Written by Canon Wing

I teach entrepreneurs and organizations the proven action steps to stand out within their market, improve the perceived value of their business, and better connect with their audience through naming, branding, storytelling, and communication platforms.

March 22, 2022

Top 3 Must-Haves For Start-Up Online Branding

Today we answer a question on every Entrepreneur’s mind: How do I begin building my brand online? I have the Top 3 Must-Haves you’ll need to launch your online brand, and for today’s article, I’m going to give you the first one right now!

Number One: Lockdown your domain name.

Okay, so I’m a professional namer—I have been for 25 years, and when I tell people that, many people tell me they’ve never heard of someone being a professional namer before. There’s a fascination about it. I’m often asked “What have you named? Anything I’d recognize?” The answer is yes, definitely. I’ve named for some very recognizable brands! Kraft, Puma, Saturn, Stouffer’s, Boar’s Head, Hershey’s, Kodak, Kia, Honda, MTV, just to name a few…and I’ve even named for Canon! That was fun.

Top brands still delegate that uber important brand messenger to professional namers, such as myself, because they’ve learned (usually the hard way on a previously failed brand identity project)— that a great name is the difference between creating great brand recognition or fading away into the oblivion of internet ad space.

So what these top brands know about naming, and what many new businesses overlook, is that yeah, it’s your business—but even your name should be ALL ABOUT THEM, all about your ideal individuals. It should be about what they need, how they want to feel, and how your brand intends to meet those needs— all of that in one clear and catchy name!

And in today’s digital marketplace, it’s not just about coming up with a great name anymore—it also needs to be a great domain name.

So let’s get you going, to lock down your domain name, here’s an easy checklist:

✔️ It needs to be, well—available, first of all!

The first part is super straightforward. You’ll need to go to a website that does a search to let you know if your brand name is available to own. I really like namechekr.com because it will search across multiple platforms at once and let you know right away not only about availability of the .com, but it also covers a Facebook page, Twitter handle, YouTube channel, and several others all at once. From there you’ll get a birds-eye-view that will help you take that first major leap forward—Choosing your domain name.

✔️ It needs to be easy to read.

So, when trying to lock down your domain name—Let’s say your first choice isn’t available, which is often the case. It’s a really common mistake for entrepreneurs to hold on too tightly to that first choice by playing with unusual spellings, using abbreviations, substituting the words ‘to’ and ‘for’ with the numbers 2 and 4, throwing in errant hyphens (which, by the way—can get you flagged by Google as spam)…all kinds of little tweaks just to hold on to that original vision. We try to get clever.

I’m going to share with you one of my main teaching points for how to name your business: Clarity outperforms clever every single time.

If the name of your brand doesn’t have hyphens or numbers or quirky spelling, then your domain name shouldn’t either. Consider that your brand’s online presence will be advertising for you 24/7, and be agile enough to loosen your grip on that one name. Take it from a professional namer; I can’t tell you how many names I have absolutely loved and had to let go of because it wasn’t completely available. It happens over and over again, actually—it’s part of the process.

Here’s a little secret to keep you searching: one of the best things about language is that it’s very romantic, and what I find again and again is that there’s always another phrase, another term, another angle for communicating the heart of your brand and attracting your ideal audience.

Not holding on too tightly is a brilliant, and actually, rather meditative practice for an entrepreneur to learn early-on, because an entrepreneurial journey will always be served by a willingness to embrace sudden change. That’s how we keep the ball rolling until we reach the top of the hill.

Open up your search to new possibilities, and aim for a domain name that is easy to read, easy to spell, and easy to say. Because hey, when brand recognition is your goal, it helps to be easy to remember!

I’m also going to recommend that if you want to deep dive into a brand building with me, and get ALL the teaching points, come join my webinar, and we can get next-level with uncovering your perfect brand name.

Thank you so much for joining me today! If you like this article please watch the full episode, and be sure to hit subscribe because I release new masterclasses on brand building every Tuesday and Thursday. You got this. Get your startup company rolling with a great domain name, and just keep going. I’m here for you every step of the way, and I can’t wait to see how you shine when You Love What You Do and Love How You Do It.