Your email address should not end with Hotmail or Bigpond!

I am amazed how many financial advisers still have email addresses like johnsmith1979@hotmail.com for their business.

I realise it does not impact on an adviser’s ability to provide good advice, but it just looks so unprofessional!

Come on, we are trying to portray ourselves as serious professionals, not backyard operators.  Having an email address that ends with hotmail or bigpond or whatever just screams amateurism, as any idiot can anonymously register with these email services.

Having a more professional email address such as john@smithfinancial.com.au not only makes you and your business look more professional, but it also reinforces your brand every time you send an email.  It also adds trust to your messages, as people can see that it has come from a real business rather than a scammer in Nigeria.

Even if you’re not interested in setting up a website (although you definitely should be!) I still recommend registering your domain name so you can have a professionally branded email address for yourself and your staff.

And here’s another very good reason:  What if Hotmail or Yahoo or whoever suddenly go broke or decide to change their name?  I know it’s very unlikely, but if that happens you will have to change all of your business cards and stationary, not to mention updating all your various contacts and logins that use your email address.

When you have an email address which uses your own domain name (i.e. smithfinancial.com.au) you are in control at all times.  If your email provider goes bust it doesn’t matter, as you own your name and can move it wherever you want.

The best part?  Setting up professional email is very easy and seriously cheap.

Financial Adviser Websites

It amazes me how many financial advisers and planners don’t have a website.  Even some of those that do have one may as well not have bothered since they are so bad!

The internet has allowed many small businesses and sole traders to look much bigger and more professional than they perhaps may be.  You may run your small practice from the spare bedroom of your house, but to a perspective client looking at your website you could be located in a big city skyscraper with a team of 100 staff!

Now I’m certainly not saying that you should be misleading people on your website.  What I am saying is that first impressions count, and with more people using the internet to research goods and services you may find that the first impression you give is not when you call them or phone them, but when they Google you and look at your website.

And that’s the thing.  Even if a client has been referred to you via another client, there is still a very good chance that they will Google you before the first appointment.  If they find no website or a bad website, you could find yourself on the back foot before you’ve even started!

There are two different types of websites that will suit advisers, and most businesses for that matter:

1.       A basic site for existing and prospective clients to find out about you

2.       A more complex site designed to attract new clients

It’s my opinion that all advisers should have a website that not only provides basic information for existing clients, but also works for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week attracting new clients and leads.

But even if you’re not ready for a full website, I implore you to at the very least get SOMETHING online!  Even if it’s just a single page website showing your logo and some contact details, at least it’s something that people can find when they Google you.