On the 15th April Roberta Lee, founder of Ethical Brand Directory took to our screens to discuss what kind of content to share during these tough times. She also emphasised why we should use this time to stop pushing the hard ‘sell’’ and show compassion, kindness and try to connect with our customers instead. With a background in corporate marketing and communications – Roberta knows all too well the importance of sharing content effectively and the power of heartfelt communication during a crisis.
Roberta Lee, Founder of Ethical Brand Directory
Roberta Lee founded Roberta Style Lee in 2016 and identified a need in the ethical brand community, as well as consumers struggling to find beautiful ethically produced clothes, so she founded Ethical Brand Directory in 2017. Her goal has always been to provide a platform for people to find the brands that care and to help the ethical brand community thrive. Roberta has since gone on to launch an Ethical Brand Academy (being relaunched this year) and due to COVID-19 has brought forward the launch of eCommerce, aptly named Ethical Brand Boutique.
Roberta discussed how covid19 has been a disruption to life for everyone and why sharing content that shows compassion and kindness is important now, more than ever before. We are all in the same boat people – which is unheard of for the first time ever we can all relate to each other. She encourages us to use this to help write from the heart.
Roberta pointed out more people are looking for resources and support to help them through isolation and social distancing. She shared how as a business we can show support without a ‘hard sell’ and how to connect with customers.
Supporting Small Business Webinar: Sharing Content During Covid 19 Takeaways
- Knowing what content is appropriate is essential: If you are worried about what to post – always remember – if in doubt, don’t send it out. Right now the best thing you can do is look for opportunities to help others and solve people’s current needs, for example, effective working from home strategies, staying active at home – share your routines or fitness apps – check Roberta’s blog here on How to support one another during COVID-19
- Disruption to business and life as usual – time to be real: There has never been a more important time to ‘share’ how you are feeling and what you’re doing and why. People are looking to connect with human content, press pause on being too businessy and be a friend. Plus, we’re all desperate for ‘positive news’ right now – so think about how you can shift your content sharing strategy to support, motivate and inspire – without trying to go straight for the ‘sale’.
Take a look at robertastylelee.co.uk/blog and check out Roberta’s personal #lockdowndiaries series she’s created. She’s also launched a similar set of blogs on ethicalbranddirectory.com/blog called COVID-19 Diary, allowing community members and the EBD family to share their diaries too.
- Focus on creating a common connection: Connect with people by being a fellow human, going through the same things as them – share your story. Maybe they can relate. People will remember what you do and how you responded during Covid-19 and the content you shared during this time will define you. People will want to support those brands that cared about them after this is all over.
Roberta really emphasised that we must create content that serves others. Focus on serving people first and the sales will naturally follow – right now nobody wants to be ‘sold’ to or receive emails begging for you to purchase from them and keep your business alive. Times are hard for everyone – avoid using guilt as a way to get people to buy from you.
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Supporting Small Business Webinar: Sharing Content During Covid 19 Q&A
Q: You spoke about the importance of collaboration and community. How can we use our digital space to connect with one another?
A: Utilise social media tools to their advantage. Now is the time to use places like Facebook to connect with people local to you. Collaboration opportunities will arise naturally when you put yourself out there. Collaboration will be about helping people during COVID-19 these new relationships could potentially benefit your business – but don’t enter into it with that thought. Think locally first rather than globally and try to support your local community using tools and apps that help you connect with people where you live (the meet-up app is particularly good).
Q: What are your top tips for effective remote working and communicating without showing you’re frustrated?
A: Have a separate working area from the relaxation area. Routine and structure is key – include a start and end time to your work day. Try starting the day with a walk to replicate your journey into work. Utilise video to connect with colleagues – morning breakout calls are a great way to link with other people working from home to recreate elements of the office within the home environment.
Remember how you ‘feel’ and your work environment will always influence the way you write. Try to carve out time to get into the zone and write at a time that’s optimum for you.
Q: How frequently should we be sharing content?
A: It depends on the topic – posts that spread positivity or relate to well being will be welcomed more frequently than others. Think about what content is appropriate across the different platforms, for example twitter is a platform on which you can post everyday. Think about using these different platforms effectively. Why not try directly asking the audience you’re wanting to share a message with how often they’d want to hear from you – open the conversation and give them the option. Maybe even consider how you like to consume information. The best way to find out what resonates well within a crowd is by putting content out there and testing it to see how much people are consuming and liking and tweaking that as you go.