Covid-19 - How brand marketing consultant Hayley Hall, Class of 2001, adapts her business
How have you adapted your business to the current situation?
Right now, work has all but dried up, as the uncertainty and troublesome economic situation means brands and businesses are tightening their wallets and removing any possible expenditure. Unfortunately, as an external freelancer or contractor, I'm the most expendable - but that's one of the concessions you make and become accustomed to when you're self-employed. I've adapted the content I'm creating and the messages I'm portraying to be more in keeping with the wider situation, ensuring everything is 'evergreen' - i.e. will live far beyond the next few weeks and will be revisited in the months to come. Right now, people need escapism and social content has never been so important, so it's vital for brands to provide that - but in the right way. I'm also focusing on building my brand and undertaking tasks that I've not had time for, such as updating my website and re-launching my newsletter, and prepping to pitch for new business in the months to come; the quietness means I can focus on those admin tasks that I never get round to, or have the headspace to think about.
What positive outcomes have you witnessed / experienced in response to the Coronavirus?
Particularly within the beauty industry it's been amazing to see brands donate products to those in need, start producing much needed hand hygiene gel, or support via donations. So many names are going above and beyond, and it's those brands that we'll remember and celebrate when this is all over; social responsibility has long been a way to build loyalty and cement sales, and the current climate is proving that those who think beyond simply selling their own product will build long term customers.
It's also been amazing to see those online use their voices for good and to amplify the key messages around staying home, washing hands and looking after loved ones. Many times in the past online communities have come under fire for being superfluous, but they're using their channels in the right way when it matters most.
Have you reconnected with friends and family that you have lost touch with?
Yes, and it's been lovely! So many friends who've been so busy in the last 12 months now have the time to catch up and I've spent a lot of time on video chats; life is often so fast paced that months go by without having a chance to talk, but now we have nothing to do but chat. My grandparents, on the other hand, would rather do anything than talk on the phone - they're hilariously pre-occupied with anything but talking to their grandchildren, despite the fact they haven't been out in weeks!
What advice / tips do you have to stay positive during this unprecedented time.
Remember it will come to an end; this is our new normal for the foreseeable, but it will be over eventually, and we'll all return to the way of living we're accustomed to. You don't have to be positive, super productive or tick off all those things you've been doing - it's ok to have days where you feel a bit rubbish. This is unprecedented and we all deal with it in different ways, but opening a window and putting on some great tunes always helps.