Humanize Your Business During a Crisis like COVID-19

The world is a crazy place these days, from school closures to restaurants and bars here in Massachusetts moving to take-out only. Everyone should be practicing social distancing which is why I’m continuing to avoid people like I always do and am staying at home. This is the time for introverts like me to shine.

It’s also a time of intense unease. On my run last Sunday afternoon, where normally families are outside and traffic is annoying, it was eerily quiet. No cars were on the road traveling to kids’ sports events or a restaurant, no big groups of those dang teenagers on bikes without helmets. Quiet.

The last time I was so engrossed by the news was 9/11. Except then was a tangible moment in time, with a known and visible enemy. This time, well, I could be sick and not know it yet. Anyone could, which is terrifying and disheartening to those who’ve had to cancel family vacations or stop visiting elderly or at-risk loved ones.

But, there will be an end to all of this.

What I’ve found fascinating is the amount of humility and kindness that has poured in around the world, from balcony violin concerts in Italy to my neighbor starting a service to match those in need to those who can provide.

In Alaska a whole village said “no thanks” to hosting Iditarod competitors due to the virus, so instead they built a whole new checkpoint. Companies are shifting their production towards what makes sense to combat the virus.

Stories like these will continue, especially as things progress and those who can will and those who can’t will ask.

So what’s any of this have to do with marketing? Marketing is about connecting with people, and right now the way to connect is online. I suggest sending a message to your customers, prospects and leads letting them know you’re in the same boat as them.

Understand that people have other things on their mind other than purchasing services. Humanize your business to them, and let them know you’ll be there after this is all over.

Keep in mind how fast things pass by and are gone — those that are now, and those to come. Existence flows past us like a river: the “what” is in constant flux, the “why” has a thousand variations. Nothing is stable, not even what’s right here. The infinity of past and future gapes before us — a chasm whose depths we cannot see.

So it would take an idiot to feel self-importance or distress. Or any indignation, either. As if the things that irritate us lasted.

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Author: Ashley Hill

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