A Simple Way To Boost Your Image
The purple pie man is a really good friend of mine. He owns a purple pie store that sells amazing pies and does a lot of business. He is a professional and does a good amount of business over the internet.
I sat down to write an email to the pie man the other day because I needed to order a pie for my wedding anniversary and noticed something SHOCKING.
Now this really shouldn’t have been shocking to me because I see it all the time in business and it quite frankly drives me bonkers!
I really just don’t get it!
This rant might not be so shocking to you though. Some of you do this and some of you probably have never thought about it…but it is important and does have an impact on your sales, marketing, image and success.
Are you interested?
Let me ask you this…what email address do you give out to business people? What email address is printed on your business card?
I know what some of you are thinking, “who cares, so what, what difference does it make?”
The answer is a BIG DIFFERENCE.
If you are the purple pie man and your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org you are making a nonverbal statement about your business that is not favorable. In fact it’s down right hurtful to your success.
Now look, I’m all about being fun in business and being nontraditional but this is neither of those. Using an email address like this is all about a perceived lack of professionalism and computer ignorance.
Don’t get all upset at me for saying this because I am not accusing anybody of being unprofessional or computer illiterate, but this is exactly what a portion of your customers and other business professionals' impression is of you when you use a business email address such as those above.
The email addresses like the ones above are personal email addresses and should be used as such. In business you need a real email address, a professional email address. If you use a personal email address in business you are putting forth an image that screams unprofessional, computer illiterate and gives an impression that don’t have a real business or that you are running a fly-by-night or patchwork company.
Real businesses, professional businesses have real email addresses with real domain names.
If you are a going to be in business, you have to learn how to use a computer efficiently and checking and using email is priority number one. This means using a real email client (program.) AOL, MSN, Hotmail, Yahoo are all great to use at home, but for your business they don’t work. You need to be using an email client like Outlook Express, Outlook or some equivalent. Those "for the masses" isp's like AOL are not set up for business mail and do not allow many important messages and files to get though to you.
I can’t tell you how frustrating it is, as a professional, when I have to do business with someone using one of these “training-pants” e-mail clients. They can never get the stuff I am trying to send.
Many small businesses and entrepreneurs have this problem and it really hurts their businesses in ways they don’t even know about. It makes them look small and less organized then they are.
As a small business or entrepreneur, you whole goal should be to use whatever simple and cheap means you can to make yourself look bigger, more put-together, more professional, more solid than you really are. You want to put your best foot forward and you want to create the best image you can, to be as professional as you can.
Having a crazy, personal email address with a mail client that flashes a sign that says, “I don’t know how to use email,” is not what you want.
So here’s how to fix it.
1. Call up a computer guy in your area get them out to your place.
2. Download and install Internet Explorer 6 which contains Outlook Express – it’s free and you can get it by a simple search or at microsoft.com
3. Tell the computer guy you want to register a domain name and you want to set up Outlook Express to get your email for it.
A domain name is the part of the email address that comes after the “@” and it is also a location on the web like “Google.com” or “AOL.com”. Write down some possible domain names for your business and check to see if they are available. You can check the availability at GoDaddy.com which there is a link to in our million dollar shortcuts section.
An example of this for the pie man would be: purplepieman.com or purplepies.com or thepurplepieman.com etc. You can also use .net or .org domains depending on your business type and availability.
We recently suggested the domain “greengrassnow.com” for a client who does lawn care services. This domain links a big benefit to the domain and email address.
4. Once you have the domain name picked out, have the computer guy set it up. You can even have him set up Outlook Express to download your AOL, YAHOO, MSN and any other mail into it a different folder. So you can have both personal and business mail in one place, but separated into specific folders.
In less than 2 hours and for less than $120 bucks you can have a real email client and a real email address for your business. You can look more like a pro in just minutes and it will do a world of good for image, sales and marketing.
Not to mention that you will get more important email easier, faster and with less headaches.