Focus on What You Can Do Now, Not What You Can’t

checklistBy Katye McGregor Bennett
KMB Communications

Focus on what CAN be done at a time like this, when the world slows and all are in a similar position. Things that you never have time for, that get de-prioritized because other, more pressing issues take the lead. Here are five things you can do to stay sane:

#1 Opportunity: Buff up your website.

Get website updates and enhancement done. It’s not often we get the gift of lower website traffic around the globe. Take advantage of this by handling updates, enhancements and make sure all plug-ins and security updates are done. Be sure you’re sharing data or access with only those who are deemed critical to your site’s operation.

Look at the language and images your site uses. Is it up to date and using the same language, tone and approach as you and your team? If not, update it. Ask your team what they’d suggest and if you can, also as your closest clientele to share thoughts on how your brand presents itself to the outside world. Start a punch list and work from easiest to hardest so you don’t overwhelm yourself or those you’re asking for input.

Take a look at SEO and how you might be able to attract new prospects or trades to your brand, start a list of keywords, phrases, and competitors you want to monitor closely. SEO MOZ offers a host of free tools and more if you want to pay.

#2 Update your social media profiles.

Now’s a very, very good time to invest in a wholesale review of you and your company’s social media profiles and overall presence. Are your profiles, contact info, hashtags, URL and related information still current? Are the images used for the cover and profile sections as high-quality and on-point as they should be and do they reflect you and your company’s current offering? Is the language being used appropriate, effective and targeting your intended audience? Update passwords and initiate two-step verification where it’s offered.

Do a thorough review of who you follow and who follows you and eliminate all that aren’t relevant to you, your company or its offering. High follower counts do not equal a high-performing feed or following, period.
Check other connections. Look at the platforms and who they or you are sharing your information with. If you don’t recognize any that you see, delete or disconnect them.

#3 Introduce yourself to “adjacent trades.”

“Adjacent trades” are those who you or your company may interact with on projects and would include architects, designers, specifiers, etc. Now is a great time to reach out to them with a brief introduction of your services and offering and ways you and your company could be beneficial to them in the future. Don’t pitch or sell, just share and seek a connection down the road.

See related  White Paper: Beyond the Classroom Walls

Offer to do a short 30-minute webinar for the adjacent trades or the contacts you’ve made within them, specifically. Give them the knowledge and resources they need to make you and your firm part of the future work and follow up in 30-days.

If you’ve got an AIA-certified class or another course that offers CEUs, make that content available to them online, on-demand, etc.

#4 Start a genuine conversation and stay present.

As COVID-19 spreads and state and local mandates are evolving rapidly, people are understandably going a little crazy. Take 30 minutes every day to reach out to your team members, clientele, partners and peers to see how they are, what they need and how you might be able to help them. Send a text, an email, a DM or just make a call. Just be genuine, no matter what you do.

Share the services you and your company are able to provide during these times. Now, more than ever, people need strong internet, access to entertainment and the ability to communicate with loved ones. Don’t be pitchy, but do let people know what’s possible, now. If you offer remote services to troubleshooting, support, etc., share how that works and consider making it free for all during this time. Be the resource your community needs, now.

Find and share funny memes, sayings, etc., to introduce levity into people’s lives and give them something else to focus on. Make sure whatever you share is appropriate for your audience and if you happen to slip-up, be quick to delete (then move on, don’t hold onto that mental baggage).

#5 Take a break.

Turn off the TV and step away from your news sources for at least a few hours every day or for as long as you can stand it. Do NOT let the news be your day-long background noise or narrative.

katye mcgregor bennettBodies in motion stay in motion. Start or get back into a workout routine, just get your body in motion. Go for a walk, take the dog out or just sit in the open air.

Learn a new skill or take care of honey-do lists. YouTube is full of insightful, educational content and you’ll be amazed at what you can learn in a day, hour or even five minutes. Likewise, you undoubtedly have a list of things to get done around the house. Take the time to get those done and give yourself the gift of time, later.

Last but not least, just breathe. This too shall pass!

Katye McGregor Bennett is the owner of KMB Communications and the host of podcasts AV Trade Talk and Connecting Tech + Design.