When the government tells you that your business has to close for who-knows-how-long, it's pretty scary.
How will I pay the bills?
What am I going to do with all of these client deposits?
How am I going to tell my clients that I can no longer take their family photos?
But when the weeks roll on and there's no definitive studio open day in sight, the questions getting a little more intense ...
What is my business going to look like when I reopen again?
Can I salvage this?
Where are my clients going to come from?
Do I have the strength to keep going?
I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I'm in Brisbane so haven't had as many lockdown weeks as many of you, but I have had my fair share of Covid related business debacles with a huge chunk of my clients living in New South Wales and Victoria. Goodbye income. Fun.
Oh and of course, that particularly wonderful time in early 2020 when my fabric buyer from my old props import business lived in Wuhan and couldn't leave her apartment (even to walk in her courtyard) for 96 days or something horrible like that) let alone send me stock for my store.
SO HOW ON EARTH DO YOU STAY MOTIVATED?
I completely get it. Right now, marketing your business seems like the most futile, painful and useless thing to do on the planet. What's the point when you can't take bookings anyway?
Well, let me just say, if you're planning on re-opening again (and I really hope you are!), then you need to keep posting! On your socials that is.
If you stop, you're in big trouble when you want to get things rolling again.
Bringing your social media accounts back from the dead is HARD WORK! Trust me, you don’t want to have to do that. If you thinking posting is time consuming enough now … wait until you’re trying to rebuild engagement after a hiatus. It’s a lot more work and sometimes, can’t be done at all!
THE GOOD NEWS
In great news, your followers are spending way more time online now than they ever have been! 40% more in fact! How’s your “Screen time” report going each week? Eeeek I hate getting those things.
So while your clients might not be able to meet you at the park for their family session or bring their baby to the studio this month, they certainly can be booking ahead. Or saving your post for later.
If you still need more inspiration, let me talk you through it with a bit of a fun experiment I've been running for almost a year now ...
THE EAT STREET EXPERIMENT
You may or may not remember my blog last year about Eat Street - my fave outdoor street food marketplace on the river here at Brisbane. You know, funnel cakes, giant fairy floss (for the kids of course), pork belly rolls and those delicious Japanese pizzas. Yep, all the yum.
Well, I can't remember when exactly but last year I had this random thought pop into my head - WHERE HAD EAT STREET GONE? From my Facebook and Instagram feeds that is. I realised I hadn't been there for months, and definitely hadn't seen any of their social posts.
In an undeniable miracle, I searched for their page (to see if they were open mid-Covid) AND LOW AND BEHOLD, THEY WERE HOSTING A DRIVE THROUGH DESSERT FESTIVAL THAT VERY DAY! So I bundled Jess and her friend into the car and off we went. Hello donut fries!
Turns out, they had of course been posting alllllll the time but I hadn't engaged in a single one, so they had fallen off my feed. Easy as that I guess? I don't know when. I don't know exactly why, but it happened.
SO THE EXPERIMENT BEGAN
Nobody really knows exactly how long it takes for your posts to fall out of someone's newsfeeds. I imagine there are lots of variables that make an impact on it. But I took it upon myself to experiment for you.
Before we start ... the stats:
- I LIVE on social media (hello, career and all that) so I look through my Instagram feed and stories extensively every single day. It would be pretty odd for me to miss anything that was being prioritised in my feed. But, most posts only hit 1-2% of followers so, of course I may have missed SOME of them.
- Eat Street generally post on average 4-7 times per week.
- From October 4th 2020 to November 24th 2020 they didn't post AT ALL! (51 days - not sure why. Closed again maybe?)
- Since then they have been back posting regularly 4-7 times per week with a mixture of static image posts, carousels and video.
- They have 84.6K Instagram followers which may or may not have an impact. I'll do some more research on this for you!
HERE'S THE RESULTS
September 2020 - Randomly remember about Eat Street and search on Instagram for their page. MIRACLE! Drive through dessert festival is on. Like the post and buy ice-cream immediately.
October 2020 - LOTS of Eat street posts in my feed. Happy girl. Not engaging with any of them.
November 2020 - Still going strong but I'm still not liking or commenting. Just stalking.
December 2020 - I definitely saw this one on December 3rd.
January 2021 - Nothing
February 2022 - Nothing
March, April, May, early June 2022 - Nothing
So I searched for them. Didn't like anything. Just searched.
Next minute ......
WE'RE BAAAAACK BABY!
The proof is in the pudding I guess. Or this oversized donut that I remember from primary school tuckshop days that I desperately want right now.
I know this isn't the most technical or incredible research, but it's real life.
I WANT to keep seeing Eat Street's posts.
I will DEFINITELY be going back there one day.
In just THREE MONTHS, they were gone.
So you can see how hard it is going to be to bring your account back from the dead if too many people disappear. Exhausting and expensive (because in all honesty, Facebook Ads are going to be the only thing that saves you!)
So please, keep posting.
I know it's hard.
If you need help - you know it's what I do -> www.alittlelifecreative.com.au
What next - Well today (August 26, I LIKED and COMMENTED on a post so let the experiment continue hey! I'll fill you in later in the year)
PS - Eat Street, if you ever see this, thank you for existing! I hope this random insight into the user experience of your socials is helpful. Keep on posting! I need another visit to Poulet & Porc very soon!