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Up to now we have focused almost entirely on social networks and how to use them. I do want to take a moment though to address the other digital methods of maintaining connection with people and give you some tips on using them properly. I am referring primarily to e-mail and text messaging. I mentioned these in particular because they have been around for a long time and they are likely to be around for years to come, how you use them is important and I am going to give you for tips to help your e-mail and text messages be helpful tools for building connections.
Number one is be friendly all too often people use formal business writing in a digital context and it does not work well. A formal letter that says dear Sir or Madam, how are you today is going to come across very cold and heartless in a digital format. I recommend that you use casual, friendly language. Also part of being friendly is including some personal touches, I found that including my picture in my e-mail signature helps people remember that they are talking to a human being.
When people include their picture, it helps me associate their name and face together. Second, be brief the nature of digital communication is fast and people do not want to read through a multi- paragraph e-mail, state your message in as few words as possible. If the e-mail needs to be longer cull out multiple details with bullet points or numbered lists so that the reader catches every point that you want to discuss with them.
Tip three is count to 10 before you send, we have all heard stories and even experienced personally the anguish that comes from sending an e-mail with embarrassing typos or delivered to the wrong recipient. By double checking for typos confirming you're sending it to the right person and ensuring that it's an e- mail you really want to send. You will avoid many common mistakes that happen from hitting the send button prematurely.
Tip four is go off-line when needed. If you are exchanging information with someone through text or e-mail and it seems like the conversation is going back and forth multiple times. That's probably a good sign that you should pick up the phone and talk. It may seem inconvenient in the moment but you will realize that it is actually faster in the long run to pick up the phone. If the conversation is just a simple one or two times back and forth of information then the digital medium is fine.
Follow these tips and any other ideas that you can think of to make e-mail and text messages, more personal and more human and you will find them useful tools in building connections.
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