In our new “Lockdown Lessons” series, we’re asking marketing, communications and content specialists in Europe to weigh in on the impact of the global crisis on their businesses and share key takeaways and steps to move forward. First up is Ryan Turner, founder of Amplifi Strategy, an agency specialized in building marketing funnels based in Madrid, Spain. His focus is helping consultants and coaches increase their lead generation, sales and client retention through digital tools.

How has the lockdown impacted your industry and your clients’ industries?

It’s been super impactful. I have a client that has a large plumbing company in London and his company’s activity has come to a screeching halt. With regards to my own business, I’ve actually gained 3 clients since the start of the pandemic and am working on some pro-bono work to help those affected by COVID-19. For a limited number of restaurants that have had to close, I’m offering my services for free and helping them set up an online delivery system without having to rely on expensive platforms like Deliveroo or Just Eat.

How has your work and daily life changed since the onset of the crisis?

The biggest impact has been that I haven’t been able to see my kids since this whole pandemic started. My wife and I decided to take them to my in-law’s ranch near Castellón – 3 hours away from Madrid by car – as soon as schools closed. We had the foresight (and possibility) to take them to the countryside a couple of days before the lockdown kicked in. We miss them terribly but at least they’re not stuck in doors in a small apartment in the epicenter of the virus. They have fresh air, space to run and play, and are isolated from the nearest village by at least a kilometer. We speak to them everyday via Skype or Whatsapp and although we miss them, we realize it’s better for them and for us. We’re lucky to have my in-laws.

Since we don’t have the kids at home, I’ve actually been able to be super productive. I’ve been lucky enough that my business has not been very affected by this. I specialize in Sales and Marketing funnels and work 100% online and from home. My company has actually invoiced more during the month of March than January and February combined. I attribute that to the fact that people are looking for digital solutions to their business. I am still keeping a daily routine, which is absolutely essential. I wake up early, get dressed, and do 30 minutes of mindset work, before scheduling out my day and reading for at least 15-30 minutes. I do all of this before I begin work, just to have a clear mind and idea of what I want to achieve. The only aspect of my day that really has changed, is now I exercise in my house. Two or three times a week I do Crossfit online classes with my Crossfit Gym that started offering modified workouts on Zoom. It’s been great.

Had I known this was going to happen, I would have invested about €4k in Zoom’s stock. I used the program before the pandemic, but could have never predicted how much use I’d get out of it. Way more than Skype and Google Hangouts. 

How are you preparing your business for the coming months ahead?

I run an agency model for my business. Like everyone, I’m really concentrating on increasing my digital presence. It sounds weird that a digital marketing agency like mine wouldn’t have these things already implemented, but this is what happens often in business. We build for our clients before we build for ourselves. 

Now is the time for me to dedicate some heavy man-hours to my own agency and I’m currently developing some ready-made marketing funnels in Spanish that will be available for purchase directly on my website. This will do a few things. But mainly, it will allow me to loosen up the pressure on my custom projects. Having a 100% on-demand digital product will allow me to offer a great product that’s ready for sale right out of the box, giving me more time and revenue to deliver the absolute best service I can for my one-to-one clients. This is really the future of how my business will need to run in order to scale. 

What do you hope to achieve as a business in the coming months?

I have revenue goals and professional goals. My company’s goals are revenue-based, but the ways to achieve those goals are very personal. Better productivity, less distraction, better service and continuing to improve my mindset through positive goal setting is key. My long-term goals (past the one-year mark) include hiring my first full-time assistant.

Have you noticed any changes in the way business is being conducted in Europe or beyond? 

Europe is catching up to America in terms of doing business online.

I think this crisis is practically forcing Europe to catch up to America in terms of taking business online. Amazon sales are at holiday-season levels in Spain. Whatsapp use is up. Internet use is up, connectivity is up across Europe.  Businesses that aren’t dependent on physical interaction, have adapted to a new way of thinking. I think the question is whether this will be a long-term trend that fundamentally changes how business is conducted or whether businesses will leave this new model as soon as the pandemic has calmed and everyday life returns closer to “normal.” 

What are the top 3 most valuable tools you’re working with right now?

  • Kartra
  • Stripe
  • Ergonomic workspace that maximizes productivity

What are 3 professional takeaways that you’ll carry with you after the crisis has passed? 

  • Don’t ever take anything for granted.
  • Change likes to happen abruptly (things like to stay the same until one day they just aren’t)
  • Be adaptable and flexible.

What advice do you have for others in your industry to get through these times even stronger?

Don’t give up. Humans are incredibly resilient beings that are designed to be resourceful and collaborative. Besides your health and the health of your loved ones, there is nothing that can prevent you from surviving and thriving besides yourself. Whether you’re a healthcare worker or a business owner, you shouldn’t sell yourself short, because finding strength in the face of adversity is always better than wishing for a different past.

You can connect with Ryan Turner on LinkedIn and check out his company Amplifi Strategy