So you have taken the decision to brand yourself, great! Even if you don’t do much with your personal domain or social media channels it’s good to have a place where you can list all your work and resumé. Getting your idealname.COM is impotant, some people are a fan of using .me if the .com is taken but even for personal names, I’m not a fan of using any other extension than .com.
As many other personal branders you might ask these frequently asked questions:
- Should I use my real full name?
- Just my firstname or lastname?
- Go with a nickname?
- Fuck the domain I want is taken… what should I do?
Generally speaking I would say FirstnameLastname.com is usually the best choice but there are instances where I don’t think it’s an ideal choice.
- You share the same name as a celebrity, if your name happens to be Bill Gates and you’re a tech blogger, good luck branding that…
- You share the same name as someone you really don’t want to be mistaken for(ie a serial killer who’s on the first page of google search results)
- You gotta foreign name but blog in english? Is it hard to spell and/or hard to pronounce?
The solutions to the above problems is either go with only your Firstname.com or Lastname.com but those are rarely available. The common solution is to shorten or just come up with a stage name. If you’re Nickruzac Trabac a good alternative could be NickTrabac.com instead of NickruzacTrabac.com or just Trabac.com.
When to use a nickname instead of your real name for personal branding?
You might have noticed that yours truly is using a nickname. However, my nickname is something of a hybrid of name shortener/stage name and nickname. My real name is actually Arash, so the only difference is one letter at the end. Btw, I live in Japan where they usually add “u” after the sh sound so that’s how I came up the nickname, Arashu.
The big problem with branding Arash is that a certain famous singer also happens to be named Arash. The other obvious problem is that the domain Arash.com is already owned by said singer. Therefore, for me Firstname.com wasn’t even on the table. But what about FirstnameLastname.com and Lastname.com? Both were taken as well and not only that, my name has persian origins which might be difficult to pronounce and memorize for an english audience. Therefore, keeping it short and easy as possible is a priority. In my case I got lucky because Arashu is a six letter domain which isn’t all that hard to memorize and I all I had pay for it was the reg fee.
For example, JohnWilliams.com is a very easy name to prounounce and memorize but AbdiGhasemi.com would require more brain power to memorize for your average english speaker.
If you’re in a similiar position like me and want to go with a nickname don’t do the mistake of getting an unprofessional nickname that could really hurt you in the longrun. It could be difficult to convince future visitors to buy your products if your nickname is PeanutJizz.