Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, workplaces are scrambling to deliver services remotely while maintaining the continuity of their work. We thought it would be helpful to provide a summary of the technology tools PSM has used to remotely deliver its services as a virtual marketing company since its inception in 1997. It is our hope that you will be able to minimize the impact this pandemic could have on your business by relying on technologies, many of them free, to continue “meeting” with your clients. The tools we use are not cut from the same high-tech cloth used by large corporations. Rather, they represent tools we think are easy, intuitive, and effective.
Create your Own Virtual Conference Room
At PSM we have used everything from Skype, to GoToMeeting, to Zoom and Microsoft Teams to easily connect with our clients. Our favorite program is called Whereby. Here, you can create your own personal conference room where the only technology that is needed is a camera, microphone, and speakers (standard issue on laptops today). Whereby is FREE for a room that accommodates 4 people. For less than $100 per year you can upgrade to Whereby premium and host up to 12 participants. PSM has and continues to work with successful businesses across the country and our virtual PSM conference room allows us to meet “in person” with our clients.
Make it Easy for Clients to Schedule Meetings with You
Reassure your clients and let them know you are here for them, that you are accessible and available to them. We use a tool called Appointlet, which integrates with Google Calendar, Office 365, and other calendaring programs. Appointlet automatically blocks out time you have meetings scheduled and only offers the open times you designate. You set up your meeting options (15-minute brief consultation, 30-minute call, 60-minute client meeting, etc.) and your clients simply click a link on an icon to “book now” with you. Both me and Michelle use this tool, so let us know if you would like to schedule a meeting to discuss running and managing your business during this tenuous time. We will meet with you in our virtual conference room!
Deliver High Quality Education via Webinar
There is no need for you to stop educating your clients on topics that are important to them. Rather than in-person programming, consider offering webinars. For years, PSM has used GoToWebinar. We have found this format works well and allows us the ability to create invitations, manage responses, and record our webinars. That way we can send links to our clients and friends allowing them to click and play our webinar from the comfort of their remote offices. PSM has scheduled its 2020 Marketing Motivation Webinar Series. You can see the topics we will be presenting each month. Another great thing about webinars, is that you can promote them on social media, include them in communications, and create a Webinar Archive to feature your past webinars.
Communicate with your Clients!
Particularly during difficult times, it is important to communicate with your clients and contacts. We have used several e-communication tools and MailChimp is our favorite. If you have 2,000 or fewer contacts, this program is free! Even if you have more contacts, the next plan up is only $9.99 per month. Think about what you want to communicate to your clients – including how your business is preparing for the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reassure your clients that just because your team will likely be working remotely, the services you have been providing will continue uninterrupted.
Stay Connected on Social Media
It’s important to remember during this time of isolation that social media used to be referred to as social networking. You still need to continue your networking efforts during this time – but do it from the safety of your home office. Now is a great time to stay connected with your friends, colleagues, clients, and family members using social media. Be a positive force in social media discussions about how you and those you know are taking care of yourselves by working from home without jeopardizing important relationships. Discuss the tools and techniques you are using to maintain your personal productivity as well as your sanity during this unprecedented time.
Remember that we are all tied and connected to others who are going through the same thing we are. I personally aspire to be a source of the many positive ways we can use simple technology tools available to stay connected to one another.