Matthew McConaughey Got It Right | How to Get More Testimonials and Happy Clients

If you are a long time follower of this blog, you know that my husband and I own a custom furniture business called ShaKa Studios.

We launched our website in 1998 and sell high-end niche furniture.

We do NOT have a SHOWROOM. NOR can our clients EVEN SEE the furniture before they buy!

You are probably asking yourself how that is possible.

The answer is simple. I ask for testimonials.

A Simple Way to Get More Testimonials

I use SendOutCards to send every client a thank you card and in it I simply write, “we’d love to see a photo of your new furniture in your home.”  I attach sea salt caramels and click send.  About 40% of our clients will email or text photos to us after they receive their card and caramels.


Sea Salt Caramels from SendOutCards

At this point you are probably wondering what Matthew McConaughey has to do with customer testimonials?  I’ll get to that in a minute.

This past summer,  I received a series of photos of a white cannonball bed in a home on Long Island, Bahamas with a note that simply said:

“And thank you for the awesome caramels…they’re gone now!!!!”

Here is one of the bed photos:

1830 Cannonball Bed by ShaKa Studios

1830 Cannonball Bed by ShaKa Studios

The caramels cost about $10 with shipping and now I have gorgeous photos of one of our handmade beds in a beach house on Long Island Bahamas. I can use these photos on our website, blog, and print advertisement. I’d say my return on investment is AWESOME!

The Magic is in the Cookies

I send a thank you card and gift using SendOutCards to each of our Shaka Studios clients. I do it because we truly appreciate our clients and want them to know so.

2 Dozen Cookies from SendOutCards

2 Dozen Cookies from SendOutCards

Received a note the other morning from a world-renowned interior design firm in Boston.  They ordered two custom red cannonball beds, so I sent them 2 dozen cookies:

Hi Shane and Kandas,

Thank you so much for the cookies and the sweet thank you card. It was a very nice surprise this morning. Hope you had a wonderful 4th and your summer is magical.
Thanks again,
Sarah and the W&S team

Sea Salt Caramel Tweet

Not only did Jamie Deaton leave a rave review about her custom bed, she also tweeted about her card and gift:

Speaking of Etsy

Here is an Etsy message from Mark, who ordered a custom TV console.  Notice his PS.


Brownie Points

SendOutCards works for all sorts of businesses. I showed Bryan, a member of my Tuesday networking group, how to send cards and gifts to his insurance clients. He posted this to my Facebook wall:


Gratitude Reciprocates

I promised I’d get to it…  In his Oscar acceptance speech, Matthew McConaughey said it best:

"It's a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates." - Matthew McConaughey

“It’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.” – Matthew McConaughey

Appreciate your customers and they will appreciate you back with more testimonials, repeat business and referrals.

Sales Trainer Tom Hopkins Explains Why He Sends Thanksgiving Cards

Tom Hopkins is a world-renowned sales trainer. He built his real estate business by sending 6 hand written greeting cards per year to his clients, and potential clients.  By doing so, he became the top producing real estate agent in the state of California.

Today, Mr. Hopkins uses SendOutCards to automate his greeting card system with the same personal touch as a handwritten card.

The Power of a Thanksgiving Card

In the following video, Tom Hopkins explains why he sends Thanksgiving cards instead of Christmas cards:


In case you don’t want to watch the video the short answer is:  Everyone else is sending Christmas cards.

Here is the simple message he included in his cards:

“During the season of Thanksgiving, let me thank you for being a valued client.  I look forward to serving you for many years.”

Simple message. Powerful results.

Those who keep in touch will never have to prospect. - Tom Hopkins Click To Tweet
Click to Send Thanksgiving Cards

Click to Send Thanksgiving Cards

Marketing with Color | Brand Colors Infographic Plus a Nostalgic Video

Did you know the color of your logo is just as significant as the design?

Personally, until I found this brand colors infographic about marketing with color, I never really thought about the significance of the color of my own logos.  I just picked colors I liked.

Turns out I done good.

The logo for my custom furniture business is brown, a color associated with durability and simplicity.  Our furniture designs are based on Shaker furniture and built to last for generations.  I think we nailed it on our logo color choice, eh?

The logo for this blog is yellow, a color associated with positivity and motivation.  Yup, nailed that one, too.

Brand Colors Infographic

brand colors infographic

brand colors infographic

Thank you to Marketo for this groovy brand colors infographic.

Tell Me About It

  • What color did you use in YOUR brand?
  • If you don’t have a brand, what is your favorite color, and why?
  • Do you know all the lyrics to Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors?

Yeah, I couldn’t resist.  Sorry, not sorry.

I Am Statements Examples

When I logged into Facebook this morning I saw three, count them three, posts lined-up vertically, on my wall about the power of “I Am” statements.

Over the weekend, I had the privilege of attending the Master Relationship Marketing Seminar in Houston, Texas. A portion of the Saturday afternoon session was spent on the topic of affirmations, or “I Am” statements.

So, what is an “I am” statement?

An “I am” statement is an affirmation, stated in the present tense, that defines the best of who you are and what you do.

They are very powerful.  I shared an affirmation that changed my life earlier this year.

