Fan Mail Etiquette
Lily Herman reports:
"Whether it’s a writer whose blog posts are always relatable, a public speaker whose workshops are always on-point, or a big name in your industry you’ve always looked up to, we all have people out there we admire and would like to reach out to just to say, 'Hey, you’re great.' Of course, sending 'fan mail' seems sort of outdated, and these types of emails can easily come across as creepy or self-serving...So, how do you show someone that you’re just reaching out to say you like his or her work without it coming off the wrong way? Here are four simple tips to keep in mind...If you’re reaching out to someone solely to say how much you admire his or her work, keep your email short; stick to four to six sentences tops. It’s a lot less intimidating (and much more likely to garner a response)...Just because your email is on the shorter side, doesn’t mean you have to slack on content. When emailing someone as a fan, get specific about what you loved...and why...The great thing about being short and specific is that your reader knows what in particular you liked and why you connected with it. This not only makes your message more genuine, [but] it [also] allows someone to craft a more unique response and opens up the chance for him or her to begin a natural dialogue with you...Don’t ask for anything from the person you’re reaching out to, no matter how tiny it is. In my experience...the less you ask for something from a total stranger, the more likely you are to get something back. Think of it from the perspective of the person receiving your email: He or she (like a lot of us) probably spends the day getting tons of requests to do all sorts of things; that’s generally what email is for in the first place. If anything, your email will stand out for being the only one that doesn’t ask for something. So why not be a little different?...One big mistake I’ve seen people make when sending fan mail is that they get anxious if they don’t receive an email back within a couple of days. Keep in mind that many people are incredibly busy...[I]f the point of your email is just to say how much you admire someone’s work, an email back shouldn’t be what you seek. Just think of a response as an added bonus. Whatever you do, don’t keep following up. It’s easy for a friendly push to come across as creepy or self-serving, so just let the email play out...Fan mail doesn’t have to be scary; it’s all about knowing how to harness your admiration in a simple email that doesn’t come across as trying to[o] hard to force a connection or ask for a favor. And let’s be real here: Who doesn’t love having fans?"
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