Freelancers, did you include your clients on your ‘nice’ list this holiday season? Giving your clients gifts isn’t required, but it’s a thoughtful gesture that can strengthen your relationships. It’s also a way to thank your clients for their business over the past year.
Not sure what to give? Here are a few ideas for different kinds of clients in a variety of price ranges to fit just about any freelancer’s budget.
Food, Coffee and Tea Gifts for Your Freelance Clients
Ideal for: Agency and large business clients where you have several contacts, because you can send one basket for the whole group; foodie clients
Price range: $15 for a small tea gift box to more than $100 for a huge multibox tower of gourmet foods, with most options in the $30-$75 range
Before you order: Find out if your clients have food allergies or other dietary restrictions, to make sure you send them something they can enjoy.
Food is a good gift for most clients, because who doesn’t nibble at the office? Artisanal chocolates are my go-to client gift, and gourmet cookie tins are a popular choice during the holidays, but sweets aren’t the only option.
Fresh fruit and snack baskets from Harry & David, gourmet popcorn, and cheese baskets from Wisconsin and Vermont are some of the other options on the gift-food menu. Your clients can share their snack wealth with officemates, if they want to, and spread some holiday cheer.
Another edible option is a coffee or tea gift basket. Most of us need a caffeinated pick-me-up or herbal-tea calming moment at some point during the workday. For coffee lovers, Bean Box offers whole-bean gift boxes from around the world. Grounds for Change lets you choose between whole bean and ground beans—perfect for clients who don’t have a burr grinder in the break room.
For tea lovers, Stash has lots of themed gift sets that include loose-leaf tea, an infuser, a sweet treat and a cup.
Gift Cards and Gift Certificates for Your Freelance Clients
Ideal for: Busy, practical clients, especially those who run their own businesses and appreciate anything that adds convenience or relaxation to their day
Price range: $5 and up for Starbucks, $15 and up for Fandango, $25 and up for Spafinder, Netflix and Uber. Whatever card you choose, put enough money on it to cover a typical transaction (latte and a muffin, two movie tickets, a manicure or a ride across town) plus a tip, if that applies.
People want gift cards more than anything else during the holidays, because cards let them treat themselves on their own schedule.
Depending on how well you know your client, a Spafinder certificate might be a real treat. I got one from a major client/fellow working mom a couple of years ago, and it gave me a great reason to take an afternoon off and meet a friend at the salon for mani-pedis.
If a spa gift card would be too personal for your clients, it’s hard to go wrong with a practical gift card from Starbucks, Uber or Fandango. Got gamer clients? They might like an Xbox, PlayStation, Steam or Nintendo gift card. For clients who like to unwind in front of the TV, a card for HBO Now, Hulu, or Netflix could be a gift that keeps giving.
Donations to Causes Your Clients Care About
Ideal for: Conscious capitalist clients, nonprofit sector clients, the client who has everything
Price range: up to you
Some of your clients may lend business support to nonprofit groups or sponsor community events. If so, a donation in their name is a great way to thank them for their business and contribute to a cause they value. Your clients may also have causes that they support on their own time, and if so, a donation in their honor is a thoughtful gift.
Holiday Gifts That Improve Your Freelance Client’s Workday
Ideal for: Pretty much any client, especially those who commute or travel a lot for work
Price range: These gadgets and tools range from $10 to $30
Consider gifting your clients something practical that they’ll use every day—and think of you when they do. Some favorites include:
- Good quality pens like the Cross Edge, which comes in several colors and takes gel and ballpoint cartridges. It’s a sturdy pen that’s not likely to disappear in the bottom of your client’s bag or break your freelancer budget.
- Portable phone chargers. I like the Jackery Mini. It’s inexpensive, durable and small enough to fit in a pocket or mini bag for extra phone or tablet time on long flights. It works with Android and iOS devices, but you’ll need a separate lightning cable to charge Apple products.
- Travel mugs for your client’s commute. Wirecutter and Epicurious agree that Zojirushi makes the best coffee travel mugs going. They don’t leak and keep liquids hot for hours—perfect for powering through a busy day.
- Stainless steel water bottles. Help your clients stay hydrated with a good-quality insulated bottle like the Contigo Autoseal Chill. People love this bottle because it seals automatically to prevent spills when you’re not drinking.
- Phone stands. Lamicall makes one of the most popular stands, a simple design with pads to prevent scratches, a cutout for easy charging and several color options.
Classic Holiday Greeting Cards to Send Your Freelance Clients
Ideal for: clients you haven’t worked with for long, past clients who you want to stay in touch with, clients who can’t accept gifts
Price range: $1 per card and up, plus postage
Sometimes the simplest approach is best. It’s also the most budget friendly. You can customize a set of 20 or more business holiday cards online at Staples, CardsDirect or VistaPrint, order holiday stamps from the post office and give your all clients the gift of your gratitude and well wishes for less than $50.
Need gift ideas for other people in your life? Check out our other HostGator Gift Guides!
- Holiday Gift Ideas for Side Hustlers
- Holiday Gift Ideas for Entrepreneurs
- Holiday Gift Ideas for Freelancers
- Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Local Business Clients
Check out more of our resources for freelancers: