What is your experience with Black Friday? Love it, hate it? I have a mixed relationship with it. In some cases, I think it is a completely ridiculous American holiday where we overconsume things we don't need but on the other hand, I love it when my favorite stores have amazing sales and I have a whole list to shop from after spending a day with family and eating turkey.
I have told this story before but my first year in business I decided to do a Black Friday sale and created a course called Crush your Email. In my mind, it was going to be a slam dunk. I am obsessed with email marketing and I know in my core I teach it differently. So I spent all of November creating this amazing course (which ps is now sitting in the Club
or Anti-Social School
) and no one bought it. Not one person.
Why I Won't Do Black Friday Again
If you read the blog from last week
, you would say Holly, it's not your launch, it's your audience, but in this case, I didn't have an audience and my launch sucked. But here is what I learned as a business strategist for female entrepreneurs and why I won't do Black Friday again.
- Ask yourself, how do you want to fill your time? I really value family time and downtime. Especially when I was working full-time and creating this business. I ended up spending that entire Thanksgiving on my laptop and went back to work after a long weekend pretty burnt out.
- 1/4 of all retail sales occur on Black Friday. Which means you are competing with huge marketing firms and businesses. On average most consumers get 121 emails a day. On Black Friday weekend, you get 10 times that. Do you think your emails will stand out? That's an honest question I ask myself. Can you compete and do you want to compete with these huge companies?
- And finally, a strategy question. Are you giving a discount (insert your Black Friday deal) because you feel you have to? And are you actually making money? What is the value of the time you are spending vs what you are making?
How to Stand Out
Now, I will caveat all of this by saying, this time of year is the time to sell. Consumer buying behaviors are high and typically are more open to purchase. The trick is to stand out. So how do you do it?
- Create your own holiday. I was recently on the Cubicle to CEO podcast. My recommendation was instead of doing Black Friday, create your own holiday. We will be doing a pre-Black Friday before Thanksgiving, taking advantage of the season but working around a schedule that works for me personally. That's the beauty of running your own business. You are in control. Launching your business holiday during a non-traditional season lets you stand out and avoid the hiked-up prices of advertising spent during seasonal rushes.
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- Don't start from scratch. If you do want to do Black Friday or create your own holiday, my advice is don't start from scratch. Is there something you can bundle that you already have? Can you pre-sell something that starts in the new year? Better yet, is there something that you can add on for current clients? Remember that customer experience? If you don't want to sell to the whole world, what can you offer your current clients? But also remember, the number of emails people receive is 10x. So think of ways to make your marketing stand out. Can you connect with clients individually? Going back to point #1 can you get a head start and do it before Black Friday or after? Can you just pick a random date and make it your own holiday? You get the idea, but bundling things you already have makes the process much easier.
- Last but not least, don't wing it. I have been there, done that. I have said "Oh I am not doing anything for Black Friday" and then the emails start flowing in and I get analysis paralysis and think "Oh she is doing it" I should too. If you are in one of my programs I would remind you of what your boundaries are and why you created them. But also, kind of sort of effort gets kind of sort of results. Think about what you want to launch and why you want to launch it. Be strategic about the decision and then follow through.
It doesn't have to be fancy. You could say "I want to try Black Friday, I am going to send 5 emails, schedule them ahead of time with something I already have, and be done."
But be intentional. And make sure you recognize where your time is going.
I am super curious. Are you doing Black Friday? Creating something new? Bundling up something special? Did you plan ahead?
Looking for more on this topic and your High-Level Action items? Check out the Strategy Lab in the Crush the Rush Club!