Email is digital communication royalty. Despite the trends that may surface among various shifting social platforms, email is that one constant that has not budged over the last twenty years. Email habits, however, are a different beast. As the way we communicate and engage each other has become more dynamic (and more demanding), the subtle art of email seems to escape a higher number of people each year. If you’re one of those people who feels they’re not every effective with email communication, consider that it could be because of your emailing habits. In a day and age where communication happens in remote micro moments, how you communicate can make or break your business success. So stop for a moment and take inventory of your email behavior to see if you’re guilty of any of these terrible email habits. The Lazy Subject Line The first mistake is not having a subject filled out. The second mistake is having a lazy subject line. Subject lines should never just be about the subject; it should be about the action and then the subject. So, for example if you’re sending over a document to review, your subject line should read like this… “For Review: ABC Project.” Include the action (for review) followed by the title of the project (ABC project). The Trigger Happy Email We’ve become so dependent on email communication that most of us now rely on email to communicate. While email is a great way to loop in multiple people in a conversation and to have a digital record of that communication, sometimes relying solely on email is a handicap. When dealing with customers, clients or even colleagues, its sometimes better to just pick up to phone or have a face to face conversation. The ability to decipher when to move past emails is a learned skill – but it’s an easy one to pick up. If you can tell the other person hasn’t fully understood what you’re saying, if they’re showing signs of frustration, or even if the conversation is taking a lot longer than it should – then it’s time to move on to another form of communication. Not Mirroring Your Reader People like doing business with those who have similar personalities. That said, if your reader is the somber type, then your emails should also reflect a somber tone. If your client loves happy faces in their emails, then go ahead and do the same. Successful email communication involves sharing just enough personality in emails without becoming unprofessional. Part of that art requires that you’re able to match the tone and context of your audience. Since email communication doesn’t include any affect that we’d find with tone of voice, body language and facial expressions, it’s really important to be able to learn how to communicate those things via email. The Diary Entry Emails were created for quick efficient communication. However, that purpose is lost when your emails read like a diary entry. It shouldn’t take your reader any more time than the length of the read to figure out what you’re trying to say. As a rule of thumb, get to the point quickly. Tell the reader what you’re emailing them about and what action you’d like them to take. Make it a priority to keep emails brief and to the subject. Underline or bold the action you want them to take or specific dates you need them to keep in mind. The easier you make it for others, the more success you’ll have with email communications.
When we had Nate and Jeremy Ginsburg on Heart of Business, the pair was living in Saigon enjoying the food, social life and culture of Vietnam. But by the time the time the podcast went live, the pair had taken off to South Africa, yet another stop in the incredible, exciting lives of two guys who decided that home is where the backpack is. Welcome to the world of the Digital Nomads. Nate is a marketing consultant who teaches people Pinterest, Twitter and entrepreneurship. Jeremy calls himself a “Culture Chameleon” and blogs about travel, plays music, and even does standup comedy. Together the pair not only see the world, they make a good living while doing it. It’s a dream for many of us, but they’ve shown us it’s possible. After a lively podcast on everything from how Nate communicates with clients from halfway across the planet to how these guys choose where they’re going to go next. Here are three things we learned from the Ginsburgs about running a business while living abroad: 1. You won’t be sitting in front of a computer all day (unless you want to) One of the biggest fears Jeremy had on living abroad was loneliness, and that he’d be sitting in front of a computer all day by himself. Instead, he found that wherever he goes, he finds a lively community of people to help him enjoy the local sights and culture. According to the pair, if you become a digital nomad, you will definitely use a computer for work, but you can easily spend your days and nights socializing and immersed in the world around you. 2. You will find loads of like-minded entrepreneurs Thanks to world-shrinking of the Internet, entrepreneurialism can happen from almost anywhere. Heavily inspired by Tim Ferris’s book The 4-Hour Work Week, Nate was able to take the plunge and run his consulting business abroad. In their travels, they’ve come across numerous entrepreneurs, building businesses and running startups from café tables. If you yearn for business inspiration among your peers when you join the expat life, you’ll find it almost anywhere you go. 3. Bring a plan or you’ll never make it After meeting a man who was successfully traveling the world, running his business and using personal assistants for many of his tasks, Nate was ready to start his own venture and make a million dollars. The problem? Things were a bit harder than he thought. Nate ended up spending all his money, moving back home, and ramping up on social media and marketing before trying again. Once he had built up his clientele and crafted a plan, he was able to live his dream abroad without a constant fear of failure. Now that they’ve perfected the art of living and working on the move, who knows where Nate and Jeremy will end up next? The pair lives by the motto “Have Wi-Fi will travel”, and we at Heart of Business look forward to their next stop on this beautiful blue marble we call earth.
If you’re around my age, you likely grew up watching Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and dreamed of traveling the globe. A catchy a capella theme song would have just been gravy. Brothers Nate and Jeremy Ginsburg made that dream a reality. They live the digital nomad lifestyle, traveling the globe at will ... all while making a living and supporting themselves. Most people wait until they retire to travel. It doesn’t have to be that way. In today’s day and age, it’s possible to run your business from anywhere. It doesn’t come without its trials and tribulations, though. Listen along and get advice from the Ginsburgs on making the digital nomad lifestyle work for you. Maybe you’ll be so inspired after listening, that you’ll be listening to our next Heart of Business episode from the other side of the world. Enjoy!