If they cease to believe in u, do u even exist?
- Sep 15, 2014
Time to make a killing while singing Christmas Carols all the way to the bank.
Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!
Let me just preface this - The holidays are for making A LOT OF MONEY. Anyone that doesn't take advantage... well - no comment. The PC crowd wants to pretend it's about family or getting together, but when it comes down to it those same people turn into animals then literally committing assault, going into debt, and stampeding their fellow neighbors to consume and get that sale and discount.
So don't give me that PC crap - we're an online business marketing forum and we're here to make a lot of money. THIS is OUR SuperBowl!
I was on the frontline for 5 years - I've got battle scars from these animals. Now-a-days you can't catch me physically within a 5 mile radius of a mall or retail store during the last 2 months of the year - NEVER AGAIN. But I learned a lot being in the trenches during Christmases that's evolved me into the marketer I am today.
Remember the first time you kissed a girl you liked (or boy for the ladies in the audience) - right before, wondering if you should go in - the butterflies in your stomach, making you nauseous, heart racing - time slowed down completely - that uncomfortable yet exhilarating feeling - then BAM it happens and afterwards you had that uncontrollable smile and Glow of joy all over your body, feeling like you can walk on water. Your aura lit up like nothing can stop you.
That "before" nauseous feeling is what I feel right before I know something profound is in the air. I always feel it right in the first week of October. It started happening several years back once I realized how much money is to be made online during the holiday season. It was like something from beyond shaking my spirit - keeping my restless telling me "NOW is the time to ACT!"
My First Christmas Rush
I had always taken action when I felt a strong urge towards something but I didn't know how to make that leap for the holidays. My first real job was working at the Mall and I started about 4 months before the holidays if I recall correctly. Weekends were always packed and during certain times of the day you knew when you would get a rush of people, however that first Black Friday was profound. We were open till midnight every day from Friday till the Tuesday after Monday (it wasn't called Cyber Monday yet cause online retail wasn't a thing).
I never seen anything like it, packed constantly all day long until past midnight. Getting out of the Mall's parking was at LEAST 30 mins every day during that holiday. That's how crazy it was, and it stayed packed until Christmas Eve - the Mall updated it schedule again and was opened till midnight the last two weeks before Christmas; Christmas Eve was the 2nd craziest day in terms of sales behind the day after Thanksgiving - unfortunately Christmas Eve cannot transfer over to online holiday shopping due to shipping and all - however if you have a service or SAAS - perhaps you can come up with something.
The Consuming Animal
The people were ferocious - lines were long so patience was thin... and all I was doing was serving pizza so imagine what it was like to be an employee inside one of the retail stores.
For the holiday season, the animals weren't very nice or jolly to their neighbors. When I saw some of the crazies that come out during the holidays I knew right then and there humans were no more than animals. I've seen full-sized adults push other people's kids out of the way to grab simple retarded toys.
I remember seeing some friends after work during the holidays - alot would straight up quit cause it was too much for them. Managers would account for on-the-spot quitting when creating schedules - imagine that - they are scheduling people while accounting for the fact a couple of employees on the floor are going quit. A lot of my friends were and are still shell-shocked from being on the receiving end of the consuming animal's attacks. I've come to realize that most people that experience the holiday madness tend to stay away from malls and retail stores during holidays like I do simple due what we saw in the trenches.
Sometimes you try to intervene cause you are a decent human but I have a scar on my left arm that reminds me of my lesson in attempting to stop the consuming animal. Now-a-days you can't ever catch me in or near a mall during the holidays.
This new wave of Opening on Thanksgiving and Black Friday rushes - what I saw people do back then, I'm not surprised people are dying, getting crushed, and stampedes are now "common place". I mean I walked away with a battle wound the first Christmas - You can't stop this, and if they are going to spend the money - why not profit? Perhaps in a twisted way it's my form of justice for my battle scar - or I'm just using that as an excuse - maybe I don't even have a scar.
