Consider owning a special month instead.
Boring/PredictableCelebrating the anniversary or birthday of your business is boring and predictable. Why would a client or prospect really care? Besides, special sales or free giveaways look self-serving since you win from additional revenue.
You're really celebrating yourself. It's your party and they can buy if they want to, buy if they want to. Are your customers aching for another shopping opportunity?
Why not celebrate a cause bigger than your company and longer than a day?
LIAMThis is Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM). We’ll use that as a case study.
Lamar Odom of the LA Lakers is the celebrity ambassador. Last year's was actress Leslie Bibb. They share their own personal stories to get others thinking about their own situations. Information makes the ideal gift for influence. You show liking for others and your authority (expertise). Giving invokes reciprocity.
LIAM looks well thought-out:
- extendable: e.g., May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month (DIAM)
- low key: focused on awareness, not time-is-running-out while-quantities-last selling
- inexpensive: the gift is online information that’s shared via social media
- month-long: not an expensive one-day, weather-dependent event
- repeatable: as a regular annual event, planning is easier
- not too often: annual works but quarterly would get annoying
ImprovementsLIAM can be made more vibrant and spreadable by
- publishing the videos in HD (no extra cost)
- making the videos embeddable (no extra cost)
- archiving content from previous years (no extra cost)
LIFELIAM has the advantage of being run by LIFE, a nonprofit organization with support from the insurance industry. You can own your month with your own resources. Put information on your website. Add an intriguing PS to your emails (such as the one at the bottom of this post). Post relevant links via social media. Have a special issue of your newsletter.
What about content? You’ll find lots of linkable items online. Creating some of your own changes you from a parrot to a pundit.
You can share the month. Maybe you participate in a campaign your industry is promoting (as I am with LIAM). You can also piggyback on a bigger event such as Small Business Week by having your own Small Business Month.
The Right MonthLife Insurance Awareness Month is low key and nonthreatening. Who can argue against increasing awareness? There's no request to make donations, provide contact information or Like on Facebook. Instead, you get education and the opportunity to buy.
September is highly symbolic. This is back-to-school time. Routines return. Business gets back to business. September is also the anniversary of 9/11, a reminder that the unexpected happens.
Which month is right for your business?
- How Lamar Odom’s mom saved his life (LIAM 2011)
- Iron Man didn’t save Leslie Bibb but another superhero did (LIAM 2010)
- Small Business Week (BDC)
- The RBC Canadian Open and unintended consequences
- image courtesy of Pawel Kryj (Poland)