Ep. 129

Navigating Your Business Through Uncertain Times with Team Interact

Welcome to a special episode of Interact’s Grow Podcast, where we share insights and strategies to help you scale your business. In this episode, we delve into the topic of running a business during uncertain times. They discuss the challenges and strategies of maintaining business operations amidst major events, whether they’re exciting like the Super Bowl or more serious news events. 

We also explore the importance of staying authentic to your brand voice, the impact of pop culture trends on business strategies, and how to adapt to the constant changes in the world. This episode is a must-listen for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and online creators seeking insights on how to navigate their businesses through the unpredictable waves of current events.

Hi guys and welcome back to Interact’s Grow podcast I’m Jessmyn Solana your host so great to be with you all as always and Jesy and Damaris. Thank you for joining me this week again. Our little group. I’m still missing Jackie who’s off doing some partnership work with a lot of other people. She’s super busy.

But if you’ve gotten a chance to talk to her or she’s reached out to you she’s great to work with. So, you know, listen in on her podcast. You could hear some past stuff with Jackie in it, if you’re wondering who she is. But this week I thought it would be interesting, you know, there’s like a lot of things going on in the news.

That’s super crazy. So I thought we could talk about, you know, how to run your business during uncertain times. And more specifically when, I guess I was thinking along the lines of like, when the news is taken over by these really big events, whether it’s, you know, what’s happening this week, the Super Bowl, You know election time and I know we talked a little bit about like personal stuff happening in your life Like, how do you keep going?

Yeah, I don’t know what it is And I hate to say it since kovat or pandemic times, but I feel like Nowadays, there’s something big happening every week or multiple big things a week, you know, it’s not just every once in a while and something is going on. So now I almost feel like we’re all kind of getting used to, like, getting into a flow of whether addressing things that happen or moving through them.

But I do think it’s interesting how we’ve kind of shifted in a way that people are starting to move through things, you know, not stopping everything they’re doing. I don’t know, do you guys feel like that too? Yeah, I do feel like, and maybe this kind of ties into our business model too, because things are always changing.

It seems like in the world, like things drastically are like happening, or some terrible thing that we heard on the news is happening in the moment. And we’re just like, It’s almost like not numb, but you’re just like always in a shock state. Like, it’s like, I feel like I’ve been in a shock state since the pandemic hit and it just does not stop.

It just keeps going and going and going and going. And I think that that kind of relates to like our culture here at Interact that we’re always constantly changing because things are constantly happening and constantly changing. And it’s just, it’s just. It’s so funny when I hear these professionals or, you know, like I don’t know, coaches or health physicians or different business coaches and stuff.

They always say like, it’s not like the change is how you react as a person of how, but you have control of. And I’m always like, I’m always in a state of shock. I don’t know really how to, you know, so it’s just, it’s so interesting. I don’t know if that answers the question, but I feel I’m the same way with you, Jesy.

I’m just like, Oh my God, like what is going on now? Like. What’s, what’s happening this week? Let me just open my news and seriously, it’s crazy. It’s funny. Cause when you said that I was actually thinking the opposite, I think I’m no longer in a state of shock. I’m just like, Oh, okay. And then I log in and look at my email.

I’m like, who do I need to respond to today? Yeah. Maybe you’re just numb. You’re just like, Oh, right. Let’s move on. So I think we’ve done a really good job, all of us. And I think a lot of other business owners out there have done a good job of learning to adapt and how to keep moving through things. And I think we’ve done a good job of kind of like future proofing our work in a sense, you know, we know what to do, like.

Whether it’s a chaotic event in the news, or if it’s like, you know, Super Bowl where it’s exciting stuff, like you kind of know, like, is this going to be a busy time during your seat? Like your business? Or is this going to be like, when you’re getting a little bit less traffic? Like, it all depends on who your audience is.

