Who can we talk to about time travel? Because we blinked back in March, and now itâ€™s already time to start preparing your consulting business for the 2020 holiday shopping season.
The season is shaping up to look drastically different this year, and chances are, so is your consulting business. But believe it or not, these shifts can actually be beneficial to your bottom line.
When it comes to matching your holiday revenue from last year (or surpassing it), start by considering what services to sell online and what your payment options will be.
In other words: What are you selling, and how can customers buy it?
Whether your consulting speciality is IT support, business and social strategy, or human resource and finance compliance (just to name a few), this guide exists to help lock in your upcoming holiday profit.
Now grab your cocoa, wind a thick wool scarf around your neck, and adorn your favorite festive sweater. Itâ€™s go time.
Part I: Carefully consider what the heck youâ€™re selling.
Smart offers mean more buyers. (Thatâ€™s basically science, and weâ€™ll find the fancy lab coats to prove it.) After all, giving people what they want means they give you money in return.
Even though your business has mostly had to pivot online, there are still service avenues to tap into. Theyâ€™ll help you to meet your customersâ€™ needs and make a profit in the process.
1 | Run LIVE virtual at-home video workshops.
You have a very valuable skill set, and your clients would absolutely love to learn from you.
For example, maybe you want to offer a 30-minute online workshop that teaches people how to boost their social media engagement, or an online workshop on how to set achievable future goals for your business.
You can still form invaluable face-to-face connections with your clients through these workshopsâ€”even while youâ€™re social distancing. When you transform your in-person appointments into video consulting workshops, youâ€™re cultivating the same energy and client relationships that come from an in-person class.
Here at Acuity, we integrate with the four popular (and user-friendly) video conferencing and workshop solutions. Weâ€™re talking integrations with: , , , and .
Want a little guidance on getting started with video workshops and Acuity? Weâ€™ve added a free webinar to help.
2 | Create and sell online courses.
Clients love one-off tutorial videos a lot, but they love ongoing online courses, too. Why? Courses give them a deeper understanding of the skills, a schedule that holds them accountable, and a sense of overall community.
Letâ€™s take a look at the social media strategy example from before. Say you offer a one-off workshop that teaches them how to increase their engagement.
The expansion on that might be a 5-part online course that goes a little like this:
Module 1 | Why social matters matters to your business.
Module 2 | Choosing the best social media platform for your audience.
Module 3 | Sourcing high-quality visual content, like pics and videos.
Module 4 | Crafting the captions so they start a conversation.
Module 5 | Keeping the bond between you and your audience going strong.
If you decide to create and sell online courses, Acuityâ€™s got you covered. With just a couple of clicks, you can set up a series of automated emails that are specific to each service type.
From your Acuity dashboard, go to Thatâ€™s where youâ€™ll plug in your send schedule and map out the content for your course thatâ€™ll be delivered in each email.
Handy tip: Donâ€™t forget that you can host big files (like long videos) on popular file hosting platforms, and then simply link those big files directly in your Acuity follow-up emails for the online course.
Part II: Offer new ways to pay.
From considering offering a sale on your services, to getting your gift cards front and center, if you create new ways for clients to pay, it gives them the flexibility to buy how they choose.
If you decide to expand your payment repertoire, here are three adaptable ideas for how to encourage more clients, clicks, and revenue.
1 | Think about coupon codes & discounted packages.
Staying competitive during this (extra) competitive time of year means you might want to get crafty. (Not literallyâ€”no glue required.)
It all starts with customizable coupon codes. With Acuity, youâ€™re in full control of the discount details, from when the codes expire to how many times they can be used.
For example, you might want to offer $10 off your live consulting workshop to the first 10 people who email you . By setting your codeâ€™s limit to 10, the code will be invalid after the 10 winners have redeemed their discount.
Itâ€™s a great way to keep your calendar full of clients, while also showing them you care.
2 | Explore virtual tip jars & donations.
This might sound wacky, but you have clients who are so devoted to your consulting business that they donâ€™t actually want a discount. Theyâ€™d rather support you during the holiday season, and get a little something for themselves along the way. Let them pay you!
Plus, giving clients the option to tip you virtually or make an additional donation can help offset the â€ślossâ€ť from discount codes
If you want to let clients leave a virtual tip on your services, the setup is still simple.
3 | Get gift cards going.
Right now, a lot of people are buying gift certificates to show financial (and emotional) support to their favorite businesses. Itâ€™s a great way that we can all come together as a community while still maintaining social distancing.
If youâ€™re not set up to offer gift certificates, youâ€™re not giving clients the opportunity to show their holiday love (or snag a gift certificate for themselves to use later on).
Offering gift cards during seasonal sales means people see them as a better value. After all, theyâ€™re able to redeem the gift card for more services, which seriously sweetens the deal.
It takes about two minutes, and is a total win-win for everyone.
Part III: Sip on a cup of cider & spread the word to your people.
Once youâ€™ve nailed down what services to sell online and how your clients can buy them, itâ€™s time to share your booking link with your email list, social following, and the rest of your network.
To copy any link or embed code you might need, go to Client Scheduling Page > Scheduling Page Links. Your clients are looking for ways to work with you, so make it simple to book your services. Your people are standing by.
No matter how you decide to do business this season, we know one thing for certain.
Our holidays are happier because youâ€™re here with us. #cheeseballs
P.S. What do you call a snowman who crossed paths with a vampire?
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