How we adjusted our business during the pandemic.

February 28, 2022

The pandemic came at a time where we had just completed an intense project with one of our technology partners. Thus we had no incoming projects since the team was focused on shipping out the project at hand. So the first thing we did was:

1. Panic

I remember having a discussion with Michael, our Creative Director wondering if we will get paid for the project we just completed. Because that was the only source of funds we will have during the pandemic period. This was around Jan 2020. We felt like sitting ducks not knowing how serious the pandemic would get. So we decided to start thinking of ways we can get new projects in. Normally we got most of our projects from referrals and word of mouth. But this time it felt different. As Feb rolled in, we could tell businesses were starting to spend less and invest less. Thus we needed something drastic to attract the right clients. Mike had an idea.

2. Repacking Creative Consillium

At this point it was clear that our digital brand is what would carry the business forward. We noticed that few physical meetings were happening as the country was slowly adapting to the new directives. Thus we had to invest in our digital image. Michael suggested we should:

  • Redesign and reposition our brand
  • Simplify the language
  • Provide more information to our processes
  • And digitally represent the team (Human element)

In the process of doing this, we also came up with an icebreaker strategy …

3. Free website reviews

Why would someone visit our website? We had to offer value to potential customers even before they got paid services from us. We needed to give value even before they sign us as a supplier. So we decided we needed an icebreaker. At this point, most organisations were realizing that their brands would have to go online. And the biggest challenge was that they did not know what their website was missing. So we decided to create a free website review consulting service.

The idea was to make it a simple process based on the key website elements that can make or break the user experience. So with a new website and an icebreaker strategy, we needed people to see us.

4. Building a strong social media presence

We first approached this by discussing the brands we looked up to. We knew we did not want to sound desperate. Our experience working with other brands made us acknowledge that most consumers are put off by ads. The same way we cannot wait to skip an ad on YouTube. So we decided to analyse further what we loved about the several brands we followed as individuals. These were:

  • They were informative … with each post you learnt something new
  • They were visually provocative
  • They had a human face behind each content
  • The brands looked like they knew what they are talking about
  • They published a lot of content
  • Most of their content used a storytelling format

With these pillars we decided to create informative and visually engaging content. But this would not guarantee more visitors than our already existing audience. We needed more.

5. Running Ads

It was time we invested money to make money. We had run ads for some of our clients before and were aware it can be a gamble. Our biggest challenge was trying to figure out how to attract customers to our services. The first step was to identify who our customer is. This led us to focus on LinkedIn. We knew that the majority of our past clients are more active on LinkedIn than other social platforms. We also appreciated that our peers are active on Instagram and it was a great platform to also communicate with them as most of them were slowly getting into influential positions at their workplaces. The next step was to figure out what ads would work

For this we used the A/B testing method. We ran two different ads and evaluated the traction. We did this until we got to a certain type of Ad that got more traction and traffic. And slowly we started seeing change. Actually it was more than we expected and we found ourselves with a new problem.

6. Building a Business Development Department

All along it was the creative/technical team running the marketing and sales processes. It became clear between creating content, reviewing websites, contacting potential customers, creating proposals and closing deals, we could not handle everything. And this got worse as we closed more deals. We had to do something. We realised that all along we had not considered creating a structure around our sales process. Thus we started by looking for a business development manager. Someone who would help Creative Consillium be more deliberate about the sales process. Tugi joined us as our BDM and eventually Maluki joined to assist him with the processes. This marked a new chapter in the business that saw a lot of learning opportunities and improvements.

At this point I would say we adapted to the new era of Covid 19. Of course there is more we did than just these points. But for now I will leave you with this. Keep safe until next time. Cheers!

About the author:

I'm a young, innovative leader who believes in creation of opportunities through development of ideas in our current environment

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