How To Connect With People During A Pandemic

Guest Post By Cynthia Battino, BHSP, Transformational Healing Life Coach, Energy Worker, Happiness Expert, Certified Vistage Speaker and Host of Sterling Women

How has connecting changed due to COVID-19? A LOT! Right?

Many of us were doing some virtual work, selling some of our products online, but many of us were stuck in face to face meetings, having an office, and shopping at brick and mortar shops. I think all of those things are still great, however, during a pandemic they may be a bit risky and unnecessary.

I had an office in Middleburg, Virginia. I traveled around the country to give workshops for Vistage. I had 1:1 meetings at the Salamander Resort & Spa. Then came COVID and quarantine. It all stopped.

Our lives turned quickly into a really bad B Movie. Shortly after the beginning of quarantine I KNEW I had to change a lot about my business. I had to change the way I connect with my people.

As a Happiness Expert, people hire me because they were referred by a trusted friend or relative, we had a 1:1 and were intrigued enough to do a welcoming session, or they saw me speak at an event and decided to give me a shot as their coach.

How do you connect and create trust if not by meeting face to face? How do you make true connection via the internet?

I found out quickly that the first thing I had to was get rid of my office. Working virtually was a sign of the future. I signed up for Zoom and watched hours of tutorials. I took my live Sterling Women Events and made them virtual. I did my three-hour Vistage Workshop via Zoom instead of flying to Boston.

Connecting online is a strategy.

You must be a bigger than life personality. You must be engaging, funny and charismatic. You must have a plan for your meetings and make sure you bring value. There is nothing worse than having a sore butt from 5 Zoom meetings that day and wishing you had chosen to attend one because only that one was worth your time.

Make your 1:1 meetings about THEM. Not you. Take notes. Find out how you can help them. Use active listening and be curious.

How else can you connect during a pandemic?

VIDEO! I decided to create a daily video blog during quarantine. I started them alone and decided to bring my husband into them. I kept them SHORT – no more than 2 minutes.

With my husband as a part, he made them funny. Each post had good information (me) and humor (him). It’s a good recipe while the world is going to hell and scared to death.

Together we made 75 videos. They checked off many boxes for surviving a pandemic quarantine. It gave me purpose. Made me know I was helping someone who needed it. Made me laugh (my husband always  makes me laugh). The best part was people actually watched them! See some of these videos at You can even follow us on YouTube.

Shift your offerings and pricing.

I wanted to help as many people as I could during quarantine. I knew I wasn’t the only one struggling with over the top emotions and having my finances dry up in a day. I started offering coaching sessions on a donation basis.

This did two things for me. It allowed me to connect with people that normally wouldn’t have hired me, because I was too expensive AND it kept money coming in my bank account.

During a pandemic gratitude and good karma are the recipe for success after the pandemic!

I am not recommending anyone change their business model to a strictly donation basis. I am not even recommending anyone lower their prices. I did and will continue with lower pricing until 2021. Why? Many people right now aren’t focused on happiness, they are focused on surviving. Those are very different needs. I’ll take it one step further. Happiness is a Want. Survival is a Need.

The last way to connect during a pandemic that I’ll talk about in this blog is partnering with other like-minded individuals. Using their platforms and their lists brings you more opportunities.

Writing blogs for professionals who have that forum – like me writing this for Jill Kurtz. I was invited to be on people’s virtual events. I have been interviewed on many podcasts. I was recently asked to be on a virtual conference for people who have experienced trauma.

Trust me. You know A LOT OF PEOPLE. More than you think. Reach out to them and ask to share your wisdom. You have A LOT OF THAT TOO! Again, when on these virtual forums use all of your best qualities and knowledge that make you unique and engaging.

I used to have a sign in my office that said: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” The pandemic isn’t ending anytime soon – so it’s time to learn to dance in the rain. Connect with others and help them dance too!


