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How Holiday or Seasonal Downloads Can Help You Increase Your Readership
For years, my friends (and my father) have been cynically saying that most holidays have become a chance for businesses and companies to capitalize on the outpouring of love during a festive season and bonus paychecks dolled out before the new year.
Maybe they are right…but today, we are going to focus on the SIMPLE act of just giving. No ulterior motives. No money mongering. Just the simple of idea of giving to your readers and why it’s so important for your business.
Creating a a holiday or seasonal download for your readers is kind of like giving them a swag bag as they leave your party. YAY FREE SHIT!! It helps your customer get a little hands on with exactly what you teach.
The expectation for gifts and giveaways is never higher than it is towards the fall season and into the new year. Creating a holiday specific download will:
- help increase traffic EVERY YEAR during that specific time.
- help your readers feel like they are a guest at a craft/fashion/blogging party.
- help your readers remember who you are and make it super easy for them to find their way back to you.
- make it easy to correspond with your customers on related posts and downloads in the future.
So how do you create these perfect downloads? (Don’t forget to snatch up the “30 October Downloads to Give Your Readers” checklist! I break down some of my favorite downloads in various blogging genres PERFECT for the crisp fall season!)
How Often to Use Holiday or Seasonal Downloads
Hmmm…my favorite holidays of the year are Christmas, Festival of Sleep Day (Because…duh), and Buzzards Day (what??? It’s on my birthday!!). Point is, there are a TON of weird holidays throughout the year, (Check out this calendar if you don’t believe me.)..and you DON’T need to do a download for all of them!
General rule of thumb? Don’t go all “Download Batshit Crazy”, ok? It’s SUPER easy to take your downloads too far, which takes away from the perceived quality of your offer. There ARE, however, two general rules to keep in mind when creating seasonal downloads:
Rule #1: Focus on the BIGGEST holiday and seasons related to your niche…and for the rest of year, create downloads that your readers will go gaga over! Focus on 4-5 of these seasonal downloads…
Rule #2: Know your customer’s pain points and make your downloads INCREDIBLY useful. (We are going to go over how to do that below.
If you are putting out mediocre downloads JUST to get your customer’s email addresses, you aren’t playing this game smart. If it’s one thing I’ve learned over the last few years, it’s that customers aren’t dumb. The second they see your download is craptastic, they will throw you into the spam bin and unsubscribe. (FYI, when you are classified as SPAM to often, there is a VERY good chance your email’s IP will be black listed by major email providers.)
Know Your Customer and Their Pain Points
In order to stay on your readers good side…you need to give them amazing and useful content, downloads and products! How do you do that AND stand out from your competition? Make sure you know the EXACT problem your customer is facing!
The key to understand your customer’s problem is called “Empathizing”. It’s the ability to feel the emotions your customer is feeling at the time of their business crisis. Once you can stand in their shoes, only THEN will you be able to really understand the scope of the issue they are struggling with.
I’ve put together four steps to help you research exactly what your customer is struggling with and the emotions they are feeling as they push through them.
Step 1: Name 3-4 problems your customer has that you can solve.
Step 2: Type those pain points into the Google search bar. TYPE SLOWLY! As you type, you’ll see suggestions pop up. Some of those suggestions might actually be related to your niche…but in general, these are going to be common questions people are typing into the search engine!
Step 3: After you pull up the Google results, scroll down to the bottom of the screen to where you’ll see 8 more suggestions for search results in blue.
Step 4: After you’ve identified your customer’s pain points, you’re going to need to REALLY kill it in the research department. Go through each point, and identify what emotions your customers are feeling both as the problem is occurring, what they are feeling while they are searching for the solution, and how they will feel when they FIND your solution.
You REALLY need to understand what your readers are going through! The ONLY way you’ll be able to solve their problems as a blogger or product provider is if you thoroughly understand what they are going through.
How To Create Your Seasonal Downloads
You’ll want to create your downloads in a system like Canva or InDesign. I use both…but actually have a preference for the free platform, Canva!
Step 1: I recommend creating a cover for your download that brands it specifically to your business. Create a template in Canva that you can reuse over and over again to keep your brand’s consistency. If your download is for a specific holiday, make sure that is obvious! These downloads should stand out from the other downloads you product. They are special!!
Step 2: Quickly brainstorm your perfect customer, the problem they are having, the emotions they are going through, and how you plan to solve it.
Step 3: In Canva, click the “Create Design” button and select the “eBook” option.
Step 4: Select the design you would like to use, or upload the cover you’ve already designed.
Step 5: Brainstorm a title for your download. This one is SUPER important!! Make sure you are telling your reader WHICH problem you are solving and hinting to HOW you are going to solve it.
Step 6: Use the available tools in Canva to create checklists, worksheets or ebooks. You can only design up to 30 pages in your Canva pdf…so I recommend keeping your download short and sweet!
Step 7: Save your creation and hit the download button.
How to Set Up Your Email Lists
Your download is NOTHING without an organized process to back it up. Trust me…I know. Just a year ago, I was bouncing from newsletter platform to newsletter platform TRYING to grasp what the hell I was supposed to be doing with my subscribers, my segregated lists, my downloads and my sales funnels. I new I wanted to be able to send newsletters to readers who had clicked on specific links, readers who hadn’t opened the last email and readers whome I thought would be interested in the topic of a specific post or product.
I was constantly emailing the newsletter platform help desks only to find hear “we are currently working on this feature…but have not yet released it to the public”. I was about ready to give up on newsletters altogether when I ran across my knights in shining armor. I’ve been a ConvertKit convert (har har) for nearly a year now…and NOT ONCE have I had a moment of confusion or a thought of “Damn it! I wish these guys did (insert seriously simple tech request here).
This newsletter platform was built specifically FOR bloggers who use digital downloads, sales funnels and courses to get their readers what they need, when they need it. It’s no wonder bloggers like “Femtrepreneur”, “Smart Passive Income”, “CopyHackers” and more trust this platform for their most important method of communication.
After you’ve downloaded this post’s goodie, you’ll be added to a newsletter list (which is super easy to unsubscribe from) as well a hash tagged within the system with #postideas. Every week, you’ll get an email from me on Tuesday with my most recent blog post and download and an email from me on Thursday that invites you to join our most recent event.
The hashtag allows me to send you SPECIFIC announcements JUST on the topics you are interested in!
In addition to the hashtag, you will also be added into an “automation”. What does that mean? Automations are ConvertKits way of allowing their users to be as hands off as possible. For example, an automation I use for every download is “Whenever someone subscribes to this particular form…they are automatically signed up to receive this specific email sequence.” This allows you to easily send e-courses and sales funnels to readers who are already in love with what you have to say on the topic!
Regardless of which platform you decide to go with, a strong support system for your emails are THE most important part of your small business and blogging machine. You can save time and start monetizing faster by going straight to ConvertKit …or you can learn through problem solving by using another platform. (I won’t judge either method. It took me three years to get here, myself!!)
If you any questions about the download creation process or how I organize my email lists, post them below!! I’m more than happy to help!