The power of a thank you card. I’m talking about a real-life handwritten note that has a stamp affixed to it and is delivered by a postal worker. The real thing. Not a quickly typed email. Not a text filled with silly emoticons (although I do love those thing
too so much). When was the last time that you hand-wrote a note to someone to thank them for something that they did for you?
Sending real mail has always been a big part of my life. My best friend moved away in the middle of grade two and we would send letters back and forth our entire childhood. I have a bag of those letters to prove it. That practise between us continues to this day (although less frequently in this modern digital age!). I still get excited when I see one of her envelopes in my mailbox. I also continue this practise in my photography life. If you hire me for your wedding, I am sure as heck going to send you a handwritten note to thank you for that. I do not take my job lightly, especially when it comes to photographing weddings, and I want my clients to know that I take great honour when they hire me for the job.
Last week I received a handwritten envelope in the mail. I did not recognise the writing so was curious to open it to see just who was sending me something. Who was it from? Oh you know, my optometrist. Wait, what?! When has one ever received mail from their optometrist, other than one of those postcards to remind you that you’re due for an eye exam? Inside was a handwritten note to thank me for referring a friend of mine to them. To me, doing this was not a big deal. My friend had asked where I got my snazzy glasses, I told her and she then promptly made an appointment. For them to then mail a thank you card was, well, special and I loved receiving it. (By the way, you can check them out at Spadina Optometry.)
When running your own business, it’s the small and personal gestures that will take you far. You may be good at what you do but in this wacky internet-driven life, it’s the things that you can do outside of the norm or what is expected that will make a difference. (I also crochet little hearts to attach to the packages that I deliver to my clients. But that’s a whole other story.) The next time someone does something nice for you, send them a little note telling them that you appreciate it. You may run your own business and are thinking “Aww, man, as if I have time to add something else to my list of things to do!” Make it a part of your regular workflow and make it easy: have a stack of pretty stationary and a bunch of stamps on-hand just waiting for the next time they are needed. It’ll take you less than five minutes to do but the reward from it will carry you much further.