You're a Professional? Your Email Says Otherwise
When you're in business, regardless of what area of business you are in, presenting yourself as a professional is key. People don't want to give their hard earned money to any crackerjack with a business card. If you want people to take you seriously as a business then you need to stop plastering your business cards and advertisements with Hotmail or Gmail (Or any other free email provider) addresses.
I see this all the time. Way too often in fact, and in really makes me shake my head. If you have a website (If you don't... that's another post), there is no reason not to have an email address that matches your domain. But don't worry, I'm here to save you from this embarrassment. I'm here to tell you that you can have your cake and eat it too. You can keep your Hotmail or Gmail account AND have a professional looking email address!
This way you can continue to rely on Hotmail or Gmail to host your email for you, but portray yourself as a professional without anyone being the wiser. I had a Gmail account for 7 years that I used with my own domain before switching to a paid email hosting solution. It's not a difficult thing to setup either, so simple in fact that I am going to show you exactly how to do this with both Gmail and Hotmail! While you may be able to do this with other free providers, a support email might be required to find out for sure. If you know of other services that allow this, please let others know in the comments.
When you signed up for web hosting, you were given access to some kind of admin panel where you can control your account. If you're not sure how to access this, simply contact the support department for your host and they will be happy to help you out. One of the most popular admin panels that hosting providers use is called cPanel. This admin panel is very easy to use, but again, if you are unsure, contact support. After all, that's what they are there for.
Once you have setup your forwarding email to send to your hotmail or gmail account (Or if Support helped you set this up) you are halfway there. Before going forward, send an email to your newly created forwarder and ensure it makes it's way to your Gmail or Hotmail inbox. If it does not, check with support before proceeding.
There you go! With minimal effort, your email can look like it's actually part of your business and not some fly by night operation that hasn't graduated past 1998. Everybody wants to look like they are professional and for good reason. Make it happen.