Step away from the fruitcake. If you’re in the business of providing products or custom services to valued clients, it’s important to show them how much you appreciate their business. Especially this year. And there’s a thoughtful, purposeful way to go about it, even if time and money are topping your wish list this holiday season.
Dilemma: It’s mid-December and you totally forgot about holiday cards and client gifts.
Advice: Don’t freak out and overnight a pre-packaged set of cheesy cards (you know, the ones with the white doves gliding over a Peace on Earth message) that have no relevance to the relationship you’ve already established with your clients or customers. Trust me, sending nothing is a better choice.
If there’s one thing you’ve probably learned in the last couple of years while growing your business, it’s the importance of consistent brand messaging. What you say and how you package your interactions with clients is as important as the products and services they’ve purchased from you. Stay sincere, light and don’t be afraid to get creative.
There are online printing companies that can expedite orders of custom–designed, branded greeting cards and envelopes, and even mail them out for you. (Remember to choose 100% recycled paper and soy-based inks whenever possible – because part of your brand messaging should also be that you care about the environment and the future of humankind, right?) If you don’t have an in-house creative department, there are tons of graphic design firms and hungry freelancers that would love to start working on your project tomorrow. If you’re desperate, the online printers themselves offer “professional design services”. (Just remember, you do get what you pay for, and you’ll have to decide what your brand is worth and how your budget will affect that).
If you seriously don’t have time to go the route of personalized snail mail (which is, incidentally, a nice offset from our Twitter-tech frenzied days), then show just how eco-friendly your company is by sending a personalized email greeting. These can literally be developed in a day: saving time, money and perhaps, some premature graying.
You didn’t hear this from me, but it also wouldn’t hurt to add your company’s social media vanity URLs to the back of the card or bottom of the email. Ten point max on the font size, guys. Otherwise, it’s just shameless self-promotion. And during the holidays, no less!
Nearly everything you develop falls under the “branding” umbrella, and, whether in print or online, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take forever to develop. But it does have to be creative, consistent communication. When you get that call for another order or additional services after the New Year, it might just be because you stayed connected with your clients. Those connections, small as they may seem, build trust and long-lasting business relationships. That’s why the holidays are a great time to re-connect and stay ‘top of mind’.
Kelly Campbell is President and Creative Director of Liqui-Site Designs, Inc. [www.liqui-site.com], an award-winning, NY-based creative firm she founded at the age of 23. With a background in graphic design, fine arts and website development, her second business venture, TheHolisticOption.com, was launched in April 2008 and has been deemed the “WebMD of holistic health and wellness.” She hosts the company’s weekly podcast, which is among the Top 50 shows in Alternative Health (iTunes). Kelly and/or her work has been featured on numerous radio programs, AOL Health, and in the New York Times, Woman Entrepreneur and Forbes Magazine.