Faff Free Friday Rachel Bentley

Keep Your Light Shining…

In spite of being in a time of crisis, now is not the time to hide. Here's my take on the reasons why and the lessons learnt from two years ago…

On March 31, 2020, I posted this article in Linked In:

YES you MAY still market your business – in fact, you MUST.

A little under two years later and a few days after Putin The Not So Great (note: Newsnight discussion this week, Putin is said to idolise the tyrannical Russian Emperor Peter the Great…) invaded the sovereign state of Ukraine, I find myself pondering almost the same sentiment.

Back in 2020 I observed the following happening for smaller businesses:
򽸱 Custom started to dry up.
򽸱 Supply chain was severely interrupted
򽸱 Social media commentary suggested it was highly inappropriate to sell.
򽸱 A deep sense of anxiety across the sector.
򽸱 And on top of this, little or no financial or business support, especially for directors of small businesses.

Turning the Sales Tap on and Off Again Is Not Easy…
In March 2020 I saw pages of well meaning content condemning selling. It actually made me feel really uncomfortable.

Because many of those commenting were confident in sales – turning the tap off and then back on again was not going to be a huge problem over time – for them!

The people I talk to tend to lack a love for sales and marketing themselves and their business.

And if they develop any level of confidence, often it is out of building new habits and good systems which work for them based on their strengths.

But it does not take much for many to retreat into invisibility again.

I Leaned In…
In my own small way I offered help.

I put together free training to help my audience pivot. I also put out that it is ok to market and sell even in a crisis.

Because, in 2022, the knock on effects of the horrors of the invasion may be taking its toll already and in a similar way to back in time…there are things we can do to prevent sales being sleazy, or condemning them as such.

My message now is as it was then…
Please think before suggesting to anyone that selling is in poor taste right now. There are ways it can be ok.

And if you find you are one of those who worry that being visible isn't a good thing, think about how you can help without feeling sleazy.

Visibility WITHOUT Sleaze…
This may help – perhaps use this as a touchstone:
• Does your message have integrity?
• Are you discerning in what you are saying?
̉• Are you using your discretion in choosing what you want to talk/write about?

Outshining Darkness…
We can only control what we have in our control and we need to do good to outshine the dark in the world.

Ways to help:
1 Ensure we share the truth about what is happening – check sources before sharing.
2 Educate ourselves from trusted media – not someone down the pub or hairdressers or on insta….or in here…
3 Donate to official charities and groups – but do not dump. Check what is needed – it may not be ‘stuff', it may be money which helps them to get essentials to the right people.
4 Please do not hide away at this time – your audience and clients need to see your business (and you) are still operating and are still ok. It is a comfort to the people you help.

Networks for Good are Everywhere…
I wrote last week about the power of prayer and mentioned I would be part of a nationwide candle lit vigil last Sunday evening.

It was very powerful to share a solemn but positive space with a community I realised I’ve know for almost 23 years locally and a wider Christian community I’ve been part of since as a child I attended church with my friend and her family.

It’s this network created by a common cause that binds a community of care across the world together, in place and in time.

Please be there for your networks, don't become invisible.

Keep your light shining…
• Are you struggling?
• Can I or my community, my network, help?

What are you needing? What can you add? Please comment below or contact me.

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