By Mandy Wittschen
We all know what a rollercoaster 2022 was.
Guess what? 2023 is shaping up to be a strange one, too.
The likelihood of a recession is greater than ever. In fact, a recent KPMG poll of CEOs found that 91% believe a recession will hit in the next 12 months. And only 34% of those executives believe it will be mild and short.
But on the other hand, the U.S. economy grew by 2.6% in Q3 2022 and an estimated 0.7% in Q4, after six months of contraction.
And this labor market looks nothing like what you’d expect with a recession. In fact, the December BLS Employment Situation report pegged the unemployment rate at 3.5%. While the Federal Reserve expects that rate to rise to 4.4% in 2023 (due in part to higher interest rates), this is nowhere near the 10% unemployment rate we experienced during the peak of the Great Recession.
Yep, 2023 (at least the first part) will be weird. For you…and your clients, too.
But here’s some good news. Regardless of which way our economy and labor markets trend, you have an unprecedented opportunity to stand out from your competitors. Build trust with clients and prospects. And prove your value as a true business consultant.
Are you ready to seize it? It’s easier than you think. And it starts with your content.
Hear me out.
Knowledge Is Power
Uncertainty breeds anxiety and indecision. Be the antidote!
Employers need your help now more than ever. They’re looking for answers. They’re looking for guidance. They’re looking for an advisor they can trust. This is where your content comes into play. Providing high-quality information that answers employers’ questions shows that you:
- Empathize with their concerns
- Are honest and transparent
- Are an expert at what you do
- Are willing to provide answers to their tough questions
Sharing relevant information and sound advice, at the right time and in the right way, is a powerful strategy for helping employers navigate uncertainty. It elevates you from the role of a vendor to an indispensable partner.
Want to see this concept in action? Check out Staffing Brain Fuel. It’s packed with free resources to help you get job orders filled, drive staffing sales in today’s economy and accelerate your staffing firm’s growth.
The Right Way to Share Your Content
Start with a content audit.
- What’s in your library? Blow the dust off those digital shelves. Familiarize yourself with your content library, so you know what you have and what you should be sharing. Create a spreadsheet of eBooks, articles, blog posts, case studies, newsletter content, workbooks, etc., categorized by topic. Focus on identifying resources that are relevant for today’s economy.
- Do any of your pieces need updating? While some content is evergreen, other pieces may need statistics, best practices and advice updated for 2023. Again, prioritize pieces that relate to managing uncertainty, recession-proofing your business, using staffing in a down economy, strategies for controlling costs, driving business growth in uncertain times, or other top issues your ideal clients are likely to deal with in the coming year.
- Plan to fill in the gaps. If you see that you’re lacking educational content your clients and prospects need, create it!
Share content in intentional, genuinely helpful ways.
Once you have your content arsenal ready, it’s time to share it. But should you just indiscriminately bombard clients and prospects with information? Of course not – you’ll immediately turn them off.
To leverage your content effectively, you need to be empathetic. You need to ask questions. You need to carefully listen to the questions employers ask (and even read between the lines to “hear” the questions they’re not asking – but want answered).
Here are a few practical ways to use all that amazing content to strengthen business relationships and position your firm (and yourself) as a trusted consultant:
- Email a client a resource related to their industry in advance of a scheduled call.
- If a prospect is on the fence about working with you, share a relevant case study that demonstrates the ROI. Provide a bit of context so they understand how you could deliver similar results in their situation.
- Take notes about questions an employer asks during a call. Then, follow up with an email that links to resources that answer those questions.
- If a client poses a question via email, do more than answer it. Send along an educational resource that provides more information on the topic.
- Spend 5 minutes at the end of a client Zoom call to screen share and review the free information and advice you have available. Give them a tour of your blog, your HaleyMail resource center, or any other educational resources you offer.
- Curate and share great content. You don’t need to personally author everything! If you don’t have a resource that answers an employer’s question, do a bit of research. Find a reliable source of information and then send it along with your take on the content.
- If a client has unreasonable expectations about what you can do for their business, share content that teaches them how to bridge that gap.
- Remind clients that you’re here to help them prepare for anything. Ask them what questions, concerns or challenges they have. Offer to research your content library and then follow up with hand-picked resources to address their concerns.
- If you think a client doesn’t truly understand how to get the most value out of your services, proactively share a helpful article, eBook, blog post or other resource with practical tips.
- Invite clients and prospects to opt into your newsletter.
- Don’t overload employers. Share a resource or two only when appropriate, relevant and truly valuable.
Knowledge is power!
The more employers know about staffing, and how you can solve their challenges, the more likely they are to buy from you. Share your content in the right ways, and you’ll create a brighter 2023 for you and your clients.
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