It’s Time To Name That Business
If you already have a business name then this step is going to be fairly easy. It’s time to start coming up with the name of your online presence. When choosing a name for your business, the task to find that name as a domain name can be daunting. But what most business owners don’t consider is that finding the perfect domain name is only half of the task in finding the right name for your online presence. We’ll touch on that in a bit.
Finding Your Domain Name
When choosing a domain name you want something that is going to be easy for your visitors to type in manually.
- You want something easy to remember.
- You want a domain that isn’t long.
- You want to use words that can’t be spelled funny.
- Don’t use words that are commonly misspelled.
- Try to get the .com of the name you are looking for.
- Unless you are a non-profit, then get the .org.
For domain names, I always choose NameCheap. I prefer NameCheap over everyone else (for domains only) simply because they offer free Whois Privacy. This is an additional cost anywhere else and is worth the expense because it protects your email address from spammers looking to sell you services for your domain name. I run a web design company and even I get these spammy emails.
Anytime I come up with a new idea I can usually get my domain name for about $9 depending on their specials at the time. This is great because I can reserve the name and then decide if it’s going to be worth keeping later. While this is a great solution for me, it also contributes to another problem — cyber-squatters. There is nothing more annoying than thinking you have the perfect domain name only to find out someone already owns it for the sole purpose of selling it to buyers for thousands of dollars.
What if you can’t get the .com? Because of so much cyber-squatting, domain registrars (like GoDaddy) are opening up more top-level domains like .ninja, .club, .guru and so much more. These are just as valid to search engines as .coms, but when it comes to human nature, your visitor will always default to .com first. So you have to be careful. I recommend trying to find a variation of a .com without getting too crazy. (Of course, we chose a .co because we prefer the name) You can choose one of these other extensions but you will have to invest in good search engine optimization and brand awareness.
Find Social Profiles that fit Your Brand
Once you feel comfortable with your domain name, it’s time to reserve your social network profiles. Ideally, you want to reserve your brand/company name on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. You also want to set up a Google account so that you can create a company page on Google Plus and grab your YouTube channel. It may seem like you aren’t going to need these right now. But at some point, you are going to want to get started with Social Media Marketing. If you try to search for social handles later, you may find that someone has already reserved your specific brand name.
Unlike domains, social media handles can be a lot more lenient. The number one recommendation is that you try to find a handle that is consistent across all of the social media platforms. The number one tool I use for this right now is Namechk. With this free tool, you can put in your brand name. It will check nearly 100 social media platforms for your name and kick back results. If you can find a name that is completely clear, then start setting up your business profiles.
Again, you may not be doing something with them right away, but get all of them reserved now. Once you have your domain and the major social media handles reserved, you can start working on building your online presence.