Tis the season… for holiday shopping, that is. The holidays are prime season for consumer spending, and there’s no reason why independent contractors can’t capitalize on Black Friday spending just like any other retailer.
Last year, 174 million people went shopping online or in-store over Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. And those shoppers spent a record $5 billion in online sales in just 24 hours. While you may need to think outside of the box as an independent business—unfortunately independents lack the lure of discounted smart TVs, kitchen appliances or computers—keep in mind that it is the time of year when people are primed to spend and you can certainly take advantage of this opportunity.
1. Follow the Crowds
Whether you’ve been working independently for a while or you hope to start a consulting business in the near future, you probably know the importance of marketing your services. On Black Friday, crowds will be lining up to get great deals—so pick a location and get creative.
People waiting hours in line for stores to open are essentially a captive audience. Talk with a store or shopping center manager ahead of time and ask them if you can give away bottles of water, hot cocoa, donuts, or some other small treat to waiting shoppers along with information about your business. If you have any promotional products with the name of your business on them, you may want to consider giving these away as well.
Set up shop in the shop
Eventually, the doors will open, so find out if the store or retail center will allow you to set up a small booth or table to continue giving away these small tokens. Most shopping centers will charge a fee to rent space, but it may be worth checking out the costs as this could mean great exposure for your independent business.
2. Push Business Online
If hanging out with the crowd doesn’t appeal to you or make sense for your type of business, take the spirit of the season online. In 2017, US retailers generated $7.9 billion in online sales from both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Target shoppers looking for deals using online marketing tactics.
Base your chosen approach around a Black Friday or Thanksgiving theme. For example, if you have an existing email list or list of prospects, put it to work by sending out a special offer, coupon, or discount deal that people can use throughout the holiday season.
Embrace social media
You may also consider running a contest or promotion on your social media channels. Check out trending seasonal hashtags to ensure your posts get noticed and ask people to retweet your message for a chance to win a prize or get a discount off of your services.
3. Plan a Marketing Push on Cyber Monday
On Cyber Monday, online deals take center stage. Use your favorite marketing methods (such as the aforementioned email or social media tactics) to ask people to visit your website or social sites to receive a special Cyber Monday offer.
Pursue tactics that worked
As you carry out your sales plans over Thanksgiving and Black Friday, take note of what tactics worked best, and continue those campaigns through Cyber Monday. Holiday shoppers will be out looking for deals, and many retailers and businesses drop their prices a bit more to attract their spending.
The holiday season is a busy time of the year, but it’s also full of opportunities to promote your business. As the year winds down, be as proactive as you can to help your business grow and thrive in the new year.
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