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Creative Career Path

The Gentle Art of Keeping in Touch2010.10.19

    Living in a hyper-connected world, it is easier than ever to send and receive messages and media. Although it is possible to filter the stream of messages, it is almost impossible to step off the grid and live in isolation.


    Now with a smart phone at your hip, you give permission for anyone to contact or interrupt you any time, any place. Putting your phone on manner mode or shutting off the power may protect you for a short time. But just like clockwork, all of the messages will be waiting in the queue the moment you turn it back on.


    Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your point of view.


    If you buy something online, or access a free report, you are almost certain to be put on a mailing list. You can always opt-out, but the opt-in is increasingly automatic, especially if you initiate the engagement.


    What happens next is the key to whether you will continue the volley, or leave the conversation. If you remain connected, it might be with back burner interest, if you like it you will tell others about it, and perhaps purchase an upgrade. The challenge for the marketing any product is to create fans who bring repeat business because they like the product and find it useful.


    Occasionally you come across something that seems to get every part of the process right. Some time ago I downloaded the DropBox App to my iPhone, uploaded some files to it, and then in the stream of Internet consciousness forgot all about it. Occasional e-mails came in from DropBox were barely noticed, until one of them grabbed my attention, both for its brevity and its illustrations.


    “Hi William,


    We noticed that you signed up for Dropbox a while ago. Recently your Dropbox has been feeling kind of lonely :-(


    As a reminder, Dropbox lets you:


    - Sync files between your computers and the web

    - Backup your files online and access them from anywhere

    - Share large files and photos easily


    We hope you'll come back!


    - The Dropbox Team


    If you need a refresher, check out our tour “


    The link to the tour leads to, where you are enticed by a short illustrated tour of the cool features that is both fun and instructive.


    Dropbox is in fact a very cool Smart Phone App. But with new things streaming past all of the time, it is easy to forget the good things that you already have.


    The free version is already fabulous, with up to 2GB of storage space available, with up to 100GB available for paying customers. But what attracts me even more about DropBox is their mastery of the gentle art of keeping in touch.


    And here I am sharing the good news, because of what it illustrated for me. Simple, visual, entertaining, instructive, gentle. The before/after illustrations tell it all. Thumbs up!


    Imagine if this style were to be adapted by more of the people and products in your life. How much better it would be if companies would lose the hype of the beggar mentality and communicate something of value, rather than buzzing all the time about how they want your business.


    Continuous improvement and value creation, with gentle reminders that engage your imagination rather than just interrupt your day.


    Social Media provides a wide assortment of platforms for doing this at little to no cost. Followers can subscribe with one click. However, if you abuse your privileged access to a follower’s attention, you will be dropped in a heartbeat and forgotten forever.


    Even if you manage to remain on their mailing lists, chances are that only a small fraction of subscribers will ever really be paying attention to your messages, unless you remain relevant and fun to be with. This is nothing new. Sociability has always been the simple key to getting invited back.


    Whether you are looking for a job or recruiting for a job, there is a similar psychology at work, particularly if you are seeking to travel on a creative career path. It starts with finding creative ways to make your presence known and your value appreciated. Even if you don’t get an immediate response, it is worth mastering the gentle art of keeping in touch.


    William Reed


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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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