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How To Get Clients During Covid

In this episode, we are talking about how to get clients during COVID. During the kind of downtime that I gave myself, this last week, I have been thinking a lot about why we do what we do in business, in life. I mean, if you've been listening to this podcast for a while, you already know that I am quite the philosopher, I think about life probably a little bit too much. Sometimes it can be a bit detrimental to sit in on an existential portrayal for too long. But when it comes to business, and when it comes to the work that we do, ultimately what we all want to be able to do is have impact on people, right? I mean, that's why we all got into this business, or if you're not in this business, but you're clearly interested in it, the reason that you want to jump in is because you are inspired to make a difference, whether that be making a difference in other people's businesses, whether that's a difference in other people's lives, whether you want to make VR that transforms education, or you want to make a story in an immersive way in 360, or VR or AR and you want to change someone's opinion on a big topic, or you just want to express some way that you feel about the world, you want to connect with other people. At the heart of everything we want to do in this business, in making VR 360 or any other format that you're working in, is that we want to make a difference in people's lives. And that has never been more apparent than right now during COVID.

Read on for the full transcription or listen to the podcast episode here:

I kind of want this content to be evergreen, I want you to be able to listen to this, and be able to apply the tips or tricks or just the stuff that I'm kind of talking about in whenever you're listening to this. So I don't necessarily want to make loads of content that is super specific to COVID but it felt really necessary for me, especially after having some time to reflect, it felt really necessary for me to do an episode, to talk to you directly about how you can be getting more clients, making it a bit easier to put food on your own table, a bit easier for you to pay your rent. But not only that, but to actually put your skill set to work and help businesses out there that are struggling to help physical locations that need your services, whether you believe it or not, they need your services, in order to get their footfall back, to showcase their new COVID secure layout, to try and attract more online traffic, they need you more than ever. And when you make that switch, when you see what you're doing as an essential service to those businesses to not in the same way, obviously as the frontline kind of health workers or the people that are actually you know, delivering food to the most vulnerable, of course, but in a way, what we are doing what you are doing in terms of the work that you're providing for your clients, it's not dissimilar, because think about it. If you did, for example, a virtual tour of a leisure centre that needed to showcase their new COVID secure layouts, where all the hand sanitizers are installed, the one way systems that they've got in place now, if they needed that virtual tour to showcase how COVID secure their facilities are in order to get people back, which in turn means they are generating more money, which in turn means that the employees that work at that venue, at that leisure centre now get to stay in their jobs, which means that those employees get to put food on their table, they get to pay their rent, which means that they will then be able to be in a better position to then help the people around them. It's a snowball effect. So when you're thinking about approaching clients during this time, of course you need to be empathetic, of course you need to think about making sure that you are not doing the pushy..I mean, you know that I'm not a fan of the pushy selling techniques. Anyway, I just personally don't think that they work, like full stop anymore. Or if they do, do you really want to be the kind of person that is a shark, a car sales person, you know, like, do you want to be that kind of pushy salesperson? No, you want to be the kind of person that can actually add value to a company and now more than ever, you need to go in. And when you are approaching companies, you need to make sure that you can add value, you need to make sure you are being empathetic to their situation because everyone's struggling. And you can actually help them whether that be with selling them a virtual tour, selling them a 360 video, walkthrough with a staff member, and even just kind of generating more content for them to be posting online, which will then allow them to get more kind of traffic, which means that they might get more customers as a result of that, whatever it might be, you can help those businesses.

So let's talk about that. So when you do reach out to these businesses, lead with empathy, lead with kindness, lead with care. And make sure that your phrasing, whether you're going in physically, or emailing or calling, whatever it is, make sure that you are obviously opening with empathy, but then also showcasing the value and the benefits of your services.

So go in and acknowledge they must be struggling right now and ask if they have thought about how demonstrating how COVID secure your facilities are? Explain how that could potentially help bring new customers in, or it could bring back previous clients that might be a bit apprehensive about coming back?

Maybe they come back and say, they’ve tried but it didn’t work. You say well, have you thought about something like a virtual tour? Or how about some 360 photos for Facebook, or maybe a kind of a panoramic version of 360 or you know, a really simple 360 video that you could then repurpose and reframe. Have you thought about that?Because that could be a really unique way to reassure people that you are taking these measures seriously, and that could in turn mean more footfall. So that could be a way to approach it.

Or it could actually just be places or companies that relied on their physical location for so long, who now definitely needs some kind of digital presence and maybe they've been neglecting their digital presence, because that wasn't their priority before. Whereas now, they might need to prioritise a digital presence, because at any moment, especially in the UK, we could go into a national lockdown. Art galleries, museums, theatres, music venues, all these different places that are really suffering right now, because they aren't allowed to operate as they were previously. They really could use some kind of digital presence and innovation. So whether it's, you know, working with them to roll out a virtual reality experience, if that's something good, because the other thing to think about…just to segue off is that, especially in the UK, but I'm sure that in other countries, I know that America definitely have something similar to the UK where there's a lot of funding sloshing around at the moment. And especially in the most affected industries, there’s a lot of grant funding. There's a lot of companies that would have taken loans to bolster their digital presence. I know that in England specifically, there are grants going out like every kind of quarter, my accountant emails me with new grants and new funding available for specific remits that the government are releasing and actually one of them that came out very recently in September 2020 is to reinvent the digital side to your business, and especially for those industries. They're going to want to put every single penny of that to good use. So actually, they do have money for this, they do have money to help generate more footfall, generate more clients for themselves. So don't be afraid to go out and ask because I think this is the thing I've kind of concluded over the last week or so, is actually what you're doing and what I'm doing, what we're all doing when we do this, when we go out, and we sell these clients, virtual tours, or 360 projects, or virtual reality projects, whatever it might be, we're not taking their money, we are helping them to get more sales, which in turns means their employees get to keep their jobs, which means that their employees get to go home, and buy that birthday cake for their kid, or take their family on a weekend away, because it's so bloody miserable now. So just think about that and position it that way if you need to. And that's really helped me recently. So I guess that boils down to three things really…go in there with empathy and kindness…number two, position yourself as adding value. That could also be number one, the easy kind of thing to have a think about is, could that business benefit from showing how COVID secure they are? Is that a way that you could position it? So you know, it might be that they use a virtual tour, or you could go after existing or previous clients that you've done work for and say, you know…we’re living in a very different world now, would you like an updated virtual tour? Would you like an updated 360 photo portfolio? Would you like an updated VR experience? Because they might be able to, they might want to, like showcase what new things are in place so that they can reassure their clients or their customers.

Lastly, maybe thinking about those companies that would be massively impacted if we back into a full stay at home order and those companies that need to think about a digital bolt on to their current businesses, could you go to your local theatre and see if there's some kind of grant money available to them to put on virtual performance? Is there a way of doing a 360 live stream for a dance company, there's so many different things. So you just have to think a little bit differently during these times about who is the best place to buy your services. But just also acknowledge that you're going to go to some companies, and they are going to have so much that they are contending with, they are desperately trying to keep their businesses afloat and it might be that you just get them on the wrong day, or the wrong time. Or, you know, there's so many things going on, like in everyone's businesses right now and everyone's life in general. So just don't take it personally, if that is the case, and don't, for God's sake, don't go in with a hard sell. Go in there. You know, acknowledging that times are really hard, but you genuinely believe that you can help that business. So that's it, that would be my best advice on how to get clients during COVID.

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