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.

Ridding Yourself of Tall Poppy Syndrome – Why You Should Be Nominating Yourself for An Award

julia Ngapo Business CoachingGolden trophy laying on side on grey background, with streamers ad confetti pouring from the top

The advantages of being nominated for an award are obvious – the recognition for your work, the kudos, the PR opportunities, perhaps a little extra finance to undertake a project… so why then does it feel so awkward when it comes to nominating yourself for an award?

It’s an issue I’ve been discussing lately with a couple of clients. Both women in executive leadership roles. Confident, accomplished women, women who have worked extremely hard and deserve to be recognised for their huge steps in self-development and business triumphs. And who both shy away from the thought of nominating themselves as the ultimate in egotism.

But it’s not. It’s really not. Here’s my take on why you should be nominating yourself for an award and celebrating your own success.

Nobody is a Mind Reader.

No matter how good you are at your job, how amazing your achievements, and how widespread your success, you cannot rely on other people to recognise these for you. They’re not you, and although they can celebrate your accomplishments to a degree, they will never know the full story. Your full story.

Neither will they be likely to look at an award, look at you, and make the connection. It’s just not how our minds work. If you consider your business network, it’s likely you’ll know several people who all offer similar services – multiple graphic designers, family solicitors, accountants, and copywriters. Singling you out for nomination from the rest of those connections is quite a tall order.

It’s the Ultimate Act in Self-Belief.

It doesn’t matter how often you tell someone how good you are, they have to experience it for themselves. This is why social proof – reviews, testimonials, and case studies are so powerful – they allow potential clients to see what others are saying about you. An award is the same. It’s external validation that you are what you say.

But, unless we believe in ourselves, how can we expect others to believe in us? Nominating yourself for an award is another way of demonstrating that you are what you say you are, that you’re credible and believable. In the same way that you would write a post on social media perhaps detailing your experience, or add your previous positions to your LinkedIn profile, nominating yourself for an award is simply another means of gaining visibility.

You weren’t put on this earth to get lost In the weeds. Be the tall poppy you were born to be.”

Dawn Russell

Mind the Gap.

It’s not only a terrific way of celebrating your successes, but of identifying any weaknesses in your skills. Often that daunting nominations form can be a great gap analysis exercise in itself! That’s not to say that you should beat yourself up over any identified weak areas. The application is a useful exercise in selling yourself and getting your name out there.

Leave the Judging to the Experts

Not every award is going to have the perfect criteria for you, so don’t limit yourself to the awards that seem a perfect fit or wait until the “right time” to enter. (That’s just procrastination and perfectionism by another name!) Instead, grab every opportunity, throw caution to the wind, but, most of all, don’t second-guess your suitability for an award. That’s the job of the awards committee.

Nominating Yourself for An Award Field of red poppies with one standing taller than the rest

Stop Waiting for Permission.

Ask yourself why you are waiting for permission and from whom? It can be oh, so liberating, to take control of our lives, and nominating yourself for an award is the ultimate act of regaining control.

So, once you’ve nominated yourself for an award, what next?

Well, this is where you get to max the heck out of the PR opportunities that a nomination presents. Of course, you should shout about it on your socials. Don’t wait to be shortlisted, a finalist, or even a winner, announce your nomination as soon as you can. This gives you the maximum time to create content and gain exposure before the next stage of the awards process. Secondly, display an awards badge on your email footer, website, and print material – and backlink to the awards page, where possible.

Find as many ways as possible and angles from which to broadcast your nomination. Don’t think that talking about it once on social media is enough. If you’ve invested time in applying for an award and completing an application form, then you deserve to enjoy your moment.


There really is no need to feel awkward about nominating yourself for an award. It’s just another means to visibility and a promotional opportunity for you and your business. Sure, it takes courage and exposing your own vulnerability, but instead of focusing on this, consider for a moment what is on the other side of your fear? Go on, nominate yourself – You deserve it!

If now is the time to invest in your business growth, there are a number of ways that we can work together.

1. With 1:1 coaching.  With monthly or weekly sessions available, we’ll work together to create a sustainable, resilient, and successful business, banish the overwhelm and create success on your terms. Find out more here

2. If you’re starting out or have a young business then my Startup to Success coaching programme is for you. You’ll learn all the steps to creating strong foundations upon which to grow your business. Click this link to discover more

3. For those “quick wins” my Coaching Power Hour is a must. You’ll receive actionable steps to help you move past your blocks, gain clarity, and gain the momentum to grow your business. Book your Power Hour here


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.