What new practices will you make permanent after the pandemic?
Happy Friday, Friends.
When the pandemic was in its early stages, I was asked to be on a show to discuss social media best practices during times of crisis. That interview is below—but it’s not the focus of why I am writing you today. The interview was sent to me recently, and I found myself very curious about what I had said. Like many of you, I was scared, stressed, and had difficulty finding any silver linings. It was fascinating to reflect on and, at times, hard to watch.
As I watched, I started realizing that some of our temporary changes had become permanent practices for myself and my team. And although our business has come back to pre-pandemic levels, for the most part, the way we service our clients has changed indefinitely. So although I do think you’ll gain some value from watching the video below, more importantly, I wanted to share those permanent changes that I believe have made us a better digital marketing agency.
- Show your face. We’ve always been a virtual company, so ‘seeing’ our clients mostly meant phone calls and emails. When our clients became more accustomed to ‘virtual’ face-to-face meetings, we followed suit. It has made a significant difference. The quality of our monthly ‘check-ins’ has vastly improved. We also did many of our internal team meetings over a conference call. Seeing each other and being able to ‘hang out’ has been great for team chemistry.
- Don’t just reach out when you need something. This has been a big one for me and one that I continue to work on doing. I’ll never forget when my business banker called me out of the blue and said, “Corey, I’m just checking on you and seeing how you’re doing. How can I help?” There was no agenda, no upselling—he was just genuinely checking in. He did it multiple times through the pandemic, and I’ll never forget it. I’m working on communicating more with my clients and letting them know I’m thinking about them. They are important people to me, and I need to do a better job of letting them know just that.
- Diversify. Argh!! This is one that my mentors have been telling me for years! But did I listen?!? Nooo! Well, nothing like a pandemic to drive a point home. Diversification can mean different things to different businesses. For us, it meant focusing our marketing efforts towards essential businesses, and what resulted was establishing ourselves in a new industry and better diversification.
- Self-care. If you ask my wife, she’ll tell you I’ve never had a problem in this area. 🙂 But the lesson I learned was to ensure others around me are doing the same. I got closer with my team during the pandemic. We worked out together. We had virtual happy hours together. I knew when they were struggling, and I tried to encourage them to prioritize self-care. We don’t need a pandemic to ensure this is a priority. Making sure our team members are taking care of themselves is the best way to ensure they have the energy to take care of others around them—including their clients!
- Grace. It’s a word that echoed through my mind in so many instances. With friends, family members, team members, clients. I had a lot of tough, tough conversations. I’m sure you did as well. And if I experienced or was able to provide grace, it seemed to be just what the doctor ordered at that moment. So I’d like to take that with me. We don’t need a pandemic to give each other grace…patience…understanding…kindness. Let that be what we focus on spreading from this point forward.