Does Santa Have Enough Hustle?
Does visiting the entire world one night every year constitute ample hustle?
by Ellis Friedman
Santa may be one of the most mythical entrepreneurs of all time: a classic bootstrapping do-it-yourself-er who moved his labor overseas (elves are presumably cheaper labor) and turned his mission into a global brand. He only produces what the “good” segment of his target audience tells him he wants, and he cuts down on manual labor and carbon footprints by utilizing quadrupeds for transportation. The North Pole is the Silicon Valley of itself.
But every entrepreneur and entrepreneurial wannabe knows that the number one thing that counts is hustle. How hard and long are you working? It’s unclear how many years Santa has been in business, but given what we know of the North Pole tycoon, can we admire his hustle, or do we need to downgrade him from “entrepreneur” to “ambitious part-timer”? Let’s investigate.
Knocking on doors
The place to start with hustling is to constantly be knocking on doors. Like, never stop. Working in Santa’s favor is that he doesn’t even knock on doors, he just goes straight down the chimney like a badass. Props, bro.
But working against him is the fact that he’s only doing it one night a year. Seriously? If your mission is to bring joy to the world’s good boys and girls, they could use that joy like, every month. Every quarter, if you have to, but once a year? Putting the once-yearly occurrence to coincide with the end of the fiscal year might be good for tax reasons, but does the North Pole even have taxes? By working one night a year, are you really maximizing the more than 31 million seconds you get every year?
Social media strategy
No one knows whether Santa has tons of social media presence or none at all. Is he hustling on all channels, or not? He seems to go the body-double route of having people pose as him to generate awareness, which is an interesting guerilla marketing tactic, but these days you need a blue checkmark next to your name in every social media profile or else you’re no one. (Like, this guy doesn’t have a checkmark. Reasonable doubt, much??)
Santa could really be harnessing Instagram. He has such a visual business: elves, reindeer, a barren arctic landscape. #santalife #workforyourselfgetanelf #beardgoals Insta could really help him reach even those who don’t celebrate Christmas and at least grow his brand awareness. It’s not about conversion, it’s just about making people aware that his brand is there.
And imagine: a Santa Facebook Live. There he is, in the sleigh, flying around the world, jumping down people’s chimneys. That would show people that he’s real beyond a doubt, because it would be on Facebook and that’s where all the real news lives.
And yet, he’s not doing this. The 21st century is about transparency, and we still don’t know that much about Santa, except that he knows when we’re sleeping and when we’re awake. Which, bro — that’s kind of creepy. That stuff worked in “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” but that don’t fly in 2016. If you were really hustling, we’d know when you’re sleeping and what you’re doing when you’re awake.
Santa hasn’t done a branding refresh in, well, ever. For as long as we can remember he’s been in the same red suit and black boots. Which is cool with the brand consistency and all, but white-fur-trimmed red is soooo 1940s. They didn’t even have internet in the 1940s, how could they hustle? Are you really trying if your brand looks the same as it did in Miracle on 34th Street?
My point is that Santa™ could use an entrepreneurial update. I’m thinking all-caps block letters, black and gold, modern with a touch of class. One of the elves must know how to use photoshop, or at the very least Canva. New branding could help you expand your target market to include birthdays, or adults.
Rebranding is easier than filling a cavity. Your brand should be innovating every day — it’s part of the hustle. And the hustle is what it’s all about.
In the end, if you or a random blogger on Medium have to ask if you’re hustling enough, you’re not.
Endless hustle possibilities, Santa. Maybe you should rename one of your reindeers Hustle.
Ellis Friedman is the multimedia manager at Infusionsoft, where she helps small business owners share their stories. Ellis has a diverse media background in magazine publishing, blogging, film, and photography, and is the author of the novel A Valediction. Connect with Ellis on Twitter @ellisredpen.