The day after Christmas it was still packed with people returning gift, but then on December 27th that was a wrap. The activity level was still higher than normal, but once January 1st came - dead.
Enter The Digital
It took a while to re-adjust to the low level of activity. However that pattern repeated itself for the 5 Christmases I was there. Once I left and decided to give this online thing a go that profound experience of the Holidays never left me. Once I started getting more and more savvy with online marketing that nauseous feeling kept hitting me at the beginning of October cause my subconscious was making the connection of my past mall experience and the "online holiday shopping" world.
Eventually I came across BlueHatSEO. Eli gave me the missing piece - the outside the box thinking to structure my actions - and that next Holiday, GAME ON.
I remember being up all hours of the night posting on different forums and websites and these new things coming to popularity called "blogs" trying to get traffic.
No one was going to stop me. I didn't care if I got banned, called out, or far worse - if big brands were making billions offline and the animal's online appetite was growing every year I could at the very least walk away with $1,000. That was my goal, cause I needed to see it for myself. If I work 18+ hours a day and couldn't make it happen that first holiday then the internet was just a giant fucking scam.
But the internet wasn't a scam...
After working myself for 20+ hours a day for 6 weeks, to the point of debilitating exhaustion I crashed on the eve of Christmas eve, and slept for nearly 20 hours. On Christmas morning I totaled up my profits - the first Holiday I walked away with a little over $10K for almost 2 months worth of work.
I had Glow for weeks afterwards cause I cracked the code. Those 6 weeks in the trenches were me trying any and everything I could think of - this eventually came up with raw sloppy forms of traffic leaks. You have to really understand the level of commitment it took though - 95% of my attempts failed, but I kept trying - I needed to check off in my mind whether it could be done or not; it was only that other 5% that generated my income and those methods I kept refining.
The techniques were refined over the years to the point I started getting more and more elaborate cause of boredom, but they kept working. When I originally started generating traffic I was still working a job - and Google was not even on the scene, so it was just "generating traffic" - no real thought behind it except small marketing concepts.
I'mma Do Numbers
That first Holiday rush clarified within my mind on how the system really works, and gave me a reminder I live with every day.
To make a long story short - the holidays are the ultimate Showdown of marketers. You don't even have to be good at it, you can be a poor marketer with a 5 page website who then does a couple of crucial traffic leaks, bum marketing tactics, or simple hits up places that have "Black Friday, Cyber Monday" threads like BuSo, Reddit, and other places do, post and sit back and watch people fall over to get your magical "discount".
And the great part about it, unlike the Superbowl, this is not a single day, it's for 2 solid months, perhaps 3 now-a-days, where you can attack and come up with creative ideas on how to generate traffic to your money site.
In 2016 only 47% of people shopped online!
We're not even at the 50% mark and it has only kept growing!
If you have a product it'd better be on Amazon. You should also gather and find every past industry "Black Friday, Cyber Monday" list and see how you can get on that list with your product/service. Right there you are getting in front of people looking to give you money.
Think about how easy it is - there are bloggers that go around curating "Cyber Monday" promotions - they NEED and WANT you to give them something so THEY can turn around and look like gods in front of their audience. Imagine hitting up every blogger in your industry and giving them a Cyber Monday promo code to give their audience, exclusively for their brand - You don't think they are going to blast that to their audience and expose their audience to your product/service so they can look good?
12 Days of Christmas
Well what if I don't have a product or service... I got ideas for you too. We'll get into all of them, but I'll give you one right now, gather 12 different product/service providers within your niche and contact them asking for a special promotion, discount, or bonus. Then have a 12 Days of Christmas campaign where every day a new promotion drops on a dedicated page. Each promotion can last 1 day or multiple days, or until Christmas - doesn't matter, but the caveat will be you are revealing a new promotion every day.
You can throw in things you are affiliate of to make your money, but the main point is to get people to come back, gather their emails, and then hit them up with the next days' promotion. And now you are growing your audience for the next holiday season, or Valentines, or any other promotion/campaign you want to do.
