The hot topic here in the U.S. this spring of 2021 is getting back to “normal.” But in my view, the more relevant topic is finding a new normal. All across the country, I’m hearing of people whose post-pandemic life includes moving to a new city, changing jobs or careers, retiring, or making remote work a permanent choice.
As business owners, we’re all looking at the way we did business before the pandemic and asking if we really want to go back to the way it was.
I know I don’t, and neither do the clients and colleagues I’m speaking to.
For well over a year, we self-employed professionals have largely been wrapped in a home-based cocoon. Yes, many of us have continued to serve clients, sometimes even in person. But we’ve also spent a whole lot of time on Zoom. An entire category of business marketing has been absent – no in-person conferences, workshops, networking meetings, lunches, or coffee dates.
If you’ve been having trouble emerging from your pandemic business cocoon, welcome to the club!
Lots of people are feeling the same way (including me). We’re having thoughts like: I don’t know where to start with marketing my business again. Or, I feel like I don’t know how to talk to people anymore. Or, I don’t want to leave my cave.
Why is marketing your business so hard right now? Chances are over this past year (if you’re like me and the clients and colleagues I speak with), you’ve felt shy, hesitant, and vulnerable in ways you ordinarily don’t when it comes to marketing your business. Given the pandemic, and the uncertainty it’s created, this makes complete sense.
In 2020, many of us self-employed folks were just trying to survive. Some of us couldn’t work at all due to pandemic restrictions or home schooling needs. Others – serving industries like travel, food service, or personal care – lost our entire market overnight.