Giving gifts to your freelance clients is a nice way to show you appreciate their business — especially during the holidays. Plus it also helps you stand out and sets you up to get more repeat work from them in the year ahead. But coming up with professional and appropriate freelance client gifts can be a challenge.
So let me show you what I do to send freelance client gifts like a pro during the holidays and beyond.
How I Give Personal & Professional Freelance Client Gifts In Two Easy Steps
In 2020, I spent close to $1,000 on gifts for my freelance clients. And for years now, I always follow the same two-step process for my freelance client gifts…
- I order baked goods or other treats from Zingerman’s — a gourmet, mail-order food company with a department specifically for business gifts.
- I send a handwritten thank-you note along with the food to add a personal touch to my gift.
Before I tell you all the reasons I use and love Zingerman’s — let me say this article does not contain a single affiliate link. (Because with all the praise I’m about to drop, I wouldn’t blame you for getting suspicious.)
Now the biggest reason I get my client gifts from Zingerman’s is because they have an amazing selection. So I can find an appropriate gift for virtually any client.
And having a one-stop-shop for all my client gifts saves me a ton of time. Since I don’t have to go looking for new gift ideas all the time.
In fact, I’ve been ordering client gifts from Zingerman’s for years. And I still haven’t had a client where I couldn’t find a suitable gift from their catalog.
Plus Zingerman’s has an entire business-gifts department, which makes it easy for me to place my order. And it also allows me to include handwritten notes along with each gift.
On top of that, whenever I’ve had a problem with my order, their support has always been first-class.
Note: the only downside of ordering gifts from Zingerman’s is that they do not ship overseas. So if you need gifts for a client outside the U.S., you’ll need to do something else.
The rest of this article will show you exactly how I send my U.S. clients gifts from Zingerman’s with handwritten notes inside…
Step 0: Confirm Your Client’s Address & Dietary Restrictions
When I sign a new client, I get their mailing address as part of my onboarding process. But if you don’t do that — or if it’s been a while since you worked with a client — it’s a good idea to confirm their address is still the same.
That way, you won’t send your gift to the wrong address.
(Full disclosure: I gave Zingerman’s the wrong address for a client one time. And they shipped a new order to the correct address — without charging me at all. A+ for customer service there.)
I also recommend you check if your clients have any dietary restrictions. Especially if it’s your first time sending them a gift. Since you don’t want to send them something they can’t eat.
Once you’ve confirmed your clients’ address and dietary preferences, it’s time to choose your gifts from Zingerman’s.
Step 1: Choose Your Zingerman’s Gifts
Zingerman’s has a huge assortment of food and other treats. So here are a few of my go-to items that always get rave reviews from my clients:
For friends and colleagues who refer me business — and clients where I only work with one person — I will send one of these Coffee Cakes ($45-70) or a Customizable 8 Pastry Gift Crate ($70).
For clients where I work with a small team with a few employees, I send a Customizable 20 Mini Pastry Gift Box ($65).
And for big clients where I work with a large team, I’ll send a
Customizable 60 Mini Pastry Gift Crate ($150). 2022 UPDATE: It looks like they no longer offer the 60 Mini Pastry Gift Crate. 😭
Also, if your clients have dietary restrictions, Zingerman’s sells everything from cheese, to olive oil, to sauces and spreads, to coffee. So you’ll almost certainly be able to find something appropriate for each of your clients.
After you’ve chosen your gifts, the easiest thing to do is to enter all of your order details into the spreadsheet they provide at the bottom of their Business Gifts page.
And make sure you tell them you want to include handwritten notes with each of the gifts.
From there, the Zingerman’s team will reply to confirm your order, take your payment details, and tell you where to ship your handwritten notes.
Which means now it’s time for you to start writing out the thank-you notes for your clients.
Step 2: Write & Send Your Handwritten Cards to Zingerman’s
I use notecards with my company’s branding to write the thank-you notes I include with my freelance client gifts. (Specifically, I use these Luxe Notecards from Moo.com.)
But you can also just get a standard pack of notecards or holiday cards from your local drug store or supermarket. The style of the notecards doesn’t matter as much as the personal touch that comes from including a handwritten note.
Once you have your notecards, write out a thank-you note for each of your clients by hand. Tell them how much you’ve enjoyed working with them over the past year. And how you’re looking forward to collaborating with them to even greater success in the year ahead.
Then take each handwritten note, put it into its own envelope, and write the name of each client on the outside. Note: you do not need to put an address on this envelope. Zingerman’s will take this note and put it into the box with the food delivery.
When all your handwritten notes are ready, pack them into a larger padded envelope. Then mail them to the address you get from Zingerman’s.
From there, they will take your handwritten notes, put them into the box with each of your gifts, and ship them out to your clients…
While you sit back and wait for your clients to tell you how thoughtful you are! (And maybe even ask you about a new project that’s been rattling around in the back of their mind.)
Sending Freelance Client Gifts Is An Easy Way To Stand Out As A Premium Service Provider
Sending gifts to my clients has helped me build a reputation as a premium service provider. And it’s one of the ways I develop profitable, long-term relationships with my clients.
In fact, one of my clients invested $163,360 with me over the course of more than three years.
Which means instead of constantly having to hunt down new business, I can relax and spend more of my time serving my existing clients instead.
So if you’re ready to make more money — more consistently — with less time and stress, join the Freelance Like A Pro VIP email list now.
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