One of the most important things you can do as the chief marketer of your own business is stay top-of-mind with your prospects and clients. The reason this is so critical is that, if you are not top-of-mind when their need arises for your services, the probability that they will end up buying from you is greatly decreased.

You may be thinking that staying top-of-mind is an expensive, time-consuming proposition. It does not have to be. In fact, it can be much easier and much more effective than you ever imagined. Take a look at the seven ideas below. You will see that they are not difficult, are not time-consuming, and are not costly. Most important, they are effective.

Send Thank You Notes
How could it get any easier than this? Sending thank you notes demonstrates professionalism. Beyond that, the notes are additional opportunities for you to get your name and company in front of clients, prospects, and business associates. Like nice-to-meet-you note cards, they can be store-bought or custom designed. Also, as with note cards, you want to downplay any obvious "salesiness." Remember, often less is more, and this is one of those times.

Send Nice-to-Meet-You Notes
What do you think when you open an envelope and realize that someone has taken the initiative to send you a "nice-to-meet-you" note? If you're like most people, your first thought may be, "It is nice of them to take the time to send this." Your second one may be, "That is very professional." Of course, you may even think, "I wish I had done this."

Why do such notes cause us to stop and think? Because sending handwritten notes is thought to be a thing of the past. With e-mail, voice-mail, and other technological advances, handwritten and mailed notes stand out and are appreciated. It is readily apparent that the sender not only had the thought to send a note, but also took the time to write it, put it in an envelope, stick a stamp on it, and drop it in the mail. Does this actually take a lot of time? Not really. But it's more than most of us do, and with our lives being so chaotic, it is appreciated.

Types of cards
You have a few options when it comes to note cards. One is buying store-bought cards. These may have "Thank You" or "Nice to Meet You" on the front. You can also choose plain cards; it's up to you. For an even more professional look, have a custom card designed. This is even more impressive, especially if you downplay the business aspect of the card. Perhaps it is a plain card with your logo (not too large) on the cover. Another type of note card is a custom designed postcard. These allow you to write quick notes, apply stamps, and drop them in the mail. They don't make quite the impression that custom note cards do, but if they help you be consistent, they are the perfect way to go.

I read once (I wish I could remember where) that only five percent of us consistently handwrite notes. Be one of this five percent and you are certain to stand out from the rest and make a great impression.

Send Greeting Cards
Everyone enjoys receiving greeting cards, and sending them gets you noticed. Opportunities include birthdays, anniversaries, congratulations, get well, just because and holidays, such as New Year's, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Halloween, and others. I advise to skip the most popular holidays. Although it is perfectly valid to send cards at times such as Christmas, yours is more likely to be just one of many cards received.