No, it’s not some fancy sort of knitting. ‘Netiquette’ is an amusing word I stumbled across when learning about internet etiquette. Photographers in the digital age are especially prone to be heavy users of the internet, social media, websites and forums. The most difficult thing about the internet is knowing and understanding the tone of voice you are writing in and reading from others. The simplest sentence can be taken as snooty, bossy, rude, or mean when it wasn’t meant that way at all. Here’s a few tips to help you send emails and interact with others with success.
1. Posting in all caps is the equivalent of internet yelling. “I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY!” and “I love photography!” are two different sounding sentences when read simply because of the capitol letters. If you are extra enthusiastic throw a double “!!” in there and I’ll look the other way, but you don’t want to be mistaken for yelling at anyone. Caps can also be viewed as less professional.
2. You can use smileyssparingly to help others understand an emotion you are trying to convey, but don’t go overboard like a teenage girl texting.
3. Be polite and remember to say please and thank you. This is always a good rule of thumb in the real world too.
4. Don’t go overboard on the abbreviations. When you are representing your business a lot of talk about SOOC, LOL, DSLR, and other abbreviations may be a bit over your clients’ heads. Spell things out so they can better understand you.
5. Read thoroughly before you respond to any emails, posts, comments, etc. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand someone’s meaning, especially if they may have a language barrier or struggle with spelling. Before jumping to the defensive if someone emails you something you’re not sure about it, re-read and then respond to ensure you’ve understood them correctly.
6. Be patient. Not everyone hangs out on the internet as much as us digital photography junkies. Sometimes it takes clients several days to respond and it’s not good manners to over-remind people they haven’t responded to a request of yours. Take your time and be patient and acknowledge others schedules or limitations.
7. Spelling and grammar are important. I’m not the best at both, but I do try! It’s important to use the best spelling and grammar you can so you sound like the professional you are!
8. Personalize your correspondence. While it’s great to have template emails you can copy and paste to make your job easier and quicker you can still take those templates and personalize them for the client.
As always feel free to ask me a question about photography! If you need help with some great email templates for your photography check out the Awesomesauce Organizing packet. It has email templates, accounting sheets, blog planning, marketing planning and more!