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35 | When To Name Your Company After Yourself

When it comes to naming your company is it better to create a brand name or use your own name?

In today’s episode of the Online Business Clinic podcast, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of each, so that you can be sure to set your business up for success right from the start.

If you thought naming a baby was tough stuff, try naming your business. Sheesh! When it comes to building a business there are many factors to consider before landing on the perfect name for your brand.

So let’s dive in.

Firstly you’ll want to decide if what you’re building is something that you may want to sell off in the future or if it will be your life work, your legacy.

If you’re thinking about potentially seeking out buyers in the future, right away you’ll want to choose a strong brand name to conduct business behind.

If you’re still on the fence, then let’s take a few minutes to weigh the pros and cons of using your name as your brand name, shall we?

The Pros’ of using your own name as your brand

It’s simple and straightforward. - there’s little confusion as to whom your clients are doing business with. When it comes time to write the check they know exactly who to make it out to.

It can build your authority - if you publish regular content whether it’s writing blog articles, recording podcast episodes or creating videos, using your name helps to identify you as an authority in your lane.

This is especially true if you begin to guest blog for larger publications such as Mind.Body.Green. Huffington Post, Success Magazine, etc. Also, if you are breaking new ground in your field, your business may feel more reliable when it’s attached to your name.

It’s authentic. - instead of stressing over the perfect brand name, you can keep things simple by sticking to your name. Not only is it familiar, but you’ll have an easier time building an authentic brand. And let’s be honest, in this day and age we as consumers are CRAVING authentic.

It increases a sense of connection. - as the consumers of your work, it’s easier for us to identify your voice if you use your name. As humans, we love putting a face with a name and for your business, there’s no question there. Think Apple.

Apple is a powerhouse company with a solid brand name, but we can’t help but think about Steve Jobs. Why?

Because we as consumers desire to make a personal connection with the products and services we love.

So if you’re a coach, who works 1:1 or in a small group setting with clients, it might be in your best interest to stay authentic and build your business behind your own name in order to increase connection.

It boosts your search ability- If you have a unique name, using it as your brand name can be an easy way to win the SEO game so you come up first in Google searches.

This is important because it could help increase ‘foot traffic’ to your website, allowing more eyeballs to find out who you are and how you can help them.

There usually is not that much competition on Google for a full name, unless your name is John Smith. So you might consider adding your middle name or middle initial. This makes it easier for users to locate you on Google and find your website and email address. Business is hard enough, don't make it any harder to find you.

As you evolve your brand will - if you’re just starting out and aren’t crystal clear on who you are, who you help and the transformation you provide it might be best to build behind your name.

This way you do not save big bucks on building out a brand that you’re unsure of, but while you’re discovering your business mission and voice you will attract people who are attracted to you.

And even if you change your business model down the road, there’s a good chance those people will go along for the ride with you because they love YOU, not your brand.

Now let’s pivot and look at the cons of using your brand name.

The Cons of using your name as you company name

You’re at the center of your business. - If you are camera-shy and don’t want to be at the forefront of your marketing campaign, don’t use your name. If you don’t want to be the face of your company, you won’t be a very good one.

Your name might not be unique. - if you have a really common name, using it to build your brand can hinder your growth. When multiple “Jessica Smith’s” pop up in the search bar your ideal clients who are actively looking for YOU might get lead astray.

Your name could change - things change, including your name. Perhaps you’ll get married or divorced and when you do will you want to keep the name you started your business with? Maybe not.

It could limit your growth. - If you desire to build a bigger business, that eventually operates without you means hiring staff and training management teams. Some people would prefer to build a brand that is more nimble in its operations.

Also you need to take into consideration who your target market is. If you’re planning to operate B to B, perhaps you’re prospective clients would be more comfortable hiring a firm rather than a person.

Even if you’re a one-woman show, if you’re trying to land corporate partnerships it might be in your best interest to do it behind a strong brand name.

To wrap things up…

There’s no right or wrong answer here. If you choose to use your name now or you choose to use a brand name now, you can also pivot your brand in the future.

Remember that you can still be the face of your brand even if you use a company name. Many of my clients have developed their brand voice behind their brand. When it was time to launch their personal brand separately, they didn’t have to build their following from scratch. They already had a following they could bring with them.

Keep your business goals in mind as you’re navigating this complex business building step. But my best advice no matter which side of the decision you end up on is to just get started. Don’t wait for the holy grail of names to be bestowed upon you before you begin to be of service to others.

Remember, it’s much easier to steer a car when it’s in drive. So just get going. Name your company in a way that gives you the best opportunity for success right now, based on how you are actually going to be operating in the world. And then pivot as you need to down the road.

Now I want to hear from you…

Which way will you go? Will you use your own name or a branded name? Drop a comment below or better yet join the conversation inside of the Legacy Leaders Community on Facebook.

I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with!

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