Timeline: Written Post Black Friday 2017. Applicable for anyone disappointed in how their online promotion went.
Black Friday. Small Business Saturday. Cyber Monday. There’s a name for EVERYTHING now in the marketing world. But that doesn’t mean it has to be for you.
I was scrolling through some of my favorite online business Facebook groups this weekend after doing my on online shopping and seeing post after post of business owners disappointed in their Black Friday sales results.
After putting hours and hours of work into graphics and copy and emails and setting up special sales pages, their results were dismal. 1 or 2 sales only. Or just like any other day.
It can really crush your spirit to put so much into a big promotion only to have it flop. I know. I’ve been there too. In fact, you can’t really call yourself a business owner unless you’ve ridden that ride.
During the holiday season, the pressure is ON for businesses to sell, sell, sell and, presumingly to even HAVE a special offer. So it’s natural to feel like “Oh my goodness! I need an offer!”
But, maybe you don’t even need an offer? Maybe this isn’t the best way to promote your business? Maybe an offer can actually HURT your business?
Here are some ways to help you make that decision.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Preparing a Special Offer
- When reading about how to promote on Black Friday and feeling all convinced you need to do it, stop first and ask yourself…..what is the intended audience of that article? What types of businesses are they targeting? They may not directly state it but look at their demographic and decide if you fit it before following their advice.
- Where did most of my sales come from in the past year? It can be easy to get caught up in the rush of prepping those specials (at the expense of extra time from your family by the way) and forget that this weekend won’t make or break your business.
- Think about what happened on your past promotion weekends. That same feeling of “everyone is prepping Black Friday so I should too” can give you amnesia about your past year’s results. Look them up and trust your gut!
- Do I want to cheapen the value of my products and services with a special? How will everyone who paid full price feel about my sudden price drop? Like they were cheated?
- What will my audience expect from me on this weekend and how should I talk to them about it? (whether I plan an offer or don’t!)
- Will my audience even be online during this time? Or will they be focused on family, friends, food and fun? Maybe it’s better to NOT contribute to the noise in their inbox and pay double for Facebook ad traffic during this weekend.
Who does Black Friday – Cyber Monday work well for?
Clearly there are BIG REVENUES made on this weekend. But for who?
- Large audiences, large volume of eyes on your products.
- Physical products with enough margin to withstand the price cut
- Someone strategically using this weekend to fill up a services queue and not market again for the rest of the year (i.e. booked ahead services so YOU can holiday over the holidays) —–> Virtual Professionals this is you!
Most of those who are striking it rich on Black Friday have been planning their Black Friday promos for months in advance. Not just the couple weeks before.
If you’re feeling the pressure suddenly only a couple weeks before, it’s probably not the right promotion season for you.
If you are running a Virtual Professional, Coaching or Consulting Business and feel like you need an offer during this season make sure you do the following:
- Align it with what is going on in your audience’s brain during this weekend. They may not be ready for an intense decision on a high end program. But they may be ready to commit to a lower dollar service to “try out” your programs.
- Don’t eliminate your profit UNLESS you have a great upsell offer behind that in December to convert them into.
- Don’t attract a different low-pay audience that will never opt-in to higher dollar services.
- Open it for a longer time period that just Black Friday
- Make it SIMPLE on you and on them. These services should make someone’s life easier and better and that starts with how they get in on your offers.
See how this article wasn’t about what to put in your ad copy? Or the best converting offer page? Those are VERY important IF you decide to run a promo. But the first step is the decision. Make smarter decisions by first thinking of the strategy and approach.
This method is at the heart of my Holiday Business Accelerator program as well.
It’s not a Black Friday offer. It’s a holiday program of hope and help for online business owners like you. You can join until December 10th.
We’ll walk through my methods of strategy and business design and THEN with the right strategy get on into implementation. Because, thinking and not getting stuff done doesn’t get you anywhere!
So relax about those holiday promos. Maybe it wasn’t right for you? It’s ok. Fail faster and move forward to what DOES work. And accelerate into the new year with the right plan in place for your business.