5 Easy Ways to Use the Holidays to Boost Your Business
The dreaded and adored holiday season is upon us once again. And as we all rush to reserve our turkeys (not that I've ever actually done that) and hang our lights (or that), let's not underestimate the importance of preparing not just our homes, but our businesses.
Now, you may be way ahead of me. You may have doubled-up on inventory, and put a carefully adorned tree in the store window, but have you thought about all of the additional opportunity that the holidays provide for marketing and networking your business? That's right, I said opportunity.
1. Host a Give-Away - Chances are, everyone around you is running a current mental check-list on who they have, and haven't, bought gifts for yet. Which means, they are also looking for inspired gift-giving ideas. Whats better than just telling everyone about what a great gift your handmade-wooden-spice-rack-slash-bird-feeder is? SHOW them! Give one away (in exchange for a little social-media lovin' of course). Maybe they'll win it and tell all their friends how amazed they are that they ever lived without it! Or they won't win, but they will lay awake at night wishing-they-had-one-until-they-just... buy one. In either case, good for you.
2. Publish a Holiday-How-To - Y'know what they internet loves almost as much as emotionally disturbed cats? How-To's. Seriously. LOVE. Offer your audience something of value. Maybe you teach them how to grow their own urban herb garden (you know, to fill their awesome new spice-rack-bird-food-thingie). Do it well, and do it concisely. And preferably in a smart and well designed graphic, for which you've enlisted your favorite, amazing graphic designer (insert shameless plug here).
3. Create a Holiday Campaign - Here is where having a great relationship with your graphic designer comes in handy once again (shameless plug two). They know you, they know your brand, and they will help you carefully craft the perfect holiday ad campaign. You can run your ads in local publications, print postcards to mail out or hand out. Or you can keep your campaign digital! Have a matching Facebook cover image, promote a post with your holiday graphic, create sidebar ads and advertise with local blogs.
4. Create Gifts - Make your goods and services holiday-friendly! If you offer a service, carry gift cards. If you sell weird hybrid-spice-racks, create a ready-made holiday gift pack. Package it up with some basil seeds, a little pot, soil, and a big red bow. You get the point, make it easy on your customers to pick that item up and cross another name off their list!
5. Attend Holiday Events with Cards On-Hand - The holidays offer up a wide array of work parties, cocktail parties, networking events, dinners, etc. You're bound to be hob-nobbing at some point between now and New Years. Make it worth it. And be prepared. Even as you are dreading Aunt Edna's yearly egg-nog fueled soiree, throw some business cards in your purse. It could turn out that your second cousin's new boyfriend is Head of Acquisitions at WeirdHippieCrafts.com and well, they're looking for one more useless product for their line. Don't leave home without your business cards. And make sure you love them. You should feel like a million bucks every time you hand one over, and if you don't... let's chat (final shameless plug).
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