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’Tis the Season for Small Business Success: Holiday Marketing Tips From Empower by GoDaddy

’Tis the Season for Small Business Success: Holiday Marketing Tips From Empower by GoDaddy

Published 12-01-23

Submitted by GoDaddy

Bas Rouge Farm & Forge guest vendor booth
Bas Rouge Farm & Forge guest vendor booth for the Freedom Farmers Market at The Lost Kitchen, July 2023.

The holiday season is upon us, and for entrepreneurs, it's both a festive and frantic time of the year. Navigating the challenges of the holiday rush while maximizing opportunities requires strategic thinking and innovative approaches. To guide small businesses through this bustling period, we've gathered insights from Empower by GoDaddy Corporate Sustainability and ESG Manager Ebony Janelle, along with practical advice from graduates of Empower by GoDaddy – Bas Rouge Farm & Forge, Dragonfly Ink Designs, Four-M, Harp Vision and WhitePaws RunMitts. These insights and tips aim to provide guidance and inspiration to entrepreneurs at various stages of their journey.

Empower by GoDaddy is a global social impact program equipping entrepreneurs in underserved communities with the training, tools and resources necessary to uplevel their business success.

Ebony Janelle, Corporate Sustainability and ESG Manager 
Ebony’s passion for small business stems from her personal experience witnessing her grandmother lose their family restaurant due to a lack of resources and capital. She lives out her commitment to supporting local communities through her role as an inclusive entrepreneurship expert with Empower by GoDaddy. Different cultures celebrate significant holidays throughout the year, which are opportunities for entrepreneurs to engage with their customers. Below, find Ebony’s tips for entrepreneurs:

  1. Utilize Rapidly Evolving AI Technology: Building a business takes time; however, entrepreneurs can help accelerate their growth by utilizing AI technology for content creation, productivity enhancement and support tasks like customer service and marketing. 
  2. Explore New Social Media Platforms, Like TikTok: Ebony highlights social media as an extension of digital marketing efforts. TikTok is a powerful emerging platform. Entrepreneurs should build a strategy that aligns with their brand, audience and current trends. 
  3. Engage in Email Marketing: Email marketing around the holidays can be highly effective. Ebony suggests planning ahead, running re-engagement campaigns, and incorporating promo codes and time-sensitive specials to boost engagement.

Ivonne Vazquez, Bas Rouge Farm & Forge 
Established in 2022, Bas Rouge Farm & Forge is a small acreage diversified farm located in Orono, Maine. Glenn Roberts and Ivonne Vazquez are a husband-and-wife team, both passionate about the land they steward and living sustainably within this landscape. What began as a homestead over a decade ago transitioned into several enterprises: Native Plants Nursery, Permaculture Design Consulting and Blacksmith Forge. Their tips include:

  1. Offer Gift Certificates: The holiday season looks different for Bas Rouge Farm & Forge as they are a native plant nursery in Maine. At a time when they can’t sell plants, they offer gift certificates to customers which can be used toward the purchase of plants for the upcoming season. 
  2. Simplified Tools are Key: Finding tools that serve multiple purposes across different business channels can save time, energy and resources. GoDaddy offers tools that allow you to find shortcuts, streamline your workflow and help you be more productive. Ivonne acquainted herself with GoDaddy’s social media calendar to increase her ability to post effectively and consistently. 
  3. Build a Community: Ivonne encourages entrepreneurs to connect with a supportive community and to engage with local organizations and programs. Outside of the products they sell at Bas Rouge Farm & Forge, they offer workshops and classes through Bangor Adult Education and present to local groups interested in native plants, sustainability and pollinators.
Kelly Howell, owner of Dragonfly Ink Designs, accepting the 2023 Artistry Award for Intermediate Bootmakers at the Wichita Falls Boot and Saddle Show.
Kelly Howell, owner of Dragonfly Ink Designs, accepting the 2023 Artistry Award for Intermediate Bootmakers at the Wichita Falls Boot and Saddle Show.

Kelly Howell, Dragonfly Ink Designs 
Kelly Howell, owner of Dragonfly Ink Designs, has been an artist for as long as she can remember. She graduated from Oklahoma State University-IT with a degree in graphic design and expanded her artistic mediums into custom cowboy boot making, leather working and mural painting. She also hosts regular leather stamping and painting classes available for all ages. Kelly provides this advice to entrepreneurs:

  1. Network: Word-of-mouth promotion has been significant for the success of Kelly’s business. She recommends entrepreneurs actively participate in local events, collaborate with other businesses, and leverage word-of-mouth referrals as powerful tools for business growth. 
  2. Focus on Brand Story and Target Market: Through programs like Empower by GoDaddy, Kelly gained insights into her brand story and target market. One tip she offers is for entrepreneurs to invest time in understanding their brand identity, crafting a compelling story, and identifying the specific audience they want to reach. 
  3. Continuous Learning and Adaptation: Entrepreneurs are never done learning. Be open to embracing technology advancements, learning about new tools, and willing to adapt business strategies to stay competitive in the evolving market.
Ryan Mills
Ryan Mills, owner of Four-M.

