When it comes to building a company on the principles of gratitude and positivity, nothing is as easy or as powerful as taking the time to say “thank you.” Surprisingly, a good bit of gratitude goes a long way toward more than just making someone’s day, it can also be the spark that ignites business growth by creating raving fans who appreciate you right back – and keep coming back for more.
According to social media expert and author of the book “The Thank You Economy,” Gary Vaynerchuk once said that we need to treat each customer as though he or she were the most important customer in the world. I couldn’t agree more. And to that I’d add people like mentors, colleagues, vendors, joint venture partners, newsletters subscribers, baristas, and anyone else who affects your day, your life, and your business. Since Day 1 of running my own business, I’ve made it a practice to send a variety of Thank You’s to people who make a positive impression in my life. Customers – yes. But also all the other people I’ve just mentioned and more.
How can you harness the power of appreciation? It all starts with what you say (or write) when you take the time to thank someone. And the format, or place, you send your thank you’s. Cards are great, I love ‘em, but a surprise thank you in a different format can have as much impact as well.
Here are 5 unique ways you can thank those special people in your life, and a little help for brainstorming the perfect content to spread those warm, happy feelings during this season, and all year round.
#1 The Top Fan Thank You
Make a list of your Top Fans. You know, the ones that have been with you from Day 1. They’ve cheered you on, participated in your programs, given you valuable and honest feedback and support. They are the bee’s knees. Send them a personal email. And with that email, a special gift, something that took a little time or effort and they would really appreciate. As an example, I recently sent a “love” letter to one of my biggest fans. And as I knew she was starting an online business of her own, and using social media, I took some time to select something awesome she said in her online content and create a unique graphic image that featured her quote, name and website. All of this was done in less than 30 minutes (both email writing and image creation). And I used Canva to get the job done for free. (check out my free user guide for Canva, it rocks!)
#2 The Unexpected Thank You
Thank someone who won’t expect it. Out of the blue. For no specific reason. Use email, or do it publicly using social media. Keep it simple, sweet, and include a silly token such as a cute photo, quote, or link to a happy, inspirational video. Put a smile on their face and a spring in their step.
#3 The Pre-Thank You
Thank new fans or followers BEFORE they buy or join your program. When a new potential customer first signs up for your newsletter list, follows you on social media, or sends you a simple inquiry, NOW is the time to let them know how grateful you are. Where’s the best place to do this? A “welcome” email. I see so many people use template messages in these that are super boring and robot-like. Take the opportunity to make strong first impression by using their first name in the greeting, telling them how grateful you are that they took a chance on you, and then send them a little thank you gift such as access to something secret, a download, a tip about a cool free graphic design site, etc. Or offer a free phone call, invite to your next gathering, or whatever else you think they would appreciate.
#4 The Old School Thank You
There’s nothing quite like a handwritten letter. Think about your best clients of all time, mentors such as business or life coaches, colleagues that cheer you on, or your biggest fans on social media. Take a minute to find out their snail mail address and send them a hand-written note. WRITING TIP: Be specific about what you’re thanking them for. Not just “thanks for helping” but “thanks for taking the time to sit down over PSL’s and brainstorm out what I needed to add to my new program. Oh, and the scone was great too!” Make them personal, original and to-the-point and you’ll really make their day.
#5 The Secret Handshake Thank You
Next time you attend a business networking meeting or any other live event, take the opportunity to sneak a thank you gift or card to someone who deserves it. Maybe it’s the leader of a networking group that has transformed your business. Or a woman who took the time to make you feel comfortable at your first meeting. Someone who sent a lucrative referral your way. A mentor, an inspiration, or maybe they just made you laugh. Write up a card, include a small gift such as a gift card, invitation, sticker, candy, etc. Slide it into their bag so they find it later. Smoothly hand it to them as you’re leaving the event. Make it low-key so they don’t feel on-the-spot or obligated – just appreciated.
If you struggle with what to write, I’ve rounded up some writing prompts for everything from fun to professional to heartfelt thank you’s that will spark your imagination and help you get started. Just click here to check it out and get started.
If want to learn more about how gratitude affects your life (in so many ways), check out my friend Deanne Marie’s article, 5 Ways Gratitude Brings Balance and Grace to Your Life, featured as the second part in this series about gratitude.
Bottom line, gratitude is super valuable in itself for the joy it brings to everyone involved. Showing gratitude with creative thank you’s will create strong emotional bonds between you and your audience – and inspire them to return to you again and again because you make them feel special. And really isn’t that what we all want?
Do you have unique ways you like to say thank you? I’d love to know! Share them in the comments below, or shoot me an email and we’ll dish.