As the holiday season begins, you may be thinking about how to end the year positively for your business. And let’s be honest – between wrangling your household, travel plans, and one too many servings of eggnog – it’s best to keep your business activities quick and easy. This time of year is also ideal for showing gratitude to your clients, particularly those you have loved working with.
Here are 5 ways to finish strong, engage with clients, and promote your services during the holiday season:
- Send a greeting card or special newsletter
One of the simplest ways to thank your clients is to do just that! Send out a personalized holiday card or special edition newsletter to express your gratitude for their trust in your services. This is a great way to showcase your work and share some highlights from the year. It’s also an ideal opportunity to offer any holiday discounts as a thank you. For example, you could offer a percentage off for sessions booked during the holiday season or a buy-one-get-one-free deal for training packages or classes. You can also encourage clients to give the gift of training with holiday-themed gift certificates.
- Celebrate client success
Dog training and behavior modification is not always easy – we all deserve a pat on the back for our hard work and dedication to our beloved dogs sometimes. As part of your end-of-year communication, and/or on social media, share those client success stories. Highlight what your clients and their dogs have achieved, and how they did it. This an uplifting way to show your training has impacted their lives while also acknowledging the work they’ve put in. Win-win!
- Theme your training
If you have classes coming up, why not theme them to the season? If you run a trick training class, you could focus on behaviors that are particularly adorable when guests come over (bring me a present from the tree, anyone?). If you work with nervous dogs or puppies, tips on managing holiday stress and visitors may be particularly helpful. For those agility enthusiasts, could you add some festive decorations to the course or end with a small gift for your canine attendees?
If you run private sessions, you can also help your clients with personalized training plans relevant to the season, such as dealing with holiday decorations, safety around food, or travel-related stress. Tailoring your services helps to set your clients up for success at a busy time of year.
- Theme your content
Create engaging and festive content for your social media platforms and newsletters. Share tips on keeping dogs safe during holiday festivities or demonstrate fun and seasonal training exercises. This not only promotes your work but also provides valuable information to potential and existing clients. Encourage engagement by running a holiday-themed social media contest – most people don’t need to be asked twice to show off pictures of their dog! Prizes could include discounts on training, a free class, access to some of your online content, or a product you recommend.
- Collaborate with another business
Try the ultimate trifecta of networking, client appreciation, and business promotion. Partner with a local business to run a holiday promotion that you can share with clients. For example, you could partner with a pet photographer for some holiday-themed photoshoots or team up with a local pet store to offer some ‘trainer recommended’ product packages. If you’re keen to give back to the community, you could host a charity event, organize a dog food drive, or donate a percentage of your holiday sales to a local animal shelter.
While you may just want to get to the finish line as the year ends, don’t underestimate those final opportunities to celebrate your year, thank your clients, and promote your business. A strong ending can also be the start of a strong new beginning.