This Week's Poll
I want to make an appeal to all of us to step up our professionalism just 1 notch, if you haven't already done so, by using this professional branding tactic.
"Stop using free email addresses as your professional email!"
You know what I'm talking about.....GMail, Yahoo, and their ilk.
Would You Be Impressed?
If you received an email from The President of The United States, or your doctor, and he was using an AOL acct email address, what would you think? What would that say to you about his credibility and professionalism? Says a lot to me and none of it is good.
Have you ever worked for a company of any size that routinely handed out new GMail addresses to it's new hires? They don't! But if they did I wouldn't even apply there because that tells me other unprofessional actions are soon to follow.
The reasons why you may be using one of the aforementioned options aren't important today, but that you use this easy fix to up your game is.
Use This Simple Yet Professional Branding Tactic
You can be a 1-person show alone in a 10x10 room and still brand yourself in a professional manner. You don't even need your own website although I think you should but that's another post.
All you need is a domain name of your own choosing. Then buy a simple, inexpensive email program that utilizes that domain name as your email address. Its. That. Simple. No, you don't have to build a website on the domain you just bought.
Find a place online that sells domain names (they're called "Registrars") like NameCheap.com and buy a domain name that closely reflects what you currently call your practice, or what you'd like to be called someday. (Don't worry, if you decide to call your future practice something else, lose the first domain and buy another!) Then buy one of their simple email packagess and their system will prompt you to use that domain name you just acquired as your email address.
But The Cost?
Even a grad student can afford this. A ".com" domain may cost you $12-$15 and the email account may run you $20. PER YEAR. We all waste that much each month on personal vices, so affordability is not an issue here.
The cost of unprofessionalism is going to be far more in lost clients you'll never know about than the cost of a domain name and annual email account renewals. You've worked too long and much too hard to short-cut your professionalism and sabotage what future clients think about you, so don't do it! And don't even get me started on the potential security and compliance issues.
You got this. Brand yourself a professional!
Plan Smart. Be Safe. Serve Others.
Kathleen Mills, LPC-S, CEAP
Got An Opinion?
These posts are my beliefs based on my a) 32 years of practice as a mental health provider and b) my own research. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to leave your civil, constructive comments below. I try very hard to back up my liberty-based statements with my own experience and/or verifiable facts and I would ask you to do the same. You do not need to be logged in to leave a comment.
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