Over the course of the last two weeks, I’ve been asked to sit on a number of webinars and lead corporate training events to organizations looking for guidance in how to market themselves and their products during a time of the pandemic.
Of course, this is no surprise. I find many of us (myself as a marketer included) stuck somewhere between, “How do I not sound completely tone-deaf?” and “I don’t want to over acknowledge it and come off like an opportunist?” And let’s say you do strike a reasonable balance in your messaging, of course, the next question is, “So what’s the best way to disseminate this messaging?”
So, we’re going to share some practical tips that are working for Team LeDonne and a few of our clients. But first, I’d like to start with a mindset shift, because, as most of you who actively follow the “Build a Brand” series know, the first person who needs to buy into your approach is yourself. Without that critical self-assuredness, your message won’t be authentic, which is critical to any effective brand marketing.
Embracing the Concept of “Expert Elastic Energy”
“Elastic energy” is energy stored in an object when there is a temporary strain on it – like in a coiled spring or a stretched elastic band. (Source: SolarSchools.net)
Think of it as the graphic of the trampoline below. Immense pressure is being placed on the object causing it to “sink.” In many ways, this is comparable to the effect of a pandemic on our businesses.
Now, we can fear the “sink,” or we can “embrace the sink,” realizing that we are gaining elastic energy or potential energy that will skyrocket us when the pressure is released, as shown in graphic two below.
When you embrace the “sink,” or just surrender to the current conditions, the energy you were using to resist it can now be transferred into going deeper into your expertise. You now have time to reflect, plan, analyze, and do more digging in your topic or industry. This is the accumulation of your “expert elastic energy.”
5 ways to share your elastic energy…
The next thing you want to do after you’ve gone deeper into your zone of genius is to share these lessons with others from a place of contribution. This helps bolster your commitment to others (all great marketing is inherently focused on genuinely helping, not selling to, another person) and helps amplify your authentic voice, something that can be lost in more vapid, fast-moving paces of business.
Here are 5 ways to do exactly that:
1.) Start guesting on webinars
With the majority of workforces now remote, and with people using their time at home to focus on learning, you can volunteer to help lead webinars and training events and generously share your expertise with others. How do you do this? Simple. Offer it up. Make a few social graphics and statuses offering your expertise. Email your current clients. Email your past clients. I’ve been educating without pitching for the better part of two weeks, and my email list and my network have increased meteorically because of it.
2.) Finally start your blog. But for the love of all things good in this world, publish it on LinkedIn.
People can say what they will about captions ruling all on LinkedIn, but I’m here to empirically share with you that the art of writing long-form articles on this platform is one of the most effective marketing tools you can be utilizing right now. In a span of mere months, we’ve garnished over 26,000 subscribers (yes, people who are actively following the very series you are reading right this second).
This blows my first-degree LinkedIn network out of the water, and my own personal email list to smithereens (it’s true). People have TIME right now. They are reading more and at a less frenetic pace they were when bouncing between meetings, and emails, and running kids to soccer practice. Craft substantive pieces on your industry and publish them HERE (on LinkedIn). And on your blog. And on Medium. Get it out there.
3.) Start crafting your online course already.
One of the best things I ever did for my business was to build The Influence Academy, a 6-part series to show people how to become recognized experts on LinkedIn. It was a complete practice of expert elastic energy. I sold the course to a live audience before I actually made it, so I had increased the pressure of actually delivering a product to people who had paid for a product. It was the “push” I needed to go from ideating about my course (the purgatory where 90% of potential course creators are stuck) to just getting the damn thing out there. Guess what? You may not be able to do that $5,000 workshop in person now. Great. Get yourself a zoom account, create worksheets, and deliver it online. Then, take the recordings of the training, hire a Fiver designer to pretty up the worksheets, and re-release it to a broader audience and leverage economies of scale to increase passive income. (Scale, by the way, is the golden ticket for experts. You WILL have to create a knowledge product eventually, whether it’s a book or a course– or else, how are you monetizing all that awareness?)
4.) Get yourself a LinkedIn ProFinder account already.
I see about 5 requests for proposals a day on LinkedIn ProFinder, especially in these last two weeks. People are planning for their business’ future, and they do need experts to help them. If you haven’t already signed yourself up as a “pro,” you’re sleeping on leads getting delivered straight to your inbox.
5.) Hop on over to Quora.
Quora is the good ole question and answer website about a variety of topics. From “How do I meditate?” to “How do I use a drain snake on my toilet,” Quora provides a bevy of questions for experts to answer which boosts your SEO, creates third-party credibility, and more. Here’s a fantastic article about how marketers can use it on HubSpot’s blog.
I’m curious to hear what’s been working for all of you. How have you been leaning into your expert elastic energy as of late? Remember, using the time now to plant the seeds you will later sow is crucial to staying on track for 2020.