Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
People are bombarded with marketing messages during the holidays every year. It's the spending season, after all. But this year, in addition to all the competitive holiday advertising, you face a recession. People are cutting their spending. How do you make customers aware of your small or home business and willing to buy from you?
It can be hard to draw attention away from the big spenders who have enormous marketing budgets, but remember that your smallness is a plus. You can offer personal service and meet your clients’ needs in a more efficient, effective way and that is what everyone wants now! You care and it shows. Caring is a fabulous selling point and always will be.
So, your job in promoting your business during the holidays is to remind your clients and customers and partners and associates of who you are and what you do. (Which is the essence of marketing, anyway.) So, that when they need your product or service, they know how to find you. Remember the whole "buy local" push and take advantage of it by marketing in your own town.
Here are some ways to promote your business during the holidays. You’ll find these inexpensive ideas easy to implement, even in your already busy schedule and a tight budget.
Create a Tip Sheet Everyone is looking for help during the holidays. Think of ways you and your business can help ease the stress of the season. Don’t just say “We offer gift certificates”, but show them how your gift certificates are a perfect gift for Grandma or their teenage niece. Include a free recipe for a holiday goodie. If you can tailor your tips to your business, do so! For instance, a wedding planner can offer tips on the perfect winter wedding, a real estate sales person can give tips on selling your home during the holidays, and an interior decorator can tell people how to decorate for the holidays on a budget.
Magnets are great promotional items. I love them. You can get magnets with a calendar for 2009 which people will use all year long, or just get regular magnets with your contact information and slogan or unique selling point on there. It's also a great idea to create magnets with tips or other information important to your clients. If you are a personal trainer, put your top three exercises on there. If your own an organic grocery, put five benefits of eating organic. If you make jewelry, list the meanings of colors or gemstones. These things will catch attention and will be saved for years.
Write Put the same information you put on your tip sheets and your magnets and anything else on your website, in your newsletter, your blog, your social media sites, your podcast, or anything else you use to communicate. Send a free article to your local newspapers, magazines and even radio and tv stations. Create flyers with your information on it and distribute in areas where your target market goes—colleges, dry cleaners, grocery stores, and so on.
You can probably spend a couple of hours creating some powerful marketing collateral now and then a couple more hours assembling and distributing it within the next couple of weeks, right? It will totally be worth the time you take now to jazz up your income during the next few months. And, it beats the heck out of sitting back and waiting for the big bucks to roll in! (Remember, business is not a "field of dreams"--if you build it, they will not necessarily come. You have to market a business!)
Click on this link to get great, inexpensive magnets -- On Sale! 50% Off All Magnets - All Sizes
Read Writing Articles to Market your Business for more info on getting the word out about your business and bringing in more customers.
And, there are tons of holiday marketing articles in the Marketing Section--to get started, check out the ones listed in related links below.