It’s not too early to start thinking about Christmas. I saw Christmas decorations out in the stores right next to the Halloween items a couple of weeks ago. (Some things are just wrong.)
Now, I prefer to get one holiday out of the way before I start thinking about the next one, but apparently retailers don’t think that way. From the number of Christmas flyers that have magically appeared in the mailbox recently and the amount of times I’ve been hearing, “Mom, can I have…..” recently, the holiday season seems to be gearing up now.
At the risk of adding one more thing to your already jam-packed schedule over the next few weeks, you should make a point of pulling out your client list and reaching out to them at this time of year. “You can send holiday greeting cards or ecards for Christmas if you wish.. A personal e-mail is also appropriate.
Your message doesn’t have to be a lengthy one, but you do want to thank the client for their business over the past year and invite them to contact you with their future writing needs. If you haven’t heard from some of the people you are contacting for awhile, this is an opportunity to get your name in front of them again. Your regular clients will also appreciate your reaching out to them in this way.
Your success as a freelance writer will depend, at least in part, on the relationships you establish with your clients. If you demonstrate that you value the people you work with, they will respond in kind by offering you more and better assignments and referring you to other potential clients.
Sharing good wishes is a simple thing that you can do to finish this year on a positive note and set the stage for a prosperous New Year.
Do you reach out to clients during the Holiday Season? Do you send traditional cards or communicate by e-mail?
Jeremy Powers says
Never, never, never – send your holiday regards by email. It would be better to not send anything at all.
Best practice – Send a (less than $15) gift which shows you have unique knowledge of the client and that you put thought into selecting something for them. Taking the time to wrap it in gift paper and then packing it in a shipping box will really impress.
Just please, don’t send emails. Fortune 100 companies do more than that.
John Soares says
Jodee, I do this, but not with all of my clients, and it’s very important. I just put it on my calendar for the first week in December.
Rebecca Theim says
I’m sending cards and also gift certificates to very select clients and prospects, offering them 2-5 hours worth of my time, with the hope that it will prompt a larger job or simply remind them that I’m there and available to do quality work for them.
April Michelle Davis says
Each year, I do send out holiday cards. Inside the card, I include several business cards. This way the client has my most recent contact information in case anything has changed. Does anyone include information about an upcoming event they are speaking at within the holiday cards?
Del Kroemer says
What if email is your only means of contacting a client? Should you even bother with sending a virtual holiday greeting then?
Jeremy Powers says
I think we might be using different terminology. That is my mistake, because I am more “marketing guy” than “writer.”
When you say client, I immediately think of the ranking in the customer hierarchy. The customer hierarchy is: suspect, prospect, customer, client, and advocate.
Based on the hierarchy, there would be no way you would only have a client’s email. A “client” for me is a top 10% customer, a partner.
For a regular, less than $1k annually customer, I think an e-card could work, but I would encourage you to try for more. These days it does not take long to track a mailing address if all you have is a twitter handle. It just takes a little digging.
All the best, and I apologize for the confusion on my side.
Speaking for myself, I’m thrilled if someone remembers me at Christmas and sends good wishes – no matter what the medium is. If your choice is using e-mail or nothing, then go with e-mail. Sharing the message is the most important thing.
Our working arrangements can be a lot more casual than in the corporate world, and I would think that this extends to proper holiday etiquette.
Del Kroemer says
Thank you for your input Jodee. Great article!
I send a holiday card to all of my clients as well as all of the editors I’ve worked with over the past year. I also include a business card with the holiday card. I think it’s well worth the business expense.
Jennifer L says
Aww, man. Not only do I have to make and address and mail 100-plus holiday cards from my family to our friends and family members all over the country, but now I have to prepare and send a separate card for my clients? Ack!
But seriously. I think it’s a good idea, and unfortunately, it’s one that I’ve never actually put into practice as long as I’ve been a freelancer. What type of holiday card are most of you sending out? A generic winter holiday type card? Hand-addressed or labels?
Muhanguzi Fred says
I wish you could connect me to one, since am a beginner.
Thanks for the information.