Your Virtual Image and what it says about you.

So you’re online and want to get hired to gig; maybe you hire out a venue; you’re a fan or DJ and run your own site. Whatever you’re online for, fun, profit or a good mix of both, one thing is certain: in order to succeed your online image needs to shine out!

When people first come across your digital identity they should instantly feel good about you, you’re trustworthy, someone they can count on to be professional; you’re an authority in your area, you are the leader, the best, top of the pack.

Your identity should Scream Trust & Confidence to anyone who sees it!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be presenting a series of articles aimed at providing some ideas and hints on how to tweak, prod and generally mould your digital identity to really reflect you in the absolute best way possible.

Through the use of words and some more subtle ideas you will create a powerful digital identity for you or your band, business, in fact whatever you need.

So, let’s begin shall we ?

Image is everything. This is an undeniable fact of life.

Think: throughout life we’re often attracted to something or someone almost immediately. This happens at a subconscious level; we cannot really say what it is we like but we do. We like enough to follow up on that initial almost instantaneous impression.

First impressions count! Never forget that.

Your Email address is often the first point of contact between you and the wider world; someone wants to communicate directly with you! If you’re a band they may want to book you for a gig. Venues will often be contacted via email to inquire about bookings. The list goes on and on.

The point here is this: the potential to gain or lose business due to the first impression you give is huge! That really cannot be over emphasized.

What first impression does your email address give?

Do you come across as professional and trustworthy ? Does the address give off the impression of someone who is serious about what they do ? Are you top of your game ?

If you can’t honestly say yes to these questions you have a problem!

The problem is simply this: That email someone is about to send you right now; the one that might well lead to bigger and better things; well, err, they didn’t send it — at least not to you! Your initial impression just got you sidelined!

Ok you say "but what makes a good email address then?"

[Edit: don’t read this, get half way through and rush off thinking you know the answers. I had to split the post into two. Trust me on this one, read part 2 and then act — when you have all the facts and a nice surprise as well]

Let’s turn that around for a moment and look at what makes a bad or unprofessional email address.

  • Use of any of the many and varied free email servicesYes hotmail, yahoo, aol: I’m looking at you and the many many other pretenders to that particular throne.

    Stay away from the “so called” free email services. You see the thing is everyone knows they are just that — Free. (there are many other reasons too that will be covered in a future post)

    Now what do you think that says about you ? Imagine someone wants to contact you to discuss a massive opportunity — life changing stuff, good right ? But are they going to be impressed that you can’t even afford a decent email address; or worse you can afford it but just can’t be bothered to do it ?

    Hint, the answer is not likely to be yes.

  • Using special characters and numbers in your email address
    Look at the following email addresses and you tell me, which “looks” professional ?

    john73@adomainname.com
    sandyfraser_23@adomainname.com
    hells66kitten@adomainname.com
    
    john@adomainname.com
    sandy.fraser@adomainname.com
    hellskitten@adomainname.com

    Not exactly rocket science is it ? Funny characters and numbers within an email address just feel wrong. There it is. They scream scam or novice — anything but professional!

    Of course there are always exceptions, I am not saying you cannot use numbers or symbols if they really do belong in the name:

    route66@driveusa.com

    See that is a perfectly good email address, hell it is actually rather cool. The sign of a good rule of thumb is when you can find exceptions that make you think, make you sit up and realize *why* they are exceptional!

    Trust me, 99.99% of the time numbers and symbols in an email address are a very bad idea — if you value the impression your digital identity makes.

    Oh, and in case you’re not convinced yet there are some very good technical reasons to avoid special characters in your email address too: I will cover these and what to do about it in a future article. For now just say NO!

So what is the professional solution for email ?

First I’m not going to sell you anything as the perfect solution (but I will tell you what it is), second we are running out of room (this post is already 800 odd words long and counting) — so be sure to check back in a few days time for part 2 where we will look at the options and grab an email address that is a worthy cornerstone for your digital identity.

— PG

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Posted on Fri 5th February 2010 and filed under Presence.

1 Comment for “Your Virtual Image and what it says about you.”

  1. […] time we looked at how using a free email address can give the wrong impres­sion and lead peo­ple to think of you as unpro­fes­sional or lazy. In part II we shall look at the […]

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