I captured the following video during the Houston MRM of my dear friend and business partner, Laurie Jimemez, reading “I am” statements examples from the MRM workbook. She is interrupted by seminar keynote speaker and trainer, Kody Bateman, creator of the MRM Seminar.

I Am Statements Examples for Abundance and Prosperity

I am ever blessed with divine rights of abundance and prosperity.

I am the light upon with call blessings flow.
I bring blessings and goodwill to all that I come in contact with.

I am the source of acceptance.

I am my own greatest blessing.

I bring the “cool” with me.

Send Out “I Am” Statements

A few years ago I started sending myself “I Am” statements in the mail.  The statements are typed into a greeting card that I can easily carry in my purse so I have them with me at all times.

If you’d like to try this exercise for yourself, click the card below, then click the green “Edit and Send Free Card” button, type your affirmations inside the card and the click the blue “Continue” button and follow the prompts.  The card is completely free, on me, for new customers.

Click to send yourself this "I Am" greeting card for wealthy and abundance.  Simply type your I am statements inside the card and click the send button.

Click to send yourself this “I Am” greeting card for wealth in abundance. Simply type your I am statements inside the card and click the send button.

Following Up with Leads | podcast episode 34


Show 34 Quick Guide


Kody Bateman’s tips for mastering relationships in business:

  • Make a list of everyone you know and put them in a contact manager.
  • Categorize your list into 3 categories: 1) contacts 2) prospects 3) customers
  • Always add people to your list and move them through the 3 categories.
  • Take detailed notes on all of your contacts.
  • Reach out in the spirit of RELATIONSHIP 80% of the time and in the spirit of MARKETING 20% of the time.
  • Build your personal brand with friendship, celebration and service.
  • Use the 4 methods of communication to reach out regularly to your lists.
  • Always be in the spirit of service. GIVE for the sake of GIVING and you will attract what you GIVE.
  • Listen more than you speak and always make it about them and how you can help them.

Action Steps for Following Up with Leads

Action Step 1: Every time you connect with someone, write down in your calendar, or your contact manager the date you are going to make your next connection and HOW – text, phone, email, greeting card, in person.

Action Step 2: Right now, think of 2 or 3 people who you can reach out in kindness towards today, and do it. Send them a referral, or a gift, or just a quick text message asking how they are doing and that you are thinking of them. Don’t try to sell them anything, make it all about them.

Action Step 3:  Join me for the Master Relationship Marketing Seminar in Houston, April 17-18, 2015.

Feedback Request

What would you do if you received this e-mail?

Subject: Congratulations Chamber Member since 2014

Dear Friend:

Do you need coverage for — LIFE=DISABILITY INCOME=LONG TERM CARE= and other areas of concern. Your FAMILY, your BUSINESS and YOU may need assistance reaching for

the options to meet or exceed expectations! Call or email me and I will assist you looking for THE AN$WER———-

With best regards, I am



Leave a comment and let me know how you would respond to Jim.

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Relationship Marketing on Facebook | podcast episode 33

Show 33 Quick Guide

  • What is relationship marketing and why do you need it?
  • My 3 rules for relationship marketing (see this post for the list).
  • Squeaky chair!
  • Mexican food is different in Texas than in California.
  • Doing business good ole boy style.
  • Waking up at 10 am.
  • You can do anything you want if you have the ability to build relationships and credibility.
  • Everybody is in sales.  Teachers sell the idea of learning to their students.  Chemists sell their research projects.  You are either selling yourself, an idea, or a product, or all three.
  • Relationship marketing on Facebook 101:  Facebook groups are a great place to cultivate relationships so don’t blow it by posting ads.
Facebook groups are a great place to cultivate relationships, don't blow it by posting ads. Click To Tweet

Feedback Request

  • Do you like this new podcast format or do you prefer interviews?
  • What is the average length of podcast that you normally listen to?
  • Do you listen on the website, iTunes, Stitcher, PlayerFM or some place else?

Links Mentioned

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7 Deadly Social Media Sins

At Gratitude Geek, we focus on helping the little guy make a big impact.

This means I usually reject what the “big dogs” have to say about marketing because in my experience, pioneering online custom furniture sales, branding and advertising can never replace relationship building.

Sometimes one of those “big dogs” offers up a gem that any small business owner can implement for success. Xplain, a European digital strategy company with clients like Microsoft and Sony, created a Slideshare presentation on “Seven Social Media Sins” that every business owner needs to see. Scroll down to watch it now, or keep reading for my take on social media for small business owners.

Clients First

In my opinion, social media is not a substitute for personal interaction.

Social media is no substitute for relationship marketing. Here's how to keep your social engagement personal. Click To Tweet

Yes, you can interact on a personal level on many of the social media platforms via private messages. It shouldn’t be the only way you interact with your clients. It should just be one of the ways you add convenience for your client.

It’s about what is best for your clients.

Show up on the social media channels where your clients hang out. Remember the seven deadly social media sins when you engage with your audience, and build relationships first.

More from Gratitude Geek

Be Kind

As an independent relationship marketing strategist with SendOutCards, I am part of the SendOutCards kindness revolution.

I understand that kindness isn’t always easy. Kindness rests in the unique ability of each person to choose the perspective with which they view the world.

Today, choose to have an attitude of kindness.

Check out this blog post for some ideas on using kindness to connect to others.