Have you noticed a change in the marketing content you’re seeing at the moment? How can you use social media to help your business, even if your business isn’t currently active? How is COVID-19 going to affect your marketing going forward?
In this podcast episode, Sam Carvalho takes a look at branding before and after COVID-19.
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In This Podcast
- Visual Communication
- Design and marketing before COVID-19
- Transforming your business to online counseling
- Online media consumption
- Give back
- Mobile optimization
- Website content
- How is COVID-19 going to affect your marketing moving forward?
In times of crisis, design and visual messaging are more important than ever. Impactful designs containing messages about COVID-19 can be seen everywhere at the moment. These designs often serve to reinforce the awareness or the important messaging that we need to take in, more so than the actual words. When trying to get an entire nation to radically change their behavior, visual communication is key to an emotional response. Whenever there is a message that needs to be communicated, there is a design to go along with it. It’s important to realize the importance of design in daily life, and therefore the importance of it in your business.
Design and marketing before COVID-19
Before COVID-19, you didn’t have to rely completely on your digital marketing. You may have had business from walk-ins, word of mouth, networking events, workshops, or print flyers. It was the bigger businesses that were embracing digital marketing, influencer marketing, and reaping the rewards. Smaller businesses were just dipping their toes. Maybe they had a website or a Facebook page, maybe most of their clients were still coming from other means. After COVID-19 we all know that it is going to change dramatically. Every business now needs to adapt and include digital marketing in their efforts.
Transforming your business to online counseling
Check out Joe Sanok and Clay Cockrell talking through the ins and outs of online counseling here!
Moving forward, it is going to be an absolute must to be more present on digital platforms. If possible, convert your whole business to online. Private practices can take their businesses online although you will obviously lose the personal touch of being physically face-to-face with your clients. We have the magic of technology to get as close to that as possible so check out the masterclass to see how it can work for you.
Online media consumption
After the hit of COVID-19, online media consumption has dramatically increased, specifically social media. You can do the following things on social media to maintain brand awareness and stay top of mind during this time:
- Check-in with people
- Let them know what you’re up to during lockdown
- Add value by giving tips and advice on how to maintain mental health
- Promote your services
- Keep people up to date on things happening in your business
If you haven’t been active on social media, try to be active over the next few weeks, you will definitely reap the rewards. Even if your business is not active at the moment, you need to stay top of mind for when you can continue. A lot of people have regressed mentally during this time. People are struggling with anxiety and stress so post some quotes of encouragement or tips to stay mentally healthy. This can really help them and will also plant the seed for them to contact you at a later stage.
There is a strong sense of togetherness across the world right now – “We’re all in this together.” People are embracing a sense of community, helping out, and doing good. If your business can give back in any way, no matter how small, people will be more likely to support you over a business that doesn’t. If you are able to help out during this time, post about it, share it with others. This will not only encourage others to make a difference but it will show that you’re doing your part and that’s what people need to see right now.
Mobile optimization has always been paramount but it is now even more so. There has been a major increase in how much time people are spending on social media, all from their phones. You need to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile so that it is easy for people to navigate your website and get in touch with you. Ensure that any platform you use, to interact with people digitally, is optimized for mobile.
Even if your business is not currently active during this time, people are still researching. They still want to engage with your content so make sure that your website is up to scratch. If you have the time, do some blog posts on COVID-19. You, as a mental health professional, almost have an advantage as now, more than ever, everybody’s mental health is being affected and everybody could use some encouragement.
How is COVID-19 going to affect your marketing moving forward?
Take this time to build up a social media presence so that, when everything goes back to normal, you’ve been the business that’s popped up the most on somebody’s feed. And when they’re able to send their kids back to school, and take some time for themselves, you’ll be the one they’ll be getting in touch with to come and get some counseling.
Give this some real thought. How are you going to update your website with information related to COVID-19? Are you going to be available for online counseling? Are you going to put ads out on social media/Google Ads to promote your online counseling? Be very aware of how you talk about COVID-19. Don’t take part in the fear-mongering or negativity, bring a positive light to it. Show people that you can help get them through this. Put some thought into the message you’re conveying, ultimately, you want it to be a message of hope and then provide expert advice on how to manage mental health during this time.
- Update your website with info relating to COVID-19, i.e.: that you are available for online counseling
- Adverts etc. to promote your online counseling
- Be aware of HOW you are talking about COVID-19
- Providing expert advice on how to manage mental health during this time
- Maintaining brand awareness, staying top of mind
- Courtland McPherson’s Branding Story About a Little Red Telescope | MP 21
- Telehealth Masterclass
- Online Counseling
- Email Sam at email@example.com
- Design Services With Sam
- Apply to work with us
Meet Sam Carvalho
Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.
