Working Smart Tips for Holiday Marketing

Working Smart: Tips for Holiday Marketing

Guest Blogger Lifestyle Holidays, The World of Work

Today’s post is a guest post from our friend Keri Jaehnig, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer over at Idea Girl Media. Knowing that many of our friends are small business owners themselves, I’ve asked Keri to share a few pointers on how to best implement holiday marketing whilst keeping your sanity and business intact. 

Here’s Keri…

Thank you for inviting me to be part of your holiday tips post! I’m sliding into home at the bottom of the 9th, but here we go…

We all want to put our best foot forward and optimize our efforts. What I see quite often is entrepreneurs going for “more” in what they do, rather than making the most of what they do. In other words, working smarter, not harder.

If I had to narrow it down to three tips to survive the holiday marketing season they would be:

1. Be real-istic!

Take a look at your personal calendar and your holiday calendar and be honest about what you can accomplish. If you don’t have a BIG promotion like a Black Friday, Cyber Monday or clearance sale, and it looks like you would be running from behind to get it done, consider not doing it.

Instead, run a special coupon in your email newsletter for something a bit more do-able by you and your team. Make the decision to make relating with your customers your priority, and really nail the customer service. Consider doing a follow-up promotion in January with customers that ordered something specific or shared with a friend. In the long run, this may benefit you more than driving yourself nuts to do something half as well. (If you’re going to do it, do it well).

2. Schedule what you can

This may seem obvious, to some. But I’m talking about really giving your posts some thought and being READY! Schedule tips and curated content well in advance – even through the end of December. In turn, you can be available to respond online to those that engage with you doing this busy season.

3. Follow-up

The most important step! Take your holiday marketing plan into January, and follow-up with your online community. This could be a good time to host a webinar about something new. Alternately, try deferring some of your efforts into this month and do a clearance promotion. Or, survey your peeps to see what they liked and would like better next year. While you still have their attention – Keep It and capitalize on the opportunity to gain extra revenue and/or valuable insight.

Every business will call for a different plan. The key is carefully calculating your plan and then working it well.

Next week, Hope Stanger will be walking us through her top three tips to keep you healthy over the holidays.

About Keri

Keri is an award-winning Social Media Marketing & Content Strategist for business brands, public figures & nonprofits. She’s been helping business brands, nonprofit stakeholders & public figures – that value their online reputation – to achieve social media success worldwide since 2009. For a more visual interpretation of Keri’s tips, head over to her SlideShare Presentation. We’d also encourage you to connect with Keri on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where she shares her expertise selflessly.


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Comments 98

    1. Welcome to the blog, Saidah. Prescheduling is a good idea. I do it too for Fb & twitter and even that takes time. So the key mst be planning & prioritizing.

  1. Love the emphasis on doing what you can and not stretching yourself to the point of being overstressed. The key is to find a consistent and workable marketing program that engages and draws people in throughout the year. Enjoyed the guest post and thanks for offering some smart tips for holiday marketing that we all can use.

    1. So pleased Beverley that you enjoyed the guest post. As we thought about our readership, so many are small business owners, we thought Keri would have some great tips, and she did.

    2. Beverley,

      Entrepreneur do like to see success, and often they over-commit.

      My recommendation is to make notes on the holiday 2016 calendar now with realistic comments of what is achievable and things to watch out for in the future.

      Hope that helps – Thanks for your comment,


    1. Welcome to our blog Brenda Niemeyer.I’ve personally worked with Keri J. and she is as realistic and practical as you can get. She walks the talk and plans her stuff.

    2. Brenda,

      My recommendation is to make notes on the holiday 2016 calendar now with realistic comments of what is achievable and things to watch out for in the future. Then, every holiday can be realistic and enjoyable into the future… 🙂

      Hope your 2016 is going well,


  2. Such good advice! It is so easy to try to do too much, especially at this time of year. Getting things done ahead of when they are necessary works well and being realistic is the best tip of all.

    1. Renee,

      There are several tools for scheduling – Just pick one and go with it.

      Once you are able to pre-schedule, you can spend more time engaging with your fans/followers.

      Hope that is helpful.

      Thanks for your comment,


  3. Scheduling is such an enormous help during the holidays. It’s really good advice to remember not to overdo things and be prepared to let go of some ideas, or at least modify them, to avoid getting too stressed.

    1. You are so observant Carol Rundle. Last year I hardly saw anyone for two weeks being active in social media.Long vacations are wonderful, but I do think you want to maintain a presence thru scheduling. I’m sure you are planning your red hot January.

    2. Carol,

      I like the way you think – Red hot January!

      You are right that entrepreneurs will sometimes give up during the holidays. More often I find they try to do too much to ensure a level of success.

      Hopefully these tips puts those that read this post in a position of good balance for future years.

      Thanks for your comment,


  4. December is the time when I’m getting my ducks in a row to make a happy start for the next year and I make it a point to let my list know what’s afoot as well as the special deals or offers. Being realistic is important. We are human after all.

    1. Brittany,

      Your words: “It’s so important to keep your brand up all the time.” Truth!

      Glad you found this post helpful.

