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The Art of Saying Thank You: Ideas for Freelancers

With the phrase “thank you” on the verge of becoming a cliché, use these strategies to express the same sentiment with a revived sense of meaning.

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Posted 14 Nov 2016
The Art of Saying Thank You: Ideas for Freelancers

The holiday season is approaching, and so it is time to reflect on all the good things in our lives. Whether you’re celebrating American or Canadian Thanksgiving, or the more ubiquitous Christmas, these holidays are all about expressing gratitude. In the professional world, the two words, “thank you” are thrown around quite casually in various forms:

  • Thank you for your time.
  • Thank you your business.
  • Thank you, John Smith.
  • Thank you so much.

Do these phrases ring any bells? “Thank you” arises constantly in our formal dialect to express gratitude to others for listening to us and considering our ideas. Even though this phrase may appear to have lost its meaning due to overuse, thanking others is still important, especially in the freelancing world. Without those important client relationships and the establishment of rapport and respect, no freelancer can survive. With the phrase “thank you” on the verge of becoming a cliché, use these strategies to express the same sentiment with a revived sense of meaning and learn why saying “thank you” is still important.

Searching for how and why to say thank you starts with you. In fact, gratitude has become quite the trendy topic in pop culture today. Society is lashing back against fast-paced, consumerist culture with new advocates of the philosophy that happiness stems from slow-paced reflection, thoughtfulness, and gratitude. As a pre-holiday season gift, treat yourself to a gratitude journal or create a new gratitude document or note on your laptop, tablet, or phone. When musing about her own gratitude journal, lifestyle guru Oprah comments:

I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots.

Ted Video from June 2013
Source: TED

Beyond the numerous personal benefits of gratitude journaling, you can also use this space to begin uncovering and growing in your professional endeavors. Write down what you enjoy most about your work, your freelance lifestyle, and the clients who provide you with various opportunities. If you work to maintain your gratitude journal all year long, writing your holiday season thank you greetings will be a piece of cake!

How to Say Thank You

Lately, “thank you” got a makeover with the acronym “TY” or the Australian, ”ta!” and is frequently shortened to a casual “thanks.” However, these became less personal and are less appropriate in a business professional setting. The repetition of “thank you” in the examples above definitely feels uncreative, and as a freelancer, your sentiments should be as original as you are. To spark your literary finesse, try out these synonyms for showing your gratitude:

  • I appreciate your precious time.
  • I value our cooperation.
  • I am grateful for this opportunity.
  • With gratitude, John Smith.

Whether you may already be familiar with these alternatives or use them regularly, adding variety to your thank you statements will freshen up your message. The most important thing is that your thank you conveys a genuine sentiment that will foster and strengthen your relationship with the recipient. Using these different words and phrases will help to exhibit your sincerity and express your investment in a continued cooperation.

How to Send Thanks

There definitely are opportunities to give thanks in every type of correspondence, however, as it is the holiday season, experiment with sending out specific thank you messages to your colleagues and clients as a form of seasons greeting. There is nothing more pleasant than receiving a thank you note, especially as it is going out of style. Taking the time to write out your gratitude in an email, card, or postcard (great for freelancers living in exotic destinations) will impress your recipient and might even result in a renewed contract!

Postcard illustration by blinkblink
Send a postcard from your current location, or DIY and make your own. (illustration: BlinkBlink)

Now that you’ve got your vocabulary and your stationary, what exactly should you write? Start by reflecting on the specific job and what you have learned from the experience. Think about how you have grown in your work or what connections have developed because of your relationship with this client. This is also a great way to mention where you would like to see the relationship go in the future. Most of all, your thank you note will demonstrate that you have a strong work ethic, are personable, and take pride in your work.

How to Spice It Up

Electronically, there are several great platforms and tools to create and send a thank you message. For card templates, illustrations, print, and web elements, GraphicRiver is a great place to start designing your thank you message. With 8,000+ thank you card graphics, designs & templates, you’ll have plenty of options to make your thank you message unforgettable. Or, include simpler stock photos that can accompany any acknowledgement of appreciation.

To create or send a greeting via the internet, several sites offer the option to create, customize, and send your message directly to your recipients. For more traditional options on a widely used platform, search through the selection offered on Paperless Post. For those seeking a more vibrant variety, PunchBowl provides numerous options with bright colors that will pop along with the ingenuity of your thankful thoughts. For freelancers who are collaborating on a project with others, inspire a collective thank you card. These templates make it easy for multiple members to sign the same card and send it to a designated recipient.

However you choose to design your thank you message, the client in question will be delighted and impressed to receive something that shows reflection on your collaboration. Saying “thank you” in your daily emails may have become a little redundant, but showing your appreciation is still important and will make you stand out in the professional world today. Start by revising and changing up the way you express your gratitude. Don’t forget to dig deep and provide concrete reasons and reflections on why you are grateful to work with this client. Then, have fun making it stand out either in print or e-card form. Seize the timing of the holidays to get a little sentimental and personal in your professional relationships and partnerships. You never know the kind of catalyst your thank you message might be for new projects and opportunities in the new year!

What strategies have you used or successes have you had when thanking your clients as a freelancer?

Featured image: IvetAngelova 

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