One of the greatest merits of virtual communications is that you can easily recycle your own words. We recommend you create a Recyclable Document with all of the information that you reuse when communicating with people virtually. Simply cutting and pasting from the Recyclable Document will save you a great deal of time and make it easier to communicate in a consistent way. Some of the items to include in your Recyclable Document:
- Web addresses of your profiles: This will allow you to quickly pull up your profiles for editing when any of your Information changes. You may also want to refer other people to them.
- Photos: Link to a location where you stored your photos.
- Articles: Primarily articles written by you or about you, but may also include articles by others that you refer people to frequently.
- Invitation or affiliate links: You may want to be able to refer people in ways other than the site’s mechanism.
- E-mail signatures: Include all the contact information that you would have on a business card.
- Web signatures: For use in discussion forums. They should be between two and four lines long, and usually include a link to your corporate site. Web signatures are much shorter and less detailed than e-mail signatures.
- Memory hook and benefit statement: One-to-two sentences to describe what you do professionally and how it benefits your customers, most commonly used as a brief self-introduction.
- Biography–short and long versions: For introducing yourself, for profiles in online communities, and as a byline.
- Haves: What you have to offer (other than your product or service) that might be of value to others.
- Wants: What you are looking for (preferably other than just “leads”) that is specific and timely.
- Professional interests: A list of 25–50 words and short phrases describing your professional interests. These are important for helping people to find you when they search for people with certain interests in an online community.
- Personal interests: A list of 25–50 words and short phrases describing your personal interests.
In addition, we recommend that you compile all of the e-mails that you find yourself frequently writing. The exact text will depend on your profession.
Source: “The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online (AMACOM, 2005)”
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