Business + Branding Education for Fearless Boss Ladies
Wondering how to ‘wow’ your clients with the perfect holiday gift? By the end of this video you’ll know how to turn this simple gesture into one of your best marketing tools!
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You might be asking yourself this very question right now. Why bother?
We’re approaching the holiday season, which, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, that means it’s also your ‘busy season.’
So you’re probably wondering if you really have to add one more thing to your already over-flowing to-do list.
But I’m here to tell you, client holiday gifts, shouldn’t be overlooked. I’m a huge fan of spoiling my clients over the holidays and here’s why…
As a busy brand designer and brand strategist, I actually work with most of my clients all year long—on on-going projects and campaigns. So Christmastime and the holiday season seems like the perfect time to say ‘thanks for another great year!’
I love sending them a thoughtful and on-brand gift [more about that later in this post!] as a way to show my gratitude, and create excitement for our upcoming year together.
However, I know not all creatives are working with the same clients all year long. So here’s another reason why I love client holiday gifts…
A lot of creative entrepreneurs, especially service-based business owners, like to send gifts to their clients as soon as they’ve booked.
And while I think that’s an incredibly thoughtful gesture, I also think it’s the worst time for client gifting.
Now, just hear me out. Your client is already excited to work with you. They’ve just paid (hopefully) lots of money to book your services. So they don’t need a gift right out the gate to make them even more excited.
And quick side note—being so close to their payment for your services may have them questioning if their money couldn’t be put to better use (than a gift they didn’t ask for).
I’d argue that it’s much more effective to send end-of year (or holiday gifts) to your clients—as an unexpected surprise—and again, a fabulous reminder of your brand and the time they spent working with you.
For my other clients, who don’t have year-long contracts with me, but instead, book stand-alone brand design collections or website design packages, I might only interact with them for a few weeks out of the entire year.
So I love sending them a holiday gift at the end of the year. It’s the perfect way to pop into their busy lives and remind them of the awesome experience we had together—and hopefully set the stage for more work in the new year.
I’ve literally had clients send thank you notes after receiving their holiday gifts, saying “Oh my goodness, thank you so much. I’m loving my new branding and would love to connect in the new year to chat about website design.”
Regardless of when you choose to send, the bottom line is that client gifting is a form of marketing. You’re spending money to nurture an existing client relationship with the hope of some return (whether that is great referrals or continued patronage).
Maybe you’ve never sent gifts to your clients—maybe it’s never even occurred to you. And if that’s the case, I want to encourage you to do so this year. Sending holiday gifts is one of the easiest ways to build goodwill with your clients and build even stronger brand loyalty.
To learn more about building brand loyalty in your small business, you have to check out this video: Create a Luxury Experience To Help Build Brand Loyalty in 3 Steps.
Comment below—have you ever sent holiday gifts to your clients? If not, are you going to start this year?
Now that you know why you should be sending client holiday gifts—let’s talk about how to pick the perfect gift! I’ve got 3 rules when it comes to choosing client gifts:
As previously mentioned, sending gifts to your clients is a form of marketing—and done the right way, it can be a very savvy marketing strategy.
When you choose to send gifts to your clients it becomes a part of your brand experience—all the many client interactions (or ‘touchpoints’) that add up to your client’s overall experience with your brand.
Because the overall goal of any brand experience is to create consistency and loyalty with your clients, it’s important to make sure that each touchpoint (including a gift) is ‘on-brand.’
Some entrepreneurs might struggle here, wondering how to stay on-brand with client holiday gifts.
For example, if you’re a high end fitness coach, you probably don’t want to be sending McDonald’s gift cards to your clients.
Now, that’s an extreme example, but you get the point.
You just need to make sure that the brands you choose to include in any client gift, align with your own brand. One quick and easy way to figure this out is by filling out my FREE Ideal Client Avatar worksheet.
You’ll use this worksheet to figure out the values and other brands your ideal client aligns with. So back to our fitness coach, maybe her avatar loves Lululemon—and there’s an idea for a client gift!
If you’ve been following me for awhile you know I am passionate about creative entrepreneurs building luxury brands—because building a luxury brand allows you to charge more while working less.
Knowing that your client gift needs to be on-brand, and hopefully building a luxury brand yourself, means your client gift needs to be high end as well.
Now, I’m not saying you should buy Louis Vuitton handbags for your clients.
But I am saying you definitely don’t want to be cheap. I know how throwing a cheap gift on top of an otherwise luxury experience can seriously damage a brand’s reputation.
A few years ago I paid lots of money for a high-end service—which was spectacular! But at the end of the experience, I was gifted a bag FULL of a bunch of inexpensive branded “stuff” (pens, candles, cups, etc.) that didn’t align with the luxury vibe of the brand. And it actually changed my perspective of that brand—it no longer seemed “luxury” to me.
I think it would have been better to not gift anything at all—because gifting cheap items that didn’t align with the otherwise luxury vibe, damaged that brand’s reputation.
When you pay for a luxury service or product you’re also paying for the luxury experience that comes with it—and luxury experiences need to be flawless.
So, maybe you’re wondering how you can even afford a “luxury” gift—and I’m here to tell you, you don’t need to break the bank to send a high-end client gift.
When it comes to luxury, less is always more. Consider sending less, but more quality pieces for your client holiday gift. In fact, a beautiful candle or just a coffee mug—wrapped in luxurious packaging can make a huge statement—while a cheap bag full of the same candle and mug and other knick-knacks sends a very different message.
It’s crazy, right? Less truly is more.
Speaking of looking ‘cheap’—my last rule is to never, ever, everrrrr ‘gift’ your services or a discount.
I know this option can seem appealing, especially to newer entrepreneurs, who maybe haven’t learned to truly value their time and talent.
Sending a gift certificate for a follow up service (even a ‘mini-session’) seems harmless, right?
Just giving away your hard work like this sends a pretty clear message: you don’t value your work, and neither should your clients. [ouch!]
And while we’re talking about not valuing your work, let’s talk about discounts. I teach my branding clients to never discount their one-on-one services—doing so cheapens their services and makes them attract only bargain-hunting clients who have no loyalty to their brands.
So discounting is a no-no any time of the year. But it’s even worse when it’s wrapped up in a pretty bow.
Sending your clients a ‘coupon’ or an offer for a discounted service is not only cheap, it’s just ‘icky.’ It’s saying ‘Hey! Here’s this gift, but not really because you’re still gonna have to pay me… just not as much, cuz I’m actually not worth as much as you paid the first time.”
Now you know how to ‘wow’ your clients with the perfect, on-brand, holiday gifts! But remember, that’s just one part of your brand experience. If you want to know how to build a remarkable brand experience from start to finish, then you have to check out The Brand Blueprint, my free 20-page guide, to help you get started!
Be sure to grab your copy now!
Wanna know more about building a luxury brand? Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel for the latest videos.