Running a membership business over the holidays can be a challenge.
It should be a time to take a break, sit back and relax.
But, maybe not everyone in your community celebrates the festive season, so you think you should carry on working throughout…
Or maybe this is your first year managing a membership site and you're not sure how to navigate working over the festive period.
If either of these sound like you, then you should read on.
If there's one thing we're big believers in over the holiday season, it's this…
It shouldn't be business as usual over the festive season.
You can take a break from your membership and still make the most of opportunities to grow your business over the holidays.
All you need to do is put things in place to plan for the festive season.
Here are 6 things you should do:
1. Produce year-end content and reviews
The year-end is a great opportunity to take a step back from your usual content and produce something special.
We recap our top 10 most popular podcast episodes from the last 12 months at the end of every year.
It's an excellent way to re-share our best moments and tap into what's resonated with our listeners.
It's also the perfect way to take a look back at what's working and what isn't.
Year-end reviews and recaps are a really popular content type, perform really well, and often, you can use your existing content to create these special pieces.
- review the most significant lessons you’ve learned
- highlight member successes
- compile interview sound bites
- round up your best content from the year
You could present these in blog, video, or podcast formats…
Or go interactive by hosting a Facebook Live or an exclusive workshop within your membership.
If your membership community is particularly social, you could even host a virtual holiday party.
It doesn't have to be formal – it could just be a Zoom call where your members can join and hang out with you.
These can be difficult to facilitate at any other time of the year, so if this is something you'd like to try out, the festive season is the perfect time to do it.
2. Run a seasonal promotion
The festive season presents so many great opportunities to try new things, so it’s a great time to run a promotional campaign.
This could be a discount, a promotion, or marketing events like a challenge or a summit.
There are plenty of ways you can relate any promotional campaign to the festive theme.
A digital advent calendar is a fantastic promotional campaign.
This can require a lot of work upfront but can greatly impact your members as they're getting something new every day.
You could release new content, from helpful blogs to fun videos, launch new products, host giveaways, and run flash sales.
These tap into a playful sense of urgency as you could make these offers only available until the next advent calendar item is released.
This way, your members will be compelled to take action faster and be more inclined to check every day for the next new release.
One feature that stands out during the holidays is the option to gift your membership.
Some membership site plugins allow people to create gift certificate style memberships to gift to others.
This technology is perfect for the festive season, so it's vital that you promote this feature.
This way, people know your membership could be the perfect gift!
You could even take this one step further by creating something physical like a gift card with a promo code or coupon for people to give to their friends and family.
3. Take a well deserved break
Too many membership site owners don’t prioritize taking a break over the festive period but trust us, it’s one of the most beneficial things you can do for your membership.
Your members can't benefit from a membership site owner who's completely burnt out.
See it as an investment for your membership.
People expect you to take a break over the holiday season, so take advantage of it because your members certainly will be!
It’s normal to feel anxious about stepping away from your membership for an extended period.
But things aren’t going to fall apart, especially if you plan for it properly.
4. Prepare for reduced availability
You can reduce the stress of taking a break by clearly communicating your availability to your members.
Managing expectations and enforcing boundaries will help your anxiety and anticipate what to do if there is an emergency when you’re away.
Tell your members exactly when you'll be away and when you're coming back.
You can do this by:
- Putting messages on your customer support forums
- Announcing it on your website's dashboard or in your newsletters
- Pinning a post to your Facebook group
- Using an out of office email message
This will drastically reduce the amount of contact you’ll receive over the holidays as members won’t panic that you’ve abandoned them.
They’ll be more likely to respect your boundaries and wait until you’re back to get in touch.
If you’re still concerned, you can mention that you’ll periodically be checking emails and will respond only to emergencies before your return date.
That way, people know you’re not completely unreachable in case you are needed.
5. Reflect on your progress
There is no better time to take stock of your achievements than the end of the year.
This can be an excellent learning experience as you recount what’s gone well, what hasn’t, and why.
Use the downtime to reflect:
- Did you reach your goals?…
- Or did they change throughout the year?
- If they changed, how and did they change?
Take pride in your greatest accomplishments and learn from the moments that didn’t work out how you wanted them to.
But don’t beat yourself up if you’re not where you wanted to be – that’s life!
Instead, focus on the positives from the year and use them as your driving force.
6. Set next year’s goals
It’s a cliché, but New Year is perfect for goal setting.
Use what you’ve learned from the last 12 months to plan your future achievements and inspire the direction you want to take your membership.
The greatest thing is, you won’t be alone.
There’ll be lots of supportive content advocating setting resolutions and sticking to them, so if you need a helping hand, seek out a podcast, video, or blog series that can help you refine and stay committed to your goals.
When the New Year begins, your membership will be well on its way to reaching your goals for the year ahead.
Still feeling anxious about taking a break for the holidays?
Don't worry, this is completely normal, especially if it's the first time you're stepping away from your membership business.
But if there's one thing I'd like you to takeaway from this blog, it's this…
It's important that you take a break during the holidays.
If you've implemented any -or all- of the seasonal ideas we've suggested to help you plan for your membership's holiday period, then you're in a great position to sit back, relax and enjoy the festivities.
The time away will help you gain some perspective and come back refreshed for the New Year.
Trust me, your members will thank you for it!