Day 11: The Power of a Thank You Card

Welcome to day 11 in my 100 in 100 posts for photographers! I’m so happy you’re here. I started this project because for so long I have learned from other photographers and creatives online and I felt it was finally time to share some of the things I had learned along the way. I hope so far this project has been useful to you and that you’ll stick with me for another 89 days!

Every day I go to my mailbox and I sift through bills and ads. It’s not exciting. What IS exciting is getting a personal note. You’re with me on this, right? It’s fun!  A postcard from your sister who is traveling, a birthday card from Grandma, a wedding invitation… it’s fun because it’s rare. When I check my email, I get dozens of emails per day from real people who typed out a message and hit send. But my heart doesn’t skip the same way when something comes via USPS, and that’s because a handwritten note takes time, effort, and thought.

It takes all of two minutes to type out a quick message online and hit send. It’s become completely normal to get messages via Facebook and email. But a handwritten note takes time. Someone has to pick out a card, sit down and write it, stamp it, address it and walk outside (I avoid this sometimes and so do you) and mail it. Let’s be honest, that’s some effort. It’s effort most people aren’t willing to make these days, so taking that very small amount time will set you apart.

Entrepreneur.com says, “Study after study reveals that when you say “Thank you” to your customers, they both spend more money and tell their friends about the exceptional service and products you deliver, increasing your profits.”

Recently I’ve noticed a weird practice in business. The last handful of times I’ve reached out to a business for a service they’re replied with something along the lines of “We’d be happy to help you out!” Wait… what? Is this real life? Instead of thanking me for choosing them, thanking me for paying them, thanking me for my business, they put this spin to make it seem like they’re doing me a favor. I don’t know about you, but it rubs me the wrong way. When someone even thinks about hiring me, the first thing they get is a sincere thank you. Showing gratitude in our business is good practice and good manners. It shows you are coming from a place of servitude, and a handwritten note shows you are willing to go the extra mile to show your gratitude.

Convinced? Perfect! Here are three tips on writing the perfect thank you note:

  1. Be specific. “Thanks!” isn’t enough. What are you thanking them for? Hiring you for their wedding? An awesome engagement session? Maybe you had a great meeting with a vendor and want to thank them for their time.
  2. Add in a compliment. And don’t make it up. I’m convinced everyone can spot a phony from a mile away. Ultimately this is about them, not you, so what did you genuinely love about your interaction? The tangent you went on about the next season of Game of Thrones? The way they kept laughing when you were trying to get them to be serious? Hearing about the way they met? This is a personal note, so personalize it!
  3. Make sure they know you’re there for them. The relationships I build with my clients are important to me and I need them to know that. At the end of each note I make sure to add in an invitation to ask me any questions or let me know if they need anything.

Was this helpful? Do you send thank you cards in your business? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and we’ll see you tomorrow for Day 12: Evaluating what you’re giving your time to.

Day 98 is currently reserved for any questions you have throughout the next 100 days. To submit a question, please click here!  If you’re interested in supporting this project, please share, PIN and comment! Any other questions, comments or ideas, please feel free to email me at denise(at)denisekaris(dot)com

Denise Karis is an Arizona photographer who enjoys musicals, Doctor Who and breakfast burritos. IG @denisekaris

denise karis photography blog 100 posts in 100 days for photographers

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