BY TJ Walker
Why not? Because if people receive an email from you at it is a Gmail, hotmail or AOL account you are sending a message that you can’t afford $6.95 a month for your own email account. Are you that poor? Are you that unsure about your identity? Can figure out this web thingy? It doesn’t matter what your answers are, you are in trouble if people are asking them, and you have already destroyed your credibility.
Gmail and AOL accounts are fine for students and they are fine for adults who wish to email friends, but they don’t send out a message that you are credible or serious about what you do. My 2 main email addresses at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Sure I have a Gmail account and I used AOL from 1995 until the turn of the century. But no one in the business world or who contacts me regarding my expertise ever receives an email from me with a big web service provider name attached.
It is critical that you protect and preserve your brand and image in the online world because that is increasingly the dominant way people will experience you for the first time and how they will make judgments about you.
Here are some of the basics you will need if you want to be serious about projecting the image of competence as a guru.
This is not an inclusive list and there may be other essentials by the time you read this. The point is you want people to be able to find you easily AND you want them to think of you as established, legitimate and one of a kind.
You may also have a name that becomes a part of your brand, such as Bruce Weinstein, The Ethics Guy. Bruce does a great job of attaching himself to “The Ethics Guy” so that you can’t think of one without the other.
Next, find out what shows up when someone Googles your name. This can be challenging to dominate your space if you have a common name like Jim Smith. If you do, consider going by something a little more distinctive like James R Smith. Hollywood actors do this all the time; Mike Fox was taken already so Michael J. Fox was created. You can be creative and authentic at the same time.
When someone Googles your name, make sure that the vast majority of the links that pop up are about you and are positive. There are a lot of other TJ Walkers in the world; some are athletes, others are musicians, and a few are computer experts. But I’m usually the only one who shows up in the top ten Google listings because I make sure to add pages every day (that’s what happens when you blog and create videos daily)
It’s not that you want to be seen as an internet junkie, but if you are truly a world-respected expert or are aspiring to be respected around the world, then you need position yourself as a global brand on the dominate global mass medium, the Internet. So make sure your name and identify can be found in all the major places.