A few days ago, I received an unexpected package: a box of goodies from Good Karmal along with a note of thanks from a fellow freelancer. It was a very sweet way to show appreciation, and with Thanksgiving approaching, it got me thinking about how freelancers can express gratitude to our clients, our colleagues, and others in our lives. Here’s a list of eight ways
- Write a note.
I’m a sucker for pretty stationery, so I’ll use almost any excuse to buy a card on Etsy or break out my collection of paper goods. I may not have the best handwriting in the world, but I always enjoy getting a handwritten note, so I’d imagine other people do as well, especially since so much of our communication is via email or text nowadays. I recently got a nice card from an author who interviewed me for her upcoming book. And sometimes I’ll find a handwritten notes sandwiched inside a galley or a review copy of a book. Hint: if you don’t have someone’s mailing address, you might be able to find it at the bottom of their email newsletter, since CAN-SPAM requires emailers to include a physical address. Or you could just ask.
- Send a small gift.
Who doesn’t enjoy caramels with inspirational sayings on the wrappers? The Good Karmels were a nice surprise, but other small gifts work, too. After a Twitter follower spent some time helping me with a technical glitch in my ebook, I sent him an Amazon gift card (bonus: you don’t need someone’s physical address to email them a gift card). Books also make great gifts for the literary-minded and they’re inexpensive to ship via media mail, so I’ll sometimes send a friend a book they might enjoy just because.
- Link liberally.
Bloggers want links. Journalists want eyeballs on their articles. When I come across something worth sharing, I’ll link to it on my blog, post it on Facebook or Google +, or tweet it. Linking is good karma, but it’s also a great way for your friends or followers to discover interesting content. For instance, I recently saw an interesting post on successful mom bloggers and another on ways to find new freelance clients.
- Leave a comment.
Comments make a blogger’s day! Although negative comments can show that the article or post sparked debate and attracted attention (and yes, some bloggers post controversial statements specifically for this reason), I prefer to play nice. You might disagree with someone, but keep it respectful.
- Offer a testimonial or referral.
Testimonials offer social proof, while referrals keep many freelancers and small businesses afloat. If, for instance, you’re partnering with a graphic designer who does an awesome job on a brochure, you could write them a recommendation on LinkedIn or refer them to some of your other clients. Remember, though, just because some asks for a testimonial or referral doesn’t mean you have to give it. And if someone writes a lukewarm testimonial or refers you to a prospect who isn’t quite right, you can always graciously decline.
- Give a #FollowFriday shout out.
If you’re on a Twitter, then you’ve probably noticed people using hashtags like #FollowFriday or #FF towards the end of the week. The idea is to make recommendations about who to follow on Twitter, but in my opinion, it’s turned into a whole lot of noise. That’s why I choose just one person to highlight each week and include a short tidbit about why they’re worth following.
- Buy a book.
I’ve already posted about ways that readers can help their favorite authors, and #1 was (of course) buying their book. Buy copies for yourself, give them as gifts, donate them to your local library if you can. Books have gotten pricier, but if you think about them relative to other types of entertainment, they’re pretty affordable on an hourly basis. And once you’re done with it, you can keep it to reread, pass along to a friend, or swap it on a site like BookMooch.
- Post a review.
I sometimes feel guilty for not buying the full-price, hardcover edition of all my colleagues’ latest books. So, for instance, when Amazon was offering a free Kindle download of a fellow freelancers’ new book, I downloaded the Kindle version and posted a review on Amazon (mentioning that I knew her, of course).
Flickr image courtesy of woodleywonderworks