But I think we’ve all done a good time. Good job of like, learning how to it. Change as things change with us. I agree. And I was going to say that, like, you know, it’s, it’s even with the positive news, like the super bowl. So something that I’ve noticed I don’t even know when this started, correct me if you guys like, you know, think this happened way earlier, but I feel like ever since 2020 or like the pandemic, like social media and like staying in tune with pop culture is like so big that like, you have to hop onto the mean trends.

You have to hop onto the, like. You know, adding that as a part of your business, like, uh, there was a meme that I tried for the first time. We’ve never done it at interact, but it was with Usher and Alicia keys. And it was like, yeah, like trying to relate to what this big pop culture event is, or like what the current event is in the news and make it in a fun way for your business.

But it’s like that strategy. Is not necessarily sustainable because you won’t know you can’t plan it out like you won’t know until it happens And then you won’t know what’s gonna trend like the Super Bowl Halftime show is like what 15 minutes and it’s like which meme is really gonna trend or can you create a new trend?

Because you found like that moment, you know that really people are gonna be like, haha or be like, oh, yeah I agree with that At this point, when I see things happen or I watch something happen on TV, I’m like, oh, like this is gonna be like picked up on and this is gonna be all over the internet. I mean, even like smaller niche things like, shout out to all our Love is Blind fans, whoever watched this, you are gonna need a happy pen to breathe.

Like that took off on the internet. I don’t know about you guys, but it took off. But I saw that everywhere. And I’m like, that could be used for everything. Like once this quiz is done, you are going to need EpiPen to breathe.

But you can like relate it to your business in so many ways, all these little things, that’s funny how good we’ve gotten on picking up on it. You know, like it just, we’ve, we’ve learned how to like meme ify things so quickly. So on the opposite end of that, if something is more negative, like what, What would you guys recommend?

For people to post, right? So like for us this week, we’re talking about like the news that came out with city this morning. We got news that like a bridge collapsed in Baltimore. You know, how do you go on social media with good conscience and be like, well, let me tell you how to generate leads with. Yeah, that’s a good question.

I think it’s so hard. I think it really just depends on what kind of, like, what you’re like brand voices, like, are you someone that addresses things? Are you someone that maybe doesn’t address things, but stays on the low? Like, I really think it just depends on what is authentic to you and also what you think resonates with your target audience, really like, you know, what they look at you differently, or if you’re not addressing certain things, I think it’s really just how you’ve run your business up until now.

Yeah. I think to add to that going back to what you’re, what you’re saying about your brand and your authenticity, like, honestly, it’s just like, you have to really try your best to stay authentic to yourself. Like what your business, like goal or, or, or mission statement or value or whatever you set up for that business.

You, you have to, if you’re, if you’re not really a business, that’s like Oh, let me hop on every single trend. Then don’t do that. Like that’s not authentic for your business. You know, I think staying like really focused on like what really matters and like what your business is focusing on and what you do every single day is what’s going to help you be successful.

Otherwise you’re just going to be like a lot of the content creators that we see out there, not that I’m knocking them out, but a lot of them are trying to hop on all these different trends and it doesn’t seem like an honest, authentic. Brand voice, if that makes sense. So I love what you guys are saying because this made me think of Kate Middleton’s news.

Earlier this week, I saw so many apology posts on social media of like, you know, people that I follow talking about, you know, oh, this Photoshop fail, like, what a lie, all this stuff just for her to come out and say, okay, now here’s my personal, like medical information I need to tell you guys. And I saw so many people like apologize.

What was it that, like, all these major news outlets in the UK, like, said all this mean stuff about her and then retracted everything, like, deleted everything they posted, everything they publish, just because they didn’t know what was really going on. And so it’s like, there is this fine line between, like, Should you really hop on to the biggest current events because it could bite you in the butt right after yeah Yeah, yeah, and a lot of the times nowadays you really don’t know in all honesty What’s true and what’s not like you just really don’t people are really just pumping out this like fast Information and they’re not really getting fact checked.

You really don’t know Whether that person’s intentions are true or not and so You have to just stick to what really matters and what you know, you know, like, because you could get as easily, easily influenced for sure. Yeah. I’m always so shocked by how quickly people can jump on a bandwagon of something like that’s going on on social media.

