The first year that I started working for myself I invested in beautiful holiday cards for my clients. I chose a nice snowy scene (but not too “Christmasy”) so not to exclude anyone. Most importantly, the cards featured my new logo.
Once the cards arrived, filling them out proved to be less exciting than I imagined. By the 10th card, my handwriting looked derailed and I couldn’t wait to be done with the project. A few cards may have bounced back due to their businesses relocating. I never ordered cards again, and somewhere deep in my storage, 100 or so cards lay dormant.
When I founded Jumpstart magazine in 2014, I was on the other side of the table and eager writers, agencies and collaborators sent holiday greetings to me. A bulk were sent over email and an overwhelming majority contained generic greetings, i.e. “wishing you a happy new year” and “pleasure working with you” – messages that could have just as likely come from my dentist. A year later, I couldn’t tell you who they were from.
However, I can remember the kind messages I received throughout the year – an email from someone who found Jumpstart at a coffee shop and loved it; positive feedback from someone who saw me moderate a panel; congratulations from a person I hadn’t spoken with for a while.
These messages were often the highlight of my day, and an encouragement to keep going at 1am. I may have even read over them more than once, forwarded them and possibly filed in a special email folder – just because. ☺
As you and your team sit down to discuss a holiday greeting “strategy” this year, consider doing something more meaningful than a greeting card or email. Think of people or startups who made a difference this year – or who are doing an exceptional job (with their product, email, website, customer service, etc) – and take the time to leave a detailed LinkedIn review, a Twitter post, a kind public message on Facebook, a 5-star rating, or a recommendation where it counts.
Be generous and help spread the word about their good work. This gesture will go a long way to fostering a positive community and also a kinder world. And they may just remember you all year long. ☺
About Yana Robbins
Now living in New York City, Yana founded Jumpstart magazine in 2014.