We all have turn-offs (turn-ons we save for another day). Mine? Well, I can't help my techie-heart in being turned off by the lack of tech sense - especially when it comes to business impressions. Whether you like it or not and whether it’s a true reflection of you or not, your digital data says more about you than you think. When I meet someone in a bar, in a meeting or at the bar during a meeting and they give me a business card with an email address @aol.com, @juno.com or @prodigy.net - I wince. No kidding, I have a client who files bankruptcies through the CM/ECF as “bestguy68@_.com. I beg him to change it all the time - to let me help him - he won’t. Why? Because his wife likes it and because he just had 500 business cards printed! I can only help those who want to be helped.
From a professional perspective, your email address should reflect your name and the
name of your firm. Aren’t you a professional, providing professional services
with a professional business approach? I think a “great” email address says that you have a clue about technology or at least the wherewithal to hire someone that does and that you consider technology a regular part of your business.
So how do you get a personal email address? It’s easy and it’s inexpensive – and there are lots of choices, but here is one way to go. Visit a domain registration site such as GoDaddy.com (everyone has an opinion about these companies, I will vouch for GoDaddy as I’ve used it for years and have no complaints). Once there, search for and chose a domain name. The domain name can also serve as your website address (and by the way, all rules here also apply to your web address). If you get stuck, let me know. I'm happy to help. Here are some tips for choosing your email address and/or domain name and service provider:
- It should be easy to remember
- It should be easy to spell (hope your last name isn’t something like Roethlisberger
- Keep it as short as makes sense
- Don’t use a number at the end (especially one that tells us your birth year)
AOL and Yahoo and the like are fine services; easy to use, inexpensive (or free) and virtually maintenance free. But really, their use should be reserved for friends, family and anything else that's not part of your business strategy. Then again, I might give firstname.lastname@example.org a chance.