When you are in a business that consists of putting out your phone number and e-mail address to potential clients and trying to get them to call you, changing phone numbers or e-mail addresses is like hiding from your clients. Recently I got an e-mail from a real estate photographer telling me that his e-mail address was changing. This made me realize that not all photographers appreciate the importance of having a stable phone number and e-mail address or know how to keep them stable.Stable phone number: Now days with the ability to port phone numbers between phone companies a stable phone number is not the problem it once was. You can even port a land-line phone number to a cell phone and then go live in a different area code. This can be useful if you are in a geographic area that has several nearby area codes. Land-line phone companies won't do this.Stable e-mail address: The first rule of e-mail in business is buy your own domain name and have your e-mail for a give business at that domain. This looks more professional than having an e-mail address like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It's inexpensive and easy. For example, at bluehost.com (there are hundreds of good hosting services but I use bluehost) for $6.95/month you can host a website and the domain name for it is free. Included in that $6.95/mo you will get the ability to have e-mail addresses in that domain. One of the domains I own is lohrman.com so I can use email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org etc as e-mail addresses. Photographic hosting services like foliolink.com have these same kind of features for those that don't want to build their own site but rather use a template site designed for photographers.How do I manage all these e-mail addresses? The problem a new e-mail raises is always, "I've already got an e-mail address that my friends use". No problem, virtually all e-mail readers can be setup to read multiple e-mail (POP3 mail servers) accounts.After many years of using Outlook on a PC about a year ago I discovered Gmail (a free Google product). Gmail has some features that take managing e-mail and e-mail addresses to another level:
The IMAP feature of e-mail allows you to receive e-mail at more than one location and have each location synced with the other location. For example, I can send and receive e-mail on my Mac Book, walk over to my PC an bring up a browser and access Gmail with a browser and have access to ALL the sent and received e-mails (completely synced) that are on my MacBook or use my iPhone to look at the same set of e-mails when I'm away from my desk. This means I don't have to filter SPAM on my iPhone because Gmail is doing it. Gmail also allows all my e-mail addresses to be aggregated into one inbox.