What is a Marketer Supposed to Do when Everyone is FREAKING OUT about a World Pandemic and the Economy is in the Toilet?
Are you a Phoenix in the making? I certainly hope so.
Greek mythology tells the tale of a huge feathered creature with talons and wings, its plumage radiant and beautiful. The Phoenix lived for 500 years before it built its own funeral pyre, burst into flame and died, consumed in its own fiery inferno.
But soon after, the mythical creature rose out of the ashes in a transformation from death to life.
This story of rebirth has been retold countless times throughout history, but my favorite version is from Egypt.
In Egyptian mythology, the Bennu was a self-created being that played a part in the creation of the world. This large heron-like creature flew over the waters that existed before creation, landing on a rock and issuing a call that determined the very nature of creation.
Two of Bennu’s titles were, “He Who Came into Being by Himself,” and “Lord of Jubilees”, referring to the belief that Bennu periodically renewed itself like the sun.
The name Bennu is also related to the Egyptian verb wbn, meaning “to rise in brilliance” or “to shine”.
When you rise like a Phoenix from the ashes, you emerge from a catastrophe stronger, smarter and more powerful than before.
And when you issue a call like the Bennu, you determine your own nature of creation.
Thanks to the pandemic, we are now going through a time unparalleled in the last 101 years.
Add in the presence of the internet, and this time of change is unparalleled in all of history.
Now here’s your dilemma…
You can curl yourself into a ball and wail that the end is near. You are a victim of the time, the place and the circumstance. You had nothing to do with the creation of this pandemic, and yet it has changed your life for the worse. Your job is in peril or gone. Your social life is no more. You are trapped in your house or apartment, your savings are dwindling, your fear of getting sick and dying is commensurate with your age.
You are a victim of this time in history, and no one will dispute that.
But there is another path to take.
No matter what our circumstances, be they good or bad, we still get to choose how we view those circumstances and what we do with them.
No matter what happens today, no matter what’s in the news, no matter how long this lasts; as long as you remain healthy, you still get to choose how you will think, feel and act.
While others are excelling in their victim roles, you can choose to be the Phoenix and the Bennu.
You Can Both Rise from The Ashes And Speak Your Destiny
You can make a decision that from this moment forward, you will use the very circumstances you are in to create a life for yourself that is ten times or even hundred times better than it was at the beginning of this year.
Every time there is a recession, a lot of people lose money and a few people become millionaires or even billionaires. These are the folks who recognize that with great challenge comes great opportunity, and with great adversity comes the potential for gains not seen in good times.
It’s up to you. Curl in a ball and I won’t think anything less of you. It’s what most people are figuratively doing, at least initially.
But if you choose to fly like a Phoenix or a Bennu, know that I am here to support you in every way possible.
Now then, if you’re still reading, I’m confident you have chosen the higher path.
And so let us begin…
A quick story…
When I was a kid growing up, the factory workers in the next town over went on strike. And because the factory employed half the people in the area, things got real tough real quick for everyone.
The strikers were scared and running out of money. Management was scared but acting tough. And nobody was spending money.
The local car dealers were especially hit hard and they couldn’t sell a single car during the strike. All but one of the sales people were so discouraged, they just sat around all day talking about how terrible things were.
But that one young guy didn’t sit around at all. He took advantage of the down time to personally visit every house on every street in our town and the next town over.
He’d knock on the door, smile real big, introduce himself, hand over his card and ask if someone in the house worked at the factory. If someone did, he would tell them how much he admired them for going on strike and how he was rooting for them, and to please let him know if he could do anything for them.
Often times this would result in a rather lengthy conversation, sometimes over a cup of coffee or a beer. Friendships were made. And unless they asked, he never once brought up new cars. Of course if they did ask, he was happy to tell them all about the new models that were coming in, should they ever be in the market.
Then he’d go to the next house and do the same thing.
He did get called a few times, usually by older folks who needed a little help or just a bit of company. And he did get invited to various birthday parties and whatnot by his new friends.
When the strike ended, the workers had a brand new 5-year contract and a big pay raise. And to celebrate their good fortune, some of them wanted a new car. Now who do you think they went to for that car?
