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Do you want your shop’s sales this holiday season singing to the tune of Silent Night? I didn’t think so, lady. You want it to be jamming out to Jingle Bell Rock and seeing dollar signs, am I right?

I don’t have to tell you that this is the busiest time of year with the biggest bang for your buck! Basically, all your hard work creating products has the largest pay off once that calendar rolls past October 31st. I’m not kidding when I tell you that more than 60% of shop owner’s total yearly earnings are made during the holiday season. The closer we get to the end of December and it’s as if the entire world appears with their credit cards in hand ready to purchase more gifts than they can fit in their car. And if you are a shop owner, you want to be ready to welcome them with open arms!

If you are looking to attract new customers, gain traffic to your online shop,  get more attendees at your craft fairs and boost those sales then creating a holiday marketing campaign is an absolute must.

This is your chance to stand out from the crowd!

The small business world is a lot larger than we think, especially when you include all the online retailers available nowadays. During the peak gift shopping months of the year consumers are faced with so many choices on who to buy from. It’s your job to remind them the answer is YOU! Get out there and remind the world (1) that you are there and (2) that you are exactly what they need.  Take some time to think about all the things that makes your brand special, then create a marketing plan that plays up those exact characteristics.

Have a goal in mind and stay focused.

Writing content and creating marketing for you brand isn’t much different than creating your actual product line or business model. Regardless of which one you’re working on, you should know the why behind what you’re doing in order to place your focus where it is best utilized. Ask yourself what it is that you are trying to accomplish and how can your marketing help get you there? For example, if the main goal this holiday season is to spread the word and gain attendance at your craft fairs then you would want to make sure you were creating a good variety of graphics to share on the social media channels where your local/in town customers spend the most time. Don’t get caught up in posting a million things just for the sake of posting, but really challenge yourself to be intentional with your marketing.

Fishing for more sales over the holidays? Well make sure to cast that line out far and wide!  

(OK, so I’m using a fishing metaphor, but it works here I swear!) New customers are out there and they are shopping for their friend, sibling,  mother, pet sitter, hair stylist, ex-boyfriend’s dog- you name it! And guess what else? You might have the perfect gift they didn’t even know they needed-  you just need to let them know you’re there! Make it a point to use the kind of verbiage that isn’t just exclusive to your “in the know” customers and try reaching people through different platforms. You can also set up a small paid advertisement budget through Facebook ads or Instagram to can get you in front of new eyes by targeting specific audiences.

Don’t forget about those familiar faces either! The ones that have already realized how awesome you are and have bought from you in the past.  The holidays are the perfect time to remind them that you’re there if they need your product or services again. Reach into the archives to pull old email addresses or phone numbers of previous customers and wish them a happy holiday season and let them know what events you’ll be selling at and any new products you’re offering. You can choose to offer a returning customer discount code or a special freebie if they order again.

Grab a calendar and start planning!

Keep in mind any special dates for holidays or major shopping days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. (Grab an all-inclusive list here of popular shopping/holidays.) You want to be part of the buzz gearing up for these special dates that bring out the most shoppers during the holidays season. Schedule social media posts and send your email promotions in sync with these calendar milestones for the biggest turnaround.

Don’t forget about staying on brand and being festive.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – so act like it! Get people excited and feeling in the spirit when they see your shop announcements, paid ads, social media posts, etc. You can stay on brand using your colors, prints, fonts and other special brand flavor but feel free to play around with some festive elements as well. You can find free holiday stock photos online to pull in from websites like Pixabay and Ivory Mix and create tons of free graphics on Canva to use for diverse needs. (If you’re unfamiliar with Canva you can check out a tutorial here.) Since this is the busiest time of year when most people are on the go, make sure to design your elements to look good across mobile devices, as this is often how things will be viewed.

Make it fun and grab their attention.

Everyday there are a slew of advertisements fighting for our attention and during the holidays it can feel relentless. Take the time to create a marketing strategy that doesn’t feel stale or like just another advertisement. Use your brand voice to keep it unique and show customers what you are all about while adding some fun into the mix.  You don’t have to share post after post of your product or services either. Nobody is a fan of endless self-promotion so think outside the box and put something of value out there too. I promise you, this will make all the difference! Your marketing should plant some ideas in people’s heads that make them see your product as having a story behind it and with a function for their life, not just a purchase.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Set up a giveaway on your social media accounts and maybe even collaborate with other creative shop owners to offer something exciting
  • Create an early bird promotion code for shoppers or announce free shipping for a limited time and give them a way to share the code with their loved ones online
  • Send out an email campaign to subscribers and previous customers wishing their families a happy holiday and include your market dates for the season and let them know how much you’d love to see them
  • Develop a few different marketing graphics with tips on something to do with your product line (i.e. decorating a holiday table using your ceramics, kid approved healthy meals if you sell organic dressings and dip, creating holiday party outfits with your accessory line, sustainable gift wrap ideas if you sell holistic and natural bath and body items, etc.)
  • Record behind the scenes videos on your social media of you working on new product or setting up for your next craft market
  • Feature a few handmade items by other small business owners that may compliment your own or be of interest to your same customer. Tag them if you share on social!
  • Go old school and hang up some fun flyers at local coffee shops or leave business cards around town to help stir up some additional business around town.
  • Create a Holiday countdown to get people excited and in the mood to shop. You can remind them of your last day for shipping in time for the holidays if you’re an online shop owner

Plan ahead to maximize impact and avoid overwhelm!

The holidays are busy enough without having to worry about posting a million things on social media and sending a bunch of emails each week. Save yourself the time and hassle by getting organized and scheduling out any marketing you’ll be sharing. You can do this manually by creating a schedule from your calendar or use a free automation service like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule any social media posts. This frees up your schedule a bit while also removing the risk of forgetting to post.

Always remember that people like to buy from people, not businesses. Use your holiday marketing to remind both existing and potential customers that you are a PERSON! There are hands and a heart behind every product you offer and there is such a beauty to that. I hope you have a wonderful holiday selling season! Check back over the next two weeks as this three-part series continues on the blog to help give you some extra motivation and tips to boost your sales these next two months and end the year out strong!

Comment below or shoot over an email if you have any questions on how to market your way through the holidays after today’s post!


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