As we roll into the holiday season, it can be easy to get caught up in the flurry of it all. We will quickly be bombarded by constant commercials and pushy promotions encouraging us to buy, buy, buy for everyone and anyone! It’s tempting to go into autopilot, grabbing gifts for the people in your personal life and business out of obligation instead of intention.
It may seem innocent enough (and WAY quicker) to grab 25 branded coffee mugs to hand out as gifts to clients, team members, and vendors. But giving a “half-assed” gift this holiday season can actually cause more harm than good.
That’s because one of the “staples” of gift-giving we all claim to be true is actually FALSE.
It’s not the thought that counts.
OUCH! I know…
…for the longest time, I also believed the thought was what mattered most when it came to gift-giving. That was until I came across this quote.
Hear me out. When we go through the motions of gift-giving in our businesses, it comes from a place of checking another box off the list. We may have thought about that person just long enough to add them to a shopping list, but it wasn’t truly thoughtful.
It can be tempting to knock out your holiday shopping in one fell swoop. I get it! Bulk ordering a bunch of swag that can also serve as promotional items sounds good in theory. But the thought is thoughtless. And your recipients can feel it.
Instead of gift-giving as a knee-jerk reaction to the season, let’s try something different this year. In this blog, I’ll outline how you can leverage gifting as a strategic tool in your business.
I truly feel that gift-giving is a bonus. It is not a must-do on your list. And if you genuinely don’t have the time, resources, and energy to put into it this year, that is absolutely okay! But, if you DO decide that you want to participate in holiday gifting this year, do it right.
In this blog we’ll explore how thoughtful gift-giving can help you enhance your client experience, retain your incredible team members, and honor the mentors who’ve helped you blaze your path. If you simply can’t wait and want to take action NOW, cut to the chase and grab my FREE Holiday Gifting Guide here. It answers all your questions about the who, what, why, and when of gifting for your business. I still encourage you to come back to the blog to dig in a bit deeper on how to make those gifts even more intentional, personal, and thoughtful.
Your clients are the reason you created your business in the first place! This time of year offers you a unique opportunity to express your gratitude for their trust and investment in you. I believe that you can have the most amazing product or service suite in the WORLD, but without a strong client experience, it all falls flat. Gift-giving can be an integral part of your client experience strategy and it offers a great ROI that you can feel proud of.
The money you spend on personal gifts for your clients will…
A thoughtful client experience helps you build brand loyalty. It will let you nurture your current clients and even loop in past clients you’d like to work with again. Taking the time to curate an intentional client experience will leave you with a clientele of RAVING fans who not only want to work with you over and over again, but will also encourage their friends to run, not walk, to your business. Harnessing this client satisfaction can easily fuel your business’s referral program, marketing strategy, and lead acquisition. The money you invest in a thoughtful gift, will pay off tenfold in the longevity of your client relationship.
Sharing thoughtful gifts with care and good intentions will earn you clients for life.
Good people MAKE successful businesses. You know that you couldn’t do what you do without your rockstar crew including your team members, vendors, and contractors! The holiday season is a great time (although, not the only time) to show them you care.
Putting care into the gifts you give your team members will…
I love to drive this point with a story from my time working in NYC.
I have a football sitting on my desk.
It’s in a display case, has a big Eagles logo on it, and an illegible signature from a powerhouse Eagles player from years past. On the front of the case is a plaque that reads:
It was a gift from my team at the branding and design firm I worked at in NYC, celebrating my 5th anniversary at the firm.
It’s one of my most prized possessions.
Not because of its price tag, but because of the thought and meaning behind it (lifelong Eagles fan over here!). It was given with intention and was so perfectly picked for me by a team of people I will always cherish and be thankful for.
This gift symbolized that my team not only appreciated my work, but they knew and cared for the person behind the job title. I wasn’t just another number. I was a valued part of this company.
As CEO you have the opportunity to be that boss and create that team. You get to choose to be the boss you loved, or maybe the boss you never had, but wished for. Taking the time to appreciate your team members in this way (with no strings attached) helps to build genuine community and boost morale while improving employee retention. Basically, it will help you keep AWESOME people on your team LONGER.
You can extend this same appreciation to the people who may not officially be part of the “team” but feel like your work family! People who work with you in a B2B (business to business) capacity, such as vendors and contractors, are essential to your business success and operations. Giving gifts to these individuals during the holiday season will help you build your relationship. It expresses to them that you appreciate their role in your work and in your life. It establishes them as a true business partner, and not just a means to an end.
Giving and receiving gifts naturally helps us feel a part of the community with others. Cultivating a strong community is essential to a successful, connected business with people who support us and will be glad to refer their friends, family, and clients to you in the future.
Plus it makes the work you do more meaningful and impactful. Take time this holiday season to acknowledge the role of business besties and mentors in your life.
→ that friend you can vent to when the entrepreneur life feels overwhelming
→ or the business mentor who believed in your vision from the start and has helped you pave the way…
Gifting your business besties, mentors, and audience will…
Building an authentic business means paying tribute to the people who have made your success possible- we truly can’t do it alone!
COO TIP: Consider offering a “gift” to your audience to thank them for being a part of your extended community. This might be an opportunity to win a product or service from you via your social media channels. It could also be a discount for email subscribers to show you value their support. Another way to give back to your audience is to shout out and promote small businesses you love and respect on your platforms.
Gifts in business are like gifts in your personal life – they have the power to grow relationships, show you care, nurture connections, and form friendships. When you invest in your community, you are truly investing in your business.
If you’re wondering if sending gifts to clients, vendors, team members, mentors, and business friends is something you should be doing, listen up…. I want to be SUPER clear here…
…you do not NEED to send holiday gifts. If you never send a gift, your business will probably be just fine.
Gifts are meant to be gestures, not obligations.
Giving a gift out of obligation is going to get you about as far as not giving a gift at all. So, if you’re just doing it as another thing to check off your to-do list, save yourself the time and money and forgo the gifts.
But, if you want to:
…gifts are a great way to do that!
Now that you understand how gifting can be a powerful, strategic tool in business, it’s time to dive into the nitty-gritty details! If you’re ready to leverage the power of meaningful gifting in your business this holiday season, I’ve got you covered.
I’m thrilled to share my FREE Holiday Gifting Guide for your creative business. This isn’t a list of Top 10 Gifts of 2021. Instead, it is a guide that will answer all of your questions about the who, what, where, and when of gifting in your business. Trust me, you’re gonna NAIL your holiday gift-giving this year!
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