26: How to Make December One of Your Biggest Months of the Year

business course creator tips digital course strategies entrepreneur holiday sales how to scale your business increase profits podcast Nov 23, 2022
How to Make December One of Your Biggest Months of the Year
 

Depending on what you sell, the holiday season is a time when many online business owners see a decrease in sales. As your clients and customers focus on the busy season and spending time with their families and friends, how can you make the most of the last month of the year? If you want to know how we turned one of our lowest sales months into one of our highest of the year, this is the episode for you.

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Transcript:

As I'm recording this episode, Thanksgiving is only a few days away, so please let me take a moment to say Happy Thanksgiving. I am truly thankful for all of you. Our podcast listeners, those who are students in our programs, our coaching clients, everyone in our audience who is connected with us, our mentors, our peers, we are just so grateful for you. And I thought this episode would be so timely, and it may feel a little late for some because December is not that far away. But please know that you can take some of the ideas I share today and implement them right now.

So, if you're hearing this in November and you're thinking December is right around the corner, how can I implement some of the ideas Lydia just shared? Just pick something. Don't end the year thinking, well, it was what it was, because it isn't over. The year isn't over until it's over. And what I've learned is there are always ideas that we can implement to give our business a boost of revenue.

Now, many of you are probably thinking right now about Black Friday. There is so much training out there, so many resources out there, and articles, and podcast episodes about how to run an effective Black Friday promotion in your business. And depending on the type of online business you have, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Week, all of these things are amazing opportunities for you to get your products, services, courses, coaching programs in front of others. In fact, it's one of the only times that discounting certain things that you don't normally discount makes sense. It's acceptable, right? And so, I hope all of you do have something planned for the Black Friday, Cyber Monday week. But what I've seen is many business owners work super hard on their Black Friday, Cyber Monday promotion, and then they think okay well that's what that was and now we are going to plan our next thing for January, completely skipping over the opportunities that are in the month of December.

So, today I want to share with you how we changed from having our second lowest month in December of 2020, it was our second lowest month of the year that year, to having our second highest month in sales in 2021. So, it was definitely a major shift in mindset, in planning, in strategy, and I want to share all of those top tips with you today. So in 2020, right at the end of that year, we were really on an amazing momentum train,  going through  three launches that year. I had just launched my business in March of 2020, did a challenge launch in March and then in July and then in October.

And everything was going great and I was going to do one more launch before the end of the year, but November 22nd, 2020 I came down with Covid. And so I do have a reason why my December was so low and it definitely kind of kicked me in the butt to get ready for the next year because November of that year actually was my lowest sales month of the year. So, to have my two lowest months of the year in November and December was very disheartening. I felt like I had lost all this momentum. You know, obviously when we're sick it does take something out of us. It actually took me two months to recover from Covid, and I felt like I had lost all my momentum. My whole business had come to a halt. But I will tell you it ended up being such a blessing in so many ways because from that experience, I realized at the start of 2021 that I needed to create more than just the courses I would live-launch quarterly.

And I started creating evergreen products and courses that I could sell at any time. And typically, you know, people who are building a brand, they're building their business and they're able to scale their business, are launching a main course or product or program again and again. And there's so much reason to do that. But having evergreen products that fulfill a need for your audience allows you to sell something even in between live launches.

So, start of 2021, I really started listening to what my audience needed in their business. And as a digital systems coach and somebody who loves to launch with challenges, my audience is typically struggling with the tech. So, I kept hearing people saying, "You know, I love Canva. I use Canva, but my Canva account is chaos. Please help me organize my Canva. Help me learn how to use that tool more effectively." Or I would hear them say, "I have Kajabi. I want to use it to deliver all of my courses, but I'm stuck. I don't know how to create, you know, the brand that I want, but most importantly how to market effectively to sell my new courses." So, they had questions about Kajabi. Other people were asking me about my live videos that I was doing through Ecamm.