People flat out refused to let any other car salesman help them. They’d patiently wait an hour or more just so they could talk to the young guy who knocked on their door to offer help when they were down.
That young salesman broke every single sales record that year and for the next decade, because he was there for his prospects when they needed a bit of encouragement.
A quick question
I was watching a segment on late night television during the first week of March. They were interviewing people on the street about the coronavirus, and when they asked one man what the coronavirus was, he didn’t know.
I mean, he actually did not have a clue. While the whole world was talking about nothing else, he had never even heard of coronavirus.
So, here’s my question for you:
If you didn’t know what was going on in the world right now, what would you do? Odds are you would keep doing exactly what you’ve been doing. And if that’s online marketing, you would simply continue with your online marketing.
And I can almost guarantee you that by doing what you’ve always done, you would still be making sales.
Stop worrying that “this isn’t the time” and realize that this could be the best time ever to get a huge competitive advantage that you can benefit from for months and years to come.
The Mindset that Defeats Fear and Incites Massive Action
I was once caught in the path of a HUGE storm. This was the sort of storm that snapped full grown trees in half or ripped them out of the ground. The kind of storm that removed your roof if you were lucky and removed your entire house if you weren’t.
And I was in its path with no way out.
I’d known fear before, but not this kind. This time I knew that something big, furious and totally out of my control was barreling down on me, and all I could do was wait.
That’s why, for a few minutes, I found myself curled into a ball on top of my bed. Because I was so numb with fright, I couldn’t even think straight.
But while lying there, I managed to start breathing again, and relaxing just enough to realize I wasn’t helpless. Not at all.
I started to put together a plan and pretty soon I was on my feet and coordinating my family on what to do.
Depending on where you are in the world, you’re somewhere in that storm. You might be waiting for it to get worse – a lot worse. And no one would blame you for curling up into a ball on your bed like I did. In fact, if this will help, you might set a timer for 30 minutes and do just that.
When the timer goes off, get up, because now we’ve got work to do.
The “economy” – whatever that means – is something you have no control over, so ignore it. Ignore the pundits who are wringing their hands and talking about financial crisis nonsense. Ignore the continuous gyrations of the various markets. Ignore the bellyaching that says we are in a recession.
Instead, realize this:
You Are Your Own ‘Economy’
You are the one who will make or break your finances. You are the one who runs your world. You are the one steering your ship – no one else.
We don’t know how long this will last, but it’s an almost sure bet that you have at least 60 days to focus and achieve at least one BIG thing. This could be to add significantly to your bottom line, to produce a hot selling product with a massive launch, to learn a new skill that will pay off in a big way… whatever you want to do, you now have about 2 months to totally focus on it and get it done.
This is your chance to work on your business instead of working in your business. Working in a business is just maintaining it. Working on a business is growing that business.
Most people are going to waste this precious time. Don’t you be one of them!
2 to 12 months from now, things will be getting back to ‘normal,’ whatever that means. It might be a slightly different normal, and that’s okay. We will not devolve into some post-apocalyptic hellscape, so stop watching those kinds of movies.
Humans have survived pandemics for hundreds of years and likely longer than that. We always survive. We’re kind of like cockroaches that way. Nothing keeps us down for long. This is a brief hiccup in the space-time continuum that will give you stories to tell your grandkids.
Already China is beginning to get back to normal. All of their makeshift hospitals are closed. All 42 Apple stores are reopening. China is reopening theme parks. Cases have dropped sharply in Korea. And all over the world, scientists are working relentless to discover which treatments, drugs and vaccines will work against this virus.
Yes, it’s going to get worse in many places before it gets better. But if China and Korea can get out the other side of this, then so can we.
Know that some people have made their FORTUNES during the worst of times. You could be the next one, but only if you turn off Netflix and get busy.
People will be selling things during this entire covid-19 period. They will be selling day and night. And many of them will indeed make fortunes. Never before have we had so many captive people with so much time on their hands, surfing the net and looking for help, instruction and something to get their minds off what’s going on outside.
You can be reactive and react to what’s happening with a fearful mindset.
Or you can be proactive and lean into what’s happening with a hopeful, optimistic mindset.
