As powerful for beginners as for veterans who have been branding themselves for years.
Thank people who deserve to be thanked, and even some who don't.
Thank people who did something you appreciate, where it was done for you or someone else, regardless of whether they expected to be thanked for it or not.
Thank people as soon as it occurs to you to do so, whether it was for something done 5 minutes ago or 5 years ago. They'll appreciate it either way.
Thank people directly in person, on the phone, over email or snail mail, in forums, on your blog, on Twitter, on YouTube, on TV, over the radio, after the job interview, with words or with a grin, with flowers, with chocolates, with a hug, in private, in public, alone or in front of a crowd.
Thank people indirectly by vouching for them or by referring others to them.
Most importantly, thank people the way they prefer to be thanked.
Just do it.
Here's an example
I remember seeing an article about managing the overwhelm of email and one of the tips was to not send simple ‘thank you' emails.
Those emails are sometimes the highlight of a person's day.
Such as, after a recent networking event in Jerusalem, I was walking out while chatting with a few attendees, some I had just met, and some I've known for a while.
One of them, I'll call him Jim, knew that I had an hour-long bus ride home and also knew that one of the other attendees was driving most of the way in the same direction. Jim suggested out loud that I get a lift with them, but I didn't want to impose.
After a little prodding from Jim, I changed my mind and took the lift.
A few weeks later, almost embarrassed over the delay, I reminded myself of the nice ride thanks to Jim, and sent him a quick note:
Just wanted to send a quick thanks for getting me a ride leaving the event last week. I met some great people in the car.
The next day, he replied:
Really nice of you to send this. Even in these days of social media, people just aren't as … nice as they could and should be.
With the smallest of efforts on both sides, the thanks left each of us with a better feeling about the other.
If you have any heartwarming thank you stories to share, I'd love to hear them in the comments below.
I originally published a version of this article on the terrific Personal Branding Blog.