Crisis Marketing – How to Create Content in Challenging Times

Crisis Marketing - Rainy clouds over field - Julia Ngapo Business Coaching

What on earth can I say?” has never been more of an issue than in recent years. First, there was the challenge that Covid presented – Could we and should we continue promoting our businesses when so many others were suffering? – and now, of course, we face the upheaval of the Queen’s passing, as the nation adjusts to a new era. 

So is it better to just remain silent, or should we carry on regardless with that stiff upper lip that we Brits are famed for?

There is that feeling of awkwardness present, of what can we say that will support, whilst not appearing insensitive? How can we continue to run our business, whilst being cognisant of others’ feelings and challenges?

Here are my top 5 tips on getting your crisis marketing content right.

1. Pause the scheduler

Many of us rely on scheduling tools to get our marketing messages out there.  However, how many of us, when we prepare and schedule content a week or two in advance, can remember exactly what we have scheduled?  Pause that scheduler now!  The most innocent of articles and posts may appear in a different light during a crisis. Instead, just talk to your audience as one human to another.  Any challenge offers an opportunity to connect with our audience on a much more person-to-person level; a shared experience, and to build a sense of community around the shared emotions of the situation.

2. Don’t ignore the situation

Following on from the previous point, when challenges strike on a national or even global scale, many of us will have the feeling, “I don’t want to bring my audience down”. But remember that marketing and in particular, social media, is never about you! 

It’s about the wants and needs of your target audience.  What do they need to hear from you right now?  It could be that’s the reassurance of “Business as usual”, it could be some appropriate feel-good posts. Only you know your audience but concentrate on content that is reassuring, or that creates a feeling of optimism.

3. Show Empathy

Whilst empathy should always be a part of your marketing, it becomes even more important during crisis marketing. Ask yourself what you would like to see content-wise from the brands you follow. What language or style of content would you feel insensitive and inappropriate? And then use this as a guide for your own strategy.

4. Don’t be afraid to sell

The selling of products or services online may feel inappropriate during times of hardship.  However, this is not about “profiteering”, this is about not only providing the goods and services that people want and need but about keeping businesses, together with all those who rely on that business, afloat.  Remember that only 20% of your overall marketing should be promotional, anyway, so providing you handle any promotional opportunity with appropriate language and transparency, then continue in whatever manner feels right to you.

In addition, ensure you keep your audience informed of any changes in business operating hours, or anything else affecting your processes or customer experience.

5. Communication is key

Ensure that any short-term change in your strategy is communicated throughout your organisation. It is vital that everyone knows how your crisis marketing will work; what to say and how to say it so as to avoid any embarrassing mistakes.


Yes, times are challenging, but people are still spending money. It’s about reframing our thinking and delivering what our audience wants in a slightly different way, perhaps.  Above all, concentrate on the value you can bring to your audience.  That could be with a free offering, but it could, equally, be the reassurance of “being there” still, of continuing to tell your story and demonstrating in some small way that life is carrying on and normal services will resume shortly.

If you would like support to navigate the challenges that your business faces on a day-to-day level, then why not book a call? I have worked with many business owners and leaders, offering business and executive coaching and mentoring and supporting them to improve performance, both for themselves and their team, reduce overwhelm, increase clarity around their business direction, and remove the mindset blocks that hamper their progress. Book your call today.

Client-First Culture. 4 Tips on Building Client Relationships in Professional Practices

Paper Dolls - Building Client Relationships

What’s your greatest challenge in future-proofing your practice? In a recent survey carried out by Thomson Reuters Solo and Small Law Firm group, almost 80% of respondents ranked acquiring new client business as one of their top challenges.

Given the “buyers’ market” in which professional practices now find themselves, it’s vital that your organisation’s focus is set on building client relationships, not only to attract new clients but to retain existing business, too.

So, how do you build a client-first culture? 4 considerations for building client relationships here:

1. Market Effectively.

It’s not enough to buy some Google or Facebook ad space and hope for the best. Modern marketing is about demonstrating not only your USP, but your UHP, or Unique Human Proposition.  It’s about connecting on a human level; building the ‘Know, Like and Trust’ with your (targeted) audience, and demonstrating social proof via testimonials, reviews, and case studies. We’re often told to put the ‘social’ into social media and this is true; building relationships to attract new business as well as staying front of mind with existing clients is key.

2. Don’t hide behind Tech.

Technology provides an efficient and accessible solution to the case and client management, and, where possible, automation of processes. Although this may be the most efficient path for the practice, the “face” of the firm should still be human! It is vital that the client builds a relationship and feels comfortable with an expert who is seen to deliver “in-person”, rather than relying on technology.

3. Communicate Your Value.

As the saying goes, “under-promise and over-deliver”. Focus on building client relationships by delivering an exceptional client experience. However, on the basis that “clarity is kind”, managing expectations from the start of your relationship is key to its success. Whilst the client may believe that professionals within the practice are interchangeable, with one offering much the same service as the next, it’s your job to convince them otherwise.

Most clients will default to viewing your services as a cost, rather than a value, so it is vital that you actively demonstrate (and periodically remind them!) the ways in which you have saved them money, time, or grief.

4. Create Service Standards.

Create service standards and communicate them, not only to all team members but to clients also. Producing a ‘client charter’ helps you demonstrate transparency. Set KPIs to be reviewed regularly to ensure “buy-in” from new staff members.


