This Silly Mistake Will Make Clients Take You Less Seriously

There are so many small things that we do in business to get moving and start opening the door for customers and clients. Taking the cheap way out at certain points (or maybe all) is a good way to make potential business start judging how seriously they should take you early on. Even as soon as they get your business card.

I’ve been getting questions recently about something I wasn’t really expecting to. And that’s a good thing because I can make more content here that I know helps you directly, but still couldn’t believe that this is even an option for people.

I mean I get it. You only have a limited budget when you’re first starting out and you have to save your money as much as you can. But this is one of those thing that you just need to assume you have to spend money on. Because at least if you didn’t know before, you’ll know now.

This thing is your email address. It’s an absolute MUST in the internet age to own your business’ URL ( vs. or something like that) and to make professional email addresses from that URL for you to share with potential customers and partners.

I promise you. Your Gmail address is being judged if you post it on your business card.

I can think of one person right now that I’m working with on a project because they were hired by the client and their Gmail address was printed on the card. Not surprised that they are often the one who never responds to the client’s emails and makes themselves pretty unavailable for meetings.

I’m not saying this will be you every time. But that’s what people are thinking when they see this on a card. “Oh. Not enough money for  a $10/year URL ownership and a single digit monthly fee for Google Apps? Business must not be going so well.”

And it’s even worse if you’re in my industry. Designing. Consulting. Programming. All digital but you didn’t get your own email? Come on!

Like I said, I get the whole budget thing. But this is an absolute must. PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING!

If you really think this is a joke, you’re wrong. In this time of not having to have a brick and mortar shop in order to have a legitimate business, your vanity URL and matching email address are like your office and the receptionist desk. You just need it to make other people feel better about what you’re doing if you want to get in their door.

I hope I wasn’t too harsh on those of you who are still trying to get off without paying for email. But then again, sorry not sorry. Get rid of that Hotmail account before you get laughed out of a board room.

What do you think? Am I wrong or are you judging people for their cheap tendencies too? Share!


  1. Simon Sharky Clark

    Yep small things matter indeed. Like
    Your title slide having correct grammar. “Your CANNOT” or “you CANNOT” ?

  2. Savvy Sexy Social

    I apologize if you didn’t see the annotation I added to try to correct it on YouTube. However, I don’t agree that a small typo every once in awhile is the same as branding yourself poorly. But thanks for the feedback.

  3. Simon Sharky Clark

    I enjoyed your message and was immediately taken by the underlying theme of “details matter” when it comes to branding. It heightened my awareness to keep an eye out for the little things.

  4. You are 100% correct. Using a Gmail address cheapens the brand and makes people think you are fly by night. As I talk about in my forthcoming 2nd edition of Branding Basics for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget (where your fabulousness is quoted as you know, Amy!) details matter to make either conscious or subconscious impressions on people.

    Often the junk mail and scams we receive are from gmail or yahoo addresses. Do you really want that to be the brand impression you leave on people you are tying to get to know, like and trust you with their money? As you said, it’s not a lot of money and, c’mon people, if you could start a business completely for free, everyone would do it. You have to think of these things as “investments” not “costs!”

    Thanks for this great one today. An easy fix to make a stronger brand impression!

  5. stuartcmackey

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! What especially frustrates me is when people HAVE their domain name on their card, but their email is one of the free services. MOST hosts – any decent ones, anyway – include email at your domain FOR FREE! … Anyway, stepping down off soap box now before I hurt myself.

Add A Comment