by Lori Milner, By Lori Milner, author, entrepreneur, thought leader, and founder of Beyond the Dress
In a nutshell, our personal brand is how we show up in other people’s minds. We tend to only think of dress or body language as a key indicator of how we come across. This is only a tiny piece of the personal brand pie. Our virtual brand is about how we represent ourselves across all the channels and touch points we utilise, including social media, email, WhatsApp, text and phone calls.
Marketing guru, Seth Godin, suggests that before you hit send on that next email, perhaps you should run down this list, just to be sure you come across in the best possible light:
If it’s going to a group, have I thought about who is on my list? Be honest about your intention.
Are they blind copied?
Did every person on the list really and truly opt in? Not like sort of, but really ask for it?
So that means that if I didn’t send it to them, they’d complain about not getting it?
See #5. If they wouldn’t complain, take them off!
Am I angry? (If so, save as draft and come back to the note in one hour or better a day).
Could I do this note better with a phone call? Or a follow up if sent 2 days ago with no reply?
Am I blind-ccing my boss? If so, what will happen if the recipient finds out?
Is there anything in this email I don’t want the attorney general, the media or my boss seeing? (If so, hit delete).
Is any portion of the email in all caps? (If so, consider changing it.)
Is it in black type at a normal size?
Do I have my contact info at the bottom? (If not, consider adding it).
Have I included the line, “Please save the planet. Don’t print this email”? (If so, please delete the line and consider a job as a forest ranger).
Could this email be shorter?
Is there anyone copied on this email who could be left off the list?
Have I attached any files that are very big? (If so, google something like ‘send big files’ and consider your options.)
Have I attached any files that would work better in PDF format?
Are there any 🙂 or other emoticons involved? (If so, reconsider).
Did I hit ‘reply all’? If so, am I glad I did? Does every person on the list need to see it?
Am I quoting back the original text in a helpful way? (Sending an email that says, in its entirety, ‘FYI’ or “yes,” is not helpful).
If this email is to someone like Seth, did I check to make sure I know the difference between its and it’s? Just wondering.
Bonus: Does the subject line make it easy to understand what’s to come and likely it will get filed properly?
Here’s to owning your virtual brand,
LORI MILNER is the engaging facilitator, thought leader and mentor known for her insightful approach to being a modern corporate woman. Her brainchild, the successful initiative Beyond the Dress, is the embodiment of her passion to empower women. Beyond the Dress has worked with South Africa’s leading corporates and empowered hundreds of women with valuable insight on how to bridge the gap between work and personal life. Clients include Siemens, Massmart, Alexander Forbes, Life Healthcare Group, RMB Private Bank and Unilever to name a few. Lori has co-authored Own Your Space: The Toolkit for the Working Woman in conjunction with Nadia Bilchik, CNN Editorial Producer. Own Your Space provides practical tools and insights gleaned from workshops held around the world and from interviews with some of South Africa’s most accomplished women to provide you with tried-and-tested techniques, tips and advice to help you boost your career, enhance your confidence and truly own your space on every level. Own Your Space is the ultimate ‘toolkit’ to unleash your true power. It’s for the woman who wants to take her career to new heights and who is ready to fulfil her true potential.
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