Advice for Business Owners During COVID-19

In Business Strategy, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Podcast Marketing, Podcasts by Robb FahrionLeave a Comment

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Flying V Group Co-Founder and Partner, Robb Fahrion, joined Josh Friedman on the One Zero Digital Media Podcast to discuss advice for business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a transcription of the video above:

Josh Friedman: Hey everybody. This is Josh Freeman with One Zero Digital Media and I am so excited to be here today with Robb Fahrion from Flying V Group. We’re just going to share a little bit of information about how to stay ahead with your digital media during these crazy times of COVID-19 and the Coronavirus. Robb, thanks for being here.

Robb Fahrion: Yeah, thank you so much for having me. Really appreciate it, Josh.

Josh Friedman: It’s my pleasure. Robb, tell me first of all, what is Flying V Group?

Robb Fahrion: Sure, Flying V Group is a full-scale digital marketing and advertising agency. We help clients with web design and development, search engine optimization, paid advertising, and social media marketing. So, all-encompassing, full-scale, everything under one roof for your digital marketing strategy.

Josh Friedman: I love it. One of the things you and I had talked about was that even though we both work with and own and run digital media companies, my service being video production and photography, are very unique and specialized. As are all of your offerings, but they're different from what we offer. So, I feel like we complement each other very well.

Robb Fahrion: Definitely.

Josh Friedman: I'll start with what are you guys doing to stay ahead during these times? Have you guys decided to start new things and pivot in a different direction or are you guys just blazing forward with what you are already doing?

Robb Fahrion: We've definitely made adjustments. I think any business that has not made adjustments is in a very unique place. I'd love to actually talk to them and see what kind of business that is. But we've really taken this opportunity to take a step back, take a deep breath and recalibrate. We've really put an emphasis on new content creation for our business. Going back and writing up those case studies that we've put off because we were so busy with everything else.

We really started to focus on the ability to create content to show our expertise and to utilize that extra time that we do have available now because we have lost clients. We've been pretty open about that. It's just kind of the nature of the situation because we've had clients that have had to close their doors. With that leads to cutting costs for marketing and advertising. So, we've been filling that gap with ways that we can improve our own business during this time with all that extra time that we have at the end of the day.

Josh Friedman: Well, I think that's just kind of the way it's going right now. Everyone's being very introspective personally. What am I doing in my life and is it the right thing I should be doing? But then in business we're doing the same thing. We're going, “Okay. This is the way that it was. It's probably not going to be the same ever again. It'll be a shell of what it was before, but there's going to be something that's a little bit different and we're looking new things.

For example, this broadcast is something new that my company One Zero Digital Media is now offering. And frankly, I would have never even looked into this had this not happened. I never imagined I'd be sitting in a bedroom in my house right now having this conversation when I have this beautiful office that is five minutes away that nobody is going to right now.

Robb Fahrion: Exactly. I think that's one of the things that we prioritized as well was additional networking and additional outreach with others that might be in our same boat and learning from them. Saying, “Hey, what are you doing now? What changes and adjustments have you made because we're all in the same boat, right?”

Everyone has experienced some sort of loss. I would assume that very few have gone the other direction and so we're all there. We're all in the same boat. We've all experienced some loss of some sort and it's a great opportunity for us to meet new people. We just met a couple of weeks ago. Strategize with others that bring different viewpoints and different experiences.

With everything it's been an unfortunate situation over the last couple weeks, but there are silver linings. Our job as business owners is to find those silver linings and see how we can capitalize on this? How can we help our clients? How can we open their eyes to new opportunities during this time as well? Because new opportunities have presented themselves.

Josh Friedman: Well, I think you hit it right on the head. Right now, there's a time for people to be helping people and if we have ways with our businesses to do that, then we should be sharing that right now. This webinar is something that we're trying to do a lot of right now.

We released a video on how to make your audio better with Zoom. How to make your video look a little bit cleaner. We’re trying to just make people's live productions look and sound professional in a time when everybody needs that.

We already have some products that haven't required us to go out. We've been doing these 2D animations for a really long time where people send us text and we take stock footage and content that's already been captured and we make these amazing videos.

Well, we've been doing these for years, but, right now, we're pushing it really hard because we don't really have the ability to film things or photograph things safely. So, again, we're kind of just doubling down on products that we've already created and trying to get the world to see look you can still market yourself.

Robb Fahrion: I look back to our own YouTube channel and, when I first started the company, I had some videos and was sharing my screen with a little bubble. Not high production or anything, but I go back and some of those videos have 4,000 view or 5,000 views. That stuff starts to add up.

I've looked back and told myself that I'm going to start doing more videos because those are tools that have provided a lot of value. They've allowed our company to show our expertise in the space. We've taken all those things that got swept under the rug when the craziness of the business world is operating at a normal level and now we've had the ability to do them again. I said, “Hey, let's pick up those activities again” or “Let's figure out how we can use this time to integrate those processes into regular business activity once things start to normalize.”

So, it’s been good in a sense. You've had the opportunity to really analyze your business and dig a little bit deeper and question what you have been doing in the past. This is a great time to start doing that. I think about a blog post I wrote that talks about 41 marketing questions that you should ask. I went back and answered those again for my own business and it really opened my eyes to new opportunities and things that we need to clean up. Maybe we need to pivot from this direction. We’re just trying to make the most out of every single day. I know it's been difficult, but there is opportunity that exists because of everything that's going on.

