I’m Emily, and I’m a brand photographer for passionate small business owners who are ready to scale and want to stand out online as local industry leaders.

I, my (dog) daughter, and my fiancé are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here at Emily Kim Photography, I provide creative, strategic marketing imagery that are in line with your business goals.

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Black Friday Dos and Don’ts for Small Business Owners

November 10, 2020

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If November hit you like a ton of bricks, and you thought to yourself, “oh crap — I need to put together a Black Friday deal!” Well, well, well. This is the post for you!

I’ve got a lot to say about what I think you should and shouldn’t do for Black Friday, both as a consumer and as a business owner. Don’t let your Black Friday marketing ideas run rampant without a clear strategy. Let’s start with the business owner portion, shall we?

A pink, tropical salon. There are two plush pink chairs and a tropical print wall. Hair salon branding photos.

Don’t: Discount your time

I don’t know if I can say this enough: Do not discount your time!

Your time is valuable. As in, you should value. Your. Time. I know it can be tempting to think, “oh, I’ll offer x% off of my signature package – that will get more people to book, right?! And I don’t have to do any extra work.” Stop right there!

By discounting your services, you are telling your past and future clients that you don’t value your time. And if you don’t value your time, why should they? And, when you have clients that don’t value your time, all that results in is headaches. You don’t want to add Ibuprofen to your Black Friday shopping list, do you? 👀 I didn’t think so.

When you discount your service, you open the door for questions like:

  • “Wait, I purchased a package two weeks ago. Can I get the Black Friday discount?”
  • “I know Black Friday was last week, but is there any way I can get that discount now?”

Nope, nope, nope. I know you don’t want to deal with that, so why even open that door? Keep it shut. Duct tape it. Deadbolt it. There are other ways to create deals that actually add value without causing you extra stress.

flat lay of a MacBook, iPhone, and pink accessories

Do: Add extra value, or reduce the scope of work

Now, you might want to create some sort of offer for your audience or clients. As a service based business owner, there are alternate methods for you to offer value without discounting your time. I mean, yes, you are technically “discounting” your time, but it doesn’t have to be perceived that way.

Here are things that you can add as bonus items to your service offering:

  • 30-minute or 1-hour 1:1 sessions with you
  • Additional deliverables (i.e. for photographers: provide additional images)
  • Expedited turnaround time
  • (If applicable) One of your digital products
  • Add-ons or additional customizations

If you absolutely don’t feel like loading on the extras, consider creating smaller packages that are a time-sensitive offer.

For photographers, this could be mini sessions that are only available if they book before Cyber Monday. For designers, consider offering preset logo customizations on your standard designs, like changing up the font, colors, etc.

Two macrame rainbows. One is a soft pastel pink and the other is green.

Do: Give deals on automated products

Although I may seem totally, 100% anti-discount, I’m not. I’m anti discounting your time. I am pro discounting an automatic, scalable offering.

What is a scalable offering? Examples include digital courses, downloadable guides, subscriptions, and physical tools for your business. These are things that require more work on the frontend, but once it’s done, you can sell it over and over again.

For example: this Black Friday, I’ll be relaunching Brand Your ‘Gram, my phone photography course for business owners looking to DIY their own brand photos. I’ll also be launching two preset packs at an early bird rate!

By discounting automated products, you’re still offering a Black Friday deal, but you’re not requiring that you work yourself into the wee hours of your holiday nights.

close up of a string of pearls plant.

Don’t: Look to buy discounted services

As a fellow business owner, I’d like to challenge you on Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday this year: Don’t search for discounted services. If nobody buys discounted services, people will…stop discounting their services! Let’s work together to end this cycle.

This year, I’ll be looking for deals on photography-specific equipment, as well as general tools for business owners.

  • SD cards
  • Camera bodies
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Lighting gear (tripods, modifiers, and reflectors)

I’ll spare you your time and screen space, but if you’re curious about alllll of the subscription services for small business owners I’ll be checking out this Black Friday, grab my must-have, no-fluff list here!

What ideas do you have for Black Friday marketing?

Share your strategies below! Let’s tackle this beast together 🤓

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I’m Emily, and I’m a brand photographer for passionate small business owners who are ready to scale and want to stand out online as local industry leaders.

I, my (dog) daughter, and my fiancé are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here at Emily Kim Photography, I provide creative, strategic marketing imagery that are in line with your business goals.

tell me more...

crowd faves

on the blog

Color Psychology for Photoshoots

5 Dream Bay Area Studio Rentals for Your Next Shoot

5 Tips for Optimizing Images on Your Website

How to Plan Outfits for Your Brand Photoshoot

goodies you'll love

Access My Free Resource Library

Branded Stock Photography at the EK Stock Shop

Free Preset for
Lightroom Mobile

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