Before working exclusively with small businesses and solo-entrepreneurs, I helped independent artists with their social media presences for a while. I was an artist myself at the time, so I understood what was at stake for them.
During those few years, I wrote extensively on the need to shape things up in the industry. I felt that there was a strong lack of self-education and professionalism among indies. This article will give you a good idea of how vocal I used to be.
Professionalism is still a topic I broach consistently in my classes. I also often discuss it with fellow pros who, like me, feel that social media has been used as an excuse to leave manners at the door.
Call me old-fashioned, but emails without any polite phrase feel generic. Hi Cendrine, thank you, and best regards (or something similar) have become such rare occurrences in the messages I receive that I do a little tap dance whenever I spot them. Why? Because they make me feel a little special. I always think: “Here is someone who cares about me and their business.”
The same goes for typos and grammatical errors. As my friend Suzan St Maur says,
[S]ome of your readers and customers may not mind the odd grammar mistake. But whether you like it or not, some customers will be put off by your mistakes, thinking (as many people do) that if you can’t get your basic blog writing, website text and other marcom words right, what faith should they have in your business – if that’s the benchmark?
Don’t get me wrong. There is no need to write like Shakespeare or send flowery emails to be taken seriously; and occasional errors happen. However, to attract the right kind of attention, you need to remain professional — especially with those you don’t know.
Want to know how to approach people successfully? Read the email below.
I’m Michael and I represent a small Sony distributed label called Revolution Art. Like so many others in music, my production partner and I have recently created a website/blog to not only advertise the services we provide as producers but to communicate with the growing number or people in our network who are interested in tidbits that we share about our dealings with both independent and major labels alike. In doing so, we came up with 5 or 6 topics that we’ve decided to blog about.
The reason for my email is we’d like to have permission from you to highlight or re post some of your articles from your blog on our site. We recognized that there are so many others with knowledgeable insight about being an independent artist and everything that goes along with that and believe that it would be mutually beneficial to link with those who are interested in cross promoting.
We have a pretty extensive track record in music but I will be honest in saying that we are still in a novice state when it comes to blogging and social media.
If this is something that you would permit us to do we would of course accommodate any type of trackbacks, links and/or specified credit that you would require about your articles and blog site.
I welcome any questions or conversation you would like to have about making this happen.
Thanks for your consideration and timely response,
All the Best to you,
Here are the reasons why I like this email:
- Michael introduces his business at length.
- He is polite, yet friendly.
- There is no undue praise.
- Instead of telling me how great his company is, Michael focuses on what he has been doing to help his audience.
- He is honest about what he does not know.
- He clearly understands the importance of blogging to establish his expertise and promote his company.
- He also wants to build relationships with other bloggers.
- Finally, by asking for permission to re-use my articles, he shows he values my work.
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” as they say. No matter how talented you are, your professionalism, politeness, and humbleness are what will truly make a difference in the way others respond to you.