The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many entrepreneurs to change their day-to-day routine. One major factor being how they communicate. The days of meeting up at coffee shops or working from co-working spaces are temporarily gone. It’s time to get innovative with communication strategies and turn to the one thing we have access to: technology.
Before we dive into the ways you can stay connected with your team, colleagues, and clients, we want to stress the importance of social distancing. According to a recent analysis of the coronavirus pandemic, a “25 percent reduction in contacts yields more than a 50 percent drop in cases after one month.” It’s all about flattening the curve or slowing the incidence of, especially with the U.S. currently leading in a number of cases.
We’re currently in a time to do some damage control with the implementation of Shelter In Place and Stay At Home laws. Even though we are distancing ourselves it doesn’t mean that communities have to disintegrate as a result of it. Here are ways that you can stay connected:
Schedule Online Video Conferencing
Technology offers simple ways to help us come close to the experience of being with others. It’s the perks of living in the Digital Age where you don’t always need to meet in-person - many individuals who would label themselves as introverts tend to favor this way of communication. Tools like Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts allow you to connect with others via video chat. It’s become the norm for businesses to conduct meetings or team building activities through these tools.
It’s as easy as setting up an account, creating a link, and sharing it with your contacts. Once you start the video call, you’re able to use other features that can enhance the experience, such as sharing your screen if you’re presenting something, chat via a text box if you’re wanting others to share their opinions, and even changing your background for an added element of ‘fun’. These tools have become a lifeline for businesses and it doesn’t look like that's going to change when things go back to normal.
Be Active on Social Media
It doesn’t take a pandemic to understand the importance of social media. However, it has taken a lot of business owners who are used to more traditional ways of connecting by surprise as many have felt forced to learn New Age technology. Nonetheless, it is PRIME time to be active on your platforms. According to recent market research, “social media activity in the U.S. grew 50x in early March.”
Many businesses have already taken their new marketing strategies to social media. If you’ve been active, you’ve probably come across the ‘Safe Hands Challenge’ where celebrities and notable public figures shared how to properly wash your hands. This chain would continue by tagging the next group of people you would challenge to share. Little challenges and conversation starters like this are truly what keeps us connected through sites like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Tik Tok.
Join a Facebook Group
If you’re active on social media, chances are that you either have a personal Facebook or a Facebook page for your business. (If you don’t have either, pause, and create one right now because it will help by increasing sales and profits.) This platform offers a variety of options to stay connected to your circle and those in your industry. Aside from the typical Facebook Messenger and feed, there are Facebook groups that you should take advantage of.
It’s as simple as typing in keywords that relate to your business and industry into the Facebook search engine. After you hit ‘Enter’, make sure you choose ‘Groups’ in the bar right under the search engine. This will show you an array of local, national and global groups that you can either add or request to be a part of. For example, if you’re a female entrepreneur, there are groups like Successful Female Entrepreneurs and Small Business / Entrepreneurs. These groups have over 100 posts a day from business owners talking about topics from COVID-19 updates for small businesses to innovate strategies that they’ve created from the pandemic.
Think of it as a chat room with all the right people who share the information you need at the time you need it. There are opportunities to connect that can lead to lasting beneficial relationships with individuals from all over the world. If that isn’t the cliché saying of having the world at your fingertips, we don’t know what is!
Attend Virtual Events
If you’re not going out to your typical industry weekend meetups, virtual events are a great alternative. Many businesses are offering Zoom happy hours, one-on-one personal coaching FaceTimes, and e-Workshops right now. From fitness to networking, the options are endless. It’s also great for those who aren’t the most comfortable with going out and meeting new people in-person.
These virtual events typically aim at either creating a community of supporters or teaching something new. So, make it a point to attend some of these events on a weekly basis to stay connected and up-to-date with what is happening in your industry.
If you ask us, social distancing only really exists in the physical realm. We feel like it’s brought more individuals together in an online space than anything has ever before. Take advantage of this time to elevate and learn more about what this has to offer. If you haven’t had time to check out our NEW eWN online networking events, you might want to click here!