Would you buy from someone with an "@yahoo.com" e-mail address? I wouldn't. And the clients I've had the most trouble with use yahoo addresses or other free addresses. I understand that you don't want your regular e-mail address in ads that your run on free ad sites to prevent spam, but lets use some common sense here.
If you don't buy anything from yahoo's off line why would you buy from a yahoo online? If you're serious about your business you have to show it in your actions. The first action to take is to buy your own domain name and use it for all of your e-mails.
Lets say there's a Bob Jones who starts up an online company. Will you be quicker to buy from him and trust him if his e-mail address is "email@example.com" or if you read an ad from "firstname.lastname@example.org?" He's the same guy, but which address makes you trust him more and believe he's a legitimate business?
Even if you're not ready to put up a site (which you should be if you're marketing online), at least create a professional presentation with your e-mails. They're your main form of communication online and it's the main brand people see when you communicate. Everytime you send an e-mail you're advertising. Do you realize this? You'll never make decent money online if your e-mail address ends with "@aol.com."
When you come up with a great name for your site or business get a ".com", not a ".net" or ".info" or ".tv" or ".someotherwordpeopledontthinkoffirst." If you can't get a ".com" for your name, then come up with another name.
Since my main site is www.NetMarketingMastery.com and that's a bit long to type out, I also use www.nmmastery.com for people to get to the same site and use email@example.com for my e-mail address.
There are 877 and 888 numbers that do the same thing as 800 numbers, but what do you think of first?
Have ever you ever heard anyone talk about 888 numbers? How many times? Okay, now how many times have you heard people talk about 800 numbers? 888 and 877 numbers are known as the step brothers and sisters of 800 numbers.
Similarly, when you want to send a package overnight what company do you think of first? Probably Federal Express because they were the first company to do overnight shipping. You can use UPS or Airborne Express or some of the other smaller companies, but FedEx is the company that gets the most business because they're thought of first. You need to have a ".com" domain because that's where visitors will go first no matter how many new domain endings are created years and years from now.
If you have ".net" domain name then you'll be setting yourself up to lose visitors to whoever has the ".com" domain for your name. Outside of earthlink.net how many ".nets" come to your mind right now? On the other hand, how many ".coms" can you think of?
When you hear about a cool company and want to see if they have a website do you try their name with a ".com" or with a ".net" or ".info" or ".tv" 0r ".anythingelsebesidesa.com?" I'll bet money that you try the ".com" first everytime and you always will because it's always going to be your first choice.
So if you haven't already, go buy a domain for your birth name and get crackin' on coming up with a great name for your business and go buy a domain for that name before it's taken. Honestly, we're talking about a $15 a year investment. If you're not willing to invest $15 into your business then you don't have a business. If you want to be taken seriously you have to have your own domain name or you will die online trying to make money. Period, end of story.
About The Author
Sopan Greene, M.A. is a marketing & life coach & editor of the Net Profits newsletter. Grab Your 2 FREE eBooks & a FREE report: "Million Dollar Emails" "How To Start Your Own Traffic Virus" & "The 13 Deadly Internet Marketing Mistakes Almost Every Business Is Making..." mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org