I’ve been in a unique position to see Covid through the eyes of my client’s evolving websites. I’ve seen some companies pivot and change while others double down on what they are really good at.

For those industries that have been hit hardest by restrictions, I’ve seen how crucial it is for these businesses to find ways to change up their rhythm in order to connect with their customers and stay in business. Check out my three tips to change up your rhythm.

1. Sleep

If you want your brain to be sharper, get between 7-9 hours of sleep.

The negative effects of sleep loss on cognitive function—and in particular, on mood and emotional processing—are well known, but how does that connect to your website? Well, if I’m asking you to think about what your users might put in a search box, I need you to start thinking differently. I need you to walk in the shoes of your client. I don’t need all your services lined up in a cute little row, I need you to let your users know that you’ve got it handled.

Brain health is a big business but it’s more than just being sharp – – in 2018, consumers spent an estimated $1.9 billion on Lumosity – a game meant to make you smarter. Their science is flawed and there’s no proof that any of these actually make any tangible change. People do it because it’s fun, not because they won’t get dementia.

“If individuals describe their quality of sleep as poor—if they feel tired and not well rested—their ability to be empathic in unpleasant situations is reduced, compared to others who feel satisfied with their sleep.”

That could have practical implications in a wide range of situations, whether you’re responding to your partner’s hurt feelings in an argument or dealing with a client’s frustrated feelings while fielding a complaint at work. It suggests that you may be less prepared to handle such situations when you haven’t slept well. Chalk up one more reason to make sleep a priority—not only for your physical health but also for your emotional and social well-being.

2. Journal

Glad we have the sleep thing figured out (ok, I know it’s not that easy, but getting enough sleep should definitely stay on your priority list). Now what I want you to do in the morning is to journal for the first twenty minutes after you wake up. Grab a cup of coffee or some water and just write. You can write about your dreams and you can write about why you got into this business in the first place. As you explore your own thoughts you might start thinking about the kinds of questions people have when they come to you and how you solve them. Maybe you could start writing down how you’ve solved specific problems for specific people and why it gives you purpose.

People love to connect to real stories and real situations. People want to know who they’re hiring and they tend to fall in love with small businesses that they support and put up with whatever madness you have them go through to work with you because they believe in you. Allow your clients insight into who you are and what you’re going through if you actually want to keep the client for life.

Tip: Getting overwhelmed by the amount of sharable content? Narrow in and share only a small amount of information that is relevant and valuable. Split the information up over multiple days or weeks or organize it into an easy to skim list.

I think you should write blog posts about your field in a way that will bring people to your site and then have them wind up clicking on one of your services or purchase one of your packages/products.

Once you have blog titles and the general outline of what it is you want to share you can have other people help fill in the blanks with relevant content and references.

You need to create a whole lot more content than you’ve ever needed to before to stay relevant and we’re not going to be the ones who do it for you. We will create a beautiful WordPress website and we’re going to teach you how to use it and then you’ll need to be the one that jumps in and starts making it your own. I’ve made hundreds of websites that didn’t last longer than a year because they thought creating the website would be good enough without creating content for it.

3. Simplify

I went back and forth between having this third tip titled “Give” or “Simplify,” and decided to go with the latter. Give good gifts is my motto around the holidays and that certainly can be extended to the relationship you have with your customers, but gifting a lot is not always the answer. Instead, for the third tip to change your rhythm, simplify.

Give far fewer offerings on your website but make them good. Instead of having 10 really shiny offerings on your website have one really, really good one, and have it matter. You don’t need to give away your secret sauce but make sure your blog posts are actually helpful and not just self-promoting.

Think of the companies you love spending time with. They are constantly innovating and changing how they represent themselves online. It’s fun to log back in and check out the latest launches. Check out companies like Daily Harvest or FitBit, how are they improving this year?

Should you re-release your same product but with a different color and the title of new and improved with a lower price point? People often need to see the same thing repackaged up over and over and over again to help them get it through their brain that they need what you have to offer.

But Andrea, how does getting enough sleep, journaling, and simplifying have to do with my website? That’s a valid point. I know I’m bringing a lot of things together but I think the point of getting enough sleep has more to do with how big of an impact that can have on the rest of your personal and professional life.

We’re in a changing world and finding ways to change your rhythm, take care of your mental and physical wellness and connect on a deeper level to your customers is the only way to make those dreams and goals happen.

Best!