We’ve reached November, the final 2 months of the year. If you’re like me you’re in the the northern hemisphere this means hunkering down on long winter evenings with a log fire as the days get colder and the shorter. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, well, I can only imagine the abandon with which you are opening windows and pealing off clothes…
Either way, November signifies the rapid approach of Christmas.
Yes – It’s time! As a small business owner, you need to start thinking about your Christmas marketing strategy as soon as possible.
Before I started my own business, I would be horrified at any mention of Christmas before we’d at least got through Halloween and bonfire night. But if like me you have a product business you want to get featured in the Christmas gift guides, or a service business you want mentioned in those exciting ‘New Year, New You’ roundups, then if you leave it until November you’re actually cutting it a bit fine.
Most of the big glossy magazines work to at least a 3 month lead time, and they may even have started getting their Holiday gift guides together in late August.
But if, like me, you’ve left it a bit late – fear not! There are still plenty of opportunities to get your business featured in the press this Christmas and New year, or to get your products into those all-important Christmas gift guides.
So, here’s my rundown of techniques you can use to get featured, and a few ideas to get you started. I’ve split this guide into tips for product businesses, and tips for service businesses.
How to get your product in Christmas gift guides:
- Even if you’ve missed the deadline for the big glossies, you can still contact local papers and magazines, who will be producing round-ups of the best gift ideas. Target the weekend supplements and contact the editor to find out if they are planning a gift round up. You can do this over the phone or via email – just make sure you keep it nice and personalised.
- Offer to send them a sample if appropriate for your biz – this is a great way for editors and journalists to really see how great your product is.
- Have some decent high-resolution images ready to send with a description of each of the products you are sending for inclusion. This is vital to success – do NOT scrimp on this step!
- Hit Twitter – it’s a goldmine of shout-outs for people looking for editors, journalists & bloggers looking for products to include in Christmas round ups.
- Target the bloggers. They are a fantastic way to get your business out there in front of more of your dream clients – try to target blogs who’s readership is likely to be similar to that of your target market. Twitter is a great place to find bloggers too. I’ve just recently launched a bloggers outreach program for my jewellery business, Bristol Papillon, and after just 3 Tweets I already have 3 fashion bloggers on board. If you’re interested to follow along and see how the techniques I use are going, head on over to my Facebook group of Biz Stars where I’ll be posting regular updates.
How to get your service biz in Christmas and New Year round-ups
It can seem a bit harder to get your service-based business into the press at this time of year, it is after all traditionally the time of giving. But it’s also the time of year when people start thinking about regeneration, rebirth, out with the old and turning over a new leaf. If you run a service based business, particularly as a coach, holistic therapist or wellbeing entrepreneur, then there are lots of opportunities to promote your business.
- Target a few key blogs or publications and send them a targeted pitch with your idea for a story – remember to keep it nice and personalised, don’t just send the same pitch to lots of different people.
- More and more people are turning to experience-based gifts. Considering offering gift vouchers or vouchers – the perfect way to unwind after a busy winter.
- Think about how you can add value for the readers of blogs and magazines – people are often looking to get healthy and improve their well-being in the new year – what tips and techniques could you offer to share?
- Contact editors with 2 or 3 ideas for stories or guest blogs that you can provide. If you’ve missed the dealine for print publications, it’s worth contacting the online editor as most magazines have blogs which run alongside it now, and due to the nature of the internet they are looking for more content more frequently.