The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally called Black Friday. It’s called this because merchants all over the country significantly lower prices to bring in customers looking to save money on their holiday shopping. The purpose is for the shops to sell so much merchandise, merchants will be “in the black” as they approach the holiday season.
I worked in a mall during my teen years, and though I haven’t quite erased the Black Friday mall trauma from my mind, for me “Black Friday” represented the bleakness of the day for mall workers. Though it’s been more than 25 years since working in a mall, I can honestly say I haven’t been to mall on Black Friday since those days, and I try to avoid the mall during evenings and weekends throughout the holiday season.
Still, there are lessons to be learned. For example, freelance writing and Black Friday share a few similarities.
1. There are perks for early birds
Many stores participating in Black Friday events open their doors to crowded parking lots between 4:00 and 6:00 in the morning. Ambitious shoppers fill their carts with Christmas list must-haves in order to save money and take home items before they run out. Freelance writering also offers perks for early birds. For example writers who get an early start on their day have the rest of the day to work on personal projects or spend time with family. Moreover, writers who apply early for gigs, might have a better chance of standing out in a potential client’s mind before the flood applications starts to come in.
2. It doesn’t hurt to lower prices once in a while
If you’re having problems drumming up work or if your regular clients aren’t in need of your services, there’s nothing wrong with offering a sale to generate interest. You don’t have to lower your prices for every project, but offering a discount every now and then will entice both new and old customers to come calling. Make sure you have a little not so fine print to ensure clients are aware sale prices are only a temporary thing.
3. Sometimes it’s more about the event
There are always people who show up for Black Friday shopping events simply because it’s an event. They don’t care about the sale or the goods, they only want to say they are there. Your loyal readers will always be there for you. If there’s a book signing or interview, your loyal readers will offer support. As many well-known authors can attest, they’ll even invest in your worst endeavors, simply to show support.
4. It’s all in the marketing
Many times Black Friday bargains aren’t really great bargains at all. However, they’re advertised as such. A good marketing person can sell anything. It’s important for freelancers to market themselves well also. We’re selling ourselves. Our name is our brand and our writing is our product. It’s up to us to give the best representation of that brand possible. 50% of writing is selling and bringing in new clients. A good marketer can sell ice cubes to people in cold places.
5. People will pay more money for convenience
While millions of people are braving the malls and shops today, millions more will be enjoying time with their family. They’ll also be enjoying time with their family for the next month. Like me, they may even stay away from the malls during weekends or when people generally aren’t working. Many don’t mind missing sales or paying extra shipping costs to shop online. They do so because the convenience is more important to them than the sale. Most clients like the convenience factor also and don’t mind paying for stuff they can’t do themselves. For example, if they’re paying you to blog, they may be willing to pay more if you offer to moderate comments and promote the blog using social media tools. Package deals enable you to expand your horizons and spread your name to more people and places.
What are some similarities you see between freelance writing and Black Friday?