Zooming Through Lockdown With Complete Strangers
I’m not business savvy and like other business owners, the ‘COVID situation’ could have put a huge spanner in the works. Plus I live on my own so losing my sanity could have happened too!
I’m a biochemist, hypnotist & Pilates teacher. I could write reams of tips for you on how to look after your brain, body and biology during lockdown. How to run a business in lockdown? No idea. I didn’t even know how to make a Facebook ad.
Fortunately, I knew how to use Zoom, so I was in early. My Pilates classes were online the day before lockdown. Most of my real-life customers joined in along with some ‘unexpected but welcome guests’. The best bit of this was teaching over 75s how to use zoom, tech, and iPads, as nearly all my customers are over 50 up to 87.
I’m extremely grateful to my Pilates clients for supporting me in lockdown.
Early Birds Do Get Worms
I had never taught a Pilates class over the internet before. So what? Neither had pretty much any other instructor. Plus the customers have never done a Zoom Pilates class so how would they know if it was good or not?
Cheesy phrases that turned out to be true and worked.. ‘fake it till you make it’, ‘snooze and you lose’ and ‘just do it’
It’s easy to get hung up on perfection and never launch that book or business idea. Just take the plunge!
Customers are not as unforgiving as some may think, it might not be perfect but most are nice people who give helpful feedback.
Pretend To Be Your Customer
So how did my Pilates class help me close deals on Zoom and make Facebook ads?
Firstly I filmed some my Zoom classes. I had over 100 ladies and a few gents a week enjoying my classes then surely other Shirleys, Brendas, Gills, Marylins and Sues in other parts of the UK or even the world would like my Pilates too.
How do I find these ladies or ‘clones’ of my nice clients in other cities?
I know what my clients like to do as hobbies, what they like eating, what their pains and goals are, what they find funny, what they post on Facebook, what they don’t like as I treat them as friends and always listen to the.
I probably know more about women over 50 then they do themselves, even though I’m not 50 yet.
Knowing my ideal customer, I was quickly able to use the mysterious business.facebook, ads manager and pixels to find my Shirleys, Brendas etc all over the UK who might be interested in ‘Specialist Online Pilates’.
But there was still a problem.
Why would complete strangers who have never heard of me buy my ‘Specialist Online Pilates’ after they clicked on my ad on Facebook? When all they did was go Facebook to on to talk to friends, spy on kids, look at funny cat videos etc, not to buy my Pilates videos!
Talking To Strangers IS OK!
I had to explain to the potential customers how I could help them with their pains and how doing my Pilates videos can offer benefits using a sales page.
As part of ‘Specialist Online Pilates’ program I had a FREE 15 min onboarding Zoom call, as well as a webinar once a month and a free hypnosis session for goal setting. I was told by ‘Marketing Gurus’ I was offering too much and to get rid of the Zoom call. I didn’t.
The new customers (the complete strangers) were much more patient with ‘tech teething issues’ that I was expecting. I am grateful to them for ‘taking the plunge’ and trying my Pilates videos, plus being gentle with me while I was getting started.
Suddenly I had 15min Zoom bookings! It was exciting and scary both at the same time to see who was going to be in the zoom window when the meeting started.
Because the call was free and I wasn’t trying to sell anything or get anything, there was no pressure, and the conversations flowed. I looked forward to these random strangers visiting me in my living room over zoom and I met some very interesting ladies.
These Zoom chats brought me just as much joy as making a sale online.
I found women over 50s a very pleasant demographic to work with online. They have good ‘internet etiquette’ and they don’t do childish things like ‘trolling’ or writing abusive comments.
The zoom chats become natural and some of the ladies asked if I could help them with other things like sleep, stress, diet and supplements. That was how I was able to sell online coaching to people who actually wanted my help, rather than annoying people with sales emails and texts.
The free onboarding calls taught me a lot about what my customers wanted and didn’t want, plus I could help them instantly.
It was lovely to meet new people in lockdown like I would if I had ‘real-life’ customers in a class.
Customer Inspired Product
One of the ladies said ‘Why don’t you put all you science tips, sleeping hacks, supplement secrets and ‘action plans’ in a members area, like where the Pilates videos are and make an online wellness coaching program’
That was how my high ticket coaching program ‘Diamond Wellness Academy’ was born and a member arrived before the launch she asked what else I was working on in a free 15min Zoom meeting.
Selling something over $500 on the internet to strangers can be very hard. Zoom or phone calls are by far the best way. Luckily I was already very comfortable talking to strangers on Zoom.
That was how Zoom, strangers and my own loyal customers kept me sane and solvent during lockdown. I am now feeling very hopeful and positive about the future of my new online ventures.