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Holidays, any holidays, are marketing opportunities for you. Send St. Patrick's Day cards to your Irish business friends, Flag Day cards to patriots, and Independence Day cards on July 4th. One of my attorney-friends sends me a lovely autumn photo card each Thanksgiving. Birthday cards are a must. Insurance agents have known for decades that the most important day in your year is your birthday.
The holidays from November through January, are filled with greeting cards and gifts. Ask yourself, "Who sent me cards last year?" Real cards, not e-mail cards. If you can name a dozen business associates, clients, or companies, it's surprising. E-mail cards are great, and I use them from time to time, but when I receive them from other consultants, they have a mass-marketing, bulk-mail feel. That's something to avoid.
Since good handwritten cards are so rare, they can really help you stand out.
I send UNICEF cards. The money goes to a good organization and contributes to my image as someone who cares. I personalize each card with a note tailored to the recipient, and I hand address the envelopes giving them a personal touch. That assures me that the card will be opened and read.
One of my pet peeves is handwritten cards that are scrawled because the writer was sending out 500, and it was a manufacturing project, not a labor of love. I take the time to truly address each person as I write, and I write slowly and legibly.
Time consuming? Yes, but it's time well spent.
These holiday cards give me one more opportunity to connect with friends and business acquaintances—and friends and acquaintances are the backbone of any consulting practice.