You are a brand. When you interact with people they have a certain image of you, and expect certain things. After the first interaction you will occupy a very specific space in people’s minds.
Online it becomes a lot harder to present a certain image. You lose:
- Visual cues
- Body language
- Facial expression
- Auditory cues
- Voice pitch
- Tactile cues
- Pat on the shoulder etc
Email cues are limited
In email, there are only a couple of ways to create a certain image of yourself:
- Time of response
- Time until response
- Language in response
- Email address
All of these have an effect. For example:
- Emailing someone back at 3 AM triggers certain assumptions
- Taking a week to respond marks you as a certain kind of person
- Using ‘Yo’ instead of ‘Hello’ in professional communication can create undesirable reactions
- Emailing from firstname.lastname@example.org creates a certain image
Take control of your email
Having an @gmail of @hotmail address is fine sometimes. But if you want to radiate a professional image and build a reputation, you don’t want such emails. They have a number of issues:
- They are mass market, so you instantly associate yourself with a big pool of users
- Most nice usernames are taken, leaving less professional ones that include _ or – characters and numbers
To get a better address you have some options. In order to get and email address, you need to own the domain that is behind the @. So to get email@example.com you have to own google.com for example.
Option 1: get yourlastname.com
I own palokaj.co. Now I have firstname.lastname@example.org as my email address. Which greatly beats any @gmail or @hotmail.
Usually a .com or .co are most desirable. You can however go for extensions like .me if you prefer them or if the .com and.co are taken.
Option 2: contact the owner of a domain
My last name is pretty obscure in the scheme of the online world. My uncle in Croatia however already owned palokaj.com. I asked him to create me an email box in there, which he did.
Chances are that the owner of the domain of your last name will fully understand why you would want an email there.
The downside however is that you have zero control. If they suddenly don’t feel like having you anymore, you lose the address. And your pretty business cards are useless.
Option 3: get your full name
If you are called Johnathan Anthony Doe, you obviously want doe.com so you can get email@example.com. if that doesn’t work, consider getting:
You can create addresses like info@ of mail@ with these domains, which are pretty good too.
Creating email boxes
If you already own a domain and are not sure how to create an email address, read this email creation guide.