Personal Branding & Domain Name

your domain name Personal BrandingPersonal branding: ‘the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands.' This definition was taken from a Google search, and it pretty much sums up what you want to do if you are your own business.

Personal Branding: What does that mean? The best example is to think of almost any celebrity. You probably know that celebrity by his or her name, right? You may even know a perfume, pair of sneakers, or other item by the same name. Chances are that there's a website out there with that person's name too. This is personal branding.

When you turn your name into a brand, you're really putting yourself out there – and it can be advantageous too. After all, how many of you exist? Only one, right? Even if you're a twin, you are an individual. So, why not brand yourself? To do so, you'll have to create a website and choose a domain name.

Here's where it all gets a little sticky – kinda like sidewalks in July!

Personal Branding & Domain Name: Choosing Your Personal Brand Domain Name

Unless your name is really original (like mine), there's a good chance that any domain name that includes your own name has been taken. Uh-Oh. What now? There are a few things that you can do, and some of those things may even be to your advantage.

  1. Consider misspelling your name. If you do have one of those commonly misspelled names, why not switch it up? Think about the way that people usually spell your name, and use this common spelling instead of the actual spelling. Your mom might not love the idea, but people will find your site every time.
  2. Think about the type of work that you are part of. In some circles, a nickname might work wonders. In other industries or professions, nothing but a full and professional name will work. Think about the name that you want to put on your resume or business cards, and use that name instead of any nicknames you may have personal branding.
  3. Shorten, or lengthen, your name. If your name has already been taken, why not add your middle initial? Or, maybe you want to just use the first letter of your first name followed by your last name? Both of these options will work.
  4. Don't use your industry name. Right now, you might be the health guru of your state or country, but you may not always want that association tied to your name. If you create, you may tire of this name if you switch to, say, finance.
  5. Don't punctuate. This goes for all domain names. Adding any kind of cool punctuation is really not a great idea. People forget to add dashes and other stuff, so stick with the basics.

Personal branding can be highly effective once you get that domain name issue figured out. Need help figuring out a good domain name? Ask me. I'll help you find one that will work for both your personal brand and your profession!

Photo Courtesy of JD Hancock via Flickr Creative Commons

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