On the 1st of November I got a calendar reminder on my phone.
It simply said “Stock up for Christmas”. It took me a second to understand it as I am definitely not the type of person who starts buying presents and turkeys in November.
This was a reminder I set in mid December of last year.
For those of you who were not here, and those of you who don’t remember, December last year was catastrophic in terms of sales. It was awful. Sales dropped across the board in all categories. On the forum there were countless posts wailing about not having sales. It was in that scenario that I decided I would be better prepared for December next (this) year.
So this post is about stocking up for December. It has a variety of tips and things you can plan for the month of December. Of course, you can use them at any time of the year but my focus is on December.
When you don’t have work, it is easy to fall into the cycle of watching TV, munching on snacks and checking your messages every couple of minutes desperately hoping for even a spam message so you can take some of your frustration out on them with a cutting response. This is not productive. It earns no money. It will depress you.
When you KNOW IN ADVANCE that you will not have much work then it is really up to you to plan for that time. This is called being professional and it is one of the requirements of being a successful full time seller.
So what to do:
Here are some things that I have considered for December, I’m not going to do them all.
I have bought a 40 hour online course that I plan to complete in December. If you visit sites like Groupon, Living-Social etc, you will find many of these at highly discounted prices. Beware, some are useless and outdated but some are extremely useful. Why not learn the basics of a new language, how to use Wordpress or even something non-business related, a new personal development skill (maybe knitting?). For those of you who don’t have the money to buy one, go to Alison.com and try out some of their free courses. Be careful there though, some are absolute rubbish so don’t waste your time if you feel it is not helping you learn. Babbel.com is great for learning language basics.
I have signed up to do some volunteer work. Volunteer work can be anything. You could offer your skills to charities for free or simply go collecting for them around Christmastime which is a big fundraising period for most charities. How happy will they be to see someone who is available all the hours that others are not? (I also suggest you do something like this year round as it is a great way of meeting people and getting out of the house).
I have sent special offers to some clients (not from Fiverr), offering them special rates for orders to be carried out from 10-20th December. This may encourage some with larger projects that are not time-sensitive and they must order before November 30th to get the special rate. This way I can plan my time better.
You could take a break, go on holiday, spend some time with family or relations you haven’t seen in a while. Plan it ahead though, as many people are exceptionally busy at that time. Perhaps you could go and help them with something, take care of your nieces and nephews for a day to allow their parents to go do something (if you are really good, you might get a Christmas dinner invite in return )
Do a project for your business. To do this you need to be disciplined. It may be that you have been putting off writing a book (guilty), creating/upgrading a website for yourself, creating a blog - why not write 6 months worth of posts while you have the time, then have them to post over time. Make the most of your time, plan it well, stick to a routine, give yourself goals to achieve each day.
If you are an expert/particularly good at something, go to local community/business groups, job-seeker programs, schools etc and offer to speak or do a presentation for them during December. I have done short talks and discussion groups in schools for students, telling them about what I do, giving them ideas etc. In Ireland, students do a transition year between Junior and Senior cycles at age 15ish. This is to help them decide what they want to be/study in the future. They are given work placements and the opportunity to start their own small business during this year. Giving a talk about marketing and discussing it with them, answering questions etc is really rewarding. I even got two clients from one of these classes. One was students themselves who hired me to look over their business plan (yes I did take their money - they need to learn how the world works!), another was a parent who needed work done on a website. If you really pushed it, you could give “info handouts” with your name and contact details and hope that parents see it! All with teacher’s permission of course.
I am sure their are countless other things you can do, these are just some of my ideas and plans. Now that I have warned you and advised you, there is no excuse for posting loads of “I have no sales” posts during December!
Take a positive step, be a professional, be organized, be successful!