It’s an odd time of year. For some industries and businesses, this is their busiest season, when they make most of their money. For others, especially service businesses or B-2-B, it’s their slowest time of year.
But it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re someone who really would like to get more work in November and December to pay for those extra holiday expenses, here are 3 tips to get you started:
1. Don’t stop marketing. Does this sound familiar? You know your business is slow over the holidays, so you think “why bother” and don’t do anything. After all, no one is interested in buying services now, you might as well wait until January when people have their head back in their business.
So, you cut back or stop your marketing. And what happens? Well, business slows down. (Amazing, isn’t it?)
Then, if you’re one of those business owners whose marketing suffers when you’re busy, and you have a busy September and October, well that’s a double whammy. You’ve basically guaranteed a slow down in December and January.
I know, it seems like you’re competing with a lot of holiday advertising, and it’s true you are. But, because a lot of businesses stop marketing, it’s actually a pretty good time to get in front of your prospects because there’s less of that type of marketing going on.
2. Know what your prospects are thinking about and join in the conversation already going on in their head. So what they are thinking about? The holidays, right? That’s true, but they’re also thinking about what they liked or didn’t like about this year, what they want to be different about next year, etc. Even for people who don’t sit down and do formal planning, there’s still a feeling of closure (for the old) and preparation (for the new). If you can position whatever it is you’re selling to fit that, you have a good chance they’ll want to start the “new year off right” by hiring you.
Now, you might be saying, but everyone says something like that, won’t I sound like everyone else? Well, yes and no. Yes that’s a common message because it resonates so strongly with us as humans. But you don’t have to phrase it like everyone else. By stating it differently or coming at it from a different angle, that’s what’s going to set up apart from everyone else.
Which leads me to the last point…
3. Inject some urgency into your marketing. It is true that because people are spending a lot of money on holiday stuff, they might want to hold off on spending any money on their business until January (and they might not want to even focus on their business until January). Well, the new year is also a natural time to raise your rates. So, what better time of year then to encourage them to hire you NOW so they lock in the old rates?
The trick is to get them eager to hire you because they want their business to look different in the new year, and they better hire you NOW because they want to lock in this year’s rates.
And, you can take this one step further — if you don’t want to actually start the work until January (because you want some time off for partying as well) then have them pay a deposit in December or extend it somehow, where they get extra time for the same price. Now you have money now, you have work lined up in January and your prospects are happy because they’re getting a deal. It’s a win-win-win.