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Personal marketing through e-mail

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Brief essay about how e-mail affect your personal image and reputation. So, If you want to improve your chances for professional growth, you need to be more aware of the importance of your permanent marketing as an individual.

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Personal marketing through e-mail

  1. 1. Personal marketing through e-mail. Your professional oppotunities depend on your reputation Juan Carlos Jiménez Book author: September 2008 “E-mail at the workplace”
  2. 2. Personal marketing through e-mail. If you want to improve your chances attention to their qualities, values, and for professional growth, you need to be particularly, the benefits they offer. more aware of the importance of your permanent marketing as an individual. The personal brand is the quantitative and qualitative addition of your profes- The same marketing techniques com- sional career in an integrated manner, panies use to create a commercial and the image of the person that consti- brand, so consumers perceive it in a tutes it. Therefore, planning and devel- positive light and prefer it, can be used oping a personal brand has significant by professionals when they look for a advantages: job or in their work experience. • It helps us generate professional Brands of products, services or compa- interest and positively catch the at- nies create a unique image and use it in tention of clients, bosses, colleagues, a planned manner to attract and main- friends, and potential employers. tain clients and consumers. Profession- als can also plan their image to attract • It allows us to focus on what we want the ideal employers or to have better people to remember most of our per- Commercial marketing is the cha- job opportunities. sonal and professional qualities. llenge brands face to commu- Commercial marketing is the challenge • It makes it easier to obtain trust and nicate their values and benefits, brands face to communicate their val- credibility, as a result of our coherent ues and benefits, presenting an image and consistent professional perfor- presenting an image that differ- that differentiates them from the com- mance. entiates them from the competi- petition and makes them desirable brands. • It allows us to differentiate ourselves tion and makes them desirable as workers. brands. Isn’t this the same challenge we face when we look for a job or when we Just as with the marketing of a product, want to improve our possibilities in our if we don’t work on our own professional present positions? brand image, others will create one for us, and it is quite likely that it won’t be The concept of “personal brand” is not what we want or what we are interested common for people who are not in the in projecting. arts, sports, or other professions where the public opinion is relevant. However, if people looking for a job or planning their professional development in a company don’t build a strong positive image, it will be more difficult to attract 1 Juan Carlos Jiménez - September 2008
  3. 3. Personal marketing through e-mail Where to begin First of all, we need to be more aware of Our clients are the individuals with the fact that in all areas of contemporary whom we interact directly or indirectly, society, we are always marketing our- who are important to us professionally, selves as individuals. and who can recommend us to others. This means that we need to take more In a society where jobs are so intercon- into account the fact that we are al- nected, “external clients” are just as im- ways affecting the perception others portant for our personal marketing as have of us. We are always influencing are our co-workers, including bosses at that perception positively or negatively. all levels, the staff in other departments, There is no such thing as “no influence” and suppliers. or “neutral influence”. Yes, this answer is very broad because We affect others with what we do or the most frequent marketing mistakes don’t do, and also with what we say or are made in part by underestimating don’t say. So, we start defining our per- the range of influence that the public sonal marketing and communication or audience with whom we interact as plan with the following questions: clients have. that make written communication ef- fective will allow us to assertively man- • “How do I want to be known and re- Finally, being more aware of our person- age those aspects that determine our membered as a professional?” al marketing implies being more aware reputation through that medium. of the tools we use to communicate our • “With what values do I want others to skills, competencies, values, and ben- associate me?” efits. That is, we need to keep our inter- personal communication channels and The answers to these questions provide media fine tuned. the guide we need on the type of ac- tions we must take to positively affect These are made up by all our interper- others and obtain the professional per- sonal communications, whether face- ception we desire. to-face, telephonic, or through e-mail, and by the form and content we convey Second, we need to have a wide per- through these means. That is, our body spective of who our “clients” are. This and our behavior are like our mobile can easily and efficiently be established marketing channels, with verbal and answering the following question: “Who non-verbal messages. can speak about me, positively or nega- tively, as a professional and as a person?”. In this context, e-mail increasingly has a greater impact on the professional im- Our marketing strategies and tactics age we project as individuals. Therefore, must be oriented towards all of them. a better understanding of the factors 2 Juan Carlos Jiménez - September 2008