Josh Friedman: I'm curious. On the list of those blank questions on that list, what do you think is the most glaring question that might have a different answer than before? Or something that people should be really focusing on now.

Robb Fahrion: The biggest one for me is the question, “If you could describe your business in eight words or less?

What it is that you do and to get that point across succinctly. That definitely changed from when I would have answered that before to the point where we're increasing clients’ online visibility. Even less than eight words, right?

And so, we've really been able to hone in on our messaging and tighten that up. People nowadays have very little time. They're very busy. So, that's another place to look to. Am I saying too much on my website? Do I need to rewrite my copy? Who am I targeting with my messaging? I think now is the best time to take the extra time that you do have to focus on questions like that.

Josh Friedman: I would say everybody needs videos and photos more than ever.

Robb Fahrion: For sure.

Josh Friedman: That's my eight words. That’s my eight words if I had eight words if I had to describe what we are doing right now.

Robb Fahrion: You’ve had a major shift in the market with how people do business. For our industry, we've actually used this as an opportunity to ramp up our own marketing and advertising efforts because the digital space is becoming even more important right now. We had financial advisory firm reach out to us and say, “We've been doing things like this for the last 20 years, but now we can't go and meet clients and we need a new presence. We need to be online. We need to be readily available.”

That's happening a lot more places than you would think about without actually looking and researching into it. A lot of it is just core Business principles and how we operate with the remote work as well. It’s a new world that we live in.

Josh Friedman: I would definitely agree with that. I had a conversation with somebody that said they were trying to do Zoom meetings with their company and people weren't getting it. Weren’t appreciating it. Some were, but some weren't. Well now, everyone is being forced to video chat and when we come out of this, and we will come out of this, it is going to be a time where everyone's going to go back to work. Kids are going to go back to school or summer camp. People are just going to now be learning how to do it and be a lot more comfortable with it.

That's going to be a big change that we're going to see that a lot more of our life is going to be digital. A lot more of our life is going to involve video and a lot more of our life is going to be spent online in enclosed spaces that are safe. Hopefully it won’t be my bedroom or guest room anymore. We'll just be forced to use the technology more and more.

Robb Fahrion: I've even noticed, just in meetings that I've had, the number of video participants that are actually in the meetings now. As to where before, you'd have someone that you know is connected, but they weren't displaying their video. It’s become a standard practice where people like to see your face. Wear a baseball hat or a t-shirt. You don't necessarily need to be dressed to the nines because everyone knows that you're probably at home sitting on your couch anyways.

Josh Friedman: People give me a hard time about wearing a t-shirt and jeans most days when I'm working. They're all dressed to the nines in suits and everything. And now that we're doing this. I see you. I see you people out there and I know you don't dress that way all the time. Nothing's changed here. I'm just in a different space.

Well, anything else you want to add? I'm really grateful that we are taking the time to do this. Just to share this information with the world. Let's close with this:

What's one more thing you're trying to get out to the world that you're doing right now that is helping work-wise with your business?

Robb Fahrion: I think it's exactly what we're doing right now. We are putting a focus on the video conferencing piece from a content creation standpoint. So, as I mentioned earlier, whether it's tutorial type videos or podcast type, we're trying to get something similar going. A weekly series where we're bringing guests in. I would love to have you on once we get that situated.

But those are the big platforms that we're focusing on because it's the way of the times now. It's easily accessible and people love video in terms of engagement. When we consider things from a marketing stand point we can keep people on a page longer when there's video content because people like watching videos. Not everyone wants to read a 2,000-word blog post. Some people will because there's a lot of value in those, too, but to accompany it with a video that gets those points across a little bit quicker, it's going to be an industry that explodes. This is going to double the size of the video marketing industry and how people are getting their messages across to others.

Josh Friedman: I think for us, we want to let the world know that there are options out there. You don't have to stop doing what you're doing. If you can't do a conference live, we have ways to do it, just like the conversation you and I are having. There are ways to make it look more professional and sound more professional than what most people are doing with Zoom or Skype.

Robb Fahrion: I'm 100% on board with that. The other thing is that it is okay to go outside your comfort zone and ask for help or to share your experiences. We've been very transparent with the amount of business we've lost, what we're doing to fill those gaps, and how we're approaching the situation. The more people you can talk with and network with, the better.

I’ve found, people in business, more often than not, are willing to help versus the opposite. Especially in times like this. You really see the good in people when we're all in the same boat and we're all trying to move in the same direction. It's okay to lean on others in times like this.

Josh Friedman: I agree. It's an amazing thing to see this is happening internationally. This is not just local to where we are. This is not just our country. It’s the entire world right now is coming together to fight this thing. We're all just trying to get ahead and survive and try to pick up the pieces wherever we are.

Robb Fahrion: Right. I agree.

Josh Friedman: All right, Robb. I really didn't appreciate you being here. I appreciate you doing this and I look forward to more conversations the future. I'm Josh Freeman with One Zero Digital Media. Please like this, subscribe to our channel and I look forward to sharing a lot more of these with you soon.




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Robb Fahrion
Robb Fahrion, Partner
Flying V Group