Internet + Etiquette = Netiquette! In our ever-changing digital age, not only do we have to keep up with the trends but our business etiquette does too! Mass Email Marketing, Signatures, Facebooks Posts, Group Texts – Anne and Gabby cover it all and help you avoid some serious mistakes that could hurt your brand! Remember: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” – Warren Buffett
Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:
Be mindful of permission.
The “group method” is not business minded.
Take the time to contact people individually.
Utilize your email signature. Set it and forget it!
Be careful about mass marketing emails. Make it personal.
Watch out for unintentional hijacking
Referenced in this Episode
Direct links to things we brought up ++
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VO: Today voiceover talent is more than just a pretty voice. Today’s voiceover talent has to be a boss. A VO B.O.S.S. Set yourself up with business owner’s strategies and success. With your host, Anne Ganguzza. Along with some of the strongest voices in our industry. Rock your business. Like a boss. A VO B.O.S.S.
Anne: Welcome, everybody, to the VO B.O.S.S. Podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, along with my lovely co-host, Gabby Nistico. Hey, Gabby.
Anne: Hey, Gabby, I have had some emails in digital encounters this past week that have really lead me to thinking that we should do an episode on digital etiquette.
Gabby: Yeah. I’m all about that. I think it’s a major pet peeve, even for us, for a lot of people in business now.
Gabby: So many folks just don’t really…
Anne: Get it?
Gabby: I don’t know. Yeah. I think, kinda just missin’ the boat here.
Anne: Yeah, and every time that happens–I know that a lot of times there are well meaning people…that just will do things online or through an email, just through a communication, where I just cringe. And the one that I had in particular was somebody that tagged me on a post in Facebook. And not only did they tag me but they tagged about 75 other people. That is, like, one of my first pet peeves, because I’m sure if you’ve been tagged before you know that you get all of those notifications and I wonder–
Gabby: Yeah… Anne:–to myself, “How is it they don’t know?”
Gabby: I feel like people get a little over zealous in social media content and, you know, I admire the fact that they wanna share that they’re excited or whatever, but it does get a little bit cumbersome for recipients. And I think that things like tagging people or tagging, like, obnoxious numbers of people in conversations–
Anne: Without permission. Gabby:–becomes very taxing. Yeah. We also see a lot where people get–I don’t know, this happens to me all the time–I get added to groups. And I’m like, “Don’t add me to your group. Don’t. What are you doing? Like, who, like what is this?” You know? And it’s never seems to fail that it’s either multilevel marketing stuff. Or it’s–
Anne: Right. Gabby:–some voiceover topic or offshoot, and I’m like, “Come on, guys, like, ask. Just shoot me a quick message–
Anne: Right. Gabby:–directly and ask me if I wanna join the group. So, things like that are kind of, you know, sort of, like, etiquette no-no’s. They’re just in poor form.
Anne: Yeah, well, I think the first thing to know is just everything should be permission based. I mean, don’t expect that… [Microphone Bump]
Anne: What happened there, Gabby?
Gabby: Hold oh. Sorry. Oh, goddammit.
Anne: What just happened, did your microphone just fall off.
Gabby: I was trying to adjust it and it… yes. The CLUNK–
Anne: Oh my. There’s an outtake. Gabby:–was me over adjusting the mic and it dropping below me. Clunk! So you were saying?
Anne: I wasn’t quite sure, Gabby, what was going on there. So, I was saying I think that what people just need to be mindful of is permission. You know, it’s just one of those things that, you know, it’s a common courtesy if you’re going to tag someone or you’re–you know–if you’re gonna tag someone and, they’re not necessarily aware of it, you know, you might wanna ask permission first, and that’s just a general courtesy. Otherwise they’re gonna continue to get those notifications over and over and over again. And a lot of times, people are not, you know, savvy or nor do they have time to have to take themselves off of the list, or out of the tag, or remove the tag. Lot times we don’t do that on a normal, you know, continual bases. So it’s like, “Wait, how do I remove myself again?”
Anne: “How does that work?” And that also happens not even in just Facebook posts but also messenger posts.