Ryan Mills, Four-M 
Ryan Mills is a San Diego-based founder of multimedia consulting firm Four-M, a turnkey, one-stop-shop for content creation, management services and marketing. Ryan shares his secrets to success, including:

  1. Recalibrate: During down-time, strategize and tighten up any loose ends before building a gameplan for the new year. Review year-end reports and other metrics to gauge your success throughout the year and set new goals and milestones to achieve. The season is about appreciating where you are at in your business and carving out time to reflect. 
  2. Listen to Your Customer: The festive chaos not only impacts entrepreneurs, it also affects customers. Ryan suggests pre-planning what your customers’ needs are so that you can be the source for their answers. 
  3. Rest: Entrepreneurs tend to always be on-the-go and rarely squeeze in time for relaxation and restoration. Creating a healthy work/life balance applies to small business owners as well. Build in some time for rest this holiday season.
April and Tyron Harper
April and Tyron Harper, owners of Harp Vision.

April and Tyron Harper, Harp Vision 
Both suffering from chronic conditions, April and Tyron Harper created Harp Vision to bring all-natural, high-quality wellness and beauty products that relieve pain and improve each customer’s quality of life. They power their business using this gained wisdom:

  1. Passionate Mission and Values: Small business owners should identify a purpose beyond profit. Anchoring your venture in values will fuel your passion during the busy holiday season. 
  2. Educate Yourself on Digital Tools: April and Tyron noted their participation in Empower by GoDaddy as a helpful resource in leveraging digital tools, such as GoDaddy Studio, for marketing and brand elevation. Entrepreneurs can explore and adopt digital solutions to enhance their online presence and reach a wider audience. 
  3. Connect with Real People: April and Tyron recognize that their business is not just about products but about connecting with real people. Small business owners can prioritize building genuine connections with their customers, understanding their needs, and fostering a community around their brand.
Susan Clayton
Susan Clayton, owner of WhitePaws RunMitts.

Susan Clayton, WhitePaws RunMitts 
A running coach for the non-profit Back on My Feet, Susan Clayton couldn’t find mittens or gloves that kept her fingers and thumbs warm while running in the cold, so she invented WhitePaws RunMitts. RunMitts are convertible, thumbless mittens with inside pockets for hand warmers. Susan sets the pace using the following guidance:

  1. Pace Yourself: You don’t want to work yourself too hard at the very beginning of the holiday season and have no steam left going into the new year. With some planning, you can keep your momentum moving your business forward through the new year. 
  2. Build a Team: The beauty of a team is that you have a group of people you trust behind you, cheering you on and helping you cross the finish line. This can include help with social media, packing up retail orders, researching pop-up markets for sales opportunities, and more. 
  3. Believe in Yourself: In 2022, Susan received an exciting opportunity to fulfill an order putting RunMitts on the shelves of 80+ REI stores. However, it posed a big challenge due to supply chain issues and a lack of capital to purchase the fabric needed to satisfy the order. Through confidence and self-advocacy, she eventually gained financing for manufacturing and scaled her business to new heights.

The holiday season is a time of both challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs. But small businesses can navigate the holiday rush with strategic marketing, technological innovation and a focus on community and sustainability.

About seven new jobs are created by each microbusiness entrepreneur on a county-level, according to GoDaddy’s Venture Forward research initiative. This season let's celebrate not just sales but also the impact small businesses can have on communities and well-being.

Support small businesses this holiday season. Visit

Empower by GoDaddy Spotlight Series:By partnering with diverse local nonprofits and community organizations around the world, Empower by GoDaddy aims to reach those who haven’t otherwise had access by offering skills training, resources, and mentoring to help accelerate their business journeys. This article is part of the Empower by GoDaddy spotlight series that shines a light on the individuals who make this unique initiative possible.   

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GoDaddy is empowering everyday entrepreneurs around the world by providing all of the help and tools to succeed online. GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers, sell their products and services, and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success. To learn more about the company, visit

About GoDaddy for Good

GoDaddy focuses on making opportunity more inclusive for all in the communities where we work, live and play across the globe. We rally behind inclusive entrepreneurship and other critical local needs that empower people to succeed through philanthropic and in-kind donations, volunteerism, strategic partnerships and advocacy.

Empower by GoDaddy 

Empower by GoDaddy is GoDaddy's global community and philanthropic program equipping entrepreneurs in underserved communities with training, tools and peer networks to accelerate their journeys. GoDaddy rallies behind entrepreneurs in underserved communities by building their confidence and skills to strengthen their small business’ digital presence.  Entrepreneurs engage in customized learning experiences, work 1-1 with GoDaddy volunteer coaches and local mentors, and gain access to wrap-around services, in-kind products and networks boosting their small businesses success.

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