Before you go ahead and buy a domain, you should consider a couple of things:
Think of your goals
2 questions to ask yourself
- What’s ONE MAIN goal I would like to achieve with having an online presence?
- What will be the easiest-yet-most-effective kind of online presence that will get you there?
You have to get that first question answered now. Take a minute and write it down. You can have many secondary goals, but what’s that MAIN goal?
About that second question – hopefully we will help you sort this one out with this guide.
Now that we’ve got your inner gear-wheels going, let’s begin 🙂
Think of Branding (Brand Name VS Your Name)
Is your brand name simply your First and/or Last name? or do you have a separate brand (e.g., Hacking UI is a bigger brand than just us founders – David and Sagi.)
There’s no right or wrong, but here are some pros and cons you should consider:
Reasons to use your First and Last name:
- People will listen to what other people say, not a company. People expect a real person to communicate with them. For instance, a friend of mine who’s a freelance designer showed me a newsletter he was about to send to all of his clients. In some cases, he wrote ‘we’ and not ‘I’ and that sounded weird to me. It didn’t sound personable or trustworthy. If he says ‘I’ he makes sure to take accountability for whatever he writes and puts out in that email.
- Your name will never change, but your business will. For instance when we started writing about side projects here in Hacking UI, we had a problem since our name suggests we’re a design blog, and it has nothing to do with side projects.
- People will know you. For instance, people might’ve heard of Hacking UI but fewer people will have heard of Sagi Shrieber or David Tintner.
- Personal brands are ideal if you want to develop a speaking career or a social media influencer career.
- Using your own name makes your company seem transparent and personal.
Reasons to use a company/ brand name:
- If your given name is long or hard to pronounce you might want to go with a business name.
- People feel like a company is more permanent and trust in it to be there for any product support.
- It’s hard to sell a personally-branded business when you’re just starting out, but with a business name there may be fewer questions.
- A business name makes you sound like a multi-person studio rather than an individual, which may or may not be your goal
- If you bring more people on the team later on – they may be more comfortable working for [company name] than [personal name].
- You might be just starting out and not thinking about it – but what would happen in the event of an ownership or management change? With a company name, no problem. With a personal name – problem.
- It gives the opportunity to sell the business later if needed
So, to recap, if you are just one creative professional and want to grow as one you might as well go with your own name. In the age of influencer marketing and social media outlets, being perceived as a business isn’t always better than being, simply, yourself.
Start thinking about your domain
Now that you’ve got these considerations in mind, it’s time to start thinking:
What would I want my domain name to be?
What domain name will best represent me, my brand, and my goals?
This article was part 2 out of 5 in:The Beginner’s Guide to Establishing a Brand & Launching a Portfolio/ Website
- Intro: How websites actually work
- Choose a domain name that will strengthen your brand
- Technical tips when buying your domain name (and what mistakes to avoid)
- Creative ways to get a website up with no hosting or actual ‘website’ needed
- Bonus: Decided to put up an actual website? Here’s how you can do that ( buying hosting + connecting the pieces together)