My first year in business as a freelancer went so well that I decided to stop taking on new work in December – what a mistake that was. At the time, I thought that if I took on new clients and assignments I would be working until the very end of the month without enough time to enjoy the holiday season with my family.
When January began the following year, I got a horrible wake up call – I was broke and because I had stopped marketing my business in December, I had absolutely no new prospects. I really struggled over the next few months to bring my business back up to where it was – there were times I almost didn’t make it through.
So when December rolled around again, I came up with a plan that would allow me to sell my services during the month – taking advantage of the holidays to market my services differently – without having to execute on the work until the New Year. This meant I could still enjoy the holidays with my family and go into January with new clients, assignments and income.
Have a holiday pre-sale
Instead of taking on work that was due in December, I had a holiday pre-sale that I promoted through my email newsletter. People got a great deal on my writing services but were only able to redeem the work after the New Year.
If you’re a health coach, you could easily create and promote a “2013 Resolutions Accountability Program” which would have an enticing price tag if participants purchased before the New Year. The key is to figure out how you can appeal to people’s January needs now. Done right a great pre-sale can keep you busy for months.
Offer gifts for upfront payments
Another way freelancers have taken advantage of holiday marketing is by throwing in something people can use immediately. If you’re a freelance writer trying to book new assignments for January you could offer people a $25 gift card to Amazon if they pay for a certain number of articles upfront.
Make “limited time” price cuts
No one likes the idea of cutting his or her prices because that means losing profit. Nevertheless, a small price reduction during the holidays could result in a lot of extra business. If you’re a web developer, you may market a “new year-new site” deal that reminds people they need to revamp and refresh after the holidays. They’ll take the price cut now and you won’t have to begin until January.
Create a not-so-necessary trade
Perhaps you can offer a trade for your holiday shoppers that will make them want to work with you at the start of the year. For example, if you’re an affiliate marketer online you could offer to “trade” a coupon code with people in exchange for their New Year’s resolutions. This will give you insight into the kinds of products people may be looking for, which will allow you to serve your customers even better. Do you need the trade to give out the codes? Nope! That just makes you look a little cooler in the long run.
In the midst of scrounging for stocking stuffers and doing your own holiday shopping, think about new ways to promote your business. The more creative you are, the more happy your January will be.