There’s one question that comes up more than most others in the personal branding community:
“Should I buy a personal or brand domain name?”
What is the best strategy to follow when you’re looking at buying the right domain name for your business?
What they mean is this: Should I buy MyName.com, or should I buy MyBusinessName.com? And I think the confusion stems from some common misconceptions about personal branding:
Misconception #1: YourName.com might be limiting from a business perspective. We think there’s a ceiling on our growth potential if we operate exclusively under our names. (In fact, the opposite is true!) Stay tuned for more of my thoughts on that later, as the year progresses.
Misconception #2: YourName.com isn’t as professional as YourBusiness.com. We think we won’t be taken seriously in business if our business is also our name. (Oprah would beg to differ!)
Misconception #3: YourName.com doesn’t resonate. We think we need a catchy and memorable brand name to get people to pay attention to us. (This one is just backwards. Memorability comes from the quality of the brand, not the name itself.)
Here’s the Truth
You should absolutely, 100% buy YourName.com. That’s your best real estate on the internet, and if at all possible, you want to own that real estate – especially if you’ll be building based around your experience and reputation. Cybersquatting (or trying to resell high-profile domain names for a profit) is illegal in the USA, but not in the UK, so give your future self (and your brand!) the gift of registering YourName.com sooner rather than later.
Remember what happened when P. Diddy tried to buy @SeanCombs from a fellow Twitter user? Entertaining for us, sure, but you don’t want that happening to you!!
Whether you should use YourName.com for your BUSINESS, however, depends on a few factors:
- What kind of business do you have? This one’s for the bloggers, podcasters, vloggers, coaches, consultants, authors, and speakers. Your business is based completely around you as an individual, which means doing business under YourName.com is the best choice for your brand. If your interactions with your clients are very personal and one-on-one, it makes the most sense to do business from the outpost of YourName.com.
- Who are your customers? This one is a question of connection. Ask yourself, “Will my audience be able to find me at MyName.com? Will they be able to easily spell my name? Will they naturally visit .com looking for me, or will they expect a location-specific domain like .co.uk?” Your answers to these questions will make it crystal clear how you can make it easy for the people you want to serve to find you, without friction.
- Do you ever want to sell? This is a biggie, so read closely: if you’re building to sell, do not grow your brand using YourName.com. Trust me here, friends. No one wants to buy a business that’s dependent on someone else’s name (would you?), so know before you sink any money into web development whether you’re in this for the long haul, or whether you might want to sell and do something different in the future.
What About Room for Pivoting?
And yes, I hear what you’re saying right now: “What if I don’t know yet whether I’ll want to pivot in the future?” And here’s the main takeaway today: if you’re a blogger, podcaster, vlogger, coach, consultant, author, or speaker, pivoting is built right into your personal brand already.
The content of your personal brand business matters less than the person behind it. That’s a tweetable, right there – go on, click it… try it out!
If you start talking about one topic under YourName.com, I promise that it’s not actually that big a deal to change your mind and start talking about something else a few years from now. The common thread in both scenarios is YOU, so as long as you’re building trust, connection, and loyalty in your audience, they’ll be around as long as you are.
Last question for the day: what website are you on right now? That’s right: ChrisDucker.com. My name, my brand, and my business are all one, and I can’t think of a better way to do business than the way I am currently.
I believe I’ve now handled the question of buying the right domain name perfectly well. Once and for all. Ducker, out!
Take it to The Next Level
Want to learn more about personal branding online and building your business using your own name? Hop on the waitlist for my exclusive Youpreneur Academy, where we dive even deeper into the topic of how to leverage the strength of your name and reputation into a thriving online business.