Ros Thompson shares her experience of marketing her business during the COVID-19 pandemic and offers her tips on remaining visible.
Over the last 6 months I have been working almost full time providing my personalised blends of Bach Flower Remedies, but it’s not where my career began. In fact, life before COVID-19 looked very different for me.
For the last 40 years I’ve had a corporate job within Sales and Management. Working in office services and supplies I sell everything from pens to large reprographic machines. I’ve worked with multinational companies and some very large household names and I’ve loved my job. But I’ve always had a hankering to create a career in the holistic world.
I started studying holistic therapies in 2000 with Indian Head Massage and reflexology, then worked with Reiki and eventually did my Reiki Master course, intermingled this all with Kinesiology and ultimately became a Bach Flower Practitioner in 2013 – a beautiful array of qualifications, but I never had the courage to take the leap into self-employment.
Networking on Furlough
Furlough and COVID-19. Who would have thought that these two words, so relatively unknown, could become such a large part of our lives? Furlough gave me the opportunity I needed to push myself into the unknown. So, heavily dosed on my remedies for fear of the known and the unknown (Mimulus and Aspen) off I went.
I was already a member of MNC and now with sessions on Zoom I could simply get on with it: Networking from the comfort of my own home.
MNC and other groups gave me all I needed – the audience and opportunity to tell people about the Remedies. All I had to do was to turn up at every meeting and book 121’s.
In the beginning, it was purely about developing relationships, friendships and looking after people who needed my help. There were a lot of people who had actually lost their jobs, businesses destroyed and not a lot of money so I worked on a donation basis for several months. Those who are money-minded would think I was mad, but I am delighted I held my nerve because it has paid off with so many referrals I could not be happier.
What I’ve learnt about successful networking online…
The benefit of being generous is just one of the many insights I gained into networking during Lockdown. Here are some more…
- Turn up and be present
- Don’t look upon it as an instant selling tool – it isn’t
- Be prepared with your pitch – 30 seconds or 1 minute – I would suggest both
- Have a short synopsis prepared in word to go into the chatbox – if you have this you can then concentrate on what others are saying
- Be kind and listen to others – so many people are busy doing other things while on the screen. It can be easily seen
- Build relationships and friendships
- Book your 121 and move on from there
- IT DOES WORK AND YOU WILL LOVE EVERY MOMENT
The ‘New Networking’
The ‘new networking’ came as quite a shock, but having done it in the real world I have to say I’ve loved every minute of it. It has been a beautiful experience meeting so many lovely people from such diverse backgrounds I may never have met in a pre-COVID world, some of who have become real friends.
The benefits of networking are abundantly clear to me, and so my last remaining tip is to say keep turning up and thinking about others – what you give will come back to you three-fold.