She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!
Thanks For Listening!
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Welcome to the Marketing a Practice podcast with me, Sam Carvalho, where you will discover everything you need to know about marketing and branding your business. To find out more about how I can help you brand your business, visit www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram @samanthacarvalhodesign.
Hi there. Thanks so much for taking the time to listen into the Marketing a Practice podcast today. I’m so glad that you’re here and I hope that you’ll find value in today’s episode. So, I’ve been going back and forth about doing an episode on COVID-19 because I know myself that there’s so much out there about Coronavirus and about COVID-19 that it can sometimes get overwhelming. And you’re sick of hearing about it and want to hear about something else. Which is why I have, up until this point, kept silent about it because I think just mentally it can be good to continue to focus on other things. Obviously, while still remaining partially aware of the COVID-19 facts, but for me personally it’s been great to just continue on with work and focus on other things. But having said that, the immense impact that COVID-19 is having on the world and on businesses means that it does justify a seat at the table. And we do need to address the effects that it’s having.
So, I thought I would just do a quick episode on the effects, or the impact, of COVID-19 on design specifically, and on marketing specifically. And I’m sure that even as you listen to this, or even prior to this, you’ve already had to make some adjustments to your business. For those of you in private practice, you probably have been altering your practice to go more online. And so, you’re now taking part in online counseling. And that’s just going to be a natural shift, I think, for most private practices during this time. And maybe you’ll even stay like that. And maybe in the future, online counseling will dominate most of your business. Who knows what the long-term effects of this outbreak will be?
But for centuries now, effective design has been the propagator of news, ideas, political views, and announcements. In times of crisis design and visual messaging are more important than ever. I’m sure you’ve seen during this time just scrolling through social media or even if you have been driving around, you’ve definitely seen some impactful designs that contain messaging about COVID-19; whether it’s depictions of people wearing masks or heartfelt messages sent to those on the front line, there’s definitely been some impactful design out there and a lot of the time, those designs serve to reinforce the awareness or the important messaging that we need to take in, more so than the actual words. So, when imploring individuals, communities, and whole nations to radically change their behavior, visual communication is key to elicit an emotional response in the viewer and drive certain social behaviors. So, as I said, you’ve definitely seen public health messaging telling you to wear masks, to wash your hands, but you’ve also seen messages of support for essential workers. And all of these messages… so essentially, whenever there is a message to be communicated, there will be a design to go along with it. And sometimes it’s helpful to be reminded of that, because sometimes if you’re not a creative person, you are unaware of the importance that design has in your business. And so, you don’t really focus on it that much. But I think it’s important to realize the importance of design in daily life, and therefore the importance of it in your own business.
So, if we have to look at design and marketing before COVID-19 you yourself will know that you didn’t necessarily rely on your digital marketing entirely to attract clients. You may have had some walk ins or repeat business from some clientele; it may have been word of mouth, may have been from networking in events or holding workshops or from print flyers. Before COVID-19, it was more the bigger businesses that were fully embracing digital marketing, influencer marketing and reaping the rewards of that. But I think smaller businesses were kind of dipping their toe in the digital pool. So, you would have maybe had a website, a Facebook page, things like that, but maybe most of your clientele were still coming from other means. However, after COVID-19 we are already aware that this is going to change dramatically. So, it’s now a case of every business having to adapt a digital way of working and include digital marketing in their efforts.
So if you head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/telehealthmasterclass, you can watch a recording that Joe Sanok did with Clay Cockrell, who owns onlinecounselling.com, which is a directory, and they basically held a webinar where they chatted through the ins and outs of online counseling, how to set it up and how to move forward in that way. So, I would really recommend checking that out if you’re struggling with transforming your business to online counseling. So that’s at practiceofthepractice.com/telehealthmasterclass. Because, as I’ve said, now moving forward, it’s going to be an absolute must to be more present on all digital platforms. And if possible, convert your entire business to online. And I think private practices, although it hasn’t been done traditionally, up until now, you are blessed in the sense that you can pivot your business to online. Obviously, you maybe lose some of the more personal touches of being face to face with your clients, but we have the magic of technology to be able to get as close as possible to that. So, again, be sure to check out that masterclass.
