One of my pet peeves is when I meet an entrepreneur who seems on the ball and doing big things, and they hand me a nicely designed business card with a website or blog address, a phone number, and … an email address from Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail.
Now, I have nothing against those free email solutions (Lord knows I love me some Gmail), but I truly believe that those addresses should be reserved for personal use only. If you are putting yourself out there as a professional with a legitimate business, then your entire brand should be reflected as such. You wouldn’t feel very confident if your bank manager asked you to email him at his Yahoo account right? Or you would think twice before giving your personal information to an establishment that only offered a Gmail account as a method of contact, no? The same concept applies to your personal business. To give your business an air of legitimacy, it’s a great idea to have your email address at your personal domain (i.e. You@YourName.com).
The good news is that, if you own your own domain name (i.e. YourName.com), then you pay to have that domain name hosted (i.e. published somewhere) and almost all hosting services allow you to setup several email addresses for FREE. Chances are, you are already paying for hosting for your website or blog; with a little bit of investigating, I’m sure you will find that you have the option of creating a custom email address as part of your hosting package. It’s worth a call to tech support to find out!
You never get a second chance to make a first impression; paying attention to small details like an email address on your business card or website will set you apart from the other Jane Does – and may mean the difference between landing a new client or not.