Choosing a business name

NamesDon’t agonise over your business name.

Here’s why.

When I left corporate life, I launched my freelance copywriting business under the brand Comms Plus. “It’s communication,” I thought, “with added positivity and results”. I even registered it as a trade mark.

But, when I went out networking, with ‘Jackie Barrie Comms Plus’ proudly displayed on my name badge, everyone thought I was in telecoms.

I soon realised that clients book me because I’m me, not because of what I call myself.

My official entity for legal and accounting purposes is still ‘Jackie Barrie T/A Comms Plus’. (T/A stands for Trading As.) But
I now market myself under my own name, with a matching professional headshot photo on my business cards, website and social media.

Think of the objective of your business name, and your route to market. As with all experts, it’s most likely that you’ll win business via word of mouth and networking. Once they’ve met you, why should prospects have to remember a business name as well as your own name? Don’t make it difficult for them to track you down.

Search my name and you’ll find me all over Google.

Also, I write in the first person, and share maximum personality online (although I rarely share my personal life online). Because I found this works better than writing in the third person and pretending to be bigger than you are.

Another advantage is that you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to use your own name as your business name.

If the URLs are already taken, you have a common name, or your name is the same as someone famous, you might have to add ‘writer’, ‘copywriter’ or ‘wordsmith’ to differentiate yourself.

Finally, I win business because of my slogan, ‘Writing Without Waffle’. (In the UK, waffle means ‘lengthy, vague or trivial’.) When I give people my business card, they say: “Ooh, that’s useful, I need some of that!” Or “I know someone who needs some of that!” And that’s what you want your marketing to do.

BTW, prospects can find me all over Google via my slogan too.

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