Right about now, everyone is super focused on the upcoming holidays. If you’re not selling inflatable snow globes or candy canes, this can be a painful time of year for service professionals. But you don’t need to sell such things to survive. You need a couple tips for seasonal marketing.
So grab yourself a hot chocolate to sip while I walk you through a few ideas.
How to Get More Clients
It’s time again for holiday glee, gingerbread, and neglected service professionals. While everyone is focused on holiday shopping, you still need to get your clients to order services, or else land new leads.
1. Make Yourself Known
Reputation goes a long way. Since your business is doing such a great job, share it! It’s not bragging, it’s proving that you’re doing something right (in a word, it’s advertising). If you had a particularly excellent experience with a client, get permission to publish about it. Use your social media accounts and get your content team to publicize the experience.
Encourage social media reviews. The internet is there to bite you or boost you. These days it’s impossible to hide from online reviews, but that’s not a bad thing. Welcome reviews and even request them from clients. Your social media accounts allow clients to rate you for the public to see.
Online marketing is a very effective vehicle for seasonal marketing. Lead generation is the act of generating potential leads. It’s not cold calling. It’s already cold enough during the holidays. It’s using information given to you by the lead and responding to their interest in your company. It’s warm calling. They asked for it.
Reputation goes a long way. Since your business is doing such a great job, share it! It’s not bragging, it’s proving that you’re doing something right (in a word, it’s advertising).
No, lead generation is the act of getting the client or “lead” to know you, interact with you, and become interested enough to supply you with some form of contact information, whether an email address or phone number, or signing up for your services online. It’s meeting the client halfway, without harassing them. Cold calling is stone cold dead. Authentic business relationships and trust are key motivators in today’s professional services.
Need some lead generation ideas? They don’t just pop out of the air. Lead generation can be complicated because it’s a developing process, but it’s so exciting.
First, your social media accounts and marketing campaigns should all be directed at sealing potential clients. Link everything together. Your ads should lead right back to your signup form to make it easy for new clients to get on board.
Simplification is best. Use your online resources to publish your information and signup forum, but don’t overcrowd your sites with too much. Spark the interest and let potential clients come to you and your sales team to answer any questions.
2. Offer Unique Seasonal Promotions
Be there for the late-comers. It’s not a sin to be late. Sometimes the holidays make people so thoughtful for others that they forget about themselves. What do your clients need that is often neglected by service professionals? Last minute deals aren’t as common as you’d expect, especially not in the professional service industry.
This time of year is difficult for finding work, especially when other businesses have a sale or holiday discount. But not many other businesses offer discounts on their gift certificates. A surplus now for a discounted service in the future? Clients can buy a gift certificate for less than the value of the certificate.
It’s a business procrastinator’s dream. Just kidding. It’s a small but highly effective move. It’s something your existing clients will be excited about and it’s good if you’re concerned about how to get more clients. Think about it. You’re already doing this at the end of the season when you’re discounting all your overstock. This is backwards design, except you get paid long in advance.
Not only will these seasonal promotions catch the eyes and ears of your own clients, but certificates are popular gifts. They’re personal without ruining the surprise. They allow the receiver autonomy. No returns necessary. The ball is in the gift getter’s court.
Aside from gift cards and certificates, dare I say, mail out some coupons? They’re not as personal as a B2C Christmas card, but they’re free money. Coupons don’t guarantee a sale, but they also don’t cost very much to distribute. Plus, they’re a handy marketing technique that gets your name and pricing out there.
4. Stay In Touch with Clients
Every year around the holidays, I’m gifted a Christmas card from the elderly couple that I pay to do my taxes. I’ve never met them. It’s complicated. As strange as I thought this was the first year, I still found it wholesome.
You don’t have to start whipping out Christmas cards to all of your clients, but staying in touch isn’t a bad idea. If you reach out to them, you remind your existing clientele that you’re there and you’re necessary and beneficial to them. Your business is there and open for business, whenever they need. Kind of like those dentist calls I’ve been dodging for two years. Maybe super necessary for me, also desirable business for them. But I have caller ID, suckers. You’ll never catch me.
In terms of relationships with your clients, you could offer referral benefits. Get your clients to spread the word about your business in order to gain incentives. What was that I said earlier about reputation?
I hate to take an altruistic act and make it about business, but it doesn’t have to be all about business. Volunteering is both noble and fun. The holiday season is a time to give and also a time where – let’s face it – you don’t have very much business coming in. Make some company shirts or hats, round up your team, and sign up to volunteer at your local shelter or food bank.
Volunteer and be humble. It’s not the holidays if you don’t give. And if you get some new clients out of it, isn’t that just the cherry on top?
We hope you have a very eventful holiday season, even if business is at a temporary standstill. These tips should keep you busy, but during your downtime, you could always look into livening up your staff’s spirits with these ideas.
If all else fails, there’s always A Christmas Story.