As any entrepreneur will tell you, everyone has an opinion on what you “must” do to be successful.
Perhaps intentions are noble, but over the past quarter of a century, this is the advice I've received at one time or another:
- “Don’t stay in Canada”
- “Forget about journalism unless you want to starve”
- “Ditch the tech angle”
- “You need an agent”
- “Don’t work from home if you want to be productive”
Needless to say, I didn’t listen to much of this unsolicited feedback, and my career is doing just fine. Better than fine, in fact.
It’s good to keep an open mind
But make no mistake— while I trusted my gut, and ignored the abovementioned advice, that’s not to say I’m stubborn and opposed to any professional suggestions.
I admit, I don’t have all the answers. I learn as I go and double down on what’s working.
In fact, there was one piece of advice shared with me a few years ago that did make a lot of sense: ditch the email address tied to my Internet Service Provider (ISP), since it doesn’t look professional. (Neither does a free web mail address from the likes of Gmail or Yahoo! might I add.)
I Imagine getting an email from Marc6327@gmail.com — what would you think about me?
Yes, a PR friend of mine subtly suggested I make the switch a few years back, and she was 100 percent right. Did you know customers are 9x more likely to open emails that comes from a professional address like firstname.lastname@example.org? In fact, it’s often the first thing a potential business partner will see when interacting with you.
And as they say, you don’t get a second chance to create a first impression.
Lessons learned the hard way
Ever since I traded my “Rogers.com” email address for one that matched my GoDaddy website, marcsaltzman.com, I’ve noticed a marked increase in the partnership offers that came across my desk. Now I get offers of brand ambassador opportunities, keynote talks, and podcast sponsorship queries.
I started charging more for my services, too.
(And it’s one of those things you kick yourself for not doing sooner, as the brands didn’t bat an eye at my updated rates.)
Powered by two leading tech brands, Microsoft and GoDaddy, my branded email was part of a larger effort to appear more professional, and I was long overdue for it.
As an additional bonus, I started to see a rise in traffic to my website, too, including traffic from social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
But really, why bother?
Sure, you could just go with a free email account. But a professional email domain creates a sense of trust and shows you take your business seriously. Plus, it maintains consistency across your public image.
Here’s the thinking on the part of the average person:
- I just received an email from someone with a Gmail account.
- Gmail is free, even to hackers.
- Hmmm … might be legitimate, but maybe not.
When you have an email address that includes your domain name, people tend to think this:
- Looks like this email is from a real business.
- Probably not a hacker — they don’t register for things because … well, they’re criminals.
- Okay, I’ll open the email.
Microsoft 365 email is hands down the way to go. Not only is it recognized the world over, it can grow with your business — simply add email boxes as you need them.
When you buy Microsoft 365 through GoDaddy, your tech is always up to date.
When a new version of Microsoft 365 comes out, it will automatically update on all your devices.
Best of all, you don’t have to break the bank, as you can get started with an email address for only a few bucks per month. That’s less than you pay for a cup of coffee.
Learn more about Microsoft 365 powered by GoDaddy.