About the Author

Life coach, energy worker, speaker, author, certified Vistage Speaker, host of Sterling Women and happiness expert; these are just a few words to describe Cindy Battino. Her coaching comes from her intensive study to become a Brennan Healing Science Practitioner. Previously she graduated from George Mason University with a degree in Economics. In 2011 she founded Transformational Healing in Middleburg, Va. Cindy is a teacher by trade and teaches relationship and life skills. These skills are the tools her clients use to transform their lives from a lack of happiness and success in one area of their life to happiness and success in ALL areas of their lives. She specializes in working with high level executives, business owners, entrepreneurs and much more.

LinkedIn Ads Worth Consideration

If you are a business-to-business company, consider LinkedIn ads in your marketing mix. LinkedIn is the most successful platform for capturing quality leads for B2B businesses. LinkedIn ads are more expensive than Facebook and Twitter ads, but they are more successful in generating B2B leads. 26% of B2B decision makers use LinkedIn. Companies that engage through LinkedIn report that over 80% of their overall social media marketing leads come via LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Ad Options

Sponsored Content is a promoted post from a company that appears in members’ LinkedIn feeds. It may include text, an image, a video or a single job posting, and link to a related website of the advertiser’s choice.

Sponsored Content can be identified by terms such as Promoted or Sponsored that appear in the upper left corner of the post, under the company name. Sponsored Content may appear on both desktop and mobile devices.

Text ads appear in the right rail or the top banner of many pages on LinkedIn. These ads may feature text only or may also include an image, such as the company’s logo. Clicking a text ad will take you to a website chosen by the advertiser.

Sponsored Messaging includes message ads and conversation ads. These ads are displayed in members’ LinkedIn Messaging. The target audience is generated based on segments the advertiser has selected, rather than sent to specific individuals identified by the advertiser.

Message and conversation ads appear on both desktop and mobile devices when members are active on LinkedIn. They are identified by the word Sponsored in the subject line.

Dynamic ads change dynamically for each member. Dynamic ads use members’ profile image, name, and job function to create customized ads. Each member sees their personalized information; member profile information is not displayed to other members.

Members can opt out of allowing their profile information to be used to personalize ads.

They appear in the right rail of pages on desktop when a member is signed in to their LinkedIn account.

Set a Budget

LinkedIn’s minimum for ads is $10 per day. Start there and adjust based on results.

You have three ways you can control your spending:

  • Total Budget: LinkedIn will spend your specific budget then the campaign will end.
  • Daily Budget: If you want a longer running campaign but you want to cap the amount to be spent, then this is the right option. The ad will stop once the daily budget is depleted. Then it will resume the next day.
  • Setting Bids: With this option, you can choose the maximum amount you want to pay on impressions and clicks. If you are running an InMail campaign, then you will select the maximum amount you want to spend on delivered InMails. When you set bids, you won’t pay more than the amount you bid.

Research Shows Emojis Don’t Help Email Opens

Nielsen Norman Group recently did some research about those emoji that are increasingly part of the clutter in all our inboxes. I was surprised to find that the research shows that emojis in subject lines increase negative sentiment toward an email and do not increase the likelihood of an email being opened.

They looked at the negative sentiment elicited by an email, defined as the difference between the average number of negative words and the average number of positive words that participants associated with that email.

In general, people selected more positive reaction words and fewer negative reaction words for the emails without emojis compared to those that had emojis. They found that adding an emoji to an email subject line increases the negative sentiment towards that email by 26%.

Overall, key findings were:

  • Emoji emails were perceived more negatively than no-emoji emails.
  • Emoji emails were seen as less valuable than no-emoji ones, but there was no difference in participants’ perception of trustworthiness for these 2 email types.
  • Emojis attracted attention in a balanced inbox containing both emoji and no-emoji subject lines. On average, emails with emoji subject lines were considered for opening more often than different emails without emoji subject lines.
  • Emojis made people more likely to say they would open that email for its visual qualities rather than for its meaning ones.

To gauge how these findings impact your email marketing, see the complete research results.