With that in mind, here are 5 tips to help you succeed, whatever your goal might be:
Step 1: Program Your Subconscious
The time to position yourself for massive success when this crisis passes (and it will) is right now.
You’re most likely at home now with extra time, so let’s make the most of it.
The first step is to get your thinking where it needs to be. Focusing exclusively on the news and how terrible the situation is won’t help you to be productive in the slightest.
Limit news intake to once per day. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. This is such basic advice, but for most of us it’s the advice we need right now.
Start feeding your mind positive thoughts both night and day. Did you know that 90% or more of your actions come about because of the programming in your subconscious mind? And that the best way to program your subconscious mind is to do it when you’re sleeping, relaxed or paying attention to something else?
Find YouTube videos of affirmations that play for hours. Or you can find one you like that plays only for a short while and loop it so that it repeats over and over.
If you’re going to bed, turn the recording on loud enough to hear and quiet enough to sleep and let it run.
If you’re awake, play it in the background while you do other things. Again, play it loud enough to hear, but quiet enough that it doesn’t distract you.
It’s amazing the difference this one simple step can make.
Be grateful. Go through your day thinking of all the things you are grateful for. Make lists and read them aloud. Express your gratitude when you wake up and when you go to sleep.
These are such simple things, but over time they make profound changes in how you see the world and how you respond to opportunity in your life.
Step 2: Choose Your Point of View
I’ve heard from some marketers who are afraid to send out a promotion during this period because they’re worried they will look heartless.
I’ve seen other marketers who are taking this opportunity to promote their products as being exactly what people need right now.
Guess which marketers are making money?
If your competition thinks this is the right time to STOP email marketing or marketing of any kind, then that’s all the better for you.
It’s not rocket science to know that if you don’t send out emails and promotions, you don’t get sales. But I also understand that you don’t want to seem like a cold, heartless person who never stops asking for the sale, either.
Basic Email Rule: When it comes to email marketing, more is always better as long as your emails don’t suck.
While you will want to tailor and even reframe your promotions during this crisis time period (more on this in a moment) it’s important that we first talk about getting your point of view to the right place.
Many, many people have been thrown out of work because of this pandemic. They need help. They need solutions. They even need distractions and entertainment. And most likely, they need YOU.
As I write this, Amazon is looking to hire 100,000 employees as fast as possible. Why are they doing this? Because suddenly the world has gone virtual, and that includes shopping for tangible goods, too.
Are you familiar with direct marketing? We’re talking about sales-letters-in the-mail kind of thing. You don’t see as much of it as pre-internet, but it’s still a huge industry.
And do you know when a direct-marketer’s favorite time is? A recession. Because during a recession, people are at home with nothing to do but read the mail. These people want diversions, they want help, they want answers.
And if you can give it to them, they will gladly pay.
That is the attitude you need right now; that people WANT what you are offering, assuming it’s a good product that fills a need or desire.
I don’t know what you’re selling, but whatever it is, odds are people either want it or need it right now. Do you sell online marketing info? People the world over have just discovered the importance of having an online income. They need and want what you can offer them.
Do you sell health advice? People the world over suddenly have time to exercise, to learn meditation to calm their nerves, to discover herbs to take for their health, to learn how to eat healthy and so forth. They need your help NOW.
Do you teach a hobby? It doesn’t take long for people to get sick of binging Netflix and want to do something else instead, like learn more about their hobby. In fact, hobbies are much better distractions than television, and healthier, too. What can you teach them now? What product can you offer them that they can consume while they’re waiting this period out?
You get the point. Whatever it is that you offer, odds are there are folks who want it and need it now, in the middle of a pandemic.
Stop thinking about what people don’t want and start thinking about what they do want.
And for goodness sake, stop thinking that your marketing is somehow intruding on them at a bad time, because this could be the very best time to put your offers in front of them, especially if you add in this next step:
Step 3: Tailor Your Marketing to the Times
People are Scared right now, with a capital “S”. They want answers. They are struggling to find hope. Acknowledge that and talk about that. Tell them you’re scared, too. Be there for them.
Do your customers need extra attention or hand-holding? Do it. Is there something your prospects need from you to feel you’re there for them? Create it and send it out. It might be as simple as an email that reassures them you are in the same boat they’re in and you’re there to support them.
