I presented with David Guest and Jerry Penny at a webinar last week called “How to use disruption as a growth hack for your business”. We talked about mindset, about marketing messaging, and how to build long-term relationships.

I’d like to share with you the key themes I shared in my talk (How to use email marketing to build long-term relationships) and the other key takeaways.

Now is a great time for business owners to reflect on how they are going to re-connect and nurture their relationships over the next six months and beyond. If you are wondering what you need to do after the pandemic ends and business gets back to a sense of normality, this article is for you.

1) Read the room

I feel like many business owners are in fear right now. They are trapped. They would prefer to do nothing, instead of something, when it comes to communicating with their community and customers.

Mary Jensen from M Power Services describes it so well in this video gives two simple actionable tips, by the way, to bring you out of this – watch it here.

I think the best activity you could do now if you feel a little uncertain about your communication plan is to listen to your clients. What are they saying? What do they want? What assurances can you give them? How can you contribute to their feeling of well-being?

read the room in covid-19 times

(C/o: Rand Marketing/ https://sparktoro.com/blog/read-the-room/)

Who Gives a Crap – a toilet paper and paper towel manufacturer – has read the room superbly. They’ve listened to their customers and potential customers and responded with thoughtful, on-brand communications. Good job. You can read more about their success in the COVID-19 times here.

2) Re-align your offerings

Once you’ve understood what your customers want, how can you pivot or change your offerings to match? It could be short-term demand that positions you as someone who helps now – but then helps you build strong relationships down the track too.

We’ve helped our clients created a limited edition offering designed to help their clients get on with work right now, stay open and protect clients and staff.

Many are transitioning online.

At Conqurve, we created a special COVID-19 Community Engagement offering that helps business owners consolidate their contacts and start building expert positioning through a monthly email newsletter.

We are also going to move into the online event space – and helping business owners share their expertise via Zoom by building out a calendar of events.

Content marketing is going to be even more important for businesses to start to nurture their audience and build trust in the long-term.

Ask yourself:

  • What does the market want?
  • With my existing products or services, how can I change these to adapt to this demand?

3) Re-frame your expertise

What position are you going to take that re-frames you as a contributor first-and-foremost, and a long-term expert?

I feel there are four positions you could take to start:

  • A provider of solutions to the current challenges
  • How disruption will change your industry
  • Become a supplier of industry need-to-know information
  • Become a collaborator of content with like-minded businesses (like presenting at a webinar, creating a resource, and so on).

Check out this content collaboration example from Hello Fresh and How To Dad.

I’ve seen accountants win clients simply because they’ve readily shared their knowledge and expertise during a particularly confusing time in the early days of COVID-19.

I’ve seen business coaches pick up business because they’ve shared their valuable knowledge in online webinars.

I’ve watched as gym owners have provided wonderful online experiences for clients and their friends through video.

How can you re-frame your expertise and get positioned as the leader in your space? And ultimately, how are you going to build relationships for the next 6-12 months through this strategy?

Book a Zoom chat with us if you want a review of your marketing message, want to bring your contacts together, or figure out a plan on how to build long-term relationships and use your expertise.

About the Author


Owner of Conqurve Content Marketing, ex-recruiter, sports writer and journalist.