If you are ready to take the next step, you have to think about how people will find you online. Your business name will make or break you.
Last time, we spoke about if you are really ready for this step. Mentorship Social Media: Part 1.
Will you decide to use a concept, name or something artistic. Once you name yourself, you generally have to stick with it.
Let’s talk business names and strategy today.
Short & Searchable
Business names should be 1 – 3 short words. Remember, Google and other search engines will be indexing you. The longer your name, the more will be cut off when you make articles or design names for your patterns. See the search example below.
The Crochet Crowd Search
Using A Personal Name for Business
If you decide to use your name as part of your business, you have to remember that you are a nobody when you start. I don’t mean to be cruel but people won’t know you from joe blow. If I would have named our business Michael Sellick, people wouldn’t have known many things.
What is Michael Sellick?
My name doesn’t mean anything other than my earthly designation. It doesn’t say I am an educator of crochet. Also, my name has many characters which are vital in searchable space in search engines. Even if I would have done Crochet with Michael Sellick as my name, it’s really long and my name is still an unknown factor.
While most of us know Martha Stewart and we know her genre. It’s due to mainstream media and publishing houses that have made her name relatable for us to know who she is. Without those publicity generating advertising, Martha would be a nobody to most of us.
When I say nobody, I don’t mean that to be cruel. I mean her name wouldn’t inspire crafts, decor and home living thoughts in your head. It would just be another name like any other. To the new generation behind us, Martha’s name will not have the memory triggers as she is phasing out.
Pseudo Names (Fake Names or Made Up Names)
I sat in a meeting and there was a newsletter the company has been writing. I forget her name today, which speaks to my point of naming the business by a person’s name. So ‘this name’ and seriously I have forgotten her name, recommend products and opinion pieces.
At the time, I was dealing with a person at the same company in a good relationship. So I asked, who is this ‘so and so’ anyway? The person who I have been working with goes and stands up and introduces herself as this person and shakes my hand. The person that is giving recommendations isn’t real. I was flabbergasted. It’s a pseudo. So while the public may be striving to be like ‘so and so’, she doesn’t exist. She’s a marketing strategy.
Like JOANN retail. JOANN doesn’t actually exist. It’s the combined name of two daughters of the original company. JOANN isn’t one person. However, the name is easy to remember and through massive advertising, retail store location and much more, it works for them. Without that massive marketing strategy, JOANN could just be the name of your favourite aunt.
A great company name is easy to remember but usually contains excellent keywords. Keywords are words that someone may search for in the search engines or use when talking to friends.
You should be unique and you run a significant risk if you use a name that is very close to an established name. You could run into legal issues or the general public having a fit about it.
One of the smartest business names in this field is by Sarah from Repeat Crafter Me. It allows her to branch off to so many things by the use of the word craft in her name. It signifies she’s a leader and to follow. There are many really catchy names but I love her business name the most.
Sarah is one of the most inspiring designers I know. She can take the most mundane thing and make it uber-cute and relevant. It’s a true gift. Her passion for this arts comes across so crystal clear.
Moogly is also really memorable. It has significance for her but in this field, most people know who Moogly is. You may not know her real name but you know she has clout.
She is a phenomenon where a name took off that has no significance and she made it relevant. Her work and level of the organization spoke for itself to establish this.
Her name also allows her to branch off into other creative fields. She’s brilliant, to be honest with you. She has a level of quality that is second to none. She sets herself apart from all of the rest.
Goodknit Kisses by Kristen is also a really great name for a business. It’s intelligently thought out. It’s played from the idea of Good Night Kisses but with a spin. It’s memorable and smart.
The name focuses on knitting and Kristen can bounce between stick and loom knitting. She dabbles in other yarn arts without any issues.
If you use your name and you need to sell the business or decide to pass it along and you will exit from it. Your name is the business. Getting rid of it if you are not involved, unless you made your name huge that stands on its own. The business name cannot be handed over without major disruption for the followers.
Being Too Narrow
The problem with my company name, which isn’t a personal problem for me but is when people get all antsy if I venture off into crafting, knitting or anything else because my company name, The Crochet Crowd, has the direct word of Crochet. Anything beyond crochet for me is a problem for a significant portion of our community.
Usually, if I talk about something else, other than crochet, it gets down-rated, negative reviews and even inspires emails reminding me that people don’t want anything other than crochet. It’s a double-edged sword.
I still love our company name and take the heat but somedays, it’s a bit much if I feel I need a temporary rest of crochet and want to try something else.
Speaking from personal experiences, I have worked with 3 companies in assisting in social reach and more. My gawd, the businesses that are focused on several crafts are so damn hard. I mean really rough cheap toilet paper hard! *GROAN*.
Even in the yarn arts, jumping between knitters and crocheters is tough. They are two different attitudes, desires and demographics of people. Try doing a craft show of 7 genres. It’s soooooo hard. Every time I focus on Loom Knitting, I am hit with negative feedback each time.
People who follow you because they love to sew but don’t the skills or desire to learn to bake are left out in the cold when you focus on a project or concept that is specific to one genre. In the craft shows I did, people love fabric and were the highest generator of interest in comparison to knitting, crochet and more. So the yarn-based posts would tank, the fabric would soar but then leave the yarn people in limbo! Don’t forget the scrapbookers, fashion, beading, jewellery, felting and so much more.
It’s a teeter-totter that is never balanced.
Stay focused on your business name and let that name resonate. If you are going to focus on more than one thing and know you will ensure the name you pick can allow you to jump between genres easily so it’s not a bait and switch to the followers.
If your name is spelled uniquely. Michael, my name, gets misspelled a lot. So my name wouldn’t have been a good business name.
The followers are relying on you to deliver what is promised. Ensure whatever you start you can maintain it. Yes, in time you may add more things or subtract something, but go into this thinking 5 years into the future.
Final Action Plan & Cyber Squatting
I would think about doing brainstorming thoughts and ideas and coming up with what you love but also what people will be searching for online.
- It will help you to use Google to check the names you want to use as well. Don’t come up with a business name and run full tilt and realize a website using that same name isn’t available.
- Once you know the website URL is available. Just enter it into the search and see if comes up. If it doesn’t exist, chances are it’s available.
You have to watch out for Cyber Squatting. This is the action where people or companies buy up URL names and sit on them waiting for people who want the name and ramp up the costs to get it. So when you enter the name, it will tell you it’s available for purchase and you can buy it from them. That’s not how the registration of a website is supposed to go. Buying a website name is about $10 – $20, that’s it. It renews each year, so count on this as an ongoing expense in the future. You really don’t know the company that is squatting on the URL so paying them out may just be a scam. You are better off not get involved.
Let’s talk about website hosts next time.