When your business is based in providing services to your clients, it can be difficult to picture how you might offer something special for the holiday season. The challenge is in the packaging… When what you offer is largely intangible, how do you wrap it up in ribbons and bows?
Here are 10 ways to be festive with your service-based business:
- Offer a bonus product or discount for anyone scheduling services in the New Year. The holidays can easily get in the way of looking into January and beyond. Help your clients plan ahead by offering something special – a small discount, an add-on service or an extra session – if they book before year end.
- Schedule next year’s services at this year’s prices. If your prices go up in January, offer a special opportunity to your current customers to book ahead. They get special treatment, and you get end-of-the-year sales.
- Let them in on the down-low. Use the holidays to provide a preview of coming attractions. Announce your new services and offer special pricing to customers who sign up before the end of the year.
- Gift them with an end-of-year checkup. This can be especially effective for pulling old clients out of the woodwork! Send a special note to all previous clients to let them know that you are available for a check-in before the end of the year. If your business tends to wane in November and December, this can be a great pick-me-up for new business with old clients.
- Offer a special downloadable eBook or blog post: In what ways do your clients look at and think about the holiday season differently than they see the rest of the year? How do their challenges, priorities and needs shift? Bringing this information to light and answering some seasonal FAQs can help your clients understand how your services fit in during the holiday season.
- Sell gift cards: The holidays are for sharing. Help your clients share their good fortune of your services by purchasing them for someone else! If yours is a business based on referrals (and most businesses are), this is a useful tool for helping your current customers refer others to you.
- Reach out to new clients with coupons: Reach new clients through social media by offering a special holiday discount or an add-on service through a trackable coupon. The social media environment makes it easily sharable. You might want to clarify that the coupon is only for new customers and then encourage current customers to help you spread the word. (“If you are a current customer and like our services, please share this coupon!”) Be sure to identify an expiration date to promote a sense of urgency!
- Give your clients a peek behind the holiday curtain. Especially if you don’t tend to let them see what’s going on behind the scenes, this is a great opportunity to show how your employees or your family celebrate the season. (Instagram and Facebook are especially useful for sharing spontaneous photos.) It’s ok to set aside the business image every now and then and show your human side. This is authenticity at its best!
- Decorate your website and social media sites. Holiday-oriented social media icons, add a special seasonal message on your home page. Facebook cover photos, Twitter backgrounds and Pinterest boards offer great spaces for holiday images. Don’t just do it once… change it up each week and keep the online party going!
- Celebrate! Opening your doors to celebrate the season will generate buckets of goodwill! Invite your clients in for a holiday open house and spend some casual time with them. First and foremost: It’s ok to be human in front of your clients. In fact, it can engender trust and support your long-term business relationship with them.
When you run a service-based business, the holiday season offers a fantastic opportunity to reach out to clients and prospects in ways that aren’t available at any other time of year. Identify the best holiday packaging for your product and then break out those ribbons and bows!