Black Friday, one of the most important events in the retail calendar, is also one of the biggest selling periods of the year. With 94% of UK consumers now tempted by Black Friday offers (Reference: Sectors Donut) and 41% of them looking to find great deals online, it’s understandable that you’ll want to know how (and if) your VA business can benefit too.
Originating in the US during the 1980s, Black Friday would traditionally fall the day after Thanksgiving and was followed by Cyber Monday, as a separate event. However, it’s getting more commonplace for the entire Friday-Monday period to be seen now as one big promotional period for many businesses. This year, it falls on 23rd November – with Cyber Monday falling on the 26th.
For many small businesses, Black Friday can seem overwhelming, especially when you see the insane offers some of the larger businesses are offering. It can be doubly difficult for service-based businesses, as they struggle to decide if it’s suitable for them to even get involved in any form of promotion over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period.
It may have started out as a predominantly retail-based event, but it’s now commonplace for any type of business to get involved. So here’s my thoughts on how you, as VA businesses, can get involved, as well as what things you need to consider, to make the most of this selling period.
Be selective with what you promote for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
It isn’t simply a case of offering a great discount on your existing packages or hourly rates. It pays to be more selective with your promotions. Look at the Black Friday period as a great way to have a one-off sale on those services you’re discontinuing. You can also look to promote your biggest sellers too – it’s a great opportunity to top up your client lists.
Get clear on the type of promotion you’ll run
How you run your promotions during Black Friday and Cyber-Monday is entirely up to you. You can opt to have a different promotion for each day, offer your biggest discount on Black Friday and reduce it by a percentage each day, or run one set promotion over the entire period. What’s important is you know in advance, what type of promotion you’re going to run, so you can market it effectively. You also can then work out how many new clients you can realistically handle – especially if you’re looking to offer deals based on your hourly rate packages. It’s also a good idea to speak with your existing Associates, prior to deciding your promotions, in order to check whether you can all cope with the potential demand.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t just about discounts
When it comes to promotions, we immediately think we need to offer discounts. However, promotions can be anything from buy-one-get-one-free offers, right through to offering add-ons and/or freebies – so get creative with your ideas. Could you offer a new service? Maybe there’s an exclusive automated product or course you could create? How about running a training webinar on something that is an issue many of your clients currently face?
Remember Small Business Saturday!
Another opportunity to promote your VA services, Small Business Saturday is about encouraging buyers to use small and local businesses, as opposed to the larger corporations and stores. It’s a great opportunity for additional promotions during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday period and a great platform to raise your visibility.
Team up with other businesses and Associates
Look to make use of the network you have, as well as your existing Associates, by joining forces and running a joint offer or cross-promoting each others services.
Don’t just limit offers to new clients
One important thing to bear in mind is you don’t want to just promote your services those potential new clients looking for a VA. Your existing clients already know how much you can help them – so why not offer them a promotion during the Black Friday period? It could be a discount, an exclusive new service, or an add-on to their existing package.
Build the expectation and excitement
Whilst we still have a few weeks until Black Friday, it’s a good idea to take this opportunity to start ramping up the expectation now. Use your mailing list and social media platforms to tease about the great deals and special offers, currently in the pipeline.
Don’t get carried away with the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period
Once you’ve come up with some ideas, it’s important that you work out their feasibility, cost and time implications. It’s great offering a huge discount or adding additional hours to an existing package or product, but you don’t want to sell loads – only to find you discounted to heavily and are now working for peanuts. Be realistic in your expectations and honour your time and worth.
Black Friday is an important promotion for any business, regardless of whether you’re a service-based Virtual Assistant business, online affiliate business, or large retail company. It offers a huge opportunity for any type of business to increase sales and build awareness, if you start planning now. If you’re looking for something to help you kickstart the campaign planning process, check out Infusionsoft’s week-by-week Black Friday Marketing Campaign plan – it’s a great way to get focused and on track with your Black Friday promotions!