It’s getting really scary out there. With as much as Americans find to disagree with each other on these days, I think we can all agree on that. Scary.
Gas prices still rising. Stocks torpedoing. Bailouts on the news and capitulation in the wind. Nobody trusts us. Iran hates us (wait in line). China owns us. We are witnessing the death of investment banking as we know it and we really don’t want to know any more. Depending on who you talk to, we’re in a recession or a depression and it’s not good and it’s not going to get better anytime soon.
Clients are cutting back, retrenching, reducing inventory…trying to keep the big bad wolf from huffing, and puffing and…you get the idea. Kinda feels like the end of the world, don’t it?
Well, it ain’t. A financial client of mine says that while there is this understandable tendency to think that what we are experiencing now is particularly, horribly unique…worse than it has ever been before – the truth is, it’s probably not. It’s not essentially different from what has gone before. And the bottom line here is that “We’ll be Back.”
Still, the universal hue and cry is registering as “What do I do now?” Well, I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that the short term solution is not to nuke your advertising or marketing or promotional budget (or even to reduce it, necessarily).
Now is the time to kick your efforts up a notch or two (or even three) and differentiate yourself from the pack. I’m not talking about slogans or slicks or superlatives. I’m talking about CONTENT. Valuable information. Solid advice. Helpful solutions to the problems and perils that plague us in midst of this scary economic hurricane. We all need help, and we can help each other by sharing niche knowledge and lessons learned.
The idea is to provide people – clients, consumers, and co-sufferers – with information that helps them, enables them, empowers them. Not just promises, but purpose.
I know about content. Content is what I do. Bios and blogs and branding. Web pages and white papers and newsletters and business letters. And everything written in the spaces between.
Right now, I’m writing and directing a lot of website content – because today if you don’t have a website, you’re already behind.
I’m doing a healthy newsletter business – because businesses are realizing that ezines and articles and outreach publications (both internal and external) are the way to expand into previously untapped (or just plain neglected) target areas.
I’m writing a lot of self-help/motivational content – because a little kick in the ass (professional, personal, or even spiritual) can be exactly what is called for when many are looking for an excuse to crawl under the covers and zone out.
Yes. Things have been better. Things have definitely been worse. Many of your competitors will downscale in an attempt to outlast the downturn. Don’t buy into that negative philosophy – it’s a surefire straight line to stagnation and failure. Capitulation just adds to your problems. Because, now in addition to deciding when to get out, you have to decide when to get back in. And with that comes a whole new variety of pain.
Get up. Scale up. Get Noticed. Take advantage of the situation and use it to capture a wider client base. Learn. Adapt. Grow. Move to the front of the line and strut your stuff.
Channel Steve McQueen. Or Barack. Or George Clooney. Or Oprah. Or Ellen. Or Warren Buffet. Or Hillary. Pick one. Then go out and kick some ass and take names.
Do it TODAY.