And I’m like, where’s the facts? Like, what do we actually know? Like this person on Twitter tweeted this and I’m like, is it real? I don’t know, but people are so quick to judge. And I think Like what we posted memes of usher during the Super Bowl, like, you know, that’s completely different than what people are jumping on the bandwagon with with Kate Middleton, you know, like, where is she, what is she doing?

Like, why are they lying to us? Like, I feel like there’s certain situations like that, that maybe you don’t, you know, involve yourself and keep your peace, like, kind of, yeah, I’m also like, Oh, sorry. No, go ahead. No, I was going to say, if you’re like in a situation where. Your business can possibly affect your, the events that are happening out, whether it’s like the election or like, you know, the Superbowl, like, I think that just like, really trying to perfect your craft and then improving, like, what you’re niching on is like.

Important by listening to like your people, your audience, your customers, like who is currently there right now throughout all of these things that are still there buying your product are still there being loyal to you. Like, that’s what matters. That’s factual, right? Maybe make sure the number 1 thing, like, before you post anything, right?

Whether it has to do with current event or not is make sure or, like, ask yourself, like, is this relevant? All right. To my customers as this relevant to my business and what, what part does it play? Like, is this just me adding to the narrative that I don’t need to add to, or is this actually benefiting me in some way?

Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s also a good point to like, if there is something happening that does affect your business, that’s a time for you to kind of reflect and get your ducks in a row and be like, okay, what do I need to do? To make this not affect my business. You know, like, how do I keep moving through this?

Like, you know, I don’t know if like TikTok gets banned, for example. What are you going to do with your business if your main income stream is from TikTok? Like start thinking about those type of things and prepare for that. Not jump on the bandwagon of don’t ban TikTok or blah, blah, blah. You know, like, what are you going to do if it does happen?

Or when Facebook and Instagram went down last, was that last month or this month? I don’t know time anymore, but the most recent time when it went down and you know, you don’t have, you can’t log into Instagram to see if everybody’s like is this working or not? It’s like you have to like text your local friends is hello, is Instagram working for you?

Is it down? Does anyone know what’s happening? Yeah, which is scary when things like that happen. I mean, we use these things almost every day. Like even your everyday person, like let’s say they just had an item listed on Facebook marketplace, you know, they’re like, well, now I can’t sell it because I don’t know where else to sell it or what else to do, you know, right.

My daughter calls it the olden days. Oh, you didn’t used to have. Internet in your olden days, and I’m like, well, I’m not that old, but yeah, the olden days before you were born. Yeah, internet really wasn’t that big of a deal. Sheesh. Oh my gosh, she’s hilarious. It’s yeah, it’s crazy how much technology and like how fast you get this information, right?

Like, Back before, I mean, even when we were growing up, like to your daughter’s point, is that like, when we were growing up, yes, there was internet, but we didn’t get information the same way, even with internet, you know, you still have to watch TV for the news or like, you still have to, I’m pretty sure we still read the newspaper.

Like I remember my dad. would be sitting like at the table in the morning, like reading a newspaper with his coffee. Like it’s such a vivid memory for me. And it’s like, that’s where you got your information. And of course, everything was a lot slower because, you know, you had to write it, you had to print it, you had to get it out to people.

Whereas now it’s like so fast. So it’s like, do we jump on it? Do we not jump on it? But if you have to, if you jump on it, you have to do it now. You can’t, you can’t create the meme for the Super Bowl two weeks later, or even two days later. It’s like, no, we’ve already moved on from that. Yeah, it’s crazy. To your point, I’m just thinking about newspapers.

Like, imagine it’s, you know, 11 o’clock at night, and they have the prints ready to go for the next morning, the newspaper to go out, and something happens. And they’re like, all right, reverse, reverse. Like, we have to have a new headline story. Like, I can’t even imagine how they dealt with that back then.

