Redefining Busy Season

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shared from the Laura Foote Newsletter series. To receive these live & get all the goodies, click here!

Maybe in January?

Have you heard this lately? From a friend. Your hairdresser. The contractor you were meaning to hire before gaggle of family comes through your house for the holidays? It seems like everyone is booked up. Running around. Full to the brim. And as the most wonderful (and busy) time of the year has arrived for creatives and non-creatives alike, I am wondering. Is your business and life projecting #allthethingsssss you’re doing/eating/seeing, or, is it projecting a sense of enjoyment, maybe even savoring, these special last moments of the year? You know, busy season?

I’ll be honest, as I do the insta scroll these days I love the pumpkin patch adventures, ideas about decorating for the holidays, and time with family and friends that are shared. But I also see a lot of people sharing their to-do lists as a form of entertainment. Ummmmm. What?

Now I might not be talking about sharing a literal, stuck to the refrigerator, paper & pen, to-do list. But, insta story after insta story starting with “I’m going to bring you along!” and then 5 stories later, I’ve simply watched a person go about their errands, work, kid pick up etc. has me wondering.

Why do we think that busy sells?

Now you might be thinking, “Laura, I don’t think that!” Or “they are just sharing life, not selling busy!” But friends, I’m telling you, what I see in the creative industry corner I’m in, is a lot of sharing #allthethings without any value to the consumer, outside of hoping it’s interesting. And that they’ll stick around. And maybe book. Buy. Or refer.

But what if we could flip busy season on it’s head? Let’s go back to Disney, shall we?

There are several tourist websites that help visitors plan their Disney vacation, specifically as it relates to crowds, events on property etc. They color code each day and provide a lot of information to get guests ready (see below).

The truth? Disney will be in the yellow for a few more weeks (weekdays only) and then they will go red for almost a month straight. Basically, it’s their busiest time of the year. No surprise, right?!

Between October & January the season pass holders mix with the Vacation Club regulars and the “I’ve waited 10 years for this trip” goers for long lines, busy concierge desks and packed monorail rides.

And yet people love it. They actually CHOOSE to use their cherished holiday/vacation time off to BE with over 120,000 in Magic Kingdom on Christmas Day.

I don’t care if the icicle lights on the castle are beautiful, this makes no sense. And to add to the curiosity. Guess what Disney ISN’T selling.

THAT THEY’RE BUSY. Busting at the seams busy. Barely even closing the parks/backstage areas during these 3 months busy.

To which you’ll probably say “well of course they aren’t, Laura. Why would people feel enticed to come if they really knew the lines/crowds that awaited?”

Ahem.

Exactly why I think most creative entrepreneurs need to pause and really look at how they are sharing, engaging, and serving their clients and potential clients this time of the year.

Let’s start to flip this, shall we?

One thing that Disney does this time of year is offer “holiday parties” on select evenings. They start with a Halloween bash from September to October and then immediately (literally overnight!) transition to a Christmas/Winter party from November to early January. These parties require a separate ticket, either in addition to your daytime park pass, or, on it’s own. (ahem: added expense to most Disney patrons who are already on property, magic bands on, ready to go).

Here’s the genius of these parties:

  • They offer a wide range of potential guests an opportunity to get to Disney. Live in Tampa (hey-o!) and want to do something fun as a family for the holiday season? Grab a few tickets for a Friday night and come! Visiting the parks already? Perfect, you just bought your way to extra hours & all the holiday fun. The list goes on for who these parties serve well.
  • They offer VIP elements for everyone in attendance. A special Candy Corn shake from Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies? You can only get it at the Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. A chance to ride Space Mountain without hardly a line? You got it. Florida “snow” during the Castle Christmas show? Only November-January with a nighttime ticket.
  • They add tons of FREE surprises & fun! Mainly in the form of sugar, but who is going to say no to that?! From candy at every corner in October to endless cocoa, cookies, and caroling during the Christmas party, guests are able to enjoy holiday related treats and takeaways that feel like big extras, especially with the VIP aspects to consider.

Basically, they’ve figured out a way to offer “extras” every year that are income generating for the company, very enticing for guests, and so fun/amazing that even a broke college student will be able to muster up $75-$90 and change to make it. They bring on seasonal cast members to make sure every guest is greeted, hire a time to work round the clock on décor maintenance and updates, and likely hold their breath a bit until mid-January. All while sipping on complimentary cocoa and ensuring the AC units on main street work to bring in feelings of fall & winter. 

Like I’ve shared in my last 2 newsletters as we’ve started this Disney dive, their approach isn’t hard. In fact, it’s really, really simple. But simple is hard, especially for us creatives. We make things more challenging than they need to be, ahem, all the time?!

 So today I want to share with you 3 ideas for games & fun you can consider implementing into your business during this season!

And as always, I’d love to hear from you. Does the busy of it all resonate with you? Or are you playing the “keeping up with the Jones’” game of looking busy, because that’s what we do? Honesty hour- I’ve been there. And I’m here for you not because of your calendar but because of who you are!

xo,

Laura

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