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Photography Marketing: 10 client gift ideas to cap off the year

This year was the first year I’ve done client gifts for the holidays. For me, it was a chance to say “thanks” and have them remember me as they head into their holiday season, and most importantly, into the new year.

Holiday gifts can be a great marketing tool, no matter what you choose to give. Beyond the holiday card that you send in the mail, think of giving your most appreciated clients something a little special. Here are 10 ideas to get you started:

Playing cards

This is the route I went with because I often have multiple contacts at a company. Perfect for groups, playing cards allow you to encourage socialization between co-workers. And by putting a collage of custom photos on the back with your logo, you’ll be thought of any time the group wants to have a little fun…or battle it out over a game of Texas Hold ‘Em. I ordered my playing cards through Zazzle.com and was pretty impressed with the quality.

Coasters

Coasters are great because they have a wide variety of uses. They can hold your coffee in the morning, or your Happy Hour beers and cocktails. Gift a pack of coasters, complete with a different photo for each one, and your logo in the corner. No one can ever have enough coasters. If you’re feeling crafty, check out this tutorial from darkroomanddearly.com.

Mugs

We all know everyone with a 9-5 job undoubtedly drinks coffee. And a lot of companies have a wide assortment of coffee mugs in their cabinets. So why not add to this collection? Plop on a few photos and your logo and you’ll have something completely custom for your client to enjoy first thing in the morning.

Ornaments

It is the holiday season after all! An ornament lets you put a winter-themed photo that will make your clients remember you every time they look at the Christmas tree.

Gift Basket

This is the obvious one, but it’s one that’s always appreciated (as long as it’s filled with some yummy treats!). If you have a few clients with multiple people you engage with, this is a great option. Think of some local shops you can fill a basket from (variety is key), or look at a place like American Spoon or Zingerman’s to get some tasty goodness.

Photographic print

This goes without saying — giving the gift of a custom print is special. Print out an 8×10 or regular US Letter sized photograph and drop it in a frame for your client to put on their desk or hang on the wall. It’ll make them remember you, and become a topic of conversation anytime anyone stops by their office.

Puzzle

Just like the playing cards, puzzles can create camaraderie between a group. It’ll give them a fun way to end their day, especially with that great long exposure photograph you created especially for the project.

Image cubes

No matter what kind of photographer you are, image cubes are a great way to remind the client of your work for them and showcase their family, wedding ceremony, senior photos, etc. all at the same time. Perfect for anyone with a desk, as they can flip it around and see different photos depending on their mood. Check these out from WHCC.

Calendar

Here’s another chance for you to showcase your photographs. Produce a custom calendar for your clients, featuring one striking photograph each month. Step it up a notch by printing out the 12 months and putting them on a clipboard. It’s a simple yet unique gift that will suit any personality.

Smartphone lenses

You can’t be there to capture every moment, but that doesn’t mean your client has to suffer! Get them a lens or lens kit for their smartphone. Not all smartphone lenses have to be pricey — this kit by Bower is great because it comes with three lenses and LED lights. No more harsh flash,and your clients let their creativity shine!

For more on Photography Marketing, see my weekly column.

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