  4. 4. Personal marketing through e-mail E-mail productivity There is no doubt that e-mail provides the aspects that contribute to create a transcendental advantages as a tool for public reputation of our work perfor- The number of messages we communication, work, study, research mance. send, the way we write them, their and filing, and its influence is growing in all aspects of people’s lives, in all coun- Here are some expressions that are in- length, and even the time when tries and cultures. creasingly frequent in the work place: we write them says a lot about the However, the process of assimilating “It seems that Pedro has nothing else to quality of professionals we are. e-mail has occurred with insufficient do than send e-mails. I get his messages preparation. In some cases, training is all the time. They are very long and dif- to ignore them, particularly those that provided on a specific e-mail program ficult to understand”. are in the “Cc” field. (for example “Outlook”). In others, there are “policies” on the use of e-mail, but “María is very inconsiderate: She keeps If we want to improve our effectiveness they mainly have to do with the need sending chain letters. Doesn’t she know in the use of e-mail, we need to under- for security and control of computer that I’m very busy and have no time for stand how they act, and what do re- systems. those foolish things? They also fill up cipients value more in our written mes- my inbox and prevent other important sages, in order to positively affect their We assume that to know how to write messages from arriving”. perceptions and attitudes. Likewise, is to know how to word things correctly, we must deal with each recipient in the and that it is enough to communicate “José always copies messages to the most personal way possible, taking into efficiently in writing. Sometimes we boss: He cannot be trusted. I know we account the emotional impact that writ- know how to word things well, and this must document our work, but why ten words have and the structure of the is enough to communicate efficiently didn’t he call me first? We would have e-mail. in writing. Sometimes we think that if clarified the situation and then write a we write as we speak, we will be un- message with what we agreed on”. derstood. However, it is more difficult to master written communication If to this we add the great number of than verbal and non-verbal com- “spam” messages we receive, and the munication. number of copied messages that are useless to us, we can understand the E-mail has a great influence in our per- increasing stress that managing e-mails sonal image. The number of messages produces in our work. we send, the way we write them, their length, and even the time when we The productivity of this tool is write them says a lot about the quality greatly associated to our personal of professionals we are. reputation. That is, our effectiveness in managing e-mail is reflected by whether How fast we respond to messages, if we we achieve the purpose of a message or read them carefully, and even if we send not. For example, if we write “too many” a copy to another recipient, are some of e-mails, it is likely that recipients will start 3 Juan Carlos Jiménez - September 2008
  5. 5. Personal marketing through e-mail The demands of written messages Body language references are essential mail very productively as a communica- to understand the foundations of an tion channel. They adapt their language effective “mediated communication” and verbal style to the demands of writ- through e-mail, a challenge we face to ten communication, according to their convey affinity and empathy in writing. intentions. The absence of non-verbal and physi- If people make a special effort in their cal clues in written communication written communications, they can makes it substantially more difficult for nourish enough trust, and create a wide the recipient to receive the sender’s key contextual framework so that e-mails information regarding emotions and at- convey the affinity necessary to be ef- titudes. This determines the perception fective, as in fact occurs in many of our them feel better through e-mail, due to and final interpretation of the written e-mail communications. satisfactory and positive experiences in message. the exchange of information. But for this to happen, senders must When we communicate by e-mail with constantly cultivate trust and credibility What is the positioning or reputation people we know, the process is different with their interlocutors (key elements of we form of a person who sends many than with strangers. Knowing our recipi- personal marketing), and improve their messages every day, or of the person ents and senders provides more contex- writing skills so that they can compen- who never responds? What is our opin- tual information about their personality, sate for the non-verbal components of ion of co-workers whose messages are affinities, communication styles, and in- interpersonal communication. difficult to understand, or who send tentions. Therefore, e-mail exchanges lengthy messages, or always send “chain have a social and relational framework On the other hand, the quality of atten- letters”? that facilitates understanding and effec- tion that our e-mails receive, and the tive communication. attitude of our recipients when they read them are for the most part values But there are many cases of misinter- determined by the positioning we pretation, confusion, and misunder- cultivate as professionals and users of standing of written messages between e-mail. people that know each other well. Even people who care for each other can eas- Our positioning as senders determines ily badly judge the implicit intention of a our capital of credibility, trust, and abil- written message. ity to generate positive responses to our requests, and the quality of our written However, people can adapt to the messages increase or reduce that capi- media and make it efficient. There are tal. social-emotional and relational expres- sions that not only depend on non-ver- As with products, services, companies bal communication clues. That is why or institutions, people are more prone to many people can in many cases use e- respond positively to people that make 4 Juan Carlos Jiménez - September 2008