So, over the next few months of 2021, I took the time to create what I would call starter courses or a spotlight course, meaning it's a course specifically about one tool, one system, one thing that you want to teach that gets your audience from point A to point B. And that's what I did in 2021. I just created different products. I would take a few weeks to create them and record them, or I delivered them live. It's my favorite way to create a course.  In fact, one of the courses I created that year was Maximize Your Mac. And I just put out a message in a couple places on social media and said, on a scale from one to ten how much do you feel you're maximizing the benefits of your Mac? And so many people said, I'm only at one. I'm only at two. And just by doing that, I realized there was a need. People wanted to know how to better utilize the features and benefits of their Mac.

So, sent out an email, put out some social posts. I'm going to be doing a live workshop that walks you through how to maximize your Mac. And just by doing that, the first time I opened up that Maximize Your Mac course, I earned over $5,000 in a week just for basically producing a live workshop. That workshop I then packaged up into a product that people could buy at any time, and that became an evergreen course for me.

Now, if you go on my website, banishbusinessclutter.com, and click on the Programs tab, you can check out some of the programs that we've created again through the last two to three years. And the reason why I'm mentioning these evergreen products, is because it set us up for the promotion that I did in December of 2021. So, as we were getting closer to the end of that year, I did not have a big Black Friday promo planned. I knew I could not have another December, like the year before.

So, years ago when I had a direct sales business, I remember doing this special December promotion every year called the 12 Days of Christmas. And at that time I was selling a physical product, obviously. And each day, the first 12 days of December, I would put one of my individual products or a product bundle on sale for that day only. And I don't remember how I originally heard about that idea. I'm sure I saw it from another person who was in my organization, but I thought that is so genius. It makes it really, really fun. I even did a special promotion for people who were hosting demonstrations with me the first 12 days of the year.

And I remember the excitement that it created for my customers and hosts. They looked forward to it every year. They never knew what the specials were going to be every December. It was a reason to get to communicate with them consistently. Because obviously I don't normally send out an email every single day for 12 to 14 days. But during a 12 Days of Christmas promotion, it makes total sense because each and every day I was letting my audience know what the special was for the day.

So, fast forward years later, and here I am in 2021 with my Banish Business Clutter business, where I sell courses and some digital products. We sell like a business profitability tracker, and I had a sprint planner that was perfect for people as they were planning their next year. So, we had created all these kind of digestible, small, sellable items. Mostly online courses, but some digital products. And as I was going into December of 2021, I thought, how amazing would it be to take that 12 Days of Christmas concept and apply it to my current business?

So, what we did as a team, my team at that point was me and a part-time virtual assistant. We came up with 12 specials for a 12 Days of Christmas promo. We called it The 12 Days of Christmas Season of Giving, and we sent out an email just a few days before December 1st to let people know that we were going to be, for the first time ever, offering special discounts on our digital courses and products. And each day, December 1st through 12th, they would find out in their email inbox every morning what that special was, but it expired at the end of every day.

I had no idea what kind of response I was going to get, because this was the first time I had ever run something like this. You know, a lot of people in my audience at that time and on my email list probably didn't even know some of the courses and products that we had developed that year. And I thought this would be such a great way to bring awareness to the different things that we have available.

So, we kicked it off and every single morning we had an email go out. We created graphics that said on the First Day of Christmas, on the Second Day of Christmas. And each and every day we varied the product that we offered for the special, and we changed up the discount. So, some things were 20% off, some were 40% off, some things were $20 off. Some things, like we had our $12 planner, we took $5 off, so it was a $7 offer. So, we really had a variety of things. In fact, the most expensive thing we had was a course that I was getting ready to launch that January. And it was going to be $997 but we had not increased the price yet. So, I remember, I think it was the last day, the 12th day, we offered that $997 course at our founding member price for the last time, which was $667. So, that was the highest offer that we had. A $667 course all the way down to a $7 planner. And then we had many, many things in between.

Long story short, in just 12 days of promos, and I'm going to share what I did on days 13 and 14, we generated over $21,000 in revenue. In comparison, our revenue the December prior in 2020 was only $3,000. By the end of December, we had generated over $26,000 because people were still so excited even after the promotions ended that they were contacting me for coaching, that they were continuing to buy our products and courses. So, in 2021 December ended up being our second highest month of the year, all because of the 12 Days of Christmas specials.

