Practical Ways to Pivot Your Business during the Coronavirus Crisis with Janet Murray

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Season 8 Episode 16. This is a recap of my Facebook interview with Janet Murray where we talked about practical ways to pivot your business during the Coronavirus crisis.

Here’s the audio for this episode:

Here’s the video for this episode:

Timestamp

02:20 About Janet Murray
03:30 One piece of advice Janet wished she received before she made the pivot for her business
05:10 Janet’s worksheet and how it can help you bring in revenue
11:40 The best way to get started with your new idea
15:30 Final advice from Janet
20:50 Janet’s podcast
22:00 Quickfire questions

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Transcript from the Episode

Janet Murray helps people to build online audiences. So that means more followers, more fans, more subscribers to make more money and more sales in your business. But actually, Janet’s background started off as a journalist. She spent 20 years working for newspapers and before that she was a schoolteacher. Now she combined those things to teach people about how to build online audiences. She teaches content planning and as part of that, she’s been saying for the last five years about how important it is to have an online audience and how important it is to have a following. I think it’s really come into its own over the last few weeks. And it’s something that people really, really need now more than ever.

One piece of advice Janet wished she received before she made the pivot for her business

There was a piece of advice that was given to her when she left teaching and went into journalism. Janet has always been self-employed the whole time. She always had her own business plan and customers. When she was a journalist, she always had her eye on all the time. But she never felt fully booked and have had enough clients and enough writing work. She was always building her audience because she knows that one source of income could run out.

She could be able to have a great thing with a particular newspaper or magazine or she can have a nice copywriting job that would go really well. And then suddenly, that could be taken away from her. But also there’s this concept of building an audience and Janet was doing it without even realizing that she was doing it when she was a journalist. She had quite a big following on Twitter. And that not only helped her in her work as a journalist, but people found her as well and people would find what she specialized in and they’d offer her copywriting work or they asked her to come to speak at things.

Janet had a blog as well, which is kind of how she ended up doing what she does today. She started blogging thinking maybe if she started a blog, and people might find her and they might come to find her and offer her this nice copywriting book. Without even realizing what she was doing, she was kind of building this audience in this following.

Janet’s worksheet and how it can help you bring in revenue

Janet’s messenger bot will deliver you this worksheet. Out of all the industries, Janet has been helping all kinds of industries and businesses get online over the last three or four weeks. She thinks that this is one of the most challenging industries that she worked with. The other one is weddings.

It’s about being creative, and it’s about looking at some of the other skills and some of the other experiences that you might have and looking to see if there is something that is possible. It just shows how sometimes you can be so tied up in what you’re doing.

One of Janet’s friends is an audio producer and a musician. Obviously, like the hospitality cannot practice any of that at the moment. Janet sent him a message the other day and told him he could edit a podcast. And he said he has actually edited and did radio interviews before. He just never thought about it.

If you’ve already pivoted, it’s just thinking about you being qualified. Janet is also thinking what other skills she got, and how can she put into use. The other side of it is, even if you can’t come up with something right now, we’re going to try and come up with something in this exercise.

You can be building your audience. Janet was really interested in the comments that she saw before lots of people saying they can’t put content out. Janet belives you totally can put content out and she can give you loads of ideas and stuff that you could be posting to keep that audience really warm. Because if you look after that audience and you just keep talking to them, you can have people staying with you, when things go back to normal or version of normal, they will be. But if you kind of shut down and you stopped talking to them, which is what she has seen a lot of people in the hospitality industry do, then you’re going to have to warm that audience right back up.

This is a real opportunity, you probably got a bit more time on your hands as well to create some really engaging content. And it’s become really memorable.

The first thing that Janet wants you to think about is what problems are your ideal customers, the people who would have come and stayed with you, what problems are they having right now? Write down three problems that they’ve got right now. Things that they are struggling within their daily life. If you can just think about them and focus on them, what things are they finding hard at the moment?

Janet thinks it’s really important that we understand because the thing about audience building is about giving your audience what they need from you right now. And that isn’t always about you selling to them. In fact, a lot of the time, it isn’t just about giving them what they need right now because you will reap the benefits from that.

So that’s the first part of the exercise. So what we’re going to try and do is see if there’s a way that you could help them with that? Is there a way that you can help them with those problems that they’re having through something you’re doing it maybe it’s gonna be challenging for your industry. Write down a list of other skills that you’ve got. Janet has actually got quite a few other skills, which are not related to what she does at the moment.

So potentially, it’s about thinking about using some of those skills. But there’s a lot here that you could do if you can find a problem that you can solve. Think about how you could use some of those skills that you’ve got to solve some of these problems that you talked about before.

