Gift-giving ideas for ghostwriting clients

Gift-giving ideas for ghostwriting clients

Client gift ideas.

Client gift ideas.

With the holidays once again upon us, the topic of client gift-giving has come up. Some ghostwriters send cards to all of their contacts, some send a single type of gift to all of the past year’s clients, and others pick and choose who gets what.

There is no one right way to thank clients for their business during the holidays. And, truth be told, you don’t have to thank them at all. You can opt to do absolutely nothing for clients.

But is it smart to thank them? Could it lead to a stronger relationship? Will it help keep you top-of-mind? Yes, yes, and yes.

And for all of those reasons, I, personally, suggest that you do something to let clients know how much you appreciated the opportunity to work with them in 2015. What you do matters much less than doing something at all.

Some basic ideas to show your appreciation include:

Card. A greeting card to let your clients know you’re thinking about them during the holidays achieves the primary goal of saying thank you. You can do a little research to discover if your client celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, or Festivus, or you can wait until the New Year and send a New Year card. But the point is really just to say thank you for your business in 2015. That’s it.

Food. You almost can’t go wrong with food, but a little research can also help avoid the embarrassment of sending a gorgeous cheesecake to someone with Celiac disease, or rich chocolates to someone with diabetes. If you can quietly inquire about any dietary restrictions your client may have, you can feel more confident about selecting a delicious holiday treat for them to enjoy. Fresh fruit baskets, cheeses and snack trays, and cookie boxes are good ideas for office-wide gifts.

Books. As writers we’re known for our connection to the written word. Clients who hire us to craft well-written documents are also probably people who appreciate quality writing, so a good book is also a nice choice. You could go with the latest-and-greatest on a topic you know is of interest, or a well-made journal.

Hobby-related. If you know your client is an avid fisherman, or an aspiring gourmand, take your cue from that information and select a gift or gift card that supports that interest.

Handmade. If you’re a crafty person who is particularly skilled at a particular type of art, such as glasswork, jewelry, or knitting, consider offering a token of thanks in the form of something you’ve created by hand. Or turn to Etsy for some handcrafted delights that someone else has made.

Gifts I’d be a little more cautious about – but wouldn’t necessarily cross off your list if you’re certain they’d be appreciated – are:

  • Wine or liquor. Some people LOVE wine or a good bottle of scotch and others don’t drink. Just be sure which camp your client is in before springing for a pricey bottle is all I’m sayin’.
  • Donations to a charity you support. Charitable gifts are terrific if you’re sure your client supports the organization you’ve selected. Otherwise, you may cause irritation, not appreciation.
  • Gender-specific choices. It’s best to keep gifts gender-neutral, lest you offend. So stay away from, say frilly tablecloths for women or cigars for men unless you know they are fans.
  • Products from the competition. While your heart may be in the right place, sending the equivalent of a basket of products from Staples to your client at Office Depot, or Dunkin Donuts gift cards to Starbucks management is more likely to get you name recognition you don’t want.

Really, the most important part of your client gift isn’t the gift or the wrapping, it’s the personal note you tuck inside. Take a few minutes to send a heart-felt note of thanks for the work you did together. That’s the piece that they will likely hold on to long after the truffles or popcorn are gone.

What is your favorite gift to give? I’d love suggestions!

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Marcia Layton Turner

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