In our previous post, Mark and I talked about four things that help make school assembly shows a resounding success. Here in the last installment of our series for Kids Entertainer Hub, we aim to leave you with something that’s often overlooked but truly valuable in terms of forging client relationship (and making you stick in their mind): the thank you note.
The 1% Give-Back
Just think: someone just hired you to perform your art… and they gave you money. Are you thankful? You should be doing flips for them! But since we may not all be gifted with the coordination and muscle power needed to pull that off, let’s stick with the trusty, equally effective thank you note.
A thank you note is too often overlooked. It is so easy to pack up after a great show and start thinking about the next gig down the road. They loved you. They said thank you. They should send a thank you note to you.
But we believe in 1% give-back, and this includes a very heartfelt thank you note.
By 1%, we mean 1% of the money they gave you. We highly recommend including that tiny amount in your budget to thank your clients. A $150 gig deserves at least a buck-fifty back in thanks.
And the thank you note is the way to go. Sure it’s old-fashioned, but your clients can feel it in their hands, see it, know you had to do something more than sit at your computer just to get it to them.
And to make it really special—and make yourself memorable too in the process—here’s an idea on how to make an awesome thank you note.
The Lead-Up to Our Extraordinary Thank You Note
At the gig, Mark and I find a good reason to take a picture of us and the client. Usually we just say, “It’s our tradition to always take a selfie with the principal (or the person who hired us, the PTA mom, the person who introduced us, or the custodian).”
So we take the photo and we hardly ever get turned down. And when turned down, we just go to the next person on the list. Usually they are very eager to take a picture.
In two of our shows, we get the teachers on stage to dance. I stop the show and take a selfie right then and there. It’s a great moment! We tell the audience, “This is so fun we want to remember it.”
We highly recommend taking a selfie, not a full body pic. Selfies are much more fun and capture more energy. For better quality, try a close-up. Even if someone offers to take a full pic for you, opt for the selfie. Just say, “No, thank you. It’s all about the selfie.”
Then in the car, before we leave, we email the pic back to them along with something like this:
Thank you so much for having us today. A formal thank you is on the way, but we loved this pic so much we had to share it right away. Oh and thank you in advance for letting the other principals know about this assembly. Can’t wait to come back to your town.
That’s not the thank you, but it’s part of the process.
Our Unique & Highly Effective Version of the Thank You Note
Now back at home, you have a choice. Are you going for a handwritten note or not?
Personally, we think handwritten is great. I have terrible handwriting, so what I used to do was hire a guy to write them for us, and I paid them per piece. Easy to find online. They bought the stationary and stamps, I sent them a script in advance, and then I just emailed them addresses and names. Usually it took about two weeks. But that was 4 years ago.
Now we stepped up the game. There are many online card companies, and one we use is SendOutCards.
I have templates I love. All that’s left for me to do is add the selfie we took and change a few things in the written words inside the card. We make it a point to always thank the custodian for all their help. We also mention anything extra fun about the show, like the funny volunteer.
And here’s one thing we absolutely adhere to: WE DO NOT DO A SALES PITCH.
This is not the time. This is the time to be genuine.
We use a form letter wherein we just change the names—which doesn’t sound genuine, we know. But we have about the same level of genuine gratitude for each school that hires us.
Here’s a sample copy:
Thank you so much for bringing us to Perdew Elementary to perform "H2O Where Did You Go?" We had such a great time. The students and teachers were so much fun. Thanks to Walt again for all his help. Still laughing about Johnny’s performance of GAS!
We hope your school year finishes in style.
Mark and Obediah
Looking at the picture of the card, you can see it has three panels. Yes, it’s huge. It’s the biggest thing you can send without extra postage. The middle panel has the thank you message, while the bottom panel has room for a quote that relates to our show and venue. The back has our phone number, email, and list of all the shows we offer.
Since the card has the client’s picture on it, they NEVER throw it away. It usually rests on top of their file cabinet.
But here’s something we do to really knock it out of the park: we add a Starbucks card. Just $5. SendOutCards makes it easy to send this.
And you know what? We’ve even received a thank you note for our thank you note.
In the end, we’ve spent 1% of our income from the gig to make their jaws drop, and keep our name and face in their office for the next year and more.
Is it effective? You bet. Why not give it a try?
Want to see all our previous posts? Check out this list:
*All images from Obediah Thomas Collection
*Screen caps of SendOutCards.com by Obediah Thomas