Whilst it is often the case that focus tends to fall on the “here and now” of any busy practice, it is also vital that time is taken for business development, including client attraction and retention strategies.

Building and demonstrating a client-first culture takes time and opt-in of the whole practice, requiring effective communication, not to mention patience, but what is clear is that building client relationships and taking time to understand your client base is the secret sauce that will make all the difference.

With almost 30 years of marketing experience, I support professional practices not only with Executive coaching and mentoring but in helping their comms team to create cohesive, structured, and targeted marketing, including ensuring that your customers become your best brand advocates! if you would like to discuss how I can support you, your practice, and your support teams, then do get in touch.

How Do You Get Noticed? 5 Digital Marketing Tips for Professional Practices

Digital Marketing Tips - Orange umbrella amongst blue umbrellas

In a world of digital “white noise”, there is a real danger that your marketing efforts may fall into the black hole of “just another professional services firm”

So, how do you ensure your practice stands out? How do you get your message across? The message that attracts the right clients, and expertly demonstrates what makes you different?

Here are 5 digital marketing tips for generating leads, driving traffic to your website, and building that all-important authority online.

Digital Marketing Tips for Professional Practices

1. Know your Audience.

The better you know who you are talking to, the easier it is to craft effective communications. This means not only understanding the issues that your target market experience, but demonstrating an understanding of what life is like on their “side of the fence”.

Here. empathic communication is key. A switch from the perspective of “what we offer” to “we understand your challenges, and here is how we can help”, should be the base of your communications; whether via social media, your blog, or website content.

As consumers, we approach any marketing with one thought foremost, “What’s in it for me?”

By pivoting your communications to providing the solution through appreciation and understanding of your audience’s challenges, you start to build trust and a connection with that audience.

For practices specialising in a particular area, this is relatively straightforward. But, for more general practices, it’s often easier to segment audiences by specialism, rather than adopting a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Every piece of content you create should be of value to your target market. Consider a wide variety of content, from blogs to case studies, to current news items. Test a variety of formats, too.

With video continuing to see much higher engagement including some video content in your strategy is a must. This could be as simple as creating a YouTube channel, and sharing from there to a blog post, for example, and could include an introduction to your offices, your staff (Not forgetting support staff, as they are often the first point of contact for your clients) a case study or short snippets of advice, perhaps answering frequently asked questions.

Julia Ngapo Business Coaching-Kids using a can as telephone against gray background - 5 digital marketing tips for professional practices

2. Develop Your E.A.T.

Google is placing increasing importance on those websites that demonstrate E.A.T (Expertise, Authority, and Trust). Including case studies, publishing positive testimonials, as well as including a short author bio at the end of a blog are ideal opportunities for professional practices to demonstrate this.

3. Create Lead Magnets.

One of the best digital marketing tips but one that is often overlooked is to grow an email list. Offering, for example, a checklist, booklet, or something of value to your audience to download in exchange for their email details, is an effective means of building a list of warm leads.

There are several free or low-cost options for managing your list and from which you can create a regular email newsletter. Mailchimp and Mailerlite are two of the most popular.

Given that it currently takes around thirteen touchpoints of your audience seeing your message before they act, this is an ideal option and offers you the chance of maintaining contact with those who have demonstrated that they are sufficiently interested in your services to download your free offering.

It is worth remembering here, that whilst a client may not be in need of your services now, by keeping in regular contact with them, you increase the chances of them contacting you when such a need arises, or recommending you to a friend or colleague.

4. SEO Your Site.

Too often, professional practices have a visually appealing website, containing every bit of information that a prospective client might require, but forget to pay sufficient attention to the back office workings, particularly the site’s SEO. If you want to rank on Google in an increasingly competitive market, then you need to give your site some SEO love! Pay particular attention to the keywords you use, and ensure your site is optimised for mobile use and fast loading.

Remember, if your audience can’t see your site, they will move to your competitors. In addition, and as basic as it sounds, ensure that all information is current and that all web links are working.

5. Have a strong CTA.

Ensure you include a strong Call to Action with every communication. This serves to pull your reader further down the path of doing business with you.

In addition, ensure that the web page where you direct your audience is somewhere where they are required to take further action. Examples of this could be providing a link from one blog to a previous blog in a similar subject area (and vice-versa), or linking from your “Team Members” page to service pages.

Remember, the longer you can keep your reader in your presence, the longer you have to persuade them that you are the solution they need.

Digital Marketing Tips – Summary.

Five digital marketing tips to help you create effective communications, demonstrate your expertise and stay relevant in the online marketplace.

Remember, however, that your marketing is very much a “long game”. It is about planting and nurturing the seeds for future business far more than it is a “quick win” of gaining new business today.

For more insight into creating a client-first culture, why not read my recent blog, Client-First Culture. 4 Tips on Building Client Relationships in Professional Practices here

I am a Business and Executive coach, supporting business owners and leaders to become measurably more effective in every aspect of their business.

I work with senior executives and leaders to improve their performance, manage both their teams and workload effectively, and to claim that mythical work-life balance!

If you would like support in your business. either for you or your teams, then please see my 1:1 business and executive coaching pages, or contact me for a no-obligation chat.