Earn cash as a digital Santa Claus
Reading time: 4th min
This year has been a tough one – but you can still make money before it ends! With most of Santa's grottoes closed this year, you can take the opportunity to make money as a virtual Santa instead. How To Make Money Over The Next Weeks!
- What is a virtual Santa Claus?
- What you need to be a virtual Santa Claus
- How to Market Your Service
- Get paid
- More ways to make money
What is a virtual Santa Claus?
The virtual Santa Claus does the same job as a real one – except for Zoom! Many families will miss the Santa Grotto this year but still want to entertain their children. This is where Virtual Santa comes in.
They host a unique video call with the family to speak to their children and give them a special message from Santa Claus. You can choose how long each call should last and set your tariff accordingly. Some virtual Santa Clauses have set up entire grottos in their homes, garages, or offices to make the experience even better!
What you need to be a virtual Santa Claus
This is a type of job that doesn't require any experience. However, if you have experience as an actor or previously as a personal Santa, this could really help!
- Be confident in speaking to strangers
- Have a great talent for communicating with young children
- Be able to stay in character throughout the video call
The equipment you need is very simple! The basics you need to become a virtual Santa Claus include:
- A Santa suit!
- Reliable internet connection
- Decorations for your background
- A high quality webcam and microphone
- Access to reliable video calling software like Zoom
- A diary like Calendly so people can book their call place.
If you want to give it your all, you should tie yourself up with a friend to play the role of Santa Elf too!
When booking, it is a good idea to ask for children's names on the booking form. This allows you to greet your customers by name when the call starts – a great way to play the Santa Knows Everything trick!
If you want to look professional and encourage more signups, consider building a website with a service like Wix or WordPress.
Taxes and being Santa Claus
Even Santa Claus pays his taxes! If you haven't earned anything else through self-employment this year, you may not need to register as a self-employed with HMRC. Why? Well this is a sideline – you are unlikely to get the £ 1,000 a year personal allowance that can be granted before you have to declare it.
However, if you earn more than £ 1,000 – or are doing other self-employed activities during that tax year (either completed or before April) you will need to register as self-employed with HMRC. You might be doing your virtual Santa gig while on vacation or working fewer hours on your day job. In this case, you must definitely inform HMRC about your second income. This could affect your tax code.
How to Market Your Virtual Santa Claus Service
The great thing about being a virtual Santa Claus is that you don't need a fancy website to get started. However, it is helpful to have a social media profile or two to start your marketing.
There are many ways you can tell others about your Santa Claus service, including:
- Post to local Facebook groups
- Use the NextDoor app to let local people know about your service
- Tell your friends and family
- Contact local charities and groups. If you offer free sessions in return, they will promote you!
- Get in touch with local kindergartens and elementary schools
- You might even find your local community newsletter for an ad!
It's also worth getting in touch with colleagues, posting on other social media like Twitter, and even making a TikTok video!
Get paid as Santa Claus
The most important thing is that you get paid for your service. With something like a Virtual Santa job, the amount you charge is relatively small. On a ten minute call, most people would be willing to pay around £ 5 to £ 10, depending on what you're offering in the call. For example, if you and your elf are singing a Christmas carol to entertain your young customers, you might be able to charge a fee at the high end of this range.
Since there is not much money involved in any transaction, get prepayment before calling. As soon as someone is booked on your calendar, send them a PayPal link or your payment details. Make sure you keep a table of your bookings, payments and the amount earned. You need this information in order to report to HMRC for tax purposes!
Getting prepayment is a guarantee of customer engagement. They are more likely to actually show up for the call if they have already handed over money! However, as you know, you are dealing with families with young children. However, understand if your customer is not joining the call when they want. When they apologize with a legitimate reason – including toddler tantrums that cause delays! – Try to reschedule if you can. The ones who just don't show up … well that's their loss!
More ways to make money this Christmas
There are many ways you can make money from home this Christmas, from passive income streams to online tutoring. Try these articles for inspiration: