Anytime I receive a box with Jasmine Star‘s name on it, I get excited! She mails out fun, personal and well-thought-out “gifts,” as she refers to them, throughout the year to clients and industry contacts. So far I’ve received her Cookies + Candle set, Personalized J* Chocolates and, just two weeks ago, her Backyard Chemistry Set:
“Hot summer days meant one thing as a child: backyard science experiments,” she writes on the inside of the piece. Hence the test tubes with pop rocks, watermelon lemonade mix, a mini bottle of Smirnoff vodka and a plastic yellow cup that come with the set.
I really love that Jasmine puts so much of herself into these gifts, which is how she has managed to build up her brand over the years—by keeping it personal. I asked Jasmine how it all began and she was more than happy to share:
JT: How did this all begin?
Jasmine Star: It probably started when I was nine years old. My mother arranged for me to have a pen-pal in Australia and a genuine friendship with Kayla (a darling girl from Sydney) soon began. We’d send each other small gifts (like a pencil set or stickers) to share how things appeared in our part of the world, and every month I looked forward to opening my mailbox and seeing a note from her. Many years later, handwritten notes and gifts have somehow worked their way into my business. There’s something delightful about receiving something tangible and tactile in the post and I decided I wanted clients, colleagues and peers to experience the same thing.
Do you send out promo pieces every quarter, or more often than that?
JS: I send a gift twice a year.
Who do you send these gifts out to from your business network?
JS: Actually, when sending gifts, my clients are my first priority! My business has grown largely in part to word-of-mouth, so I want to make sure my clients are still talking about their experience with my services far beyond our point of interaction. I love making my clients feel special and a small gift reminds them how appreciative I am for their faith in my ability to document their love. I also send the gift sets to industry peers and colleagues, both in the online and editorial world. It’s important to express gratitude for the support, opportunities, and endorsements received through the year, so a surprise gift is a nice touch.
Quick Tips to Improving Your Marketing Niche:
1. Keep it personal. I prefer to send marketing materials from a first-person narrative (I appreciate your support) versus a third-person narrative (Jasmine Star Photography appreciates your support) because it draws the receiver of the gift into my orbit. I want them to know and feel like I’m talking directly to them.
2. Keep it consistent. I send a summer gift and a winter gift. I also send handwritten thank you notes when applicable, but the key is to plan, allocate funds in advance, and create something that is a true reflection of the business—on a regular basis.
3. Keep it branded. I prefer to send gifts that are fun with an editorial flair because it’s a reflection of my brand. I find ways to incorporate my photography also as a way to remind viewers of my professional aim. My goal is to make them feel special, but also remind them of how much I appreciate what they’ve done for me on a professional level.