I wouldn't have 100% of them your affiliate cause some products/service might be great but not have an affiliate program - I wouldn't pass those up cause you should be looking for branding and creating trust while making money. However if you are just here for the 'Cha-Ching' - then go all out mercenary mode.
Now Here is why the countdown to Specifically Cyber Monday and Black Friday is important. This season it will be estimated that 3.45 Billion dollars will be spent by consumers on Cyber Monday alone - that's completely ONLINE! Black Friday will see 3.34 Billion spent:
So those 3 days will come out to 8.72 Billion, hold on, I'm going to use the zeros so you understand the magnitude; $8,720,000,000 will be spent on those 3 days - not including any promotions or ideas that will come up during Saturday and Sunday.
It's impossible for you not to make money.
I'll even take it one step further, with some of these affiliate programs you probably don't even need a website to make money. Just jump into BlackFriday/CyberMonday threads and drop your affiliate link stating "Oh Shit Best Buy has Tv for $2" -> link - but with more finesse. Maybe someone calls you out, but who cares, by the time someone figures it out you would have made your change and walked away.
You can literally start now by throwing up a "CyberMondayPromotionsNewYork.com" and start hitting up craigslist now to tell people your site is going to have all the latest and greatest Cyber Monday sales and start gathering emails for an audience. Obviously you are going to need some more finesse, but it's more than possible. You can hit up Craigslist in your area and get friends to do it in their areas during that weekends and post about deals or links to your promotion site (or landing page).
It's going to be COMPLETE CHAOS folks. No moderator in the world would be able to stop the flood if they wanted too, and most likely they'll be busy with their own holiday shopping or campaigns to notice until it's way too late - if you want to go down the bum rush marketing route.
The Countdown Already Began
But Carter aren't you getting ahead of yourself? NO.
I read the boring whitepapers and research so you don't have to. The National Retail Federation has research stating that the holiday season starts in October:
Know that consumers have the holidays in mind long before the first snow: The holiday season starts ahead of Black Friday, with more than half of holiday shoppers starting to research and plan their gifts in October or earlier — before they start committing to actual purchases.
Sauce: 2017 Retail Holiday Planning Playbook
There is even a portion of those people that start shopping in October!
You need to get your designers working right now on Creatives cause come the Holiday any designer worth a day should be unbelievably busy, and getting creatives and designs from them might be impossible - at least on time. With October the designers are still lite on work and have their mental faculties intact - imagine a designer during the week of Cyber Monday getting pummeled with work for the upcoming weekend and promotions - you think they'll be able to be creative and give you their best work then? No - so get your stuff to them right now!
Enter The Pumpkin Spice
Even Starbucks has figured out how to make a killing - it's called Pumpkin Spice Latte. It's a bit difficult to sell "more coffee", but if you add a "special recipe" version that is only around for a limited time - BAM, now you've trained your audience to look forward to the Holidays AND YOUR BRAND.
If Starbucks can figure out how to sell more coffee, surely you can see how easy it is to make money.
But you don't need to even go that far just yet, the WHOLE WORLD has already conditioned consumers to spend money during the holidays. So all you have to do is make sure you are ready, have a list, check it twice, and then thrice of places you will traffic leak and bum market too, places you will push your ad budget to, get your remarketing pixel fired up and follow those consumers around the internet reminding them of your great offer.
Here are the general topics we'll be going into throughout the season (some of this might change):
Table of Content
I'm going to try something different - this is going to be a live thread - think the old BigBrand Checklist style thread at WF, and I'll update the Table of Content area with links to posts, so look for that section. If I do further updates I'll try to put dates so you know you have to go back to that new post cause there is new material.
Anyone that wants to add to the thread feel free, there are thousands of ways to make money during the Holidays. More importantly - If you have ANY QUESTIONS post them and I'll do my best to reply to your situation, ideas or questions with some creative ideas to help you out (For my sanity PMs willl be ignored - I gotta do numbers too this holiday).
It's time to get to work, most of you are already a week behind.
Strike the harp and join the chorus,
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!
Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!