I’ll raise my hand to say I’ve been a conflicted about whether or not I should be marketing myself and my services right now. No one seems to have a proper playbook about what to do. 

On one hand, does it seem opportunistic to be reaching out to promote myself during the most challenging time in our history; when professionals and companies are concerned about budgets, and layoffs and the safety of their team members.

On the other hand, what will happen if we all just stop in our tracks and aren’t preparing ourselves for the life after COVID 19? 

After asking my online network and speaking to some of my smart and well-respected colleagues, I’ve learned there are two different approaches you can take to ensure your ongoing sales and marketing initiatives are successful: protect and promote.


Typically, investments are based on time or money. If your organization is cutting back on expenditures, invest your time and effort into education and find ways to market both yourself and your organization.

You want to prevent your brand from becoming obsolete. You can do this by staying-top-of-mind and finding the time to connect with your network to reassure them you are there to assist.

Whether or not your organization has to cut back on staffing, by staying connected with your network, you will be more likely to create new opportunities for yourself within the organization (restructuring) or outside of the organization (new company) because you’ve proven yourself to be a go-to, reliable resource who is at the top of their game.

Protect your professional brand by ensuring you have an up-to-date presence that highlights your expertise. 

LinkedIn is the most powerful channel for your professional presence. It’s not just for people who are job prospecting, it’s a brand building channel for networking and sales.


Right now is the best time for you to reach out to your connections to see how you can be of service. Find new opportunities that you’d otherwise overlook. 

Virtual human interaction and online networking can be a very cost-effective way to keep you and your team proactively moving forward.

  • Check in to see how they are doing. Can you provide some tips, insights, assistance with anything they are struggling with right now?
  • Can you introduce two people in your network would might benefit from knowing each other?
  • Be sure you personalize your approach. Sending a general mass emails to your network doesn’t build rapport or trust the same way a one-to-one connection does.

If you have extra time to dedicate to your profile, now is a good time to ensure your story is up-to-date. 

  • Have you looked at your presence through the lens of your target audience to see how they see you?
  • Is your story up-to-date? Is it written to “wow” and fascinate the reader?

By investing your time to balance both the protection of your professional brand, while promoting your value, you will be laying the foundation for months – if not years – to come.


Invest in your professional presence:

Reach out to both new connections and current connections. Set a daily, weekly, and monthly goal with your outreach plan. Connect with me if you need some training and coaching about Social Selling.

Stay top-of-mind. Share relevant status updates, articles and information with your network. You can write your own content, or re-share content from trusted sources such as your marketing team, or *trusted journalists/news sources 

(*If you are in a compliance-based organization, ensure your Compliance partner has approved the material you are re-sharing)

About Leslie Hughes

Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Trainer, Principal of PUNCH!media and author of “CREATE. CONNECT. CONVERT” Leslie was called a "Social Media Guru" by CBC Radio and was featured on CTV’s “The Social” discussing how to manage your digital identity. Leslie has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009. PUNCH!media clients include Investment Planning Counsel, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and TVO. PUNCH!media's goal is to empower through education and help executives gain confidence in their online presence so you convert higher-paying clients. www.punchmedia.ca

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