The Black Folks’ Guide to Social Networking: Brought to You by the Letter A

This series will focus on an aspect of social networking as it relates 
to building and promoting your black business. In Sesame Street 
fashion (for you old schoolers out there) we’ll use the 26 letters of 
the alphabet to illustrate the points.

A is for @: As you build your site, never underestimate the importance 
of your own domain name to establish your professional credibility in 
two ways:

First, most people expect that a viable and successful enterprise will 
have even a basic web presence with an address that can be accessed 
online. You may have a free site or weblog or MySpace page or 
whatever, and though a step in the right direction, anything other 
than yourbusiness@yourdomain.com yells to the world that you’re still 
not quite ready or serious about making money. As a result, people will not 
perceive you as being as professional as your competition and 
you’ll lose business. Domain names are relatively inexpensive and you 
can keep your free site if you like while using your own domain name 
as an alternate and/or primary address.

Secondly, whether you use your domain name to point to a website or 
not, most domain names include at least one if not several email 
addresses that you create and access via the internet from any 
computer with online capability. A professional email address that 
includes your business name is even more impressive than a website 
address and promotes your business with every message that you send. 
Consider the traffic I generate by including my email address at the 
bottom of forum posts or just the curiosity it causes when my messages 
are forwarded by my friends to their friends. People see Iceman@OneMillionBlackBusinesses.com
  (not one of my actual addresses to prevent spam–more on that in a 
subsequent post) and they naturally want to know more about One Million Black Business.com. You should want the same effect 
for your business or services and AOL, hotmail, Gmail, or Internet 
provider email addresses suggest amatuer or part-time status. Even if 
you aren’t a big time player, you can look big and gain from the big 
time benefits offered by easy-to-implement technology.

Start using the power of the @ today by getting a domain name or at 
least using a domain-related email address. If you would like provider 
recommendations, shoot me an email message by using the contact option 
on my About Me page.

Sent from my iPhone

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