So, the other day my mate Cowboy Todd of the Spaghetti Agency shared my email about Gmail addresses in his networking group.
What followed was an enormous amount of hilarious butthurt from a bunch of people who use generic free email addresses for business and took the whole thing very personally. Here’s a wee sample (and this is just the stuff before I got distracted by biscuits):
“OMG I never realised my email address had a bearing on my ability. Very sweeping statement to make. I am sure there are more unscrupulous people hiding behind fancy email addresses than those who trust their ability and use a generic site. IMHO.”
“Indeed! TBH as a user of several gmail addresses to keep “noise” away from my “proper” domain email (which is regulated by The Law Society BTW) .. I might choose NOT to approach (say) a high profile SM and Marketing guru with all the “right” web credentials .. but who might turn out to be a “cowboy”? Allegedly ! Unlikely .. obviously .. just sayin’ ;o)))”
“My clients are all Solicitors and almost all of them use free email accounts, as do I. My email account does not define who I am or what I can do.”
“Just think of how many clients you may have lost with the crap website. lol”
^^ This one made me laugh because it was a bitchy little comment directed at me 😀
“I dont feel defensive I think responses like ‘straight to spam’ shite restaurant ‘ ‘bin it’ are overly critical. By the same token by refusing to engage with a company because they stick with an email address they are comfortable with …..then perhaps they too are missing out . I genuinely am not interested in dealing with someone who gets exercised about my email address.for me and my little hippy ways its called karma.people like that would bring bad vibes to the party.”
It’s funny because not one of those people bothered to read the actual post or full email.
And a couple of them made my point for me: it’s just one aspect of your business that will determine the type of customers you attract to do business with you. To me, using a free email address for your business says either “hobbyist” or “scarcity mindset”. If you can’t or won’t fork out a few quid for a domain name, you’re probably not going to fork out anything else either.
Now, before anyone reading this gets butthurt, of course some people see success with a free email address. That’s not the point. The point is, it’s all about positioning. If your positioning is scarcity – free email addresses and looking for free stuff all the time – you’ll attract customers just like that.
Most of all, though, it made me laugh because it was a whole bunch of scarcity-minded folks taking everything so personally and getting so butthurt. If their email addresses matter so little, why so upset?
Anyway. For a little light entertainment and a bunch of most excellent business and marketing advice, get yourself a copy of my book, Business For Superheroes.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS Scarcity mindset, by the way, is the false (certainly false in the western world for most of us) belief there’s never enough. Of anything. So those people operate from a place of not enough: always scrambling desperately to get more cash in at any cost. Discounting in the dangerous belief it’ll bring in more customers and make more money (it won’t. you’ll work harder for less). I don’t want business owners to do any of that, because it’s hard work and it sucks.
I’m sure there’ll be more butthurt from this email. If you’re not butthurt, that’s ace! You’re the kind of person I want to know. The person who understands the value of investing in yourself and your business. And understands the way you position yourself determines the kind of clients you work with. Join my merry band of not-butthurt people here.
And finally – if you are “triggered” by this, ask yourself why. Why do you care so very much about my (or anyone else’s) opinion on business positioning? Is it because, deep down, you suspect I might be right?