Be there for your prospects – some of them are terrified right now and need your calming reassurance. Be the person who sends out the friendly, “How are you doing and can I help?” message, not just once, but repeatedly in your messages. Folks will remember that you were there for them long after this crisis has passed.
And they will be much more open to listening to you right now once they know how much you care.
Most of all, be the one who is positive and raises moral among your followers and customers. Right now the media stories and social media posts seem to be 90% or maybe even 98% negative.
I’ve had moments of reading two of the major newspapers when I thought I would hyperventilate or just throw up, because when you read this stuff it’s excruciatingly scary. People don’t want to be scared all the time.
It’s like going to a horror movie that never ends for weeks and months. No one would pay to see that movie, and they sure as heck don’t want to live through it.
Report good news, be positive, stay positive, make others feel positive and be the force that people can count on to lift them out of this fear that is permeating every facet of life right now.
Back to marketing – tailor your offerings to the situation. For example, if you sell “how to make money online” products, talk about how they’ve temporarily lost their job and wouldn’t it be great if they had an online income? Well here’s how they can do that.
If you sell health products, let them know this is the perfect opportunity to turn their health around, because without health, what do we have?
If you teach how to attract dates, tell them this is the time to study and become a pro at it, and when this crisis is over they’ll have more dates than they know what to do with.
While this is a global crisis, this is also perhaps the biggest opportunity of your life to help others. And that is exactly how you’ve got to look at this. You are not selling them stuff, you are helping them.
Yes, the end result is the same, but the path you take looks significantly different.
What can you do right now to best help your audience? You probably already know the answer. Now it’s just a matter of keeping your head in the right place and doing it.
Step 4: Have a goal bigger than yourself
This goes right along with what we’ve been saying… this is about helping your customers, not about you making sales. Don’t get me wrong, because I want you to make lots of money. But the best way to do it is to focus on helping and serving and that’s all the time, not just during pandemics.
What’s your goal? How about to help 1,000 people to do “X” in the next 3 months? If your niche is online marketing, your goal can be to help 1,000 people set up $500 a month recurring incomes. If your niche is health, your goal could be to help 2,000 people lose 10 pounds, or whatever.
Choose a goal that resonates with you. It should preferably be something that excites you so much, you can’t wait to get out of bed to work on it.
NOTE: It’s perfectly okay to have TWO interrelated goals. For example, to help 1,000 people start $500 a month recurring incomes, and for you to make “X” amount of money doing it. In fact, I recommend it.
Step 5: Exercise.
Yes, exercise, every single day. I know this is a weird thing to put into a list of things to do to build your business, but it’s as important as anything else here.
Find exercise videos on YouTube, such as yoga, bodyweight exercises and so forth, and make it a practice to work out every single day. If it’s allowed where you live, go for a walk, too. Just stay well away from anyone else you might encounter. If you say hello to them, do it from at least 6 feet away.
If you don’t work out every day, you’ll go a little crazy. Your mind won’t work as well, you’ll be more inclined to watch TV than work on your goal, and when all of this is over you’ll find your thinking is fuzzy, your creativity is poor and you may have even gained a few pounds, too.
You are the architect of your reality. You. YOU. Not the people on the news. Not the government. Not the latest pandemic numbers or stock numbers or what the heck ever. You determine what happens in your life over these coming weeks.
Let the Pandemic do Your Marketing For You
Now it’s time to really have fun with this crisis. Yes, I said fun. When someone gets 50 emails screaming the world is ending and one email from you with 10 jokes about washing their hands, which one will they open?
The trick is to find ways to use the pandemic in your marketing. This is something that you will likely never, ever get to do again, so make the most of it.
I’m going to jot down a few ideas here, and hopefully you will take the ball and run with it.
Positive news is a great way to start an email right now.
And if you’re wondering how you’ll transition from the news to your own marketing, just use a simple segue such as, “And here’s more good news…” or “To celebrate this great piece of news, I’m going to…”
Okay, there you have it. Bottom line, you get to choose how you respond to this crisis, and what you do during your time of isolation.
You can binge watch Netflix and eat popcorn until you puke.
Or you can become a Phoenix or a Bennu, rise from the ashes and create your own destiny.