Optimism in a Tradition
I re-started a company tradition in November 2019: Hand writing thank you notes to first time clients. People don’t do that much anymore, with our keyboards and computer devices. Saying a formal ‘thank you‘ to new clients after delivering excellent voiceover continues a new relationship graciously. Anyone else write real thank you notes in today’s world besides me? Tell me. Relatively, I think I’m safe to say I am in a small group doing this. Based on the fun replies, my clients notice.
This tradition exists for several reasons. One, it’s good for business, sealing new relationships memorably. Two, it’s fun to write with my hand using a real pen on real paper. (I used to have a thing for calligraphy too. There really is a visual artist within me.) Three, it’s a positive celebration of collaboration (and celebrating achievements is also a company goal). This tradition gives me great joy.
How’d this all start?
Early in my voiceover plus on-camera career, there was a lot more person to person meeting up. Thank you cards were extra effort, but, were appropriate and recommended. Some years into my career, my focus became solely voiceover. Everyone evolved as business morphed radically with the internet expansion. In person meetings fell away, with email and on-line activity replacing them.
Even if it’s an extra effort, I like writing cards and saying thank you. The personal touch of new meetings via Zoom isn’t the same either. Physically putting pen to paper, and for a moment, switching from digital devices to physical implements is tangible goodness. So in November 2019, I decided to bring back my old tradition.
Printing branded cards, I was set and haven’t looked back. My hands always write them. I don’t care if it’s cursive or some mix in between. Fetish or not, I like the touch of a smoothly rolling ballpoint pen on real card stock paper and it’s matte surface. I fondly consider the collaboration as I write, noting something specific that was special. It is physical creation in the end, another creative expression.
Do I go to the post office every time?
Fortunately or unfortunately, no. I take a simple photo of the card on a good background, cleaning up lighting and composition with a photo editor. Next I send it digitally in email, through the internet to my newest business collaborator. The idea of going to the Post Office when the pandemic started was a safety issue, being what we knew then. It’s either closed or crowded, now that it’s safe, so – still a hassle.
Regardless, I want immediate gratification for my client. The US Postal service speed of delivery has been hammered in the last couple years, which makes digital delivery expedience and avoiding crowds at the local postal office preferred. *Thank you Internet of things... who do I send that card to?
Overall Positive Impact
Sending thank you notes is sharing optimism. It sets the stage well, showing appreciation for being selected in a competitive market. Each time my very special, unique, thank you card, I consider this.
Sending the note as quickly after voiceover audio has been approved has more impact. Send it as soon as possible. In a way, it’s like sealing up my VO with a professional, congenial, unique, memorable bow.
I have a stack containing every single thank you card that I write. It’s a kind of a visual metric for my effort. It’s hard to take a photograph and help you see what that looks like. There are over 100 cards. Below is my best attempt at a pic.
The big picture?
It’s creating optimism in new relationships. Looking forward and back at the same time. Looking at what was done, how it felt and how it went. I feel a sense of accomplishment and appreciation with every card I write, and it grows with the stack. And that, my friends, feels great. I think my clients feel it too.