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My Strategy For Surviving Coronavirus
By Faye Dicker, Freelance Mum and professional voice-over artist, based in Bristol. Freelance Mum is child-friendly networking for parents in business, born of my own need of being a freelance voiceover artist, juggling business around children. We’ve been going six years now (the measure of which, is my youngest daughter Suki, who was nine weeks old when I launched it!). Our main offerings are our child-friendly meetings and our awesome on line community, The Mothership – which is packed with expert advice, support and friendship.
When did you realise the Coronavirus could be a problem for you and your business?
As soon as we realised social distancing measures were being put into place, we knew we wouldn’t be able to continue with our regular face-to-face meetings and launched a temporary digital membership.
We had our first digital meeting on Friday 27th March on Zoom. It includes the main key features of all Freelance Mum meetings, including an ice-breaker, a ‘netwalk’ with focus questions and a guest speaker. We’re keeping it to 40 minutes and continue to fully expect (encourage!) interruptions from children!
What has been your plan to continue?
As with all FM events, any one can try Freelance Mum for free for 30 days, which also gives people access to The Mothership, but as we can only offer a digital version of the membership, we reduced our membership from £15 a month to £10 a month.
In fact, it gives us an opportunity to widen our net and support freelance mums and dads across the country – not just those in the South West, and also offering digital meet ups tailored for them.
When we are the other side of this, I can see we will be able to offer a three-tiered membership, so people can join at different price points. We want to remain as accessible as possible for as many as possible.
What advice would you give to others in business?
I think it’s important to remember this isn’t going to last forever. This is a temporary phase. And although it’s not ideal, it’s an opportunity to review your business, learn new skills, tailor a product specifically for your audience.
There’s a lot of good will out there and people who want to support small businesses you just need to tell them how.
Don’t be embarrassed about selling – now is the time to release your inner sales diva! Selling is not a swear word, it is essential.
What can we do to help each other?
I think it’s important to be honest and ask for help when you need it. Set up WhatsApp groups with friends and neighbours. We have one for my daughter's class, we’re sharing lesson ideas and getting the girls to write letters to each other.
We normally go to Devon to stay in our favourite village over Easter however now we cannot and we believe by staying away we are being respectful of their ageing population and will instead go in the summer (hopefully). Now we plan to buy vouchers to spend at local restaurants, so they know our intention to visit and support their tourist industry.
What do you think can be learned from this in the business world?
I think people are learning to remember their ‘why’ – why it was that they started their business and re-engage with that.
The ‘how’ is different, but the why is more important. Keep remembering the why and keep talking to your customers, they will remember you and come back to you.
Your parting thought?
Freelance Mum and our awesome on line community in The Mothership are here for the duration, not just the Coronavirus. We are an established business, passionate about supporting fellow freelance mums. Come and try us.
For more information visit https://www.freelancemum.co.uk