You said that people are bored, they’ve got nothing to do. They’ve got cabin fever, they’re really fed up. So we’re just gonna talk about some dispersed around some ideas of some potential ways that you can make money then we’re going to talk content and we’ll talk about content you can put on your existing Facebook page or Instagram or whatever it is that you’re doing.

So the next thing we’re going to do is to think about those problems that you said that your customers have at the moment. They’re bored. They’re stuck indoors. They’ve got nothing to do. They’ve got kids to educate, maybe they’re having to homeschool and holiday at the moment. Just throw some ideas how you could solve that problem using some of the skills that you’ve got, if you can’t necessarily get them in your holiday home or your lap.

The best way to get started with your new idea

If you’ve got a new service to offer, the people are most likely to want to buy the new services that you’re offering, or the new product that you’re offering. There are going to be people who know, like and trust you already or people who know you, who recommended to you. The very first thing to do with any new product or service is actually not to worry too much about social media. Janet would do what she calls proactive outreach. Message all your friends, just make a list of everyone you know, basically, who you can tell about this new thing. Ask them if know anybody who might want this or who might be interested. If it’s relevant, then, by all means, jump on your page and tell people about it. It’s just about most of us when we’re getting our first clients or customers for a new product or service.

Most of our friends really came to help. There are people who need to be taught how to use Zoom. If you know how to do something like that, like somebody may want to pay you for that because they’re finding it really painful. Janet thinks that the key thing is, you don’t need to build a massive audience to pivot and offer something. In fact, just doing kind of proactive outreach might be the best way to get your first client. And then if you think that you’re like this, maybe want to do more of this, then you might have to think about building an audience on social media. But actually, if you’re just testing it out, saying, is there a market for this? Are people interested in this? You know, proactive outreach would be the first go-to for that.

Janet recommends texting or calling. It’s just looking in your network and thinking, who do I know that might know someone who’s interested in this and just be brave enough to ask that question.

Final advice from Janet

If you’re going to continue to post content, you need to put out what Janet calls a positioning statement where you explain why you’re going to be doing what you’re doing. The second thing is you just stay visible and you just consistently show up. Janet thinks the worst thing you can do is just kind of hide and come away from your Facebook page.

With a mobile phone and very minimal resources, you could create some engaging content. Take people behind the scenes with you. You just take them through your process. You take them on the journey with you.

If you’re showing people around, you know and you’re showing people some of the work that you’re doing. Maybe you’re updating areas or you’re updating, repainting things. whatever they’re going to feel excited about coming to stay with you. Or if you’re showing them how the gardens changing, somebody was telling me that they posted pictures of the lands and stuff. But they can’t come to stay. But you know, it’s still engaging, it’s still, you know, showing that beautiful scenery and showing the changing seasons. You want people to be like, I cannot wait, too. I cannot wait to come and have my holiday with you. You know, if you just go into your cottage every day, you’re going to be me every day. And you see, I’m just going to I’m going to focus on this room today or tomorrow. And if you just think about you know, what are the questions that people ask you like you say, Well, you could show a photographic guestbook and you know, start showing some of you know, your favourite comments from your guestbook funny comments from the guestbook or wherever you’ve got content just all around you could just open a cupboard and you could film yourself doing a Mrs. hinge style, you know, this is how we organize our cupboard.

Janet’s podcast

Janet’s podcast is 400 episodes old on Friday. She has been showing up and doing a weekly podcast since 2015. And it’s pivoted as well so she started off teaching people about how to get press coverage and PR then it went sort of general marketing and content audience building so it’s moved and changed with her interest.She’s got episodes on you know how to put a content strategy together, how to get more engagement on your page as get more likes on your page, all of that stuff. So probably any of the questions that you’ve ever kind of asked yourself about your content, your content strategy, building your audience, getting more followers, subscribers, Is email marketing it’s all there.

Quickfire questions

If you could be isolated on lockdown with one celebrity who would it be?

Janet wouldn’t like to be locked down with one person. She finds that to be intense. It could be like a group of people in one. They probably will be fictional people from the book Mrs. Maisel and Gilmore Girls as well.

What was that one movie or TV show that you’ve been wanting to watch?

Tiger King.

What is the one thing that you’ve missed since being on lockdown?

Being around people.

What is your best purchase under 100 pounds in the last 6 months?

Earpods

Favourite podcasts or YouTube channel?

Content 10x by Amy Woods

Amy Porterfield

What is your one number one advice to increase direct bookings?

Publish high quality content on your social media channels and publish and create content that helps people find you.

Know more about Janet on his website.

Before you leave

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