Another change that’s going to happen now, moving forward after the hit of COVID-19, is that online media consumption has dramatically increased. Now we know that this was happening already with more and more people jumping online and spending more and more time online, but now it’s increased hundredfold. And this is specifically true for social media. So, if you have managed to be active on social media during this time, whether it’s been just checking in with people, letting them know what you’re up to during lockdown, or adding value by giving tips and advice on how to maintain your mental health during this time, or whether you’ve even been promoting your services or keeping people up to date with what’s happening in your business, you’ll definitely reap the rewards once everything goes back to normal, and that is due to brand awareness and staying top of mind during this time. So, if you haven’t managed to stay active on social media, I would highly recommend that you become active over the next few weeks. Even if your business has slowed down during this time or you aren’t taking clients at this time, to remain active by posting on social media will mean that when things go back to normal, when you’re ready to take in new clients, that people, as I’ve said, you’ll be top of mind for them. And they may have, throughout this time, regressed mentally, which I think a lot of people are struggling with anxiety or stress during this time, and to have you posting quotes of encouragement, or tips on how to stay mentally healthy during this time can really help them but might also plant that seed in their mind to contact you, you know, in a few months or even a year when they decide that they want to come in to see you.
So that’s definitely something to think about. And it’s, I think, something to remember moving forward is the importance of social media. There’s also a strong sense across the world, I would say, during this lockdown, of togetherness. So, from restricted movements to the ideas on how to keep busy when you aren’t working to the struggling small business trying to survive COVID-19, we’re all in this together. And people have embraced a sense of community, helping out and doing good even with the little they have. So, this highlights that even if your business gives back in some way, people would more likely support your business over another that doesn’t. I know that can come across as a bit controversial because you don’t just want to be doing good to improve your business. But it is something to keep in mind. So, if you are able to help out during this time, again, post about it on social media, share it with others, and not only will it encourage others to make a difference, but it also just shows that you are doing your part in this time. And I think that’s very important for people to see right now. And it will ensure that they are able to relate to you more, and, as I’ve said, may be more likely to support you in the long term.
And another change in terms of marketing after COVID-19 is the optimization of mobile, or the importance of the optimization of mobile. So, this has always been paramount in marketing, especially recently. But it’s going to be even more important moving forward. And again, like we’ve seen with the increase in the time people are spending on social media, this is all from their phones. And so you really want to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile, that, it’s easy for someone to fill out the contact form on your website to book an appointment, that it’s easy for them to navigate through your website on their mobile phone if they want to get in touch with you. So, really just ensuring that your website or any platform you use to interact with someone digitally, and so it’s really about to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile.
And finally, your website is and always has been your silent salesperson. So even if your business isn’t operational during this time, even if you aren’t taking new clients, because you’re having to stay home with your kids, or whatever the case may be, make sure that your website is still up to scratch because people are still researching, they’re still going to be wanting to engage with your content in this time. If you do have the time to spare to blog about COVID-19, I think that mental health practitioners are… you’ve almost got an advantage in this time because of your knowledge of mental health. And I think now more than ever, everybody’s mental health is being affected and everybody could use some encouragement when it comes to maintaining their mental health in this time. So, if you have the time to blog about it, or to even just post a few tips on social media, I would highly recommend doing that.
So those are some of the ways that I think COVID-19 is going to affect marketing moving forward. Obviously, it’s just a general shift to digital platforms. But I would really encourage you also to think about how COVID-19 is going to shape your marketing moving forward, specifically in your business. How are you going to update your website with information related to COVID-19? Whether it’s that you’re now available for online counseling, I’ve already seen a few private practices now have a pop up saying that they’re available for online counseling and information around that; whether you’re going to put adverts out there to promote your online counseling on social media, or Google ads or Facebook.
And another thing I’d think about is just to be aware of how you’re talking about COVID-19. So, I probably don’t need to tell you this as the expert, but ensuring that you’re not taking part of the fear-mongering or the negativity surrounding it, but that you’re bringing a positive light to it. And you’re showing people that you can help them get through this, that we’re all in this together, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, that we will get through this, and we’ll come out stronger for it. So just put some thought into how you’re speaking about it and what message you’re conveying. Because ultimately, we want it to be a message of hope. And then providing expert advice on how to manage mental health during this time. So, I’ve mentioned this a bit already, but I really think you guys are so well-positioned and to really make the most of that in this time. So, to blog about it, to post about it on social media can really be helpful, and then maintaining brand awareness and staying top of mind. So really taking this time to build up a social media presence so that, when everything goes back to normal, you’ve been the business that’s popped up the most on somebody’s feed. And when they’re able to send their kids back to school and take some time for themselves, you’ll be the one they’ll be getting in touch with to come and get some counseling.
So, I hope this helps and be sure to stay safe out there and do what you can to help those in your communities stay safe too.
Thanks for listening to the Marketing a Practice podcast. If you need help with branding your business, whether it be a new logo, rebrand, or you simply want to have a print file designed, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram @samanthacarvalhodesign.
Finally, please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast on iTunes if you like what you’ve heard. Talk to you soon.
This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests, are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or any other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.