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Have you thought of using holidays to build your graphic design business?

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Using Holidays to Build Your Graphic Design Business. But bare with me. I’m not talking about drumming up business while on your family vacation. Although if you can, more power to you.

I once gained a client while on vacation. The owner of the campground where my family and I were staying mentioned how he wanted to increase his marketing. I offered my design services and I ended up doing work for him for a couple of years until he sold the campground.

But I digress,

When I say you should use holidays to build your graphic design business, what I’m talking about is promoting the actual holidays themselves.

You see, holidays are a great way to promote your business and excite your clients. And it’s not that hard to do.

Christmas is obviously an ideal holiday. Most people and businesses send out greeting cards and have special promotions around that time of year. If you can get in on the action you can make yourself a nice little income around just that one season.

Then there’s Valentine's day. Mother’s and Father’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day. Think about it. Is there an Irish Pub in your area? Why not see if they would be interested in a direct mail campaign to send out Happy St. Patrick’s Day cards to everyone in their area? Include some coupons and their business could be booming.

But there are many other holidays throughout the year that get overlooked. And if you are creative enough in your pitch, it’s not that hard to convince new or existing clients to try something a bit different.

For example. President’s Day in the USA or Victoria Day celebrating the British Queen. Businesses sometimes do special promotions around these days and they all need material designed.

What about Remembrance or Memorial Day depending on where you are in the world. It's a special day to remember fallen soldiers and to honour all who serve. Maybe you could design a poster for your clients so they can thank soldiers for shopping at their establishment.

Now maybe your thinking, Mark, that’s crazy, I’ve been designing for years and none of my clients have ever done anything for Memorial Day, or Family Day, or Labour Day, or whatever day.

That may be true. But here’s the trick. You need to remind them to do it. Most businesses are not thinking that far ahead. By the time Halloween, or Easter or Independence Day rolls around it’s too late for them to do anything. So it’s your job to remind them in advance.

Create a calendar or spreadsheet listing all the holidays and send out notices 6-8 weeks before any given one to remind your client of the upcoming day. Make sure you ask them if they need your help getting their material ready.

Don’t forget to contact other businesses as well, ones that are not already your clients.

If you contact someone asking if they need anything designed for, let's say, Dia de los Muertos the Day of the Dead. First off, you are reminding them of the upcoming holiday. And second, you are introducing yourself and letting them know about your services.

Even if they already do work with a designer, there’s a chance they may agree to work with you because you brought the idea to them.

Sometimes, the best way to attract new clients, or get work from existing clients, is to tell them they need work from you. It can be that simple.

Time to get creative

Now, this isn’t really a new idea. Special promotions and handouts around popular holidays have been done for years.

This is why you need to get creative. You see, there are A LOT more holidays or special days than just the main ones I’ve been talking about. In fact, there isn’t a single day that goes buy that doesn’t have some significance to it.

Don’t believe me, visit  Days Of The Year and spend a few minutes looking through their calendar.

For example. Thursday, February 9th, the day I’m releasing this episode is considered, Pizza Day, Toothache Day, Read in the Bathtub Day and Safer Internet Day.

Take a second to ponder those occasions… Do you have a client that could have done something for Pizza Day? Any dentists in the area that might have sent out a special promotion on Toothache Day?

There are literally hundreds of interesting, innovative and crazy days you could promote.

Here are just a few.

  • World Smile Day in October.
  • Hot Dog Day in July
  • Talk Like A Pirate Day in September
  • Star Wars Day in May
  • Pina Colada Day in July
  • New Home Owners Day in May

The riches are in the niches

If you or one of your clients works in a special niche, you can probably find a bunch of days suited specifically to that market. Take for example anyone working in the dog niche. Such a person may be interested in.

  • Dog Day
  • International Guide Dogs Day
  • Bulldogs are Beautiful Day
  • Purebred Dog Day
  • Sled Dog Day
  • Pet Obesity Awareness Day
  • Assistance Dob Day
  • Lost Dog Awareness Day
  • International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
  • Walking the dog day
  • Puppy Day
  • Take your dog to work day
  • Hug Your Hound Day

I have a client that runs a hearing aid clinic. I’ll be sure to let them know about May 31st which is Save Your Hearing Day. Maybe I can design a newspaper ad, or a window poster, or a mailer helping them promote it. Can you see the possibilities?

Don’t forget the longer stretches like Credit Education Month, Hobby Month, Get a balanced life month. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Native American Heritage Month or Human-Animal Relationship Awareness Week.

As you look through the Days of the Year calendar you’ll see many weird and fun days to take advantage of in order to build your graphic design business.

So look at the calendar and pick a few fun occasions. Then contact both new and existing clients and let them know about the special days coming up and offer them your design services for…

  • Posters
  • Post Cards
  • Stickers
  • Landing Pages
  • Social Media images
  • Or anything else they may need

This year, why not use holidays to build your graphic design business?

Have you ever designed something for one of these fun and crazy days?

Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.

This week’s question comes from Andrew

Mark, you're very knowledgeable about so many aspects of being a home-based graphic designer and obviously very good at running your own business (not to mention the podcast). Tell us what you're not good at? 😉

To find out what I told Andrew you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Resource of the week Brand Colors

Brand Colors offers the official Hex Code colours for the world’s biggest brands. Companies like Amazon, Android, British Airways, Dribbble, PayPal and so many more. So the next time you are looking for colour inspiration of are in need of matching a top brand, have a look at what Brand Colors has to offer.

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I want to help you.

Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com