Anne: I get those emails that are like, “Hey, forward to your girlfriend” you know? “Forward to 50 of your closest girlfriends.” And it’s like one of those chain letter. Oh, gosh, those chain–Remember? Those chain mails, that we–
Gabby: The emails! Yeah, it used to be email and now it’s literally–
Anne: Yeah! Messenger. Gabby:–messenger has exploded with them. And then, you know, and even–and sometimes it’s really–look, sometimes it’s events. Right? So, a lot of times, I find in voiceover, it’s like an event or a thing that’s going on and so, yes, they’ve tagged a bunch of people, but there’s a point in time where you go, “Oh my gosh. I don’t need to see every single person’s, you know, excuse for not being able to go, or when they’re going, or that they’re excited to go. Like, uh, it gets so overwhelming. And then, two, we see it in text. Group text.–
Anne: Yeah. Gabby:–It’s the same thing. So, these are really, honestly, I think what it comes down to with the group method in anything with digital communications, the reason it’s in such poor form is it’s not business minded. Business people don’t do that.
Anne: Excellent point. Yes.
Gabby: So, that’s really the thing we want to instill in everybody, and have everyone kind of think about it. You know, even if it’s a holiday message. Right? Yes, I know, it’s a pain.–
Anne: Especially if it’s a holiday message.
Gabby: Yeah, I know it’s annoying.
Gabby: Take the time. Make it singular. Make it personal.
Anne: And, I think, you just you drove home a really simple point: Take the time. And the thing is if you’re gonna tag 75 people on, you know, in image that you might’ve made, or a message that says “Happy Holidays”, I feel as though I was just part of a lump group of people, and that is something as– as, you know, as businesses and as marketers, you know, you wanna make sure your clients feel special. And that includes anybody in your circles, anybody in your network. So take the time, you know, to actually maybe create a special post or special text message or a special InstaMessenger, whatever it is,–
Gabby: Yeah. Anne:–to that person, and I think that’s gonna go a whole lot further than just tagging a blanket 100 people.
Gabby: I think so, and I think, too, maybe switching it over to the private email process, it makes it a little less, I don’t know, tempting to just use the big tagging features. Even though, yes, you can do things like a blind CC in email, but let’s talk about that factor, too. I’m still amazed by the sheer volumes of people that don’t know how to properly use a BCC.
Gabby: And that carbon copy and send massive emails to droves of people always kind of disturbing. But I think even more disturbing than that in email communications, that we were just talk about this a little while ago, the lack of signatures. Really peeving.
Anne: That is a peeve… A very big pet peeve of mine. Yeah.
Gabby: Yeah. I think people don’t quite understand that inside of your signature in an email–and if you’re not failure with what this is, by the way, it’s an automatic process. You can set it up in every email program. They all have these options. You set it and forget it. You only have to do it one time, and every time you generate a new email, or forward an email, your signature will automatically–
Anne: Yes. Gabby:–appear. And you and I have both of us have pretty expense signatures.
Anne: We do. We do.
Gabby: We have logo and graphics and links and you can put all kinds of cool stuff in a signature, so you really should be using it to its fullest capacity.
Gabby: But not having one is–
Anne: Oh please! Take the time. Take the time to just create one. And like you said, “set it and forget it.” It’s one of those things. I actually, well I have multiple, because I have multiple domains, but I have multiple signatures, but I– I love it so much because no matter what email goes out it’s got my– all of my information on it. Now, how many times have you gotten something where I’ve really, you know, I really need to call you on that or I need to send you an email, even my clients, I’ll go back and be like,–
Gabby: Yeah! Anne:–“How is it possible you exists in today’s– today’s world without a signature file.” I need to be able to–and I’m actually, if I get sent, you know, an interest email and somebody’s like, “You know, look, I’m interested in getting a quote from you for a voiceover job, whatever it is, and they don’t have a signature? I immediately just step back and go, “Umm.” You know what? That is part of my vetting process that if somebody’s going to ask me for a quote and they, themselves, don’t have a signature or a domain I can go and check out to find out, mm, you know, are they valid? Are they real? Or is there a phone number I can call? I really shy away. And those are the people that I think are also the people you’ll fight with, you know, over rates. And quotes. And that type of thing.
Gabby: And getting paid. Yeah.
Anne: Yeah, exactly.
