In 2021, connection is commerce. Tell your story through your social media platforms with authentic content, engaging video, and virtual interaction. Some companies brought their social media creation in-house last year and that will continue as a way to control the narrative. Create a behind-the-scenes series that lets customers meet your team, watch the development of your product, or get to know the CEO. This is also a great time to share your company’s purpose by getting your audience engaged with online events and fundraisers.
2020 taught us to be flexible, creative, adaptive, relatable and to cut out unnecessary meetings, red tape, and disconnection. This year, it’s time to double-down on those practices to keep your business growing. Have fun as you discover a whole new side to your business.
Peri Kinder is a Happiness Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher, Meditation Instructor and Humor Columnist, and the owner of Life & Laughter Coaching
By Peri Kinder
It’s the most wonderful-ish time of year!
We have shopping to do and baking to do and decorating and caroling and eating. But we also have work and family and obligations. And we’re all under COVID restrictions! So how do you celebrate the holidays, get work done, keep your family healthy and safe, and stay sane???
Introducing the Quarantini! (JK. Kind of.)
While a Quarantini might solve your problems momentarily, it’s really not a long-term solution. So what is?
Here are a few ways to put this holiday into perspective.
- Have a family meeting. This might be people in your immediate household or extended family. Send out a Zoom invitation to those not in your house and get creative about ways to adapt traditions to this year’s holiday.
- Set priorities and pivot. What traditions are non-negotiable? Maybe you serve meals at the soup kitchen each holiday. Maybe this year you donate to their program instead. If your family has a cookie bake-off on Christmas Eve, maybe each family makes a plate of cookies to leave at family members’ doorsteps that night. So many options!!
- Get real. If you or your significant other have been laid off, money is probably tight this year. Have honest discussions with family members about gift-giving. Maybe give each person a budget and have a contest to see who can find the funniest gifts or the most sentimental presents. Or write heartfelt letters to people you love.
- Use COVID as an excuse to say “no”. This is your opportunity to get out of all the work parties, family dinners, neighborhood celebrations, and religious events that you don’t absolutely love. Your response is, “We’re not doing that this year, but thanks for the invitation.” Super easy!!
Remember the holiday season is a celebration of love and light. You don’t need fancy parties or expensive gifts to make the holiday bright. Find the small joys and the big kindnesses, and be well.
Peri Kinder is a Happiness Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher, Meditation Instructor, and Humor Columnist.
By Chrisella Herzog, CEO of Humble & Hustle Studios
Analytics are key to success in your digital marketing, no matter what industry you’re in or what size your business is. Digital platforms provide so much data and it’s revolutionary for small businesses to have access to all this information and relatively cheap market research.
But data is only as good as what you do with it. If you don’t understand what your data is telling you, you’re missing out on key business insights that can help you grow.
When you start to look at your analytics, there are three basic steps you can take:
1) Define your goals. If you start with your goal in mind, the data will tell you much more clearly how your business is doing in reaching those goals. Different goals will require you to collect and track different data points.
2) Understand which statistics match your goal. If your goal from an ad campaign is to increase your sales, then running an ad and tracking data that increase your follower count isn’t the most effective way of reaching that goal.
Here are a few basic terms you should know and understand when starting a new campaign:
a) Clicks vs. Landing Page Views: Have you ever accidentally clicked an ad, then hit the back button before the page loaded? You’re not alone! Digital platforms measure clicks and landing page views differently. A “click” is every time someone clicks your post or ad; a “landing page view” is when they click and allow your site to load before navigating away.
b) People Viewed vs. Impressions: These two data points are related, but not quite the same. “People Viewed” is the number of people who have seen your post or ad. “Impressions” can be much higher, but that can be because the same person could have seen the post multiple times.
c) Lead: A lead is measured as someone who clicked on a button that entered them into your sales cycle. That could mean they downloaded a lead magnet or they scheduled a call with you.
d) Conversion/Purchase: A conversion is measured as someone who came to your website and made a purchase or signed up for a service. Depending on your sales funnel, this could also be someone who requested an estimate.
3) Track your data. This is so important to know how your marketing campaigns are performing. Are you increasing the number of people coming to your website? Are your ads working, but getting more expensive? Create a simple spreadsheet where you can bring all this data together to look at over a period of time.
All of this information can be confusing and overwhelming — not to mention time-consuming — for an entrepreneur or small business owner trying to serve their customers well. This is where a marketing expert can step in to guide you to the most important data points.
If you’re ready for some assistance in this area, schedule a call with the Humble & Hustle Studios team!
By Peri Kinder
If the thought of the upcoming holidays makes you want to retreat to an isolated cabin with a case of wine, you’re not alone. But you would be missing out on some unique opportunities to connect with your customers and strengthen bonds in your community.
We’re all so over COVID-19, but if it’s taught us anything, it’s that we are flexible and adaptable when it comes to running a business. This flexibility and creativity come in handy as you start marketing for the holiday season.
Here are three tips to help get you started:
Know your audience: There’s a good chance your customers are struggling. With job loss, cutbacks and insecurity at an all-time high, your clients might want to “get through” the holidays, instead of “celebrate”. It might not be time to roll-out your $10,000 holiday vacation retreat to Venice. In other words, read the room.
There are several ways to understand your client base and get valuable info you can use this season.
Engage with customers through messaging, phone calls or personalized emails, interacting with each person as an individual – not a potential sale. Ask meaningful questions and listen intently to what they say.
Create a survey, asking customers what their biggest challenges are this season or what they foresee for their future. Once you gather data, customize products, services and engagement opportunities for clients that resonate with their desires.
Create gift packages: Based on feedback, create gift packages your customers would want for themselves or to give to people they love. Offering gift baskets or promotions at different price points gives clients options when it comes to supporting your business. Maybe this season is a good time to launch an inexpensive online course or a scaled-down version of your most popular items.
Connect with a non-profit: People are inherently good. Even in these crazy times, people are volunteering and donating with many organizations recording the highest levels of donations in years. Find a non-profit your customer base would support (again with the feedback) and get creative as you launch a promotion or event that will benefit everyone involved. (Keep it safe, people. Wear a mask. SMH)
We’d love to hear your holiday marketing ideas. If you have something to share, submit your blog idea here.
Have a wonderful, successful and healthy holiday season!
Peri Kinder is a Happiness Coach, Certified Yoga Teacher, Meditation Instructor and Humor Columnist.