14 Smart Holiday Marketing Strategies for Service-Based Businesses

14 Smart Service Business Holiday Marketing Strategies

The holiday season is fast approaching, as is the opportunity to significantly increase your revenue before year-end. Product-based businesses often enjoy a boost in sales as consumers look for physical holiday gifts, but service businesses can take advantage of this time of year with the right marketing strategies. To find out how, we asked Young Entrepreneur Council members the following question:

“As the holidays near, what is the best way for service-based businesses to take advantage of the upcoming season? Why is this particular approach so effective?”

Service Business Holiday Marketing Ideas

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Incorporate Bonus Hours Into Your Packages

“Offering bonus hours instead of a discount might be a good way to sell some of your higher-tier packages. If, for example, you sell services that typically would requisition about 20 hours, offering a bonus of five hours for the 30 tier might be a better way to secure that contract.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

2. Show Clients How You Can Help Them Reach Their Q4 Goals

“Consumer-facing businesses often earn 50 percent of their annual revenue in Q4. Think of how your service might contribute to that goal and hone in there, offering capacity and after-hours support. If direct selling during this the focus, there’s a good chance they’re gearing up for the following fiscal year with plans and budgets, so focus efforts and be part of those plans.” ~ Eng TanSimplr

3. Create Helpful Content

“Many of our server hosting customers experience their busiest time of year during the holiday season. It’s the worst time to have IT infrastructure problems, and also the time problems are most likely to arise. We invest in content and customer support to help customers prepare. The extra effort generates excellent word of mouth and the content brings a lot of additional traffic to our site.” ~ Vik PatelFuture Hosting

4. Have Enough People to Help

“In preparation for our busiest season, we make sure we have enough staff on hand so that we don’t overtax our current employees. We want to make sure that we are well-rested and prepared to meet the rush of clients.” ~ Rachel Beider, Massage Outpost

5. Volunteer

“The holiday season is all about giving. We offer a hand to local charities and to those that are less fortunate. We do it because it is the right thing to do and we have the ability to help, but it is pretty remarkable how much doing something charitable has helped our business. Through our volunteering, we have met future clients and gotten plenty of referrals because of the work we have done.” ~ Adrien SchmidtBouquet.ai

6. Hold a Contest

“The holidays are a great time to hold a contest and give a lucky winner your service for free. Share your contest on social media and make it so people have to tag a friend, like your photo, and follow your social media account to be entered in the contest. You’ll start forming a buzz in no time.” ~ Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

7. Be Flexible With Your Employees

“For many product-based businesses, the holiday season is the most hectic and crucial time of year. This is typically less true for service-based businesses. While it may not be the busiest time for your business, it can be for your employees. Being flexible with working hours, offering additional time off and allowing team members to work remotely can boost morale and show employees that you care.” ~ Thomas SmaleFE International

8. Partner Up

“One really interesting way for service-based companies to leverage the holidays is for those small business owners to partner up with a competitor or two to offer a combined discount or other joint promotion. That’s an excellent way to boost revenues, expand your potential customer reach and drive sales when consumers are likely to spend more.” ~ Andrew SchrageMoney Crashers Personal Finance

9. Focus on Reducing Holiday Stress

“Service-based businesses should tailor their marketing to show how they help consumers outside of the office. A housekeeping service might show how they can make the holidays easier by reducing the stress of tidying a home in time for guests, or a SaaS product might talk about how nice it would be to have everything squared away at work so you can take a stress-free break over the holidays.” ~ Ryan D MatznerFueled

10. Offer Coupons

“When it comes to shopping online (or offline), people want coupons. This is one of the best ways to steal customers from the competition. With so much competition already out there, this is a must if you want to compete against the big players.” ~ Zac JohnsonBlogger

11. Create a Holiday Package

“One great way service businesses can leverage the holiday is by creating a special package. For example, if you own a salon, you could have a New Year’s Eve package to get people ready for their special event. The package could include hair, makeup and free champagne. Think of fun things that you can bundle together that will be a special treat to your customers.” ~ Jared AtchisonWPForms

12. Provide Gift Certificates

“Service-based businesses sometimes need to work harder during the holidays as people think more in terms of buying physical products as gifts. Gift certificates, however, can make great gifts. Whether you issue actual cards or do all of your marketing online, emphasize the benefits recipients can enjoy by receiving your service as a holiday present.” ~ Kalin KassabovProTexting

13. Create Brand Ambassadors

“During the holidays, many people want free stuff, so they opt-in for giveaways all the time. Instead, why not make them a brand ambassador and treat them well? That will go a long way with their friends and family. It’s not worth acquiring new customers all the time; it’s better to build loyalty and use it to get new customers via recommendations.” ~ Sweta Patel, Silicon Valley Startup Marketing

14. Say ‘Thank You’

“The holidays are a great time to thank your customers. For service businesses, in particular, this is a theme of the season with customers offering bigger tips and businesses end of year bonuses now a common thing. For any service-based business, it’s also a nice opportunity to reconnect and thank your customers.” ~ Baruch LabunskiRank Secure

Photo via Shutterstock

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.