Today, let's talk about sparkly professional email addresses for solopreneurs and small business owners. Are they actually sparkly? No. But they do make you look good 😎, and I'll tell you why.
First, however, let me back up a bit and define what a professional email address is. Instead of ending in the name of an email service provider, like @gmail.com, a professional email address takes the format of firstname.lastname@example.org.
And how does a solopreneur or small business owner go about getting this kind of email address? Unlike free email accounts, you need to pay for a service to get your domain name at the end of your email address (G Suite and GoDaddy Workspace email are a few I've seen clients use). These services are usually pretty inexpensive (G Suite runs under $6 per month for a single user) and involve some verification of your domain name and a change to your website's DNS records.
And finally, we're at the why of professional email addresses. I recently had someone ask about whether she should keep her professional email address (which was email@example.com) or just use her free Gmail address in order to simplify her monthly business expenses. I told her that using a free email address for her business is most definitely possible and would get the job of communicating back and forth with clients done, but it does not look...well...very professional. (Surprising, I know. Ha!) Having an email address from your own domain name shows that you are an established business owner. And a professional email address also provides at least a small measure of security and confidence for your potential clients when they contact you, whether they know that or not. Anyone could sign up for a free email address that had some form of your business name in it. But the verification and records process that you go through with getting professional email helps to confirm that you are who you say you are. Could someone still spoof your email address? Yes, unfortunately. But that requires a lot more know-how than simply signing up for a free email address.
So if you're able to pay the small monthly fee, I definitely recommend having a professional email address. Can you run your business without one? Absolutely. But the business "sparkle" factor that comes with those emails from your domain is a good thing to have if you can get it.