Choosing a business name can be a very difficult first step when starting out online. I think we all want to have the perfect domain and website name when making our debut to the world wide web and everyone who is ready for what we have to offer. It is important to have something that represents what you want to accomplish with your new site.
It is important to have something that represents you what you want to accomplish with your new site.
Here are 6 things to keep in mind when deciding on your brand or website name:
1. Is it easy to know how to spell it when you say it out loud?
If people can’t hear clearly what you are saying when you say your business name, they won’t know how to find it online.
My first website and the one you are on now: JessicaLarrew.com is my name, so it makes sense for branding. Well, unfortunately, there are a lot of ways to spell Larrew. And people seem to think I say Lauren, or that’s what they remember. And, you may know another common mistake with the name Jessica, it’s not a mis-spelling, but people often think Jennifer when they know a Jessica.
When looking in the analytics for my site I get lots of variations of how to spell my name. Of course, it’s my name, so not much can be done about it now.
But if you are just getting started on your new business, you have the chance to make sure and get it right the first time 🙂
Before committing to a domain name, say it out loud to yourself different tones. Say it both slowly and quickly. Does it always sound like what it is supposed to be?
One thing that trumps the spelling and sounding out of a domain name is if you are building a personal brand or not. When I think of someone like Amy Porterfield, they have built their brand around their name. That’s my goal as well.
Something to consider when building a brand around yourself, not much resale potential! But, if you are going into this business looking for a way out, it may not be a great fit…Something to think about!
2. Does the name work as a url?
Once you have decided on some brand names that you like, test them out as domains. Type out the domain with all lowercase letters. Sometimes words blend together in ways that are not ideal.
My friend Nicole shared one with me one time and it had “therapist” in the domain. Now imagine that a therapist want’s to portray that they work with people in New York. A good domain name may be: TherapistInNY.com. If we change around the capitals a little, or read it all in lowercase (therapistinny.com) We get a few combinations… Therapist In NY or The Rapist In NY or maybe even Therapist Inn Y.
You get the picture 🙂 A lot of words have weird things happen to them when they are combined with no spaces.
3. Is the .com available?
Gosh, it’s hard to find available domains sometimes! Before coming back to being Self Branded for this site, I tried a lot of blogging type domains. I tried so many different domains and it seems like my mind just goes blank when thinking of a domain.
Sometimes people decide on a business name before checking to see if it is available as a .com. So, they spend a lot of time and energy around a certain business name. Once they realize that the .com isn’t available, it is a difficult decision for some to not keep the name. So, they will go with a different ending.
But, think about it, what do you type instinctively when you go to look for a website? .com right? I’m sure 99% of people do!
Do you want most of your clients (or potential clients) heading to someone else’s website because you used .org or .info or .ninja or .whatever because the .com was already being used. Trust me, just find another name and run with it!
4. Keep the common spellings.
If the .com isn’t available, don’t get too creative with the spelling. This is a common thing for people when creating new businesses. We think it’s cute and trendy to spell things incorrectly.
But just like using a different top level domain (the .com part) confuses and loses clients, so does spelling that they can’t remember or find.
This is especially important for you in the beginning of your new website and business because you won’t have the google credit that will help people find you even when things are spelled wrong. I have enough Google juice that if people spell my name incorrectly, they still manage to find me.
If I wanted to name this website “This Biz Rox” would you remember that it is ROX and not Rocks? Most likely not!
5. Will it be easy to create a logo?
Personally, I always struggle with this one! I’m not the best when it comes to graphics and design so I usually don’t think about this until the last minute. Fortunately, there are sites like Canva where you can whip up logos on your own, or 99Designs where you could have hundreds of designers helping you with the concept.
If you have a lot of words in your brand name, it makes it more difficult to create the logo, from my experience. Even Jessica Larrew was very difficult for me to come up with a logo and I’m still working on a single image logo.
6. Don’t spend too much time on it!
I know I have the five tips above about picking the best brand name and domain name for your new website, but here’s the thing…Don’t let it keep you from actually STARTING your new business!
I’ve seen too many people get stuck at this point and just never move forward because they couldn’t get the name perfect.
The good news is that you can always rebrand later or work with what you end up with. Like I mentioned above, I used JessicaLarrew.com for years. As my business grew and my niche was so specific to selling on Amazon, I rebranded to include my family, who runs the Amazon business with me. We switched to TheSellingFamily.com and I’m so glad that I didn’t try to come up with that from day 1. It never would have been as perfect as it was years later when I had gotten established and comfortable with myself as a brand.
There you have it! These are my top 6 tips for choosing a brand and website name for your new online business.
What to do now:
1. If you have some tips about choosing a name that you would like to share with others, please leave it in the comments below.
2. Are you struggling with choosing a business name? Can you commit to just picking a name and moving forward?
3. Share this post with someone who needs it, or give it a share on Facebook or Pinterest 🙂
4. Sign up to receive all of the updates from She Builds A Business so I can help you grow your online business to levels you never thought possible!
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