Naming your new business should be fun!
Because once you have a name, you can move into all the other awesome parts of branding: logos, colors, web design, graphics, and more.
So many new virtual assistants and freelancers get hung up on what to call their business, though, and this can really hold you back. Remember: imperfect action is better than no action at all! It’s better to pick a name and move forward to building the rest of your business and, more importantly, getting clients!
But if you’re stuck, there’s two main routes you can go.
Through my experience of training so many new VAs, I know that naming their business is the biggest cause of procrastination. In order to see success quicker, you have to be willng to make decisions in those early stages. This is why I recommend branding under your own name and it’s what I teach in The VA Starter Kit as a good first step.
This is the easiest and most straightforward way you can start advertising your new business. Your name + VA/Virtual Assistant/what you’re freelancing in (ie Copywriter) = your business name. You could also use a variation of your name, first and/or last, and a fun or witty extension. For example, one of my students is called Morelle and she started with ‘Morelle Support’. It’s cute, witty and uses her name.
You don’t need to muddle about, you can literally just name yourself and get on with finding clients by starting out this way.
Self-branding is awesome because:
There’s only one you
You can make your personal brand as unique as you are.
Want to brand with every color of the rainbow? Go ahead, my friend.
Adopt a fox as your mascot? The world is your oyster.
Talk obsessively about your love of Harry Potter? Your target audience is out there.
Present as the clean, cool, crisp professional you are? You got it, dude.
Whatever makes you YOU. When you brand as yourself, you can literally make your business anything you want it to be.
There’s room for growth
Say you’ve chosen to brand your name plus VA/Virtual Assistant/Freelancer/Witty variation or role of choice. This is awesome and it lets your potential clients know that you’re working online and roughly what you’re doing.
I’d recommend that when you buy your domain name and build your website, that you buy just your name.com. This way, if you decide you no longer want to advertise yourself as a virtual assistant, you don’t have to completely rebrand or get a new domain name.
For example, if I were to start my brand off as ‘Hannah Dixon Virtual Assistant’, I’d buy a domain that was simply hannahdixon.com. That way, when I move away from VA services, I don’t need to rebrand. I can simply start offering my VA training on the same website.
People will automatically know it’s you
Self-branding gives no question to who the business belongs to!
The reason for this is that people will immediately associate your business name with you. Whereas (for example) Digital Nomad Kit is more generic than Hannah Dixon Virtual Assistant.
“Oh yeah! Hannah Dixon? She’s a badass VA!”
I also think that when people work with virtual assistants it’s a very intimate, yet professional, relationship. When you self-brand you’re opening up, showing the world who you are and building trust. People by from people, so show up as your glorious human self!
Of course, self-branding isn’t something everyone wants to do. And that’s perfectly okay; your business name should be as personal and comfortable to you as slipping on your favorite pair of shoes.
Using any branding other than self-branding is particularly helpful if you’re planning on going into business with a partner or already planning to expand into an agency/offer digital products. Or maybe you simply just want to have a business name that isn’t your name, that’s cool too.
Whatever your reasoning behind it, if this is the road you want to take, there’s a few things you should consider.
Fun or Serious?
Deciding to go for a more funny, unique name or stick to a serious, professional one is again a personal preference.
Fun names let you bring more individual personality into your business and build that into your brand. While with a professional name, you might give yourself more defined boundaries.
Think about your target market. If you want to work with people, there’s a good chance going for a fun name is the right thing for you. However, if you want to work with B2B and corporations, going down the professional route is probably better.
An example of a fun business name from two of my rockstar students is ‘Thankful Cow Solutions’. This is run by a couple, Thom and Amanda, who also happen to be a part of #TeamDNK. Their cow-inspired branding is iconic and a fun way to move forward as a pair.
Descriptive but not specific
You want your business name to describe what you’re doing: online services, virtual assistant, marketing, etc. What you want to avoid is being so specific that potential clients think you only work with one thing and are limited to that, ie email marketing, unless you only plan to ever offer that as a service.
Choose your buzzwords
Lastly, write down a list of all the words that you feel would be great as your business name, whether they’re fun or serious.
Then mix and match them to see if a name comes up that you really love. You can also use a tool like Shopify’s Business Name Generator, if that’s more your thing.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a couple, you can start asking friends, peers, and potential clients what they think of the names. Take their advice on board, but…
It’s up to you and what you feel comfortable with!
So long as you go forward as your lovely, friendly self and interact where your target audience hangs out, you shouldn’t have any issues finding clients no matter what your actual business is called – which means, curb procrastination, choose a name and get in business right away.
As I said in the beginning, imperfect action is better than no action at all. You can always change your name down the road, as you learn more about yourself and the people you work with – everything is changeable and that’s the beauty of working for yourself.
Once you have your biz name, go ahead and secure all your social media handles, even if you don’t want to work with a particular platform I recommend securing the name anyway, you never know and you certainly don’t want anyone else snapping them up!
Whatever name you decide on, before you go ahead and snag all those social media handles (which you absolutely need to do) you’ll want to make sure you’re not stepping on any toes.
Is someone else already using your desired name? Search on Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, check with godaddy.com to see if someone has that domain already and finally you’ll want to ensure it’s not trademarked. The last thing you want it to get started only to walk right into a legal battlefield on something so easily avoidable.
I recommend checking if your name is trademarked before using it, you can do that here.