Marketing Your Service-based Business for the Holidays

A lot of businesses will be ramping up their marketing efforts during the upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. Rightfully so, when spending is over $600 Billion, according to the National Retail Federation. While product-based businesses benefit the most during this gift-exchanging holiday season, service-based businesses kind of get lost in the money sauce. If you've been wondering how do you strategically get a piece of that spending pie with your service-based business, we've come up with a few ideas.

First things first, you have to remove traditional marketing methods out of your brain. As a service-based business, you're probably already doing a lot of educating your audience on what you do and the benefits. It's time to bring out the creativity in your approach to increase your bottom line during this holiday season.

1. Cross-Promoting
You can never go wrong when you collaborate with the right business(es). You have the distinct opportunity to market to another built-in audience of another business. You can start with your former or current clients. For example, you can ask them to record a 30 to 60 second holiday-themed video discussing how your business helped them grow their business. Or, create a gift catalog of your client's products to share with your email list and social media followers. To keep costs down, just make it available digitally and/or charge your clients a small fee to be included and donate the money to a local, relevant charity. To get the full effect of this, make sure your clients are sharing with their networks, too.

2. Social Giving
Speaking of a local, relevant charity, giving is always a win. The key is to ensure it aligns and makes sense with your business. For example, if you're a Human Resource consulting company, then you partner with a workforce development organization to raise money for programming that facilitates mock interviews; make sure you volunteer to participate in that organization, too. You include their information like stats and impact and tie it into your business and share on social media and your email list. Or, you can have a percentage of a your services to be donated to that local organization. Or, if you have an event planning business, you can create a gift certificate for your services and donate it to a silent auction for a holiday fundraiser.

3. A Daily Challenge
You've probably seen those 30-day squat challenges or 30-day support a local business challenge on social media. You can create a holiday-themed one for your business. Since it's already November, you may not want to make it a full 30-day, maybe a 14-day one. For example, if you're a motivational speaker, maybe your challenge will include things like asking your audience to post a video saying their favorite one-liner from you. Or, if you're a graphic designer, have business owners post a picture of their first logo or business card design. Don't forget to repost, RT or share and comment/engage with your audience.

Just remember whatever you do, be creative and never forget to educate the audience. Don't get so caught up in the marketing idea that you forget the very reason you're doing it-for exposure for your service-based business. If you need more help or don't want to do it yourself, call Fresh Touch Publicity and we will gladly get in the holiday marketing spirit for you!

Apps that Help Business Productivity

Owning a small business is not easy, especially if your operating staff is limited to one – only you. Multitasking becomes the breadwinning skill you rely on each day. But, if you have a smartphone, you may have a few applications installed and activated that help you hold on to your sanity. We asked several small business owners what were the best business apps that help keep their business running. We’ve narrowed down the responses:

#1: Banking Apps
Be honest, if it’s not your number 2 reason for starting your own business, making money is somewhere in your top 3. So, if you’re in the business of making money, then it is important to know how to send invoices and know how much you’re making…or losing by having mobile banking apps installed on your phone. Some of our top responses included banking applications like PayPal, Bank Of America, Chase, etc. Stay aware and stay responsible with your business finances. It could be the key to opening up new opportunities for growth.

#2: Google Apps
I’m sure you’ve heard this many times before, “communication is key.” But, this admonition isn’t just for marriages and romantic relationships. It is also a core value for building and maintaining business relationships. Many of our respondents understand this and have effectively highlighted many of Google’s communication applications – especially Gmail. One of the best features Gmail boasts is the ability to send and receive messages from email accounts outside of gmail. For example, I can send and receive mail as bkwyattjr@ftpublicity.com through my Gmail account. Cool right? This helps make things a lot easier for my communications efforts. Google also hosts other helpful applications like Google Drive for file sharing, Google Voice for screening calls and having an official business phone number, and of course Google Search for….well searching.

#3: Social Media Marketing
A presence on social media can be fun and engaging for personal reasons. Additionally, social media applications like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram are important business tools for communicating with your target market and drive new business for your company.

Author’s Recommendation
I just recently installed and tried an app that many probably hadn’t heard of yet. It’s called Cloze. Cloze is a relationship management application that processes and analyzes all of your communication and productivity applications. Cloze helps you stay on top of appointments and meetings, following up and reconnecting with customers/clients you regularly talk to, social media management, and contact management to keep your contacts up to date and organized based on who matters most. It’s like Siri, but with a purpose without the gab. Try it, you’ll like it.

Other Apps That Didn’t Make The List:
Bit.ly
This app great for shortening and customizing links to share (and the apps makes it handy to grab them again in the future).

Pixifly
Pixify is great for events because it allows you to see instagram activity near your location.

Evernote
An all-purpose note-taking app.

Genius-scan
A pdf-scanner for your pocket. Both make everyday tasks easier & more manageable

Google Maps
Helps navigate throughout the city so I can bypass accidents or heavy traffic areas.

InstaCollage
Because it edits photos easily and I can make collages of pic at events without having to flood the timeline with multiple single pictures.

@BKWyatt

National Boss Day Video Campaign

FTP Boss Advice Campaign

Share videos of advice received from a former boss or mentor. Videos should not exceed 2 minutes. We are using videos to upload to our youtube page for inspiration to our clients and/or future clients and supporters. Submit videos to jmonroe@ftpublicity.com. or tag us on social media using the Hashtag #BOSSadvice by Wednesday, October 16th 9am.