COVID-19 survival guide for entrepreneurs: Leading your online presence through crisis and recovery

5 mistakes you don’t want to make when you’re starting with paid traffic on social media during the lockdown.

Looking for ways to start experimenting with paid traffic? Have you used Instagram or Facebook ads before? Not sure the best way to make these tools work for your business?

Maybe you have always been the one saying you don’t have time for social media or that you don’t have money for Facebook? This is totally cool; you’re not the only one.

But chances are you’ve changed your mind. It’s clear people are online and eager to hear from the community they trust, and this is a good time to start a dialogue and to start sharing factual, responsible information online with them.

I know what it feels like to now understand how to use online tools to make money without the benefit of meeting your clients in person.

But I also know that things have changed in the world. Millions of jobs have been lost; Millions of businesses shut down.; and Millions of businesses needing to pivot and transition.

No matter your category, it’s time to get in the social media saddle while we wait for the coronavirus vaccine. Questioning the pertinence of social media or any online tool is out of question. This is all we have left (almost).

Let’s make online advertising work for you

The purpose of this article is to share with you a few things you can put in place now for your business, even if you’re a beginner at online client acquisition.

Right now, people are spending 44 per cent longer on social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc) than before, says Statista. That means you’re a click away from new clients.

Let’s dive into what I meant by “mistakes”. Remember, there is no judgment here -the name of my business is Social Media Love Inc. and this is exactly what you’re going to get. I help entrepreneurs unleash their inner Rock Star online and leverage paid traffic to grow their business on social media.

I have been consulting and coaching dozens of businesses and organizations over the last decade as well as running million-dollar social media marketing campaigns that have contributed millions in revenue to my clients and helped them grow loyal social media audiences.

I want you to read this article with these three overall ideas in mind:

  • Money is in the audience
  • Brave is better than perfect
  • Wherever you are, you can start today

Here’s my promise to you. If you keep engaging daily, it will get you where you didn’t think you could go before.

Please don’t hide, show up

Keep showing up for your friends, customers, readers, and viewers. Keep posting on your social media platforms — the professional ones and the personal ones. You might not know this, but this is an ecosystem. What you do on one platform leverages the other ones. This is particularly potent in the Facebook family: keep providing fun, educating, and motivational posts to your friends on your personal profile, as well as nurturing your Facebook groups (the ones you own and the ones that you belong to), keep interacting on Instagram, and sending private messages. They all work together.

Maybe you don’t have a business page on Facebook yet. If not, this is the time to expand your Facebook family of apps. WhatsApp, Facebook profile, groups, and pages, Messenger, and Instagram work hand-in-hand. We call it the Facebook ecosystem and they are systems made to work together. Why? Because when you’re ready to use paid traffic, it will be easier and cheaper for Facebook to help you target the right people. This topic would require a full article in itself. This is actually one of the major infrastructures we co-create with my consulting clients.

The current coronavirus pandemic is causing customer trends and behaviours to evolve and change. People are spending increasingly more time at home and online. In fact, now is the perfect time to improve your customer engagement process because there’s been a 36% increase in consumers paying more attention to marketing messages. This marketing value increase applies to email, SMS, social ads, and more. (

Our job as entrepreneurs is to create great value in the marketplace and grow our business so that we can recirculate money in the economy even if we feel there is already lots of content out there. You are you. Consumers choose who they want to read about, watch or work with. Don’t assume nobody has an interest in your amazing message.

Please keep hard selling call to action for later

Adapt to the new customer first. Try to understand clearly where your current ideal client is right now in their head/heart and try to figure out where your new audience is in their new life. Then, start showing us who you are first, what you do to help us, and how we can trust each other. So many of the people I coach approach their marketing with this perspective: I’d like to sell this product on social media, but how can I sell it? Well…before anyone buys anything, you have to start at the beginning.

Here are the 5-steps of your customer journey on social media.

  1. They discover you because you show up where they are right now even though they don’t know you yet.
  2. You engage with them in various social interactions which leads to conversations.
  3. Once they trust you, they share more information about themselves such as emails, join your groups, and subscribe to your blog etc.
  4. they want more, they’re ready to buy, so you sell them your products/services.
  5. They love how your solution (your product/service) has transformed their life so they tell their friends, colleagues, and neighbours about it.

Please don’t ignore people’s reactions, comments and feelings

Posting is one thing, but does everything you are posting resonate with your reader? Are you asking them for their opinion? Can they have a piece of the pie and feel they can brag about themselves as a member of your audience? Do you invite them to discuss with you?

In other words, know your audience. Once people interact with your content on social media, contact them privately and ask them for a short interview so you can learn more about what content would help them the most right now on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.

Please don’t waste your website traffic

Fix the hole in your bucket because it’s dripping.It is time to get a little technical. Facebook allows you to send Facebook ads to people who spent some time on your website, blog or any landing page you may have built. We call this retargeting or re-marketing. Warm audiences are people who have discovered content on your website and are looking up for specific content, whether you have blog articles, videos or merchandise.

