It’s hard to believe, but the spread of COVID-19 is still ongoing and countless people around the globe are extending their quarantines. Say it isn’t so!
If you’re anything like the countless people writing us in our Facebook groups, you might be feeling a bit lost about how to keep your retreat business thriving during this time.
Can you relate?
Maybe it’s our crystal ball (okay, so we don’t really have one), but we do have seven important suggestions for kicking the COVID-19 blues to the curb and keeping your business ablaze.
Ready to hear the details?
We thought so.
Here are the seven keys to keeping your retreat business thriving during COVID-19 (and beyond):
#1 Survey Your People & Ask Them What They Most Need Right NOW!
The first thing you want to do is talk to your people & get their input. The very best way to do this is by putting together and blasting out a survey. It is simple, easy and in most cases, free.
Services like surveymonkey.com and others are not only user-friendly, but empower you to reach your people without delays.
Write up a handful of compelling, open-ended questions asking them what they are struggling with and what they need. Best to keep it short, around five questions maximum. Make sure they;re open-ended (no “yes” or “no” answers), because you want to hear from your people in THEIR words.
Don’t guess what they need. Don’t make assumptions! Ask them directly.
You’ll be surprised how much people want to share what’s going on for them and most of us love being asked for our opinion. 🙂
And, if you don’t have any clients yet, no worries. Do research online or on social media to see what people in your target audience are talking about. (Think about doing a search for a particular hashtag or topic on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram.) Or better yet, if you know some people who might be like your target audience, survey them and see what they say.
#2 Analyze Your Your Ideal Client’s Survey Results
The second thing you want to do is look at your survey results taking into consideration who your ideal client is and make a spreadsheet including the insights and “ah has” you glean from the survey results.
Are your people more stressed than usual? Do they long for practical, easy tools they can put into place now to make living and working at home a breeze?
Whatever they say, pay attention, educate yourself on just where they’re at, and help them with their most IMMEDIATE pressing problems.
Listen, take notes, and notice what themes emerge.
#3 Shift Your Offerings & Consider What You’re Charging
The third thing you want to do is take what you learned from your survey and align your offerings with what your people need and want right now.
Resist the urge to stick to “business as usual” – as COVID-19 is anything but usual. If you need to change one of your programs around to make it more relevant and timely, consider doing so.
Feeling inspired to create something new? Trust that and follow it, setting aside time whenever possible to see what emerges. Keep referring to your survey results and your ideal client insights to make sure what you’re dreaming up fits your client’s needs. Most importantly, have fun with it!
Also, peek at what you’re charging your people. If you feel so compelled, you may want to offer a COVID-19 discount for an existing program or a sliding scale with payment options for anything new you create.
Be generous while also ensuring you make enough money to make it worth your time as well as allowing you to pay your bills so you can keep YOUR business afloat.
#4 Plan a Virtual Retreat
The fourth thing you want to do is consider is bringing your people together for a virtual retreat. Virtual retreats are a great way to gather your people and deliver a big dose of transformation without your people ever having to leave their homes.
Big or small, these power-packed events are incredible opportunities to keep your retreat business going and your people engaged. Of course a virtual retreat is not the same as a live one – but it’s a lot better than doing nothing and not supporting your community!
In case you are interested, we recently offered a wonderful training – “Going Virtual for Retreat Leaders: How to Take Your Retreats Online!” – that contains what you need to know to plan, promote & fill a virtual retreat. Make sure you check it out here.
And remember, keep it simple. Don’t let planning or technology stand in the way of you putting yourself out there (while making cash)!
#5 Up Your Presence on Social Media
Speaking of putting yourself out there, the fifth thing you want to do is dial up your presence on social media. People have more time on their hands right now, and they are currently surfing online in unprecedented numbers. Let them see you!
Go live on Instagram or Facebook and talk to your people. Offer up little nuggets of your transformational process.
Make it casual, easy-to-relate to, and engaging. Consistency is key, so keep up with it. If you can get on line every day and share yourself and your insights, I can promise you it will pay off in spades.
To hold yourself accountable, create a schedule for each week and write in the times you will be going online and promoting yourself. This way you make sure you follow through.
#6 Get Ready for the Post-Pandemic Retreat Boom
The sixth thing you want to do is get ready for the post-pandemic retreat boom. Although it may not feel like it, you won’t be quarantined forever (and neither will your people). At some point, you and your followers will be out in the world again, traveling and all.
Start to envision now what your next retreat offering will be (if you haven’t already) and set aside time to plan the most experiential and transformational event that you can creatively envision. If you’re nervous about timing – not wanting to plan your retreat too soon – aim for next year sometime to play it safe.
Keep in mind, your retreat’s focus and marketing will need to be tailored to what new problems and issues your people have been facing thanks to COVID-19. Make sure you go back to your survey results (see step one) and create a retreat that is in alignment with the needs of your tribe.
You want to allow a minimum of six to twelve months to plan and market your retreat, so if you’re wanting to do a retreat next year, NOW is the time to get rolling on it (believe it or not!).
#7 Plan Your Post-Retreat Follow Up Program
The seventh thing you want to do is plan your post-retreat follow up program. Yep, you want to start working on that now.
Doing a retreat as a one-off event isn’t ideal, as it cuts off your cash flow and as well as short-changing your people’s transformational process. Instead, prepare to offer your people a way to keep working with you after your retreat is over, and make it so drool-worthy they feel compelled to say yes.
Post-retreat follow up programs can range from a group coaching program to a series of calls/classes to a one-on-one mentorship. Dream into what feels right for you and your people and see what you come up with. A post-retreat program should naturally flow from the content you shared during your retreat and further support them on the transformational process you started together.
And, please make sure you charge what you’re worth. After all, you’re good at what you do, and you deserve to be paid well. No shortchanging yourself!
Need Some Extra Help??
We’ve got a couple of 2-hour mini-classes specially focused and keeping your business going and flowing during the pandemic! Simply click the links below for more details and to register.
As a self-proclaimed retreat-junkie, Melanie knows firsthand the power and transformation of traveling with a group of like-minded people who are ready to dive deep into themselves. It’s pure magic!
Melanie has planned, co-facilitated and attended dozens of retreats all over the world and is beyond excited to help other retreat enthusiasts do the same. As a Retreat Blueprint Business Coach & Copywriter, Melanie specializes in helping retreat peeps crank up their businesses & add sparkle to their offerings so they shine to the cosmos and back.