Maximize your holiday season income with tips from Upwork and Fiverr
Every industry has its high seasons and its low seasons, and the world of the freelancer is no different. The trick is knowing when your moment in the limelight is coming and grabbing the opportunity before the competition does.
The trouble is that you can’t pull out the big marketing guns all the time or you’ll waste your entire budget on self-promotion. So how do you know when to swoop in? By looking towards the experts, the big data, and the trends of previous years and the current season, we can gain some valuable insights.
The weeks leading up to the holidays have proven time and time again to be the most lucrative periods for freelancers (as it is for many other industries), so this is where you should focus most of your energy. Check out which niches are in demand during those busy pre-holiday prep times so you know when you need to up your self-promotional game – remember, you want your face to be front and center when the clients come calling. Then read up on the marketing tips you can use to put yourself before the competition.
Here are three areas in which freelancers are particularly in demand during the holiday season:
- Customer support: According to freelance marketplace Upwork, demand for customer support agents who specialize in chat support, Zendesk, and email handling surge during the holiday season. This is only natural since most businesses want to increase their support options and capabilities to accommodate the higher-than-normal volumes of support inquiries.
- Consultants: Upwork also noticed that business consultants offering skills such as analyzing market trends, financial forecasting, and budgeting will see high-demand during the holiday season as well. Many companies are already looking towards the future and need an expert to help them close out the year properly, look for areas of improvement, and point out necessary trends for growing their businesses in 2018.
- Ecommerce/website building experts: In the US markets, there’s a huge boost in the number of orders for two weeks after the Thanksgiving weekend. This leads companies to hire more freelancers to get their businesses ready just prior to that rush. According to Upwork, eCommerce-related skills that are easy to implement during this season include Shopify development, WooCommerce, and Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Amazon MWS). There’s also an uptick in Instagram marketing and Facebook advertising as companies go directly to the consumer for their most influential marketing campaigns, leveraging social media channels as their primary channel for targeting people and selling their products.
5 ways to always be prepared
Some marketplaces, like Fiverr, believe that freelancing is not a seasonal industry, and that free agents should have their portfolio up to date and ready at all times. You should be prepared for the highs of the holiday season and lows that may occur at other times of the year, but freelancers should always be marketing. Here are five marketing tips – for the holiday season and year-round.
- Build hype: It’s human nature to get swept up by excitement. Flashing lights, loud noise, and bright colors all attract our attention, and freelancers can use hoopla like this to their advantage. Make some big noise around your name to attract potential customers before their busiest seasons. Create a self-promotional campaign and launch it on social media channels, do pro-bono work that will get you noticed, and make ripples in your industry to get people talking.
- Use holiday discounts: Use discounts or holiday promotions to attract your customers. Whether it’s Christmas, Back-to-School, or any other major or minor holiday, tie the savings into the season, and clients will be more naturally drawn to your services. You don’t need to revamp your website each time a new holiday hits, but implementing holiday-themed icons, colors, or other symbols will do the trick to grab your audience’s attention.
- Play the loyalty card: If you have recurring clients who loved working with you in the past, reach out to these businesses before the busy season with a friendly greeting or a quick hello. This subtle reminder of your services, timed perfectly to coincide with the time they’ll likely need you the most, can be a smart move towards client retention.
- Keep feedback up to date: This is something you should do at frequent intervals throughout the year. Christmas may be your busiest season, but if comments and feedback on your site are all clustered around late-December, your site visitors may not think you run an operational business during the rest of the year. On a regular basis, ask your satisfied clients to kindly leave feedback, so it’s clear that your business runs year-round.
- Upgrade your payment options: One of the stickiest subjects for freelancers is payments. Setting a price for a project is uncomfortable, billing is annoying, and collecting can be a nightmare. One way to mitigate the entire payment headache is to use convenient and useful tools like Payoneer that offer freelancers and their clients with the flexibility to pay quickly, inexpensively, and in the most convenient manner (bank transfers, prepaid MasterCard, etc.).
‘Tis the season to be jolly, so beef up your freelance career with these handy tips, and enjoy a hefty increase in your profits this period.