One of the biggest hurdles that stalls new businesses and bloggers, is coming up with a name for their new venture.
It is, of course, a hugely important decision, and should be thought about carefully.
This is the name that is going to be front and center of your business, you are going to have to love the sound of it, otherwise, you may end up cringing every time you need to mention it.
But, as you probably know, it’s hard……
….but, I have a pretty effective method for creating a brand name, that works really well.
These are the exact steps I took to come up with InkSpike Studio.
Step 1 – Brainstorm
Grab yourself a cuppa, notebook and a pen (or grab the brainstorming worksheet). Sit yourself down and start to jot down words that represent your biz or the blog topics that you plan to cover.
What sort of vibe do you want your business or blog have? Is it fun and vibrant, soulful and calm? How would you describe its personality?
Describe the ideal customer or reader? What is their age, gender, lifestyle?
Are you hoping to create a community? a store? portfolio or job board?
Once you have your initial ideas written down, start to think of words that are related to the words that you have already chosen. You can get really creative here, include any words that are even the slightest bit connected, however tenuous. The longer the list, the better.
Step 2 – Dig a little deeper
Next up grab a thesaurus or go to thesaurus.com and look up some of the words that you’ve already written down.
You are bound to find words here that you haven’t already thought of, add these to the list.
Step 3 – Mix and Match
Now you’re probably quite drawn to a few words from your list, so starting with your top 3 favorites, start pairing them up with another. Just see what works, enjoy the process.
You can, of course, make it up. Try and combine a couple of words to make something new.
Microcomputer + Software = Microsoft
The majority of these combinations probably won’t be a good fit, but if you compiled a good variety of words, I’m pretty confident that you’ll come up with a handful of pretty good possibilities.
Continue through until you’re happy with the selection you have. Aim for at least 3-5 possibilities.
At this point, you should also Google your short list. There’s no point proceeding with the next steps if you’re not sure if they’re already being used by someone else.
You want something that has very few or ideally no results coming up for it.
In the search engine type your possible name within quotation marks. This will give you results for that exact phrase, so it’s really handy for finding business or blog names.
Step 4 – Does it work?
Before going any further, you need to check a few things.
- Is the spelling confusing?
- Does it have a ring to it or is it a bit of a mouthful?
- Is it easy to pronounce?
- Have you checked that it doesn’t translate into something offensive or inappropriate in another language?
Step 5 – Availability
After you have completed the above steps, now’s the time to head over to a domain name provider, like GoDaddy or Namecheap.
Enter your first choice into the search box. You’ll then be shown if the domain is available or not. You may find that the .com is gone but another suffix is possible, (the suffix is the ending after the domain name, like .com / .org
You may find that the .com is gone but another suffix is possible.
You have to decide if you’re happy to take an alternative or move on to another domain choice. I think it is advisable to try and grab
If you’re a local business though, and you’re not planning on serving a global audience, then a .co.uk may be fine. You just have to weigh up the benefits and work out a good solution for your brand.
If you’ve found a domain that fits, and you’re happy with the suffix, go ahead and purchase it, if there are a few available, you can purchase more than one, and have them all directed to your website.
So if you had both the .com and the .co.
Hopefully, by the end of this exercise, you will have found a business name that you love
…but, if you’re still stuck…
Use what your Mama gave you!
Yep, you already have a pretty awesome name, and unless you happen to a have a celebrity sharing it, then there’s a good chance that it’s available as a domain.
You have to, of course, be comfortable with being the face/name of your business though, as essentially you would be the brand.
So if you had plans to sell the business down the line, it may not be the right choice.
Have you any tips for naming a business? Share it in the comments, I would love your input!
I’ve created a few worksheets to go along with this post, a customer profile and brainstorming worksheet, you can access them, plus all the other freebies in the resource library.