Should freelancers bring a gift to a first client meeting?

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Dr. Freelance: I totally agree with your recent post about the benefits of hand-written thank you notes. I have a follow-up question that I’m hoping you can advise me on: What’s your position on bringing advertising specialties (logoed pens, coffee mugs, magnets, etc.) to a first client meeting?—A Freelancer Bearing Gifts

FBG: I’ll answer the question of whether you should bring a gift to a first client meeting by way of anecdote. When I started my business, I printed up a hundred or so small notepads with my logo and contact information on it to hand out to prospective clients. They were professional-looking, printed on nice paper…but when I was honest with myself, it wasn’t really a “wow” item. They weren’t terribly expensive, yet I don’t believe I received a measurable return on investment. [Read more…]

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Is the handwritten thank you note dead?

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Dr. Freelance: I’ve heard people on both sides of the hard-copy, handwritten thank you note vs. email thank you argument, and wondering your opinion on the appropriate way for a freelancer to thank someone for a first client meeting.—Thankful in CT

Thankful: Call me old school, but I am a bigger fan of the hard-copy, handwritten thank you note than its email cousin—which is not to say that a freelancer shouldn’t send an immediate thank you via email, as well. Consider that the prospective client has spent 30, 60 or more minutes of their valuable time with you…the courteous thing to do is thank them appropriately. [Read more…]

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