  6. 6. Personal marketing through e-mail Some recommendations to manage e-mail E-mail is an efficient channel of com- 7. Don’t use your company’s e-mail ad- munication when the sender properly dress to send jokes, congratulation cards manages the content of its message, that are not corporate, family photos, or according to his/her intentions and the any other personal message that may characteristics of this medium. put the image and reputation of the company at risk before clients, suppliers 1. Whenever we write an e-mail, it is or co-workers. worth stopping for a moment to be sure that sending it is better than a telephone 8. For your e-mails to get more noticed call or a face-to-face conversation. by its recipients, we must take into con- sideration the “peak hours” where many Whenever we write an e-mail, it 2. Avoid discussions or “clarifications” people check their e-mails: First time in in writing. This always carries the risk of the morning and last time in the eve- is worth stopping for a moment misinterpretations, and also generates ning (right after arriving and before leav- to be sure that sending it is better an exchange of much longer messages. ing work); and before and after lunch. than a telephone call or a face-to- 3. Discussions are natural and necessary 9. Every professional must develop bet- face conversation. in any job, so it is better to have them ter writing skills as a personal respon- through other means, and send by e- sibility. We can be very efficient in the mail only the agreements reached. way we express ourselves verbally, but when we do it in writing, the message 4. If there is no other option and we can be confusing and difficult to read. must “clarify” an issue in writing, avoid involving third persons in the message. We must try to improve our writing skills Don’t send a copy of your clarification to as well. That is the only way to be more other recipients. accurate in our written messages, gen- erate more interest in them, and have 5. Unless we have established an agree- better chances that their content is eas- ment with our interlocutor beforehand, ily understood. e-mail is not the best work communi- cation tool if urgent responses are re- 10. We must take into account the order quired. in which e-mails are processed before they are opened by their recipients: 6. Senders must be more explicit with First, they read the name of the sender; what they expect from their recipients. second, they check the title of the mes- Every day we receive messages that sage, and then they look for their name don’t indicate what we must do, be- in the recipient field. cause the sender assumes it is “obvious”. 5 Juan Carlos Jiménez - September 2008
  7. 7. Personal marketing through e-mail Other recommendations A decade ago it seemed an exaggera- By constantly expanding our vocabu- tion to say that a person without a mini- lary we avoid “fillers” and common place By constantly expanding our vo- mum of knowledge in Office (Microsoft) words, and dodge being repetitive or cabulary we avoid “fillers” and would have many difficulties finding rhetorical. In other words, the larger is a job; today this is a reality. Perhaps it our vocabulary, the less “blah blah blah” common place words, and dodge also sounds exaggerated to say that in we write. being repetitive or rhetorical. In five years it will be difficult to find a job if we don’t have excellent written com- But be careful: some people use their other words, the larger is our vo- munication skills (remember that know- vocabulary to write in an incomprehen- cabulary, the less “blah blah blah” ing how to write doesn’t mean knowing sible manner. The purpose of having a we write. how to communicate). broad vocabulary is not to show-off our knowledge, but to have the resources to It is essential to expand our vocabu- communicate in the simplest, more ef- lary and improve the way in which we ficient way possible. structure and present information. Go to writing courses and seminars. If you If you want to improve your professional can, get a post-graduate degree in so- reputation and have better sales oppor- cial communication, with emphasis in tunities, you need to be more aware and written journalism: given its objectivity observant of your permanent personal and amplitude, the journalistic style is a marketing process through e-mail. good writing example to follow. Have practical books and writing guides on hand. When we write, it is always useful to have references to look for syn- onyms or to be sure about the meaning of certain words. Resources I recom- mend: • http://dictionary.reference.com • http://www.wordreference.com • http://education.yahoo.com • http://www.merriam-webster.com 6 Juan Carlos Jiménez - September 2008
  8. 8. E-mail at the workplace A survival guide. Solutions and tips • Improve e-mail performance: save time and money. • A guide to more efficient e-mails that meet your communication and business goals. • Recommendations on how to structure, understand and increase e-mail comprehension, and obtain more effective answers. • Provides practical guidance for managing writing communications, perceptions, and emotional impact on recipients. Buy it now in Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/4j217g Av. Francisco de Miranda con Av. Ppal, de los Ruices, Centro Empresarial Miranda, www.cograf.com Piso 1, Ofic. 1-K, Los Ruices, Caracas - Venezuela. Telfs. / Fax: (58-212) 239.5864 / 237.9703 / 6630 E-mail: info@cograf.com - www.cograf.com www.cursoscograf.com www.libroscograf.com www.internetips.com Member of International Network www.in-advertising.com www.folletoweb.com