Are you using emails in your personal branding strategy?
Nowadays, many of us are using social media and personal branding to promote our businesses and reaffirm our positions in our individual fields. In spite of all the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn buzz, emails are still a great way to solidify our personal brand, engage with prospective clients and just keep in touch.
Here are a couple of things to watch out for:
- Think about what you want to aim for with your email – an offer of new services, a special you want to promote with old clients, an invitation to an event where you will be speaking – all of these help build your personal brand. Sending out emails is a good way to communicate in a personal, meaningful way.
- Write a clear, short message as your subject line – and modify it each time it goes back and forth, so you can keep track of the changing messages. There is nothing more annoying than getting “Re: Re: Re:” in the subject.
- Use a clear email address so people know immediately from whom the message is coming. The old addresses with name email@example.com or something like firstname.lastname@example.org aren’t professional and don’t add to your brand. Firstname.email@example.com or yahoo.com is the norm today.
Don’t “Message Dump”
For some international professionals, especially engineers [sorry to pick on you, but it’s true], emails are frequently used as quick “message dumps”. No greetings, a lot of text in the middle and then a sign-off without any nice “look forward talking to you” or other forms of ending the email. Even though you receive and send lots of emails per day, understand that those little niceties can make a difference between someone reading your email and thinking of you in a positive way or deleting it, with a mental “what a jerk”.
If you have a lot to say after the first sentence explaining the purpose of your email, put the rest of your ideas into bullet points. Your email recipient will see that you know how to organize your thoughts and ideas clearly (branding!) and they will be more likely to respond.
Do you check your emails for English mistakes – every time! – before you click that “send” button? If you want people to see that you pay attention to details, and have good English skills (a point that is becoming more important for promotions), please take those extra 30 seconds and re-read your messages before sending them out.
Shine at the end of your email. This is where you can list all of the ways your clients and friends can keep up and get in touch with you – Facebook, Google Profile, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and so on. In addition, Meg Guiseppi, a well known branding expert, in “Creating Your Authentic and Memorable Personal Brand Statement” thinks we should include a personal brand statement.
So the next time you strategize how to disseminate your personal brand in a new way, instead, go back to sending out emails and making your messages interesting and personal and watch out for the good results.
Angelika Blendstrup is an expert at International Business Communications: Personal Branding, Accent Reduction, Presentation/VC Pitch Training; Author & Speaker Professional Business Communications.