Service providers (freelancers, coaches, consultants, physical services, etc.) often have trouble setting up Black Friday promotions because their services may not lend themselves particularly well to traditional discounting.
This can be because of margin (you literally can’t cut your rate by a compelling amount), or because there might be branding implications (you charge $250 an hour, and cutting it to $150 feels like it will cheapen your branding).
Or, it can simply be because you haven’t seen enough examples of how to do it.
So in this post, I’ll walk you through a few examples of different kinds of Black Friday promotions that work well specifically for service providers of any stripe.
Read them through, and see which one(s!) might be a good fit for your Black Friday promotion – or any promotion you run throughout the year.
#1 – Buy a service, get a product
There are a number of ways you could swing this one.
First, you could tie the offer to a product that shares relevance to the service you’re promoting. An example of this would be if I ran a promo saying anyone who hires me for a sales page review & feedback plan gets a copy of Easy-Peasy Sales Pages. Totally connected.
Second, you could do an a-la-carte offer. So if I had a bevy of products – or all of the products in the Karma Store were full price instead of pay-what-you-want – then I could just say, “take your pick.”
#2 – Buy a service, get another service.
You see this one in the world of physical services all the time. Get your windows washed and they’ll throw in screen cleaning or gutter cleaning for free.
Generally, these “bonus services” will be things that aren’t that hard to tack on relative to the gain you get by selling your main thing.
If you’re a website designer and you can throw in a logo package or a 2-hour branding consultation. It’s not that big of an add-on job.
If I were to do this, I could promote a 10-pack of written-for-you blog posts (big job) and say I’ll throw in content planning session (smaller job) for free.
So an easy way to do this is to pick a service that’s easy to perform or that you don’t mind doing for “free” to snag the main gig.
#3 – Offer something new or unique as a bonus.
This can be a fun way to add some surprise & delight to a Black Friday promotion – offer something your audience won’t expect because it’s brand-new or because it’s outside of the services you typically offer.
Example of brand-new: If I wanted to move some website reviews & action plans this Black Friday, I could add-on a new service like “I’ll make your website faster”. I’d announce it as a new service that will cost $X moving forward, but you can have it for free if you order the main service during Black Friday.
Or, I could make it something truly unexpected and unique. So, order the website review, and I’ll give you a 1-hour marketing consultation over Zoom. This can work really well for people who don’t normally do things like live consultations – it makes the Black Friday offer special – they can’t get this unique experience at any other time of year.
#4 – Some form of BOGO.
If you want to take the most simple approach to promotion, you can simply add-on “more of the same”. You’ll have to decide how much more you want to offer, and play around with different numbers to see what feels like a no-brainer deal.
This was Naomi’s standard approach to coaching promotions – the last time she did it, it was “Buy 12 hours, get 3 free”.
This can be an effective way of offering a high-value incentive without discounting rates (which you may not want to do either for branding reasons, or because you’ve recently brought in clients at your regular rate).
#5 – One-time (limited) discount.
That said, there’s nothing preventing you from offering a one-time discount on your rates if you provide some mechanism for limiting it.
One limiter would be quantity. So if you’re a coach, you could offer a discounted rate on a small quantity of hours, like a 4-pack.
That way if you have new people coming in, they can’t get too many hours at a discounted rate, and existing clients have the opportunity to “top up” without feeling like everyone else is coming in on the cheap.
Another limiter would be to only offer it to new clients. Just exclude existing clients from your promotion, and say explicitly that this offer is for first-timers only. (However, you should probably limit the quantity they can buy on this end as well.)
Oh, one more thing – this works especially well if you can tie-in a timely reason for your promotion. That 4-pack of consulting hours could be for “getting ready for the new year”. Any good “reason why” will do.
Even if you can’t give a deep discount, you can still put together a great Black Friday offer.
Service providers don’t always realize just how much latitude they have to offer compelling promotions that don’t damage the perceived value of their services.
But there’s always a way to create an offer that will get potential clients thinking that now might just be the perfect time to hire you.
Good luck, and have a great Black Friday.
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