      Thanks for your comment,


  5. One of my biggest issues is being real-istic about what I can get done! It’s strangely comforting to know this happens so much it’s one of the three tips. I’ve just re-organized my promotional activities due to this, and felt a bit deflated for having to do so. But that passed as the ‘working smarter’ became apparent.
    Thank you for this!

    1. Susan Mary Malone, I knew you were a smart lady. It does make sense to reflect and take action on an expert’s wisdom. I too, like to think I can get it ALLL done, and that is so not realistic. What it usually does for me is less sleep and a headache, oh and a backache too. I’m sure your organizational shuffle will be terrific, as is.

    2. Susan,

      Thank you for your comment!

      All entrepreneurs struggle with balance as most are driven by the success in the adventure of their business.

      It sounds like you’ve gone through some pretty natural phases, and your holidays and your business benefited from that.

      Work smarter, not harder, as you said above!

      Hope your 2016 is starting off well,


    1. Patricia,

      Smiling here… You’re exactly right!

      Hopefully you had a wonderful holiday season, with a business realistically planned, and you’re acing your new year as I type.

      Thanks for your comment,


  6. Roz,

    Thank you for featuring my holiday marketing tips at your blog! I hope these are helpful to others, and to you.

    The holidays can be so overwhelming for business owners, but it does not have to be. 🙂

    Looks like you’ve got great things going on for this holiday season — Congratulations!!



    1. Thank you Keri, for your sage advice. Having read the comments, I know they were useful and appreciated tips for our readers. The two most addressed tips was about being realistic and scheduling to maintain a presence.

  7. Great suggestions, all of then a fantastic advice but especially like the last one, Follow up, take what you are now into 2016. So often people stop something on Dec 31 and start something new on Jan 1. They lack flow from one year to the next.

    1. Excellent add Heather Cameron to create a flow to one’s marketing into the new year. I have that covered thru our blog calendar. Will check other aspects of our marketing. Thanks so much.

    1. Shaylee,

      Hope your holidays were happy and you were able to get the scheduling done.

      Wise investments of time go a long way.

      Here’s to success in 2016,


    1. Lisa,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      My recommendation is to make notes on the holiday 2016 calendar now with realistic comments of what is achievable and things to watch out for in the future. Then, you’re smooth sailin’ for future holiday seasons.

      Hope your new year is beginning well,


  8. Good tips all. I plan my posts in advance on a spreadsheet so that and follow up is pretty much second nature, but your point about being realistic is a terrific reminder because, like so many women, I often wake up in the morning under the false assumption that I am Superwoman. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Well Marquita Herald, I still have not been told I am not superwoman. Some days she doesn’t operate at mock speed but for a woman my age she is darn good. She has been my hero lady since childhood, so I cant give her up just yet. Being realistic is hard on those of us who like variety, adventure, accomplishment, creativity.

    1. Diane,

      The most important step in any process is follow-up. Hopefully you were able to plan something easily and realistically and your 2016 is off to a great start! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts,


    1. Joan,

      Thanks for your comment.

      As I’ve recommended to a few others, my recommendation is to make notes on the holiday 2016 calendar now with realistic comments of what is achievable and things to watch out for in the future.

      Then, you don’t have to remember and you won’t potentially forget challenges you experiences this year.

      Hope all goes well in your new year,


  9. Oh, yes, let’s be Real-istic!! Good intentions are wonderful, but sometimes they just make us nuts!! This is a great post from Keri, Roz – good reminders to put our work in perspective: plan for what we can do, not we think we should do.

  10. Being realistic is the best tip, in my opinion. You need to rest and relax, do it. You feel you want to work hard, do it. You feel that you want to take it easy and mix some work with some resting, do it. What works for you may not work for somebody else, so be mindful and follow your own path and the guidance of your circumstances.

    1. I love your approach to idea of being realistic Delia Rusu. We all have different levels of what we can accomplish & not feel stressed. Heppy Holidays to you and your family

    1. Liz Benoit Cozby, I use Buffer to schedule twitter & started using it for other platforms. Very pleased with it. And I’m not fond of structure but scheduling really worked.

    2. Liz,

      Once you get into scheduling posts & updates, it will become second nature. Then, it’s easy to engage with your fans & followers.

      Ask your web developer about plugins at your website that can help you with scheduling for your blog.

      Hope this helps,


  11. Hi Roslyn, Great & practical tips for busy business owners for the holidays. Planning is something I always talk with my clients about – plan your work and work your plan. It’s awesome and amazing when this is done – though sometimes I know it’s simpler said than done.

  12. Love these tips, especially about scheduling and following up…time management is not my strongest skill, but I’m working on it! We ran a last minute Cyber Monday sale, which meant only four hours of sleep and lots of stress for not enough payoff. I’m completely in agreement with planning ahead or abandoning marketing ideas. No reason to work yourself silly when there are alternatives and other opportunities. Good advice!

    1. Meghan Monaghan, we had your experience last holiday season. tried some last minute marketing and had disappointing results. This year, we worked with a coach and we see the benefit of a total strategy & approach. Happy Holidays.

    2. Meghan,

      Glad you had an opportunity to work through a Cyber Monday idea and process and make important notes for future. This will surely contribute to future successes.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts – Hope 2016 is going well so far…


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