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Reply To: Hi there. Firstly, thanks for existing! It’s an incredible forum. My business (sole trader) is pretty new. I’ve carved a great niche as a public relations consultant mainly working within the food and wine industry – also a couple of corporate and fashion clients. My business success has relied heavily on the really strong relationships I have with writers, editors and features editors, mainly in the glossy magazine sector. Of course, most of these people have lost their jobs and the magazines have gone. My challenge is finding new places to tell product stories. Wineries want their wine bottle seen. Artisan flaxseed cracker bakers want their crackers in Kia Ora magazine. Well, they did.What I’ve done so far: rejigged my offering to concentrate more on content writing, suggesting thought leadership pieces and blogs to my clients, firmed up some of the relationships I have with food influencers and business editors, connected with the magazines and newspaper insert magazines still producing their titles, convinced one big client to begin their own content channel which I’ll help populate and push to social to tell their stories digitally. Aside from the PR hustle, my best skill is writing. I’m an award winning writer, and a very skilled interviewer. I’ve briefly toyed with the idea of starting a content platform to fill the gap magazines have left behind. I know plenty of out of work writers who could help. However I guess I’m a bit scared at the enormity of that challenge and wondering if I have the mental energy to begin again, when finances are so scarce at our house (my husband has lost 100% of his income and unlikely to recover it). Looking for any guidance, thought, inspiration from you very clever folk.

Morena, really appreciated the detailed post -always so much easier to make useful suggestions with more context.

Sounds as if you are in a tough situation. You want to continue to build your business in your niche. Good idea. Food and bev will recover and you want to be there when they do. But you also need income. Let’s work through some options that balance those two needs.

First, food and bev hasn’t died, just moved. Get on the front foot and consider who is winning and how could you work with them. Fine dining doing takeaways. Can you help them with the content and digital? Can you create some clever PR. Who deserves to have the first dinner from the French Cafe delivered and how can you make that news? Great for the French Cafe and for you (as an example). New World stores are enhancing their offers in their local areas. Can you work with them on content. Does Foodstuffs or Countdown need more out sourced content writing to cope with current demand? Create a matrix of top 100 (nope I’m not kidding) prospects and what you will offer them and work the phones.

Second, short term income that might take you away from your current business but leverage your skills. Government, health, essential services are all looking for support. Have you seen some of the emails from schools? Definitely a few would could benefit from some content support! Again, make another list of 100 organisations who are busier than ever. What can you offer them that would help? Be specific, be targeted, offer value and flexibility.

In the short term you will need to pivot to being a sales expert – selling your skills as a solution to others challenges. And every time you reach out you will be one step closer to a positive outcome. Good luck!