The holiday season is upon us, and with it, the temptation to give in to end-of-year slump. If you were thinking about taking a break from freelance marketing until New Year’s, think again – a lot of other freelancers will be thinking exactly the same.
If anything, the holiday season is an excellent occasion to up your marketing ahead of next year, so you can reap the fruits later in 2022. Surely your mental health should take precedence, and if you feel like you absolutely need a break, by all means do; but if you still have some of that energy left before Christmas vibes truly kick in, here’s a few pieces of advice to help you impress your clients (or prospects) this holiday season!
Don’t book more than you can handle
This may sound counter-intuitive in a list like this one, but you really should pay attention to your schedule. Ensure you have plenty of time to slow down during the core of the holidays, and perhaps take a few weeks off between mid-December and early January.
You may think it doesn’t matter and Christmas is just a day like any other, but if you end up working during the holidays, you will pay the consequences with your own mental wellbeing. It’s not great to be working when everybody else is having a good time, empty house or not. Believe me, I’ve been through that.
Block out a few weeks when you’ll know exactly that you won’t be available to do or take in any work, then let your clients know. We’re in early November, so it’s the perfect time to send out that email. Thinking ahead is key!
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Your clients will have some very specific needs this holiday season. Be proactive and reach out to learn what those are. If you’ve been working with them for a while, it’s likely that you’ll already have an idea and can make suggestions to better organise your time around your holidays.
Send them a quick email to learn more about what they’re planning to do during the holidays. Is it a quick social media design? Is it a post, an illustration, a very quick sale? Show them your genuine interest in helping them land more results this Christmas, and you’ll be off to a good start to deliver those projects in time. Maybe even ahead of their actual deadlines.
Make something special
Last year, one of our top 3D artists, Paul Gawman, sent a beautiful 3D-modelled holiday card to his clients and contacts. I have reasons to believe it was not the first time – and in fact, many agencies and companies in the industry find it appropriate to send around holiday cards to their clients.
Illustrators and graphic designers may want to come up with something similar to surprise their contact lists – a simple, heartfelt gesture to put your craft into good use and make something unique. Use your skills to create something specifically for a small email to send around to your client list; that same email is also a perfect chance to ask for some last projects before the holidays, or to let them know about your availability for the next months.
It may not bring in much new business, but it will certainly strengthen your relationship with your clients, perhaps make them smile a bit. And if you really can’t make it with a bespoke holiday card, why not buy them a small Christmas gift? There’s no way they can resist thinking about your services when they need help with their next project.
Image credit: Amir Abou Roumié
Set up some special holiday offers
Everybody runs sales on Christmas. They’re a good chance for retailers to get rid of some leftover stock, and perfect for customers wanting to strike a great deal. Then why shouldn’t you do the same for your clients?
Don’t overdo it – usually a 5–10% discount will be enough, especially if your clients already pay a premium. A simple gift certificate like this can save them hundreds, and you can be certain they will jump on board if they need your help. Additionally, if you’re usually struggling to find new clients in the holiday season, this little change in your marketing strategy can help make up for the quiet month.
I lost count of how many times I repeated this, but if there’s one thing that Covid-19 has taught the industry, it is the value of authenticity. When it comes to freelance marketing during the holidays, you should always be yourself and follow your own guts. If you feel like giving a bit more to a good client, do it. If you want to send a text on Christmas Day, ship them a special gift or set up a giveaway on socials, nothing should stop you from doing so.
Small touches are what truly make a difference in holiday times. Add some holiday candies to your logo, maybe some snow and a Christmas tree; make some special graphics, illustrations or animations for your social channels, maybe publish them on your website too. Let your clients and prospects feel the Christmas spirit.
Even if you don’t bring in much new business this November/December, at least you’ll have some fun trying – and your freelance holidays will be much more memorable.