Over the holidays, many full-time employees enjoy end-of-year bonuses and paid leave, and retailers rake in the cash. In contrast, small business owners and freelancers may be faced with lean times, due to a general slowdown in business.
This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. The holiday season is an ideal time for putting extra “oomph” into your marketing efforts. Remember, it can take weeks or months for marketing to pay off. What you do when everyone else is resting on their laurels lays the groundwork for more business in times to come.
We offer seven tips for boosting your small business marketing over the holidays.
1. Attend and host parties
The holiday season is one of the best times of year to network with others in your community or industry. View holiday parties and events as serious networking opportunities and schedule time to attend them.
You might also consider hosting your own party. Invite clients and potential clients, and encourage them to bring friends. People love free food and drink and if you can combine this with a reason for meeting – like a holiday – your event is more than likely to be successful.
2. Use print collateral
In the days of digital communication, old-school printed business cards and high-quality printed material can make a real impression.
Distribute business cards at networking or social events. Consider printing an eye-catching flyer that you can hand out at your own events or post on bulletin boards.
Also, consider asking local stores to display your business cards or pamphlets. This way, you may benefit from the increased foot traffic that local businesses experience over the holidays.
3. Say thank you with small gifts
You don’t have to be lavish – the trick is to give small but meaningful gifts.
Ballpoint pens and magnets stamped with your company logo are obviously self-serving. Instead, make gifts personal if you can. If you know a client enjoys hiking, for example, offer a small gift that’s hiking related.
Provided they’re thoughtful, even more generic gifts, like biscuits or small bags of chocolates, can be a great way to say thank you and help ensure you stay in clients’ minds for the coming year.
4. Send clients cards, the old-fashioned way
Another simple but effective way to boost your small business marketing during the holidays is to send clients old-fashioned, hand-written greeting cards, through the post or by courier. This shows personal effort and sincerity, and is bound to be appreciated (and remembered).
However, be careful not to assume that everyone celebrates the same religious holidays – rather keep greetings appropriate for people of all beliefs.
5. Capitalise on the holiday theme
You can draw more attention to your business by adding a few holiday touches to the design of your website, social media, email and other marketing platforms. For example, adding a simple Santa cap or bunny ears to a logo or profile picture reminds people what time of year it is and can encourage them to buy from you.
A holiday theme is also a great way to encourage clients to visit your online platforms. Consider using the theme to offer tips, freebies or other deals. At Easter, for example, you might offer a virtual egg hunt, with clients encouraged to hunt for the deal/discount egg on your site.
6. Offer great deals
People are likely to spend more money during the holiday period. Depending on the nature of your business, you may be able to capture new customers by bundling some of your products and services and packaging them as a holiday special.
Remember to use all your marketing channels, especially online, to remind clients when you’ll be having a sale. According to Deloitte’s 2018 holiday retail survey, 57% of all purchases will be made online this year, with consumers researching their purchases on the net before buying.
7. Get a head start
Use free time to schedule important meetings, client appointments and/or follow-up calls after the holidays. This way, you’ll be the first to grab the attention of your clients once they’re back in the office. You’ll also reinforce your reputation as an organised, reliable professional who has their interests in mind.
Two more holiday tips for freelancers and small businesses
Schedule time to relax
Remember that to ensure the longevity of your small business, you must look after your own health too. Make a point of taking some time off so you can relax and enjoy the holiday season, and you’ll likely be more productive once you get back to work.
Time off also fuels creativity, so you’ll be all set to come up with great plans for marketing your small business into the coming year.
Get set up for a great year with office space at The Workspace
If you’re planning for next year, now is a good time to consider the best possible office space for your small business. A professional work environment makes a better impression on clients and can be more motivating than working from home – but it’s important to manage costs too.
At The Workspace, we offer affordable, fully serviced offices and coworking, and all our clients have access to meeting rooms, boardrooms and a range of business services. For more information or to book a tour of one of our branches, call us on 087 059 7777 or contact us online.