You know that these people are interested in what you have to sell.

So you could start nurturing them a little more with Facebook, Instagram or Messenger ads by sending them complimentary information, educational videos, or an opportunity to reach out to you personally before you send them the BUY NOW ad. How do you do that? You use what we call the Facebook pixel that you can find in your Ads Manager. It is literally a piece of code that Facebook gives you, you copy and paste it on your website — or ask your developer to do it.

I promise you. This step could be a game changer for you, even if people don’t buy anything during the coronavirus pandemic (which is not true). Facebook allows you to keep these people in a bucket that you will be able to keep nourishing during the crisis and after it, when we’re back to regular business.

Please don’t assume that nobody cares right now about your business

Have a plan with specific goals for your business. It is time to build your audience and nurture them like a garden. Top soil is the key. Provide them with your best advice, tactics, and content. Here’s how I love to help my clients — we mainly use video content.

Step 1People need to discover you, first. This is the step you can tackle right now as people are spending so much time online. We call them cold audiences because at this point they don’t know you.

Here’s a suggestion: record a one-minute video that explains who you are, why you’re in business, and share a story about a time when you went through the same pain your ideal client is currently going through. The outcome was that you created your business and solved that unique problem.

The Facebook ads machine has specific tools for this type of ad content that they show not only on the apps of the Facebook family but also on websites, blogs and other placements (another technical word that works magic). At the end of your video, invite people to reach out to you if they’d like to learn more. That’s it! Don’t sell anything directly.

Step 2People need to understand how you can help them. Record a one-minute video that showcases your expertise, for example, the 3-steps to growing an audience of raving fans and loyal customers on social media. The more you can help people take actual steps and make progress, the more they will trust you and believe in your expertise.

Step 3People get you. They are ready to be transformed by your offer: they want to feel better, have more of this, do more of that. Whatever they need to improve an area of their personal or professional life, they’re now throwing their business card at you or perhaps asking you for a call or a short consultation.

You could record a video that uniquely showcases your product or your service, making sure that you express the outcome for your potential client. At the end of the video, you can now have a harder call to action i.e.: If you’d like to be part of our program or if you’d like to purchase the exact same brush for your pet, click on the link in the description or Send me a private message and we can discuss.

Basically, you have three videos. Each of them will become an ad on your social media platforms.

Day after day, you will retarget people who watch Video 1 with Video 2. Then, you will retarget your Video 2 viewers with Video 3. Video 3 will send people in your sales system.

This is what we call the propulsive effect of paid ads. You can apply this funnelling system to other types of content as long as you take into account who you are targeting and in which phase of the transformational journey your ideal client is at.

This is exactly how one of my clients at acquired her first clients through social media. Not only did she grew her audience from scratch, but she filled up her appointment calendar. And she achieved this because she was visible and regularly providing educational content to her audience at the same time as having a conversation with them. She became a news feed must watch.


Before running ads, make sure you clearly define your business objectives and what you want to achieve with these ad campaigns. Then start learning one day at a time or reach out and get help from an advertising expert.

Use Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Messenger ads, or LinkedIn ads and test your content so more people can learn about you and your business. You’ll see what the results are right away.

The main point is to keep showing up with free content that you can turn into ads. Test and test again because it is rare that one feed is the answer to everyone’s advertising goals. Learn how to use Ads Manager or the ad platform of your choice, and feel free to test what seems to be working for your audience.

Since you will be engaging daily on your social media platforms to give your prospective clients a chance to discover you, you will develop conversations with them, get to know them and customize your online content (posts, blogs, videos) based on what they tell you. Make sure you keep a close eye on how they express themselves so you can insert their words in your free and paid traffic campaigns.

Learning is vital. Implementing is crucial. This is how you build confidence. Keep testing what you learn so you can see what works for you and your current and potential customers.

What do you think? Have you tried Facebook, Instagram or Messenger ads yet? What’s the next action you plan to take for your advertising campaigns? Let me know in the comments below!

PS. Do you want more content like this? Subscribe to my YouTube channel and click on the notification bell to get the next tutorial. Click here to join.

About the author

Angélique Binet is a social media marketing consultant specialized in paid traffic and client acquisition for women entrepreneurs & speakers, founder of Social Media Love, as well as a paid media strategist for the province of New Brunswick (Canada). She was a French newspaper journalist and Canadian TV reporter. Raised on a farm in France, Binet is a graduate of La Sorbonne University in Paris, and King’s College University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

One thought on “COVID-19 survival guide for entrepreneurs: Leading your online presence through crisis and recovery

  1. Angélique Binet says:

    What do you think? Have you tried Facebook, Instagram or Messenger ads yet? What’s the next action you plan to take for your advertising campaigns? Let me know in the comments below!

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