Starting on your path of self-branding begins with your Name. Yeah, you heard me, your name!
Sometimes it’s not as simple as taking the exact name your where given at birth and branding it.
Personal brand name challenges
Having the same name as someone famous The Hollywood actor – Albert Brooks was actually born Albert Lawrence Einstein. He had his last name changed to avoid confusion with “the Albert Einstein” you know, the one that everyone is heard of.
Having the same name as someone who’s infamous – As Steven Moody wrote to Penelope Trunk, “I am trying to get to the top of Google searches for my name, but competing with a Death Row inmate in TX and a con artist in Utah is proving difficult.”
Having the same name as someone not famous, but for some reason they’re being found ahead of you online – even with his own blog and solid web presence, Ryan Healy is still finding it a challenge to be found first in search results on his name.
Having a name that’s also used regularly as a pseudonym – US police officers use the names John Doe and Jane Doe when they have found unidentified bodies. But if you search Facebook, there are many living Jane Does.
There are three ways to pick a name for branding:
6 ways to use your Personal name for branding.
- Birth Name– Use the name your parents gave you.
- Give yourself a nick name– You could use your initials in different combinations and see how they sound together. If your name was Thomas Robert Jackson you could go by TJ or RJ Maybe JR How about BJ or JT. Of Course if you name is like mine Heidi June Morton MH doesn’t sound that great or HJ. Hey, if I wanted I could use HM.
You could always use a single name Like Cher does. Or shorten your name From Thomas Jackson to Thomas Jack or go by T Jack. See the possible are endless. Lol. Why do you think, I choose that name for my example?
- Attach something to your name– Like, Joe the plumber. I could go by Heidi the queen of marketing or Marketing Morton… How about Heidi the blog expert? Just get creative. But remember while you’re getting creative and fancy with the names. Make sure if you do attach a phrase to your first or last name it’s relevant to your niche.
- Capitalize on existing meanings – Check out the meaning of your name from a baby book or website online. Then you can harmonize that definition with the niche you have chosen. This works best when your name’s meaning is easy to grasp.
Or maybe your name has a story behind it. The story of how I got my name is so boring. A long time ago in a not so far away land, my mom met a nice lady named Heidi, My mom liked the name. The end. I bet your story is much better!
- Take on a pseudonym– probably the most typical usage of pseudonyms are as entertainment (stage/screen/pen) names. Many Jews have used less ethnic-sounding stage names – Jon Stewart is actually Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, Natalie Portman is really Natalie Hershlag – because they thought it would improve their chances of success. On the other hand, Caryn Elaine Johnson chose the more ethnic-sounding screen name of Whoopi Goldberg for the same reason. The advantage of a pseudonym is you can create an awesome name based on meanings. Or you can pull ideas from the list above for inspiration, you can literally design a name that conveys the meaning you want.
- Change your legal name– You could change your name legally, just for fun.
There is a lot of controversial talk about branding “your name” one side seems to think that when you brand your name, you will eventually become imprisoned by it.
As soon as you shut your mouth, there is no personal brand. If you stop blogging, making video’s you stop existing. Your personal brand is like a shark that has to keep swimming or it drowns. When you’re ready to bow out, you can’t just hire a team of writers, because they’re not you.
But on the other hand, your name will be attracted to whatever brand name you come up with because “you” are the Brands voice. When it comes to marketing your business, especially if you’re in network marketing, you can’t hide behind the scenes forever you have to come out and show your face.
And if people can’t find you online by searching “your name” it hurts your business. Because people want to connect with you. Not some company name.
Look at the name Zig Ziglar. People still know who he is today. His voice didn’t die. Tapes he made 20 years ago, were redone onto CD and are being sold today.
Just in case you were wandering my opinion, I think you should brand your name and a business name. Mike Dillard, did. Magnetic sponsoring is his company name.
Now that I got off my soap box, let’s talk about using a keyword phrases to brand.
Take a keyword or phrase and use that keyword for your company name. If the domain name is already registered for that keyword. Combine the keyword with something else. Kind of like, we did with your name.
Brands can stand out just like people do. If you’re willing to put in the work to make it possible. Like Nike and Kellogg’s
Take the naming of your band as seriously as any business takes the naming of itself. Create a brand. If you’re creating an online business, your blog pretty much is your business. Naming your blog is naming your business. Remember that.
You have three subcategories of branding:
- Unrelated word branding
- Related word branding
- Related keyword branding
Unrelated Word Branding
In unrelated word branding, your brand name is unrelated to what your niche is. If I created a blog about “cooking” and then I called it “Dog and company” What the crap does that name have to do with cooking? Nothing.
Related Word Branding
Related word branding is when you use words that are related to your niche subject, in your brand name. For example WordPress YouTube Magnetic Sponsoring.
Even if you never have heard of these sites or seen them before, you could at least come up with a hint about their content based only on their names. The name itself is not solely responsible for their success, but consider that YouTube is a related word brand name, while Viddler isn’t. I didn’t even know what viddler was until I started doing online marketing. (Not related enough, if you ask me). Google Video is a keyword-correct but boring and uninspired name. And out of these, we all know which one is the top dog.
Related Keyword Branding
Here’s the thing about creating a brand: you can include keywords as part of it. It’s just not all about the keywords, that’s all. Think about brands where the brand is the thing itself: Coffee Mate. Coca-Cola. Magnetic Sponsoring. (Yeah I plugged it again) Anyway, another way to put it: the name says what it does. Yet another way to put this: think verbs, not nouns.
The most inspired example of this in action is the “Dummies” series of books. What a brilliant formula! Take any subject and stick “for Dummies” on the end and you have instant keyword SEO power, plus a brand.
Now that is powerful branding. They win for keywords. And they can comer any market they want. That is the best kind of branding you can achieve.