Gabby: I agree with you. I think it’s a humongous red flag when I get–
Anne: Yeah. Gabby:–client inquiry and there’s no contact information or no signature I’m always like, uh-oh. But imagine being on the other person’s shoes. If you’re a voice actor and you are promoting or sending out a marketing piece or trying to drum up new business, if they’re not seeing these basic pieces of communication from you it is really very much a red flag that, yeah, either you’re not a professional, you don’t really know what you’re doing, or maybe your business isn’t as legitimate as you claim it to be. So, very, very important. And the other thing is, yes, it is a ease of use thing. Anne and I both can tell you, we will immediately first, if we need to contact someone, communicate with them, go into our emails. Search through, whether it be a trash folder or a particular folders–
Anne: That’s the first thing I do. Gabby:–where we have things set up, yeah, and go and try to find someone’s signature to contact them, ’cause it’s the easiest.
Anne: Gabby, Gabby, makes me chuckle because I am one of those people that I have had Gmail since it began. I think it’s 1996? Maybe?
Anne: It began. And I got one of those original fledgling accounts from Google that I have had since then, and I actually never deleted any email, so if people look at my inbox I literally, I have probably 600,000 unread emails–
Gabby: Oh my gosh! Anne:–because I’ve never ever deleted one because I thought, “Well, it’s Google, it’s a search engine.” So when I go back and search for somebody for, you know, for a, you know, an address or phone number or an email I, you know, it’s amazingly fast and it works well, and if I again, if I can’t find your information I’m immediately going to be suspicious. Number one, that you’re a valid entity or you’re a professional entity at all.
Gabby: I think it’s really funny, too, because I know I do this and I know other business people that do it too, now, signatures are so critical and so important. We judge people. Like, we judge people. Like, I’ve looked at other people’s signatures and gone, “Oh, that’s not very good. That could be better.”
Anne: Yes. Yes, I agree.
Gabby: Or it’s the other way around. Like, I’ll look at someone’s signature and I’ll go, “Oh, that’s nice! Like, they’ve got it together.” And be very impressed. So, it’s kind of important. Like, I don’t think people give enough–
Anne: It’s a part of your brand! Gabby:–thought process…yeah!
Anne: Yeah. Your signature is part of your brand and on the opposite end of that spectrum, Gabby, too, is signatures that are too long.
Anne: I don’t know if you’ve had that.
Gabby: I have. I’ve had signatures that get kind of, like, people get kind of wonky and there’s, like, 8 billion, you know, possible link–and the thing too about like–so this is just, again, part of the etiquette process, so hyperlinking inside of email, which hopefully everyone is familiar with, is a big part of creating a signature, but what I see a lot of people do is when they’re hyperlinking they’re literally putting in, like, H T T P P S backslash this this this W W, it’s like, no… You don’t need to do any of that. You can literally type things like, “Hear my demo” and hyperlink that phrase directly to your website, your demo link, whatever. There’s all kinds of cool things you can do there that cut down on some of the, I don’t know,–
Anne: Yeah. The visual clutter.
Gabby: Yeah, yeah. The clutter, exactly.
Anne: Yeah. And, actually, you know, now-a-days most services, whether it’s on your phone or, you know, desktop or whatever, you know, they automatically understand the hyperlink.
Anne: It’s not like you need to spell–you know, in the beginning you used to have to spell it out so people, you know, the link may not be active. But pretty much anywhere you’re gonna be looking at that email, that link is probably gonna be active. Unless you’re lookin’ at, maybe, pdf document where they haven’t actually linked, you know, graphic with hyperlinks. But I think anywhere you’re gonna run into–I know Gmail automatically does it, you just have to, you know, put in the hyperlink and it creates it, or, you know, it’s very easy to create a hyperlink these days.–
Gabby: It is. Anne:–And your signature file–I especially think it’s important to link, you know, your contact information, and I think it’s great if you can link your demos too, because you never know, even if you’re sending an email to your mother, you never know. She could forward that email to somebody else who might have a friend who might need a voiceover, and I think just having that standard signature is something that every voice talent should just stop what you’re doing today and get it done, now. Set it and forget it. And there are multiple ways to do this in Google and, you know, Apple Mail, whatever it is, find out how to do it and just do it.
Gabby: Yeah, I mean, you can do YouTube tutorials and lookup the specific process for creating signatures in whatever email you’re using.
Gabby: Makes it really, really easy to do. Or just ask a friend who’s using the same platform–