I tell you the truth. I think twice about recommending your business to colleagues if your email address still says Yahoo or Hotmail.
On a regular basis friends and other clients ask me to refer them to someone who can help them with a business problem. The first place I check is my network. I am always looking for the opportunity to recommend a friend or business contact but I will pass you over if you’ve got an email address that screams I’m not serious.
Even if your business is only part time, you can still present it professionally.
I love Gmail and so you may get a pass if you use one but make sure it uses your company name or your full name rather than email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An even better and the recommended option is to register your company domain name and then create addresses that you can use. Most domains come with options for about 100 addresses which you can create and forward mail through.
Using your company address gives legitimacy to your business and also serves as a daily advertisement.
I always search for the company I see mentioned after the @ symbol. You could gain some new customers simply using an address registered to your domain.
Don’t forget to add links to your social accounts and website to your email signature so it appears every time you send an email. Another way to pick up new customers with minimum effort.