Small Biz Quick Tip
The Most Important, Quick, Easy, Inexpensive, Marketing Action Every Business Owner Should Take (Even Though Many Don’t)
What action am I talking about? BUY A DOMAIN NAME! For less than $15 per YEAR, you can give your business & brand a level of legitimacy and professionalism that is priceless. Think about it… would you hire a financial advisor with a yahoo.com email address on his business card? Even if you might, there would still be a question in your mind, “Is this guy for real?” And if you don’t have that question in your mind, then you just might be one of those with a yahoo or gmail address on your card. The rest of us are thinking things like, “startup”, “newbie”, “unprofessional”, or “tech challenged”. Regardless which negative connotation it generates in peoples’ minds, the connotation is NEGATIVE.
Here’s how to fix it… Go to Namecheap and search for a domain name. You want something that is relatively short but also related to your brand. For example, I experimented with a blog that was originally going to be JuggernautBusiness.com, but that’s way too long. So, I was able to purchase juggernautbiz.com. For Greenfire, I own GreenfireInnovations.com, but I was also able to register OnGreenfire.com which points to the same website. So if you are going to register something like CostanzaArchitectureServices.com (we’ve been watching Seinfeld lately), then consider also registering CostanzaArch.com, CArchitecture.com, or go for something related like WeHeartDesign.com. Intentional misspellings are also more likely to be available… Arkitecture.com or Arkitechture.com for example. Short is important. Easy to relay is important. Easy to spell is important (practice spelling it aloud to a family member over the phone to see how it is received). It is also important to find a .com domain if at all possible. Other domains (.biz, .us, etc.) are becoming more common, but they still don’t have the same perceived level of professionalism that a .com does.
Now that you have purchased your domain name (if you haven’t yet, stop reading and do it!), in your Namecheap Domain List, click “Manage” next to the domain.
The next step depends on your website. If you already have a website, scroll down to “Redirect Domain” and enter your entire web address in the “Destination URL” field. Also, if you don’t see “www.yourdomain.com” under “Source URL”, then add it and put your full web address for your site in the “Destination URL” again. Then hit the little green check mark to save.
If you do NOT have a website, then put your landing page, facebook page, or whatever you use as a primary web presence in the “Destination URL”. If you don’t have any web presence, then create a free Google Site or WordPress Site and point the “Destination URL” to that. Don’t forget to click save with the little green check mark.
Next, move on to “Redirect Email”. This is where you can create your email address that will forward to your gmail/yahoo/ISP email address. Create your first one with your first name (or whatever you want” under “Alias”, and the real email address under “Forward To”. Save with the green check mark again.
It can take a little time for “the internet” to register those changes, but usually it’s pretty quick. That’s all there is to having emails from your new domain forwarded to your current email account. However, there are a few more steps to really take this up a notch professionally-speaking. You need to configure your new alias in your email program so that you can also SEND from that email address. The settings will vary depending on your email provider and what software/app you are using. Generally, you need to set up the alias in your current email account (Gmail or Yahoo for example). Then you can set up your new email forwarding address as an additional email address in your phone app or email client on your computer. Since there are several variables, I won’t address that process in detail here, but a quick web search will provide the info needed for your particular configuration.
No more excuses. This is way too simple and inexpensive to ignore. Buy your domain. Then forward it to your website and your email address. There is no other marketing investment you can make for $15 that will have a greater impact for your business.
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