If your (virtual) cash register isn’t ringing, here are some ideas for conjuring up cash faster than you can say, “On Donner! On Blitzen!” (or make other holiday-appropriate character exclamations).
Here are 7 ways to sell more services this season:
Send a kind e-mail to each and every one of your past clients asking for a referral by X date, and reward them for their efforts if they deliver by getting you clients in time. A gift card, a copy of your favorite book, a pound of your favorite tea, a pair of movie tickets. These incentives don’t cost much, but they’re valuable to your client. For the photographers among you, a free holiday mini-session as referral incentive means these lovely people will have images they want to purchase in time for the holidays — just resist the desire to give anything but the session itself on the house.
Display the number of sessions/services you currently have available on your website/ and let peeps know you’re running out of spaces via your social media channels and in your newsletter. (Hey, having 10 open spots is 10 open spots — no one needs to know that means you have 0 bookings.)
Offer an incentive for booking within the next X days — like a bit of swag (for them) and a free album pre-design (for you) — which means you’ll sell more when they see the album and want to buy. Sometimes those who have been holding off or “meaning to” book your services just need an urgent reason to buy.
Create a “Limited Edition” service that is be your ultimate, can’t-believe-someone-would-pay-for-this scenario. Offer your ultimate fantasy, over-the-top dream package to a handful of people that you had in mind when creating it. Open spots on a limited basis, keeping a wait list so you have cash flow at the ready. (This is how Steer Your Ship got started!)
Branch out and do something you’ve never done. Call it “The Great ______ Experiment” and make no promises about offering it again. If you’re a photographer, try a genre you’ve never done before. A massage therapist? Put your reiki skills to work for a few sessions just to spice things up. Mix and match your talents to create something entirely new for your business. Again, keep that promotion limited and once it fills up, it fills up.
Create a class about fixing a common problem your clients face. 3 hours, a single date, 10 people at $49 each. It’s not crazy cash, but $490 is $490. Save the notes and repeat the class in Spring or Summer. Steady paychecks aren’t always pretty, but they get the job done.
Create an incentive that’s 20% more than your average sale right now. For example, if you’re currently selling $800 worth of products with every shoot, add an accordion album, cards, a few digital files, or an album upgrade of some kind for clients to spend $1,000. Currently selling coaching sessions bundles for $600? Add a bonus and see if you can’t make the $720 (or $800) package look more enticing. Consistently earning more from customers you already have is a fantastic way to keep your cash flow flowing.
Reach out to a local business owner and brainstorm a collaborative event. This doesn’t have to be extravagant or time-consuming — it can be as simple as inviting the store’s top ten clients to a taste of your services, or sampling hot cocoa for a holiday open house. Promote the ever-loving hell out of yourself at the event by offering a booking incentive for deciding to work with you on the spot.
Choose one idea from this list and then get to making the sales magic happen!