Reprint it, get it reprinted. Literally each time this kind of makes me think of like when you’re thinking of your content or thinking of you know blog posts social media email whatever it is that you write content for it’s like make sure that Your content is consistent. So like even if you are jumping onto trends like Is it, does it relate to what you already talk about?

So like, if you’re going to, you know, do an usher mean, like, is it still going to relate to quizzes for us? Like, are we still going to tie it back to how to create a quiz or how to scale your business with a quiz? And for a lot of like, let’s say like course creator, like, is this going to relate to your course somehow?

Because once that’s over. You have to be like, people have to see your content as a whole rather than individually for each piece. And they need to know that like, this is consistent. This is what you generally talk about. It’s not just bringing up like, okay, yeah, here’s, here’s a fun name for you guys today.

Yeah. And what’s like consistent and what you generally talk about, like, those are like your content pillars, like hold those dear to your business, because those shouldn’t change, even if things in the world are changing, you know, like That’s why it’s so hard to schedule things out, like content or even newsletters, because if you do touch on like new topics, then you’re constantly changing things.

But if you have those content pillars, then you kind of have like a foolproof way to keep moving through whatever’s going on. Do you want to quickly talk about what a content pillar is? Sure. We can get into that. Sure. So every, not every business, every business should have content pillars, like certain things that they talk about.

Like for us, you know, it’s not just quizzes. It’s also lead generation in general. It’s also email lists. It’s also like writing onboarding sequences and all of that. But we have our main pillars that we talk about that no matter what happens, we can continue to talk about those things because they are still relevant no matter what happens.

Yeah, I love that. I look at your face. If you guys are watching the video for this, Jesy was like, do I have to and I agree because even like, for example, when. Facebook went down email marketing was incredibly important in that moment. Like, what, what type of marketing are you going to use? If a social media is down, right?

Websites down or maybe social media is down. How are you going to get your word out there? And we’ve always. Talked about email marketing for a very long time. And it’s one of our content pillars, as Jesy was saying. And it’s important to really stay true to what, you know, and what, you know, works for us, for you, for your business and what’s sustainable.

So also to add to this, if you have for example, when chat GPT blew up, like was that November, 2022, we immediately pivoted all of our content. To include chat gbt, but still within the realm of what our content pillars were. So we still talked a lot about like, you know, how to come up with questions for your quiz with chat gbt, how to come up with quiz title ideas with chat gpt.

So it was still the same line of content, but now you’re adding to the big current event that’s happening. Obviously pop culture, like news that happens, it’s a lot harder to do that. But If it’s in the topic of what you’re already talking about, all you have to do is continue on with what you’re already writing content for and include that as a part of the content.

Yeah, and I do want to touch on, like, for businesses out there that are solopreneurs, or maybe, like, you want to kind of go back and think about what worked for me in the past, like, to put us as an example, or, you know, we, we. Years before had offered customer calls for brand new customers, and we stopped doing that for a while.

And then even now, as we’re talking about sustainability and how to run a business during these uncertain times, we started doing that. And the reason we started doing that again is because our customers, we’ve noticed that our customers are looking for. More one on one. They want to talk to somebody.

They want to feel that connection. And so paying attention to what your people are saying is so important because they are like the lifeline of your business. And if you don’t feed and nurture that lifeline, then you’re not, you’re not really, they’re not going to feel like you’re caring for them. So I just wanted to bring that sort of.

I know it’s a little bit different from content marketing, but also trying to think about, like, your customer base. Like, what are they telling you they need? Like, listen to that. Right. I agree. Like, we don’t need to hear about Usher. I know I keep saying Usher, but it’s popping Like, we don’t need to hear about this, you know?

You do that every time, Jessmyn. I really want to see him on tour. But you know, yeah, like a hundred percent, like listen to what they want to hear about what they, what they like. But that actually made me even think of, you know, I wonder if that trend started switching back for us because of the rise of AI, like people are like, I don’t know what’s real anymore.

