I have written so many thank you notes over the years, I figured this was normal business practice for everyone. Surprising to me, I find it it is not standard practice. It is my experience that thank you notes make a substantial impact on people and a stronger relationship with your friends, family, clients, and vendors.
A client hires me for a job, upon completion I write a thank you note because I am feeling grateful for the opportunity. For a more impactful tactic, I try and without many exceptions, send a second and third thank you: one for the fun of working with them and finally for the excitement I feel about the published work. Not only do I thank customers for a completed job but also after the opportunity to be considered for the assignment. I have sent a thank you note when given a chance to estimate the project, awarded the job and then completed. In other words, they receive three thank you notes for one assignment. To enhance the longevity of the relationship, in time I will send a fourth update note within a few months after the project.
Some time ago a client called me after he received my thank you note. He told me he has been hiring photographers for 20-years, not a single one sent him a thank you note. He is not the only one to reach out to me and share a similar experience. I have also visited clients to discover my thank you notes hanging on their office walls or by their computer.
I do send thankful notes even when customers do not award me the assignment. My philosophy is they spent the time to connect with me, so I am thanking them for that opportunity and connection. It is a good marketing strategy, and again, it is about building a client relationship.
Reasons to send thank you notes
- Estimating a job
- Meeting a potential client at a networking event
- Portfolio showings
- Client that gives you a referral
- Potential customer, you had a brief phone conversation with
- Receiving/Completing an assignment
- Because you feel like it and it is a beautiful day
- moreover, the list can go on and on...
In the past, I would make ink-jet printed thank you notes and hand write a note. In recent years, I send printed postcards via an iPhone app. My favorite app is Postagram. I have sent about 900 of these postcards over the years. I like it because I end up using my Instagram images and a quick note. It is simple, takes minutes, and I can complete it even when I am in line at a grocery store.
I am all about simplifying tasks, and that is why I prefer phone app driven thank you notes. Because of my poor handwriting skills and the time it takes to create those postcards, I found myself putting up resistance to complete that task, and I would fall months behind on sending them out. With a thank you note phone app, I have no excuse. Figure out what works best for you and if you prefer hand written notes, then go that route.
Remember, being successful is all about building relationships with your clients and vendors. For me, a simple thank you note is part of my formula.