Many think you need to spend lots of money to build your reputation and your brand. That could not be further from the truth! There is one simple detail that many do not practice these days, but it will do wonders in building your reputation. It’s a handwritten thank-you note.

It doesn’t cost much, but it is a discipline. All you need is a blank card, an envelope, a pen, and a stamp. It might be good to have your own stationery with your branding, but you don’t have to do this. It’s not really about aesthetics, though.

So, when do you write a thank-you note? A great rule of thumb is when someone does something that you are thankful for. Simple right? This hopefully happens quite a bit, so you could end up writing a bunch. Here are some reasons to send a thank-you note.

  • When you meet someone new (prospective client, connector, etc.)
  • When someone makes a business introduction for you.
  • After a sales proposal.
  • A team member that does a good job.
  • A reporter publishes an article for a client.
  • Someone buys your lunch or coffee.
  • You reconnect with someone from your network.
  • Sometimes you don’t need a reason.

Here are a couple of other things you should know.

When you feel like it is appropriate, don’t hesitate to put your business card in the note. It’s not self-serving, and it is an open invitation for someone to give you a call. You never know where that might lead!

Don’t expect someone to say, “Thank you for my thank you note.” That is not the point. The point is that you are expressing gratitude for something, and you are not looking for anything in return, although that happens more often than not.

As tempting as it sounds, don’t send a note with an ulterior motive such as getting new business. That can come across as “slimy” and if someone gets wind of that, it can destroy your personal reputation much quicker than you can build it.

Thanksgiving is around the corner. Who is someone you can send a note to?