Like, is this content really content that somebody wrote or like, You know, are you, I mean, you’ve seen it in customer support all the time. Damaris, people are like, are you real? Or are you just a robot? Like that’s been going on for ages, you know? So I think, like, I wonder if with these big current events there, you also have to pay attention to, you know, how does this affect my business?

So for like something like AI and chat GPT, like. Maybe that’s why people want more one on one time, because they want to know they’re talking to an actual person versus AI. Yeah. And I think that it also proves, like, we didn’t reinvent the wheel. We went back and did something that we knew worked for us in the past.

You know, sometimes you think that you have to, like, make up a big plan or come up with a whole new idea. What if it’s just going back and starting with doing something that you already know works? It’s just like an offer if you’ve already proved that it works like refine it work on that Don’t just start from scratch all over again 100 percent yeah, we have this video for those of you who are interested and we can link it In the show notes, if it’s already published, but Josh, our CEO did a shorter video on this exact topic for running your business during uncertain times.

And something that he says is like build for the future and for the long run and like continue to like work on the consistency rather than like doing what’s now and you know, what’s gonna be the next step for immediate growth. Think about like, how do you grow sustainably long term? Love that. I love it.

The last thing that I want to talk to you guys about and get your insight on is the mental health side of how much news comes through in. A day , or maybe even hour, what did say earlier, Mercurian retrograde or whatever, because holy moly, , sometimes it’s just like, whoa. Left punch. Yeah. And you know, this morning, so for those who are listening this morning we were at, the three of us were talking about like, I feel tired this week.

I don’t know why. I don’t know what it is. And you know. Maybe it is as a matter or like it’s a result of how much information comes at one time is exhausting Like it’s like, okay, you hear one big news and you wake up the next day and it’s like, oh now this, you know People are hurt they could have like possibly died and in this bridge that collapsed and then you go through this like Existential crisis of that could have been me I drive on a bridge all the time or like people who commute to work, you know And it’s like how do you take care of yourself?

As tiring as running a business is with all these news, all this news that comes in. I mean, I think it depends person to person, but I refrain from watching the news or reading the news first thing in the morning. Cause I think I personally feel like it takes a big emotional toll on me, even if it’s, you know, like a dog got lost and was stuck in a river for two hours, you know, eight hours from where I live.

Like I’m, But like weighs heavy on my heart, you know, so I refrain from it personally and that’s what works for me. Yeah, that is, that’s interesting. And I, I guess I always have like two different parts to one answer. It’s so crazy. Like literally like learn how to just have one answer. But you know, I think about it, like I have to take care of obviously my mental health and then also like my daughter’s mental health too, because she’s only seven and she is exposed to all of this craziness that’s happening, you know?

So I always have to constantly see. How she’s doing and check on, on her, but, you know, like, I think whatever, like, as Jesy said, whatever works for you, like, sometimes me just picking up a brand new book and reading like fantasy or like, but like dragons and like, whatever else helps me just kind of distract myself from real life.

You know, obviously, like, taking care of your body and working out, like, that’s super important because. You then don’t release stress and all these things. So like everybody’s different. Find something that’s like your pillar to go to that’s going to really help you because it is a lot and I think it’s okay to say like it’s a lot like it’s a lot to take in like you sometimes you just like need to say it out loud and just be like, okay, like what do I do?

You know, yeah. I totally agree. I think like when the pandemic happened and you know, of course, like naturally you look up like how to not catch COVID. What is COVID? Like, but when you type this in to Google, the algorithm for all of your apps are like now, like, okay, let me now give you everything on COVID and all the worst things on COVID.

And after that, I actually had to reprogram my algorithm. So only show me like, Recipes fashion, like all these things that make me not have to think about how scary The rest of the world is and that’s how I use social media now is I don’t, if someone’s like, Oh, did you hear about this? Like when my, my dad was the one who told me about Diddy last night, but I’m not going to go in and start looking up Diddy on my Instagram, because that is where I go to decompress from the rest of the news that are coming out in the world.

