3 Ways to Promote Your Business During COVID-19

We were all ready to get back to normal! Unfortunately, the COVID-19 virus is still active and dangerous. Back inside we go! But you still need to promote your business during COVID-19. What’s different now in July compared to March when we first shutdown is the increase in computer literacy. We’ve all created a new relationship with our computer, tablet, and/or smart phone. Virtual meetings are the norm for business and family interaction. Stodgy executives and elderly grandparents alike have increasing comfort with communicating like The Jetsons. We’ve all become pros in ordering online as well. Now that (almost) everyone has been trained, take advantage of that with these three tips to promote your business during COVID-19—and there are more where these came from. Amplify your promotion by including one or more partners for these endeavors. You’ll share your customers with one another and share the reach for a much richer campaign. I’ve listed the collaborators that come to my mind under each tip. Use the options that are best for your business. Here are three no-contact ways to reach out to your customers during the COVID-19 shutdown:   Create a Webinar. If you are used to meeting with people face-to-face to explain your product, now you have the opportunity to do it with several people at once. Invite your list of prospects to hear what you have to offer on a 30-minute free webinar. Make sure you invite them to take the next step with you. Offer a discount to people who sign-on to your program during the webinar. Collaborator: Offer this through your local chamber of commerce or other local business association. There are neighborhood business development associations searching for speakers and good content all the time.   Host a Contest. It’s summer and people can’t travel as they’d like, can’t go to amusement parks—or any parks for more than a walk, can’t see extended family, no movies, no parties, no camps … they are BORED! Making videos is easy these days and if several people are loading videos about your business, there’s a multiplier effect that is more valuable than what you can likely afford. Pick a theme related to your business and create a hashtag for people to use when they share their videos on Facebook and Twitter. Offer a $25 gift card for any video that earns more than 100 Likes. Example: if you run an...
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Community Relations-Concept to Reality

Every month on my Facebook account I include a listing of interesting national or international days for the month as well as some notable birthdays. These dates, set by someone else (ex. National Banana Split Day – August 25), offer you an easy way to anchor a community relations event or coordinate a fun event for your staff. There are many more items of interest each month, more than I can fit in my posts or keep track of. I just hope that it sparks an idea for you. How would I capitalize on August? Here are two ideas, one internal and one external, that I’ll let you borrow or  make better.  Internal: Julia Child was born on August 15. Julia Child was an American chef who studied French cooking and wrote many cookbooks as well as demonstrated her cooking methods on television long before Emeril Lagasse (Bam!). It’s “Bon Appetit” day for staff! This can be implemented in two ways depending on your budget and resources. You could host lunch for your employees at a French restaurant, or have your staff do the work in the form of a potluck encouraging them to use a Julia Child recipe or at least something French (limit the number of fries, of course). Offer up issues of her cookbooks, or the book Julie & Julia for prizes. Be creative and light about the criteria–fewest ingredients, doesn’t taste French, etc. External: Celebrating another birthday, Orville Wright’s birthday is August 19. You remember learning about him and his brother Wilbur as they were able to get an airplane to take flight. What a great time to make your ideas take flight! Host a paper airplane contest. You could implement this many ways and link it back to your mission–that’s important! Here are a couple of angles: • This could be a contest promoting communication by requiring the airplane be made from a full sheet of a newspaper; • You could celebrate aviation and engineering by inviting engineering students to compete; • Celebrating a milestone (anniversary, advancement, new location, expansion, etc.) shows how far you’ve gone–now let’s see how far a paper airplane can go. In this instance, I would invite top executives and elected officials to participate and make a bigger impact; • Control the materials and parameters that might relate to why you are holding this contest. Flying paper airplanes supplies a great...
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The Envelope Please

One way to really get your name on the map is to issue an award or awards. There are several ways to do that and you don’t have to have a multi-million dollar budget to get a name for yourself. If you think your organization or company doesn’t have enough stature with the public to offer an award, think again. Would you know what the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences is if they didn’t host the Oscars? Here are a few categories of awards to consider. Regardless of the type of your awards, tie the awards ceremony to an event. It makes a great centerpiece for a lunch or dinner and allows you to create a fundraiser. This will help spread the word about your award. If you have a product that you sell, announce the award on your website or blog and draw people in to a sale to commemorate the award. Advancement Is there a scientist or advocate who has furthered the cause that your company or nonprofit organization supports? Acknowledge them with a humanitarian award. If they also happen to be a great speaker, allow a time for the recipient to speak about the strides they have made in your field. You need to gauge how interesting the topic is and how dynamic the speaker is. Keep it short and if the audience is enthralled you can let it go longer. Have they written a book? Having a book signing is another way to bring people to your awards ceremony. Review the book first so you know what it is you are promoting. Make sure it has something to do with why you are giving the award. Quality You see a lot of “quality” awards when it comes to children and baby products and toys—Year’s Best Toy, Safest, Smartest, and so on. Cars and restaurants also have layers of awards bestowed upon them. Do you even know what J.D. Power and Associates does besides give out awards? Who was Malcolm Baldrige? James Beard? Zagat? These awards had to start somewhere and it might have been a list of top ten, based on some simple criteria. Using social media it is much easier to issue a list of your own and disseminate it to the masses. Three simple steps to acknowledging quality: Hold a press conference to announce the criteria you used and what made...
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Getting Dinner Ready in a Flash!

If you are like me, not just the kids’ schedules heat up in the fall. Everything seems to go in hyper drive. Between ballet, soccer and PTA meetings, you struggle to break bread with your family and in a way that does not create a nutritional deficit. In a busy, busy life, dinner prep has to be quick. Here are my three best tips to get you to Christmas vacation. This also enters me to win a TwitterMoms and Samsung French door refrigerator. My first tool is to use the broiler. Yes, the broiler! Remember that part of your oven you have relegated to make garlic bread and nothing more? Yes, that 500-degree mechanism that sears the taste inside. There’s no extra cleanup so it really is a time-savings technique. You can cook some great chicken in high heat very quickly that is juicy and flavorful. My kids love drumsticks and a package of frozen drumsticks is only about $2 per pound. Add some spices to thawed drums and stick them under the broiler about 10 minutes each side. If salt and pepper is all your children can handle but you want something with a little more zing, then make some Buffalo sauce for you and your husband. Melt a stick of butter and add cayenne and Tabasco until you can’t stand it. Use it as a dipping sauce or baste your drums with it. Burgers and fries are also wonderful under the broiler. The ground round can get a little messy with splatters so use a roasting pan to allow the grease to fall down and stay away from the flame. Line it with foil to make cleanup even easier. Second, reinvent leftovers! Pasta and some grated parmesan cheese can do wonders for veggies and meats that are no more than one or two portions left in your fridge from a few days’ meals. You don’t even have to have a sauce, but a jar of Alfredo can add some depth and creaminess. If you don’t have that, add a quarter cup of olive oil, mince a clove or two of garlic and chop some basil leaves if you have them and voila! Add some fresh spinach for some extra iron in your family’s diet too. A bag of pasta only takes 12 minutes to boil—and don’t forget to salt your water so it is nice and tasty...
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