How to Make Your ‘Thank You’ Really Count

Let’s kick this week’s post off with a question I received from an actress named Maria:

“I was dancing for a hit TV show last week and was lucky enough to work in a small, intimate scene alongside the show’s director/producer and lead actor. I’d like to write a note to the director, thanking him for the amazing day but I’m wondering what else (if anything) I could add in.

Do you recommend I insert a line about setting up a ten minute meeting to learn more about him? Also, since MANY dancers pass through the show, would it be beneficial to include a photo business card in the note?”

The answer is simple… No and no.

Keep a thank you a thank you. Always. Don’t muddy the waters and take away from your sincerity by saying “Thank you and…I want something from you.” You can always follow up later on about your question. Trust that every attempt to reach out doesn’t have to be action related. Say thank you and leave it at that.

When you truly come from a place of gratitude, your relationship can grow deeper and last longer. And you will be remembered for your thoughtfulness. Don’t forget that Thank You are the two most important words in your marketing vocabulary.

The Right Way to Say Thank You

I just heard from an actress named Carrie who reached out in such an honest way with great results. She recently created a target list of producers that she wants to work with. She saw one of those producers would be attending an event she was going to, so she wrote him a thank you note BEFORE the event. She sent this note without a picture or any contact info. Just the note.

Then, after the event, she sent another simple thank you to him with her specific takeaways from the event. A few days later, he found her number and called to thank HER for her notes. He wanted to know what she was up to, and they set up a meeting to discuss her career.

This shows you just how powerful a simple thank you really is. You don’t need to send a thank you card on a piece of marketing or include your picture. If they want to connect with you, they will.

So if you’re nervous about how to write a compelling thank you without sounding fake, here is a simple guideline.

Be Specific

Make sure you are saying thank you for something specific, like Carrie did. If you attended a casting workshop, for example, mention one takeaway you enjoyed from their presentation. Maybe it’s their sense of humor. Or their candor about the casting process. Think about what you learned and thank them for that.

As people, we all enjoy feeling appreciated, and industry folk are no different. Be very specific about what you are grateful for and send it out with no strings attached. This way leaves the space for something even better to come of it than what you may have planned to ask for.

So, today, get in the practice of expressing gratitude, simply and cleanly. Say thank you for no reason. Send a card every week to someone. You could even send one anonymously. Just the mere act of being grateful does wonders for you as well as others.



24 Responses to “How to Make Your ‘Thank You’ Really Count”

  1. Dallas, Thank you for this great reminder that there is always room for simple authenticity.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Dallas. I would like to add though (and would love your response) that I have been in multiple CD workshops where it has been advised (by the CDs) to included a photo or link to your website, etc, in your thank you notes, as they are constantly surprised by how many actors believe themselves to be as memorable as to only include a name alone. What’s your take on this?

    • Debi says:

      I’ve been told the same thing. Also send them a visual reminder of you and a photo business card taped to the top of the thank you note is acceptable. Your thoughts Dallas?

    • Stacie says:

      Though I’ve been told the same thing, I send just the Thank You note. I may later send a headshot or postcard with picture but I agree with Dallas, a thank you is not about us, it’s about the receiver.

    • jully says:

      I think the first question should be: Is the purpose of the “thank you” for marketing or to be truly thankful? (Which, either answer is fine!)

      If it’s a general “thank you for the casting workshop,” then absolutely include a headshot, website, etc. But if it’s for something particularly special, maybe something s/he said that really stuck with you in a profound way, etc. I absolutely agree with Dallas on this one. The “thank you” (echoing Stacie) should be about the receiver, not us.

      Just a note: I sent a thank you email to a casting director and did not include my headshot/resume. (I auditioned for her in the past and had recently seen a film she had casted and wanted to let her know how much I appreciate, and am inspired by, the kinds of projects she works on.) She immediately responded back asking for my h/r to keep on file and called me the next day to set up an audition! I was shocked. I was not expecting that AT ALL.

      Gratitude goes such a long way. Thanks for this post, Dallas!

    • Dallas says:

      Jully, great point! First clarify your intention and then act accordingly. Now, if you have your website, phone number, or email address on your custom thank-you cards, that is absolutely appropriate.

      And remember, I hope that you’re consistently marketing each month to the people you’re meeting. So, don’t worry that they don’t see your face on every single thing you send. Consistency in your marketing allows for more flexibility.

      Thanks everybody for the great feedback.

  3. Calle Morgan says:

    This couldn’t come at more perfect timing. Thank you Dallas! :-)

  4. Andrew says:

    “Just the mere act of being grateful does wonders for you as well as others.”

    Yes. I have often felt foolish for the act of sending notes to CD’s and others I have worked with, but I tell you, the mere act of being grateful does wonders for me. Period. Thank you for the reminder of being a bit more specific, focusing on what was my “take away” from the meeting. I like it. And thank you, for the positive energy, the hope you help to cultivate, in me.

  5. Yvette says:

    Great information. I appreciate it a lot.

  6. Thank you, Dallas, for the awesome article! Before I clicked through to read the entire thing, my mind was racing with all the possibilities. Was there something more that I should be doing or saying that would make a greater impact? Was there a trick or secret to make my thank you notes stand out? I was very gratified to read that a simple, sincere “thank you” is sufficient. In fact, I imagine that such sincerity probably stands out against those who DO get too marketing heavy in their thank you notes.

    • Dallas says:

      Justin, I agree with you. I think that a sincere thank you carries so much more weight than any piece of marketing could ever do. And yes, I imagine it stands out in a powerful way as well!

  7. Bianca Jones says:

    I want to send a thanks to a casting director who continues to bring me in all the time.

    I did not do so well on this last audition but I want to say “Thank you”.

    Do I mention that I was not right for that role?

    • Amanda says:

      In my humble opinion, I would NOT say that you were not right for the role. It almost sounds like you are apologizing for a bad audition. Remember that a top CD rule is never apologize.

      You should mention something you learned from that audition. We always learn something from the things that we do that are “bad” or not to our personal standards. This is what you should mention in your thank you (and that she called you in).

      Anyone else agree or disagree?

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