And so a little bit more of a practical tip there is make sure your algorithms don’t change. Yeah, that’s huge. Like, if you Google something, or if you start going down a rabbit hole on something, which is so easy to do on social media, especially like if you’re on TikTok and stuff, like that will start to consume you and take over your feed and everything else, and all of a sudden you have no idea what’s going on.

Like, I remember I got one video about how bad seed oils are for you, and it had me convinced that I was like, I don’t know what to eat. Everything in my fridge is bad, you know, I’m like, Oh my goodness. And then I was like, okay, reality check. People are alive and well, and it’s okay if I eat this Smucker’s Uncrustable that has soybean oil in it, like it’s going to be okay.

But you know, everything that was like, I need this supplement now and I need to cut these things out. And I was like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, what am I doing? And my whole feed turned into that. And I was like, I’m just gonna, you know. Buy a new phone because this is not working. You get paranoid. Like you really do.

Now you’re like, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So don’t let that happen. Be conscious of it. I had the same experience with Italian olive oil. I don’t know if anybody saw that Tik TOK or that reel where they were talking about how to Maris, they talked about how the mafia controls the olive orchards in Italy. And so when you buy Italian olive oil, it’s not necessarily real olive oil.

And anyway, that took me down this rabbit hole of the same thing with you, Jesy. But I started with olive oil. Was that like, Oh my gosh, now this is bad. I can’t drink milk. I can’t eat eggs. I know, but then you have, you have like, then you have on the other side of that these like fitness influencers who were like, you need to eat three eggs a day.

You need to like have protein powder. Like it’s like one side of the internet wants you to eat all processed. One side does not want you to eat any process. And it’s like, okay, I’m overwhelmed with all this information, so I need to just like. I just want to see cute outfits, just show me cute outfits of people dressing nice, going to a little coffee shop in Paris, that’s all I want to see.

Yeah. It’s so interesting though, like no matter what you decide on olive oil, like if you are going to consume it or not, there’s someone out there who’s going to make money off your decision. If you’re not consuming olive oil, here’s what you’re going to. Use if you are, then this is all the oil you need monopoly.

Yeah. No matter what you do, what is that? Like also, and now this is a little off topic, but just like, you know, kind of take, take all the information you get on the internet with a grain of salt, basically is what I’m saying, because on top of all these, all this crazy news, you know, Even, I didn’t even think of this when we came up with this topic, but like these algorithms with all these influencers, whether they get paid, whether they don’t get paid or whether they try a product that they really love and they go viral off of it and now they’re like, oh, that works.

Now, I just need to recreate that same thing to continue making money. It’s like, you know, how do you find sort of the middle ground between what. Is real and what you need to talk about in your business. Like, do I jump on this? Do I not jump on this? Yeah, I keep saying, and I don’t know if this will be relevant, but I really strongly feel like if you just stick to just your core values and being authentic, you’re going to be fine because that is.

One of the big problems, in my opinion, about the world nowadays, everything is so superficial and people are just so not true to themselves and want to be somebody else and want to do something else. And it’s just like, it’s exhausting. Even us talking about it. I’m like, goodness, how can people live like this every day?

It’s crazy, you know, so stick to your values. I love that. I think that’s a perfect ending point to the whole episodes. Stay consistent, stick to your values, make sure it’s relevant to your business and you know, what your customers want to hear and. You’re good to go. You’ll survive.

Guys, thank you so much for chatting me. I know this is like, could have been like a pretty hard topic or heavy topic to talk about, but I think you guys handled it beautifully. And for those who are listening, if you have any questions or comments or concerns, you could always email us hello at try interact.

com. Let us know what you think about podcasts, episodes, or a topic that you want to hear. And we will see you next time. Bye guys.

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Jessmyn Solana

Jessmyn Solana is the Partner Program Manager of Interact, a place for creating beautiful and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. Outside of Interact Jessmyn loves binge watching thriller and sci-fi shows, cuddling with her fluffy dog, and traveling to places she's never been before.