Freelancers know that our business is only as good as our relationships and our relationships are our responsibility to cultivate and nurture. One of the ways we do this is by sending December holiday cards to clients. Show appreciation for the business you’ve been awarded and make this small, yet important, gesture that is a good relationship building block.
Sending physical holiday cards, as opposed to email greetings or e-cards, demonstrates that you are a gracious and thoughtful professional, willing to take the time to properly acknowledge and thank your clients at this special time of year. When you send to your clients a genuine holiday card, it shows that you understand and respect business etiquette. Sending holiday greeting cards is good for business relationships and for business.
Holiday cards are an inexpensive and effective marketing tool. They don’t take much time to write. Your clients will be flattered to receive one from you. Many business owners and Freelance consultants do not send December greetings to their clients any more (or if ever), so when you make the effort to send the card, you communicate an important statement about who you are and your approach to doing business. Sending holiday cards helps to distinguish you from competitors, guards against your being viewed as just another vendor, enhances your brand and shows clients that you value them.
When shopping for your card, take special care to select one that will represent you well and will leave the desired impression with the client. Because it is possible that you’ll have on your list clients who are neither Christian nor particularly religious, avoid cards that depict a nativity scene or other Christian imagery, or cards that contain a religious message.
Scenes of winter or Poinsettias (for example), with “Seasons greetings” or “Happy holidays” printed within is the business-appropriate choice. Spend the money to buy a good quality (but not lavish) card. A small and tasteful card will be perfect. Expect to pay about $20.00 for a box of 8 cards.
Next, consider who should receive a card. Along with current clients, you’ll also include any clients you’ve worked with during the year. I send cards to all clients I’ve worked with over the past five years, as a way to keep my name in front them and remind them that they have not dropped off of my radar screen. Later in the new year, when they’re thinking of whom to call for a project, I want my name at top-of-mind, if possible. BTW, it’s good to verify that clients from the past are still in the same posts, so a visit to the organization website or call to the main switchboard will save you from wasting a card.
If you are a very organized Freelancer and had the foresight to order holiday cards printed with your name and business name back in November (unlike your Diarist), personally sign your name to the card anyway and write a brief handwritten message. Along those lines, do not use pre-printed address labels. Keep the personal touch going by handwriting the client’s name and address on the envelope. Verify job titles and always use honorific titles (Mr. or Ms.).
Lastly, get your cards stamped (no religious stamps, use holiday stamps if available) and to the post office no later than December 15.
‘Tis the season,