Monthly Archives: June 2012

What Not to Do In Email Messages

I recently received an email from an organization of which I’m a member. It’s a great group and I’m honored to be involved. But they’ve never quite gotten the email thing down. The email looked like the image below – a solid block of text with no breaks or images. (This isn’t the actual email.) There was no heading, no introduction and nothing to tell me why I was receiving it.block text

The topic was worthy, but I didn’t read very far. Instead, here’s what I wrote back to the author, copying the president of the group.

1-A solid block of text without appropriate spacing between paragraphs is difficult to read, no matter the subject.

2-An image or two would be great to break up the text, and give the eye somewhere to rest. Visual appeal is incredibly important to email communication.

3-A bit of introduction for this email to the audience is helpful. Why am I receiving this? Why is this organization, specifically, sending it to me?

4-A call to action would be great, too. What should I do with this information? It is tied to a seminar/webinar/event/workshop that ______ is sponsoring?

5-How about a link to the ____ website or where I can get more information about the topic?

I also offered to discuss with them the purpose, composition and effective use of email to organization members. In fact, I’ll discuss that with anyone who wants to send emails to their list. I hope they take me up on it.

Find your voice/vision in your writing

Finding your voice/visionĀ  – tip of the hat to Kendall Summerhawk for these great ideas to get the juices flowing whatever your writing project is.

Brainstorm words and phrases that describe your VALUES and your CHARACTER. Example: generous, honest, honor, integrity, grace, ease, simplicity, love, spiritual, magical, rich, creative, high-achieving, smart, expert, value-added, etc.

Now brainstorm words and phrases that describe your ideal client. Example: smart, creative, appreciative, overwhelmed, loyal, ambitious, entrepreneurial, wants to be successful, helps others, inspired, loves challenges, etc.

Circle 3-4 words or phrases in each list and use these to inspire and inform your writing.

Now go write something!

Big Changes!

They (the mysterious, omniscient they) say that a change is as good as a rest. Well, I went to a fabulous seminar in April and learned a ton! Not about how to be a better writer, but how to do my BUSINESS better. Yep, big changes are here at chez Kelly, and more to come.

1-I’ve created a brand new package to fill in a hole in my services. Now, in addition to my newsletter, social media, and news release packages, I’ve created one specifically for small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to start (or continue) blogging. Often, you just can’t find the time or the inspiration to write. For the details, email me!

2-I’ve created a program to teach small businesspeople and solo-preneurs how to write their own articles, blog posts, newsletters and websites themselves. And one to teach other freelance writers to actually make money from their trade.

3-I’ve always called myself a writer because that’s what I do. But that’s a widely interpreted term. What do I write? Books? Poetry? Non-fiction? At this seminar, the term Content Collaboration Partner emerged as a way to describe what I do – write the stuff that businesses need to communicate their message and vision. So that’s what I’m going to call myself. What do y’all think?

Whew! That’s a lot, and there’s more to come. Those programs with their worksheets, templates and outlines don’t create themselves!