Laura Silcock on… Christmas Marketing

Here at Folio HQ the countdown to Christmas has already begun, and we know you’ll be planning your Christmas packages and marketing materials too. To help you get into the the business side of the Christmas spirit we asked one of our friends, Laura Silcock, to contribute to our Lounge with some hints and tips for maximising your marketing potential this Christmas. 

Laura is both a professional copywriter who runs her own copywriting business, and an active blogger through her Happy Being Busy site (which provides tips and ideas for busy women). Laura originally worked in PR, which proved to be a great platform for learning how to promote, sell, and package products. The advice she has provided below includes tried and tested tips for making yourself memorable, maximising sales, and increasing repeat business. Laura has created a quick guide to make your Christmas promotion plan as easy as possible. So here you go – tips on how to make your mark in the Christmas market!


Make the most of Christmas

Christmas is a great opportunity to generate more income from existing clients. People are looking for gift ideas that are easy to organise and that their friends and family will love. You can give that to them while increasing repeat business and boosting awareness of your products.

Here are a few ideas for how to make the most of Christmas this year.


Step 1 – Decide which products to push

As there are only a few weeks left until Christmas, it makes sense to promote products that use images from previous shoots rather than trying to cram in too many pre-Christmas bookings. Ideal products, for example, are albums, boasting books, prints, framed images and canvases.

You could also promote gifts that will generate bookings for next year. For example vouchers with a monetary value or vouchers for a specific type of shoot such as a family or children’s portrait.

Make sure your offering is clear, concise and simple – busy people are put off by confusion. It’s better to promote a small number of gift ideas well than to try and push every product in your range.

For example, look at this Halloween promotion from – a site with hundreds of product lines. It picks a few hero pieces for a clear, well-focused, seasonal promotion. And here’s another good example of powerful simplicity from Cath Kidston.


Step 2 – Devise a promotional offer

Having great gift ideas is a good start, but making a promotional offer will help entice people to make the order. Some suggestions are:

  • A straight discount
  • Buy one, get the second discounted
  • Buy one, get a sitting free

As with your gift ideas, make sure your promotional offer is clear and simple. And, as a further incentive, run the promotion for a limited time period. For example during one week or weekend or for orders made before a set date.

You could, perhaps, do a 20% discount on all reprint orders made before a certain date, or offer a free sitting with every album or frame ordered during a specific weekend.


Step 3 – Tell your clients (and the world)

Once you’ve decided on your gift ideas and promotional offer, it’s time to tell your clients and potential clients.

If you’re running a promotion that has a cut-off date or is only available for a set period, you can use this as an opportunity to build hype and keep reminding your clients.

Your marketing campaign might, for example, involve a:

  • Christmas card to clients
  • Landing page on your website
  • Banner on your website’s home page
  • Series of emails to clients building in frequency as the promotional period arrives/closes
  • Facebook page
  • Tweets
  • Infographic to explain your gift ideas
  • Google+ hangout to showcase your products and answer questions
  • Editorial piece in/on a local magazine, newspaper, website or radio

It goes without saying that all of your marketing material should feature outstanding photography to show off your skills. If you haven’t already got great imagery with a Christmas or winter theme, make sure you take some this year so you’re prepared for next year. You could go in close on the details of your Christmas decorations, get outside in the snow, use the glow from candles or capture the twinkle of fairy lights.