So, I share all of this because I want you to think outside the box for your December. What is something new and different and exciting that you can offer to your audience that you have never offered before? And it doesn't matter if you sell physical products, digital products, even Done For You Services or coaching, because let me give you a few tips on this. Let's say you're thinking, I don't have a bunch of courses to sell. I don't have a lot of digital products. Well, you can still do a 12 Days of Christmas promotion, or you can even do a after Christmas promotion. Maybe do something for five days between Christmas and New Year's. You don't have to do this just in the beginning of December. You can also do it at the end of December as well. And you don't have to do 12 days.

You can make this any length that you would like and each day doesn't have to be something that you're selling. Some of the gifts might be a free resource from you or maybe it's a resource from someone else that you're a partner with. This is a great idea for those of you that are partnered with other products or tools that you love. I'm actually doing this with my audience next week during Cyber Week. I already partner with some people and tools that I know are offering amazing discounts next week. So, I'm going to be sending a daily email during Cyber Week to let my audience know about these amazing resources, these amazing promotions, so that they can take advantage of them but then I earn a commission as well as an affiliate partner.

So, there's lots of ways to connect with your audience during these special holiday months. That's serving them, that's connecting with them, that's getting them to take action and buy that offer from you. So, even people who had been on my list for months and never bought anything, some of them were buying like 2, 3, 4, 5 of the daily specials because of the energy and the excitement. They would get their email. They'd be like, ooh, that sounds so cool. And, oh my goodness, look at this amazing price and I don't want to miss out because it expires tonight.

It really was the urgency of each day and the fact that the discounts ended each day, that I think had an impact. But we did offer a special surprise last year on days 13 and 14. We had a few of the specials we decided to reopen for 48 more hours. We didn't open up all of them and we didn't tell anyone we were going to open them up or which ones they were going to be. But we opened up maybe six of them and said, you have 48 more hours to grab one of these six specials and then at midnight on the 14th, they will be gone for good. And it has been an entire year now and we have not discounted any of our items since.

So, I think it's really important to know that the effectiveness of a sale like this, I think really depends on how you are currently running your specials. We normally do not discount especially our signature programs, but our starter courses and our spotlight courses are just perfect for a 12 Days of Christmas promotion like this.

So, whether you implement an idea like this or not in December, I just want to encourage you not to think of December as a throwaway month in your sales. December has many opportunities, even if you think, well, I sell coaching, or I sell courses, and most people are so busy in December that they're not going to want to buy my offer. I want to encourage you not to make that decision for them. People buy things every single day. It doesn't matter. Remember, not everyone is celebrating Christmas at Christmas or not everyone is super busy with family. You can't make a pre-judgment without them. Let them decide. So, all you're doing is putting those offers out there, sharing what you want to share and letting them make that decision. So, think about that for this December.

You can also apply some of these ideas even over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And if it's too late for this year because you already have plans on your launch calendar, no worries, tuck this away for next year and use the next few months to think about what are some offers that I could create to potentially sell to my audience next December.

We really did keep it simple. In fact, some of our specials were as simple as a tracker or as simple as a guide or a checklist, so I just want you to know whether it's a $7 offer, a $50 offer or something that's hundreds of dollars, there are many opportunities here.

So, wondering what we're doing this year for our 12 days of Christmas? Great news. You can subscribe to make sure you stay up to date on all of our daily specials that we're offering this year. We've added so many new features to make this easy for you and of course, we also welcome you to check out how we run our 12 Days of Christmas promo because we think it'll give you a lot of ideas.

You can go to banishbusinessclutter.com/gifts and subscribe for the daily updates, get our text reminders, and bookmark our page where we're showcasing each of our daily specials. So, be sure to bookmark that page, check there every day the first 12 days of December, and we can't wait to see which resource you decide to add to your digital library.

I can't wait to see what you create for your December promotions.

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