How The Pandemic Spawned A Solution To Winning Business Online
It was that moment when you realised all those terrible knock-on effects of the pandemic.
Just married, I was in Vietnam early February 2020, just under a month before the first UK lock-downs.
The week before, a client in Singapore had cancelled my ghost-writing contract. And a couple of days after the marriage, a Philippine-based client cancelled too.
It hadn’t fully registered with me, pre-occupied as I was by the wedding.
But now the euphoria had settled, I started to really ponder the consequences.
It got worse. By the time I got back to the UK, all of my writing clients bar one had cancelled.
But as a kind of side-hustle, myself and Pam Case had been running very successful in-person networking events, with a touch of online networking (a WhatsApp group) kind of loosely attached to it.
That was doing very well. But a few short weeks later, the first lockdown was announced, so that too was mothballed.
This is a bigger story for another chapter, but myself and Pam designed and launched an online LinkedIn training programme. The short version: that worked. It assured our survival.
But what do we do with the networking events? They were cancelled. But we had a membership scheme. Instead of cancelling them all, we switched them online.
But quite frankly, we were both sceptical they would work. And at first that was true – our first attempts at a pretty dreadful YouTube live stream made us nervous.
Then one of the members starting offering online networking events free on Zoom. And some members started to cancel, but not all.
There was still a sense of community and very gratefully, loyalty. Many really didn’t like the ethics of this new break-away rival.
It was at that point that I read a study from Microsoft examining online video meetings and their effects on us. In a nutshell, it reported that these meetings are far more intense, requiring you to fully concentrate much more than when you are in-person.
Furthermore, they hooked people up to brain monitors and discovered that after 30-40 minutes, your focus wanders and you are starting to feel tired.
That inspired me to examine a format that could be done and over with inside 40 minutes. It also happened to be the free time limit of free Zoom accounts. Mopw.