Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Personal Branding, Part II • Making an Impression

Something that I think people often don't realize is that personal branding isn't just about making a good impression, it's about making a good impression that lasts. 
My Mom had Rebecca and I writing thank you notes probably since we could write. It's just always been a thing in our house: you get a gift, you write a thank you note. And with graduate school auditions this past semester and taking lessons with professors from other programs, I've noticed that it makes a positive and lasting impression to send a thank you note to them as well. For a few reasons, I think.

1. It reinforces you in their mind as a professional, and makes you stand out from those who may not have sent post-appointment notes.
2. It shows that you are polite.
3. It shows that you value their time as much as they do, and that you don't take their time for granted.

It can often be difficult for people to schedule extra lessons or appointments, especially if they are very busy individuals (and let's face it: most professionals are very busy). Sending a thank you note lets them know that you appreciate them "squeezing you in" to their busy schedules.

Although I do think that a thank you email is appropriate and adequate in certain situations (since I met several different professors this semester, I usually followed up with an email out of convenience for both parties), nothing makes a good impression like a handwritten thank you note, provided it's written well.
So since I recently designed my own business cards, I wanted to create some thank you notes with a  similar aesthetic. This way when I give out a business card and follow it up by sending a thank you note, there is a tasteful continuity between the two. That's the kind of impression I want to leave, and then reinforce with the thank you notes. In a way, the matching business cards and thank you notes are a metaphor for how I aim to be as a professional!

Again, I used Tiny Prints. They made it so easy to make the business cards, and it was even easier this time because I already knew what aesthetic I was looking for. And although there isn't the same "design your own" feature for thank you notes/cards, they let you tweak any of the details on their designs; that pink design under my name was not pink initially! The quality is just so nice and it was such a stress-free experience, I'd highly recommend it.

I love these thank you notes. They're very simple, with that touch of pink at the bottom for some subtle character. I think they're perfect for me and what I'll be using them for. It's taken a lot of will power not to rip them open and write a ton of thank you's for no reason, since I'm done with graduation thank you notes (I'm leaving them packaged for the time being as I pack for my move).

With these updated notes (my others are from my Bat Mitzvah days...), writing thank you notes will be kind of fun ;)


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