Roy A. Barnes sent me the following article to consider. Roy first approached me to see if I was interested in articles for the newsletter and website. The first thing I noticed was his email name travelwriteroy so I answered him and told him I wasn’t interested in articles about travel, but would be interested in articles about travel writing or about the business of writing. He immediately emailed me back with the perfect submission!
As you read the following article, understand that your email name IS very important. I’ve been really “put off” by people who are “professionals” and use very unprofessional email names. Dragonlady just about perfectly summed up my feelings about one acquaintance. Sillyslurp perfectly fit what would have been my own description of another. I know that people chose these names because they thought they were funny, or because they thought they fit, but why on earth would you carry this into a working relationship? Just as the clothing you wear sets a expectation, so does the email name you use. If the Sillyslurp had not told me he was one, it may have taken me longer to realize it … then again, maybe not!
If you want a fun email name, go ahead and use it with your friends. Business is business.
Use your own name so people immediately know who they are getting email from; choose something they will remember, or a name that tells something about what you do.
Same goes for the user name you use on forums, in twitter and other social media sites. In twitter, I go by Rockett because I want people to find me personally and professionally. In some of the forums I use ContestGuru … because that’s what I am! All you have to do is read that name and you’ve got to figure out I am interested in contests … oh yeah, and the fact that ContestGuru is the name of one of my websites doesn’t hurt either!
Let Your Email Address Snag Some Paying Assignments! by Roy A. Barnes
Marketing ourselves as writers can be a very daunting and time-consuming task. Think of the books, articles, and seminars which are in existence today that cater to just the marketing and promotion of books and for getting started in the field of promotional writing. For writers who have yet to aspire to the creating of a full length book manuscript or to writing advertisement copy for small businesses and corporations, the concept of marketing oneself may seem a moot issue. This way of thinking can be very costly; that is, a number of potential published clips and subsequent visits to the pay windows of editors may not come to pass.
One of the best decisions I ever made concerning my fledgling writing career occurred in late 2004. I made the decision to create a new email address from which I would submit the brunt of my queries and finished works to editors from, wherever online queries and submissions were allowed. When I began getting more serious about my freelance writing during the summer of 2004, I submitted and queried from an email address that could be best described as cute, and not really business-like. I realized that I needed to create an email address which would reflect what I was striving to do in my career. So I picked “travelwriteroy”, because it alluded to the primary activities I was now engaging in to help pay the rent, utilities, and food bills; that is, traveling, and then writing about those travels when I wasn’t crafting poetry, personal experience essays, or articles on a variety of other subjects.
In December 2004, I submitted an article on constructive ways for writers to deal with rejection by editors to an online writing publication called The Fabulist Flash (www.fabulistflash.com). Gregory Kompes, the editor, didn’t wish to use my article in the near future, but he noticed my “travelwriteroy” email address. He wanted to know if I was a travel writer, as he needed some articles on getting started in travel writing. Well, I had just received my first pay check ever as a freelancer for a travel article by Transitions Abroad (www.transitionsabroad.com) on a piece I did about a unique volunteer holiday in Spain, which appeared in their March/April 2005 print edition, as well as online. In addition, I had previous work experience in the travel agent and airline industries, which afforded me further opportunities to be able to travel on four continents in my lifetime. I let Gregory know about my credentials. He emailed me back asking me to send him an article. It was accepted and published in the March 24, 2005 online issue of The Fabulist Flash.
Had it not been for my new email address, I strongly suspect that Mr. Kompes wouldn’t have even brought up the subject about travel writing when he passed on using my article about dealing with rejection. My email address lets editors know that travel is a part of my writing forte, even if I am submitting a query or work that isn’t travel-related.
In addition to having a business-like email to submit queries and finished works from, listing some of our publication credits in different categories other than the category we are submitting to or querying about may lead to some unexpected surprises. It’s because an editor is going to know more about the scope of the work we do as writers. Email addresses and published clips can provide some free, indirect advertising which showcases a writer’s abilities to craft articles about a variety of subjects. Don’t forgo those opportunities to, as my father used to say, “brag about yourself”. If you have truly done something, it isn’t boasting!
BIOGRAPHY: Roy A. Barnes writes from southeastern Wyoming. His travel-themed works have been featured in such publications as Transitions Abroad, GoNOMAD.com, Live Life Travel, and The Traveler, and Tampa Bay ParentGuide. His articles on writing issues have appeared insuch onlline and print publications as The Busy Freelancer, The Willamette Writer, Writer2Writer, Writing for DOLLARS, FellowScript, and more.
Tell me about some of the crazy names you’ve seen used in business contexts … or about some really great ones. Please only use the first part of the email name, for privacy and so that poor unsuspecting souls don’t get spamed to death!