Why It’s Better To Be Personable
In a world of automation, I’m choosing to not use robots in most situations.
A few days ago I got an email that caught my attention. It was similar to some of the emails I’ve gotten in the past. It was regarding a request to include an article that they created and wanted me to link it into one of the articles on my site.
Or at least I think that’s what it was.
You see, this email was cryptic and poorly written. Here’s the full email with the links and article titles removed:
I was researching my next article and came across your post: “[edit: article name]” — [edit: my article link](awesome article by the way)
I noticed that you [Compititor topic] — [Compititor URL]
Just wanted to give you a heads up that you are promoting the organization that’s been working for finance, money saving, debt relief and etc.
Even I am working for [edit: article name]: [edit: their article link]
We provide honest and trustworthy perspective programs for debt relief. We are driven by reviews left by those who have struggled through finding the right debt program and have dealt with too many debt settlement companies.
I’d be very honored if you may want to consider linking to my website from your page.
Well, Kevin, I’m quite glad that you sent me this email for a few reasons.
One it’s helped me to realize just how simple our lives are and how easy it can be to screw up every bit of benefit from it with a single slip up.
Two, it’s given me an article that I can write about.
In a world filled with automation, done-for-you templates, and other convenient tools, I’m hardly using any of them.
Full disclosure here, the only app I use that is pretty much automated is This Then That, a cause and effect tool that I use whenever I post an article or upload a Youtube video (whenever I do that.). That and naturally I have an email list with some email templates that I’ve created myself that I use to send emails.
And there’s a reason I’m not using automation as much.
Well, two actually.
One is because I was dirt poor and couldn’t really afford to pay for special automated tools. But now I’ve got some level of money, I don’t see the point.
But more importantly two, I feel it’s a lot better to be personable these days.
I agree that automation or templates are easy and convenient. I can see the benefits of them if you’re sending these things out by the hundreds or even thousands at a time. But it is worth looking a bit closer. Because where convenient rests, there is also a massive opportunity for you to completely screw this up.
Look at our friend Kevin. He uses a template and maybe an auto-sender. He sent me a cryptic as hell email. Don’t be like Kevin.
It Tells The Person You Don’t Have Time For Them
I get it. Automation will save you a massive amount of time. And time is certainly a precious commodity.
But while time is certainly precious and what we do with it drastically important, time isn’t the only thing that is valuable. This especially applies to people who want to help others.
Your time is important, but other peoples time is even more important.
It’s not that every other person is better than you or anything, but when you send something or do something, you want to make sure that it’s worth it.
You need to add a personal touch and a generic template doesn’t quite fit the bill. The same applies to auto-messages as well. No matter how friendly or genuine the message is, there is a clear level of disconnection.
It feels like you don’t have time for the other person.
And sure I understand that people can be very busy. But I think that we all have a little bit of time to check our emails and even send some out and give it a fair shake.
For example, automation may be convenient for you in responding to comments or other emails quickly, but time and again I’ve seen stronger methods being used. This method is simply talking on a broader platform. There is nothing wrong with saying “Hey I got a lot of emails, comments, etc. I want you to know that even if I don’t respond, I do read them.” and communicating that through your content, whether that’s through a video or a post on social media or something else.
It’s called audience building and when you grow an audience to a certain size, people begin to understand that not all of their messages will get a response. But when you’re sending an auto message or you’re putting a response into a template, it feels more harmful than good.
On the good side, you’re getting the satisfaction of “replying” to every person.
The harmful is that to that reader you’re wasting their time by giving them a generic response.
It’s Doesn’t Build Relationships
In cases like Kevin, automation or templates are more harmful when you’re doing outreach as well.
For sure there is a lot of convenience behind using automation to do your own outreach but it is worth looking at in terms of relationships.
In a world where we have multiple platforms to make us feel connected, we all know now that these platforms don’t really connect us very well. For sure they keep us in touch with people, but despite the lack of relationships I have, I know you need to do a lot more than sending a few messages or read a person's statuses.
It’s sitting down and doing video chats, hanging out with them, planning activities together. And sure social media has helped a lot with making that easier and smoother, trying to do that on a larger scale is incredibly difficult.
You run into people like Kevin who are probably decent people, but how they present themselves is in a darker light. They send messages where you gloss over and feel no connection at all.
You feel like you’re being used.
That they don’t care at all about you.
And yet they want to form some level of relationship with you.
It’s hard to do that when you receive generic emails or an obvious auto-message no matter the nature of that message.
It’s also worth looking at the quality of the relationships as sending a mass outreach of emails like this doesn’t exactly breed confidence that you’ll be building a stronger bond with the person. To me, Kevin seems like so many others where they send this email and when and if they get what they want, they never send another email to me again.
And automation only further emphasizes those sentiments.
It Doesn’t Get You Quite As Far
To expand on that point it is worth looking at the quality of the relationships. Whether you’re sending a lot of emails for outreach purposes or receiving a lot of comments, emails and other things, automation will make it convenient to “respond” or “send” everything with ease.
But it’s worth looking at those relationships you’re building.
For sure there are many decent people out there in the world and your audience is important. But we all don’t have the time to maintain and grow a bond with every single person.
These days many people feel connected when they consume the persons content but not necessarily engage with the person directly.
And if you’re looking for something a little more intimate, that’s where you need to do your own outreach. It’s things like commenting on their content on the regular, sharing insightful things, engaging with the person.
And sure automation can help with some of those things, but again, it’s generic. It doesn’t necessarily build confidence with the other person if you’re using a template every time. There is more weight when we write how we feel and when we write from the heart.
And that can only be achieved when we choose to do things ourselves, to be personable.
It’s not that every single person is not worth responding to. When I grow a large audience, I know it’s going to be tough for me emotionally to read comments but never respond. But I want to be a person that is genuine that takes time out of my day to respond to a person who appreciates my time just as much.
I want to feel a connection. And that connection can only happen if we set aside the templates, and the automation and do most of the work manually.