Client gifts are a fabulous way to jumpstart your relationship with a freshly-booked customer. Discover gifts SO good, you’ll want them for yourself! (Photographs: CASEY BRODLEY)
From simple hand-written notes to custom-blended bottles of wine, client gifts go a long way toward establishing your brand, introducing your personality, and building a beautiful connection between you and your clients.
But let’s be honest…
You’re Crazy-Busy Already!
And now you have to send every single newly-booked customer a special package?
We’re a little giddy over here, however, because we’re about to show you a streamlined workflow for client gifts that are awesome and affordable!
Meet Casey Brodley: Madam Cotton Candy Hair
Casey was already running a super-successful photo biz without sending client gifts. But she wanted to send a small token of appreciation when new clients signed their contract – a memorable thanks for each new booking.
“I really wanted to give them something unexpected – not just a gift card or thank you note. After reviewing my budget, I found a little wiggle room that allowed me to add a personal touch, and I challenged myself with a $10-per-client budget.” – CASEY BRODLEY
Introducing: Casey’s Dreamy, Delightful Client Gifts
Inside each of Casey’s client gifts, you’ll find:
> 4oz Mini Tin Soy Candle: from Wax Cabin Candle Co.‘s Multi Mini Candles package ($7 per candle)
> Custom Matchbook: Etsy shop Picture Perfect Papier ($0.90 per book)
> Hand-Signed Thank You Card: Paper Source ($1.10 per card)
> Business Card: Moo.com ($0.50 per card)
> Small Shipping Box: Aviditi via Amazon ($0.30 each)
> Fistful of Pink Shred: Amazon (approx. $0.20 to fill each box)
The grand total?
$10 + Shipping Per Gift
Casey immediately began receiving happy feedback from the couples who received her custom client gifts: emails, texts… one client even published an Instagram Story!
Want to create client gifts like Casey’s?
Casey’s specific products and vendors are linked above. But you can also follow her process and craft your own unique client gifts!
#1: Set your budget.
“Determine your budget first, then prioritize what you want to say with the gift.” – CASEY BRODLEY
First and foremost, you need to know how much you have to spend on client gifts. Even if it’s only $2 per gift, and you’re limited to a handwritten notecard, make it the “you-est” card ever. Include on-brand graphics, a silly message, or a moving quote. Show off your personality, your colors, and your vibe. It’s your time to shine!
Be honest about what you can spend. You don’t want to send client gifts to some clients and not others!
#2: Decide what to send.
“I wanted my client gifts to reflect my brand and give my couples a relaxed, happy feeling. What better way to achieve that than with a delicious-smelling candle? Next I added colorful business cards, and sourced shred paper that matched one of my primary brand colors.” – CASEY BRODLEY
Ask yourself a few questions to trigger your own creative ideas and themes:
- How do I want my clients to feel when they open my gift?
- What do I want my clients to think about me when they open my gift?
- From start to finish, what kind of experience do I want my clients to have with me?
Lastly, begin your brainstorm, and make a list of gifts – large, small, or in-between – inspired by your themes!
The Best Client Gifts Are From the Heart
The best client gifts aren’t necessarily expensive or elaborate. We all long to feel valued and connected, so client gifts that are personalized and thoughtful make the most impact!
Consider these delightful ideas:
Do you spend your weekends at flea markets and vintage shops? Pair an old-school item – like a bronze ring dish or milkglass vase – with an elegant notecard, and say thanks with retro flair.
Define the theme by gifting a gorgeous photo frame! What goes in the frame? Maybe your thank you note, or an offer for a free print when their session is complete.
If you love baking cookies, roasting cinnamon pecans, or making some other shareable treat, whip up small batches to send as client gifts! (Just be sure to include an ingredients list in case of allergies!)
Sometimes you simply don’t have the time (or the personality) to create your own clients gifts. Instead of scrapping the idea altogether, however, outsource your gift-giving – while still hand-selecting the item itself and personalizing each gift’s message.
> Gift a subscription to Birchbox, a beauty box perfect for brides, grooms, and boudoir clients. Only $25.50 for three months of Men’s or Women’s Birchboxes.
> Bouqs delivers farm-to-table flowers grown on eco-friendly, sustainable farms worldwide. Bouquets begin at $45.
> Greetabl offers colorful, customizable boxes packed with your selection of one or two fun client gifts. You’ll spend about $20 per client.
#FocusOnWhatMattersMost with Casey Brodley
If adding client gifts to your workflow feels overwhelming, remember: anything that promotes happy clients, gorgeous photo-making, and authentic connection is truly worth your energy and investment.
Don’t stress about making your client gifts “perfect,” and certainly don’t worry about what other photographers are gifting their clients. Instead, focus intently on making your clients feel valued!
“I’m focused on growing my business, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing myself to other photographers. It’s important to recognize, though, that your clients have already compared you to other photographers; and they chose YOU. That’s pretty awesome. What can you do to say thank you? You don’t need to spend a lot to make someone feel appreciated!” – CASEY BRODLEY
How do YOU show your clients how much you love and value them?