What does your email address say about you? Does it matter? Yes! "Creatives don't use Yahoo!" is a direct quote from a recent meeting Artisan attended.
If you're just starting out in the freelance world, there's one thing you need to know: Yahoo! is not the email to use. Neither is something like Hotmail, AOL, or other common personal email servers.
What Your Email Address Says About You
While we all loved Yahoo and AOL (RIP Instant Messanger) in the day, unfortunately, they should not be your go to for a business email address.
Why not use Yahoo? It doesn't look professional.
Try to avoid mixing personal emails with professional ones. Remember all those "What your email address says about you" quizzes? This graphic from The Oatmeal is our favorite. Not enough people read them. If you're a Graphic Designer trying to find work with a Yahoo email address, chances are a Recruiter is going to look down their nose at your @yahoo.com email address.
And making the right first impression is especially important given that only 25% of emails are actually read anyway according to National Cellular Directory. Why lower your chances?
So what kind of email should you be using? Here are a few ideas.
Best Bet: Outlook or Gmail
Basic work emails should be different than your personal email and use an @outlook.com or @gmail.com server at the very least. Both Microsoft Outlook and Gmail are known as semi-professional or professional emails.
What Format Should I Use?
What will make yours look professional? Create a simple name for your email handle. Instead of something unprofessional like "Iluvpuppies@outlook.com" you'll want to create something with your name, like "CharlieHanner@outlook.com" or "MadisonJones@gmail.com."
Senior Talent Representative at Artisan, Jocelyn concurs:
Emails with your name are direct and tell clients exactly who they're sending email to, instead of having to guess based on a "creative" email handle.
Better Yet: Get Your Own Domain
Probably a much better idea for your professional life is to get your own domain name and personal email server. You can go to almost any seller of domains and get a cheap website domain for $10 or so a month. You can then build a website if you want, or you can simply use the free email that comes with it (we'd recommend the former).
Remember, your website address will be the server for your email, so if your website is "www.porkrinds.com" then you're going to be "Madison@porkrinds.com," which may or may not be professional based on what you write about or the industry you're in.
A safe bet is to secure your own name as a domain — which will insure any other Chandler Bings won't be able to get ChandlerBing.com.
What Name Should I Choose?
It's wise to choose a website name that is as direct as possible. For instance, if you want to create a biography or resume page, you might call your website "MadisonJones.com" and create the email "Madison@MadisonJones.com."
This looks incredibly professional; not only is it easy to know who the client is writing to, but they can also remember your website to look over your resume and portfolio quickly when necessary.