The Coronavirus & your creative / wedding business

Shit, what a week right? If you’re feeling anything like me, it’s this horrible limbo where you don’t know what’s coming next, or what to do, or how to feel normal.

Aside from the fears about the health of our loved ones, ourselves and the world, there’s this very real threat hanging over our businesses in the wake of the Coronavirus. Especially as us creatives sell non-essential things…and us wedding business owners kind of need to be in a big room full of people.

Let me say up top, I don’t think even the big experts really have a solid, right answer for you about what to do next. So, the below is what I’m doing to safeguard my wedding business during the Coronavirus outbreak and look after myself.

⚡ Shut out the noise

We know this is serious…so how much is it really benefiting us to know the exact death toll? Or how many businesses are getting cancellations?

There’s a difference between being informed and wallowing in the fear.

I’ve muted a lot of online groups I love because they’re making me anxious.

It’s ok to look after your own mind first. And I for one, don’t want to feel my stomach sink and heart rate increase every time I look at my Facebook newsfeed.

⚡ Do stuff you’ve been putting off

Whether it’s inbox zero, finally creating email templates or optimising your SEO – get that stuff done and bask in the glow of getting the boring stuff out of the way.

I know that right now we feel pretty bad and out of control – this is a great way to not only use your time productively, but to take the weight of the, “I really should have done this by now,” stuff of your shoulders.

⚡ Create content

Content is one of your most powerful marketing tools.

So if you’re stuck inside, get going on this – create a library of blogs that you can release over the next few months, get your social media posts scheduled out, pitch yourself for guest spots, take photos to compliment your writing.

Bonus – if you get in the flow of writing, you’re probably going to get a bit of a mental break from what’s going on in the world.

⚡ Think long term

I know that right now thinking about just surviving the next few months feels mega important. And it is.

But what I don’t want is for you to look around in autumn and realise things are pretty tough then too.

Remind yourself of your long-term goals and re-focus. How can you get more income coming in for later in the year? How can you make sure next year is incredible? And get deposits coming in now.

⚡ Change up your offer

I’ve seen a lot of advice to double down on your online selling. And if you can, that’s great!

But, for a lot of you, that might not be an option (hi, wedding people!) – so think about what you can sell that doesn’t involve you being right there in person. Bonus points if it’s to existing customers!

I’m thinking – prints/albums/gift vouchers/customisations/info products…

⚡ Make money

This might sound obvious – but, focus on making money.

I know that I have got a bit lost this past week, thinking about how to deal with current clients and their situations changing, panicking about what might happen, figuring out the financial impact if we have a lock-down.

And that is totally human and valuable to figure out your contingency plan. But, in all that, it can be easy to forget to keep marketing and selling – keep reaching potential clients. Because, having new income coming in is going to massively take the pressure off.

And that is still in your control.

As an aside – I’ve booked 4 weddings in the last week and am still getting consistent enquiries coming in – so the whole world hasn’t stopped spending money.

⚡ Self-coach

This probably should have been first.

This is a really important time to look after your own mental health and thoughts.

Use this time to create a self-coaching habit, whatever that looks like for you – it might be journaling in the morning, doing a thought download when you feel overwhelmed, practicing some intentional thoughts.

I’m finding this particularly valuable to stop me from just trying to hide from how I’m feeling – it’s easy to just want to feel better and ignore how uncomfortable this feels. But, if you let yourself feel it, acknowledge what’s going on in your mind, and process it, you’ll be able to take yourself off the avoidance treadmill and feel more settled.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about here, but would like to manage your thoughts at this time, send me a message and I’ll happily give you a few beginner tips.

⚡ Get coached

I’m a coach, so of course, I love coaching. When I first started my coaching journey it changed my whole outlook. And it’s been so valuable at this time – talking to my own 1:1 coach and getting coaching in a group programme I’m in.

Our minds are running around like little kids who’ve had too much sugar right now. We’re being fed a whole lot of information that feels like a threat to our safety, our loved ones safety and the future of our businesses. And our minds are rampaging with that information – telling us all the worst case scenarios, keeping us focused on the danger – that’s our brains job, to keep us alive and safe. But, unchecked, we’re going to be paralysed by the overwhelm and unable to see the big picture.

Having a coach to work through your thoughts and feelings, come up with a coping strategy and action plan is invaluable.

As a certified life coach, this is part of the work I do with my clients (alongside the practical marketing, sales and business stuff). So, if you need any help with this, I am opening up one-off sessions to support people at this time. And I can also recommend loads of amazing coach friends. Send me a message for more info.

⚡ Stay safe

Do the things…wash your hands…don’t touch your face (biggest challenge of my life – how is my face constantly itchy?!)…avoid huge gatherings…look after your mind.

If you need anything at all, send me a message and we can chat.