I personally know quite a few people who want to start up a side hustle or are in the midst of doing so. I can only imagine the many more people out there who I don't know personally and who may be readers who are also considering sharing what their passionate about through a side business. Yay, an amazing first step and really, its what the Passionate Voice is all about. Its why I started this personal endeavor myself!
I want to address one of the most critical first steps you will take when developing your side business and that is YOU, your brand and what the heck do you name this 'thing' you are thinking of starting. This has to be one of the toughest decisions you'll make as you start up a website/blog and begin to create the social media accounts pertaining to it. It is something I still ponder every few days, wondering if I got it right and/or are getting it right and some days I seriously doubt myself.
I know the simple answer is 'Your just doing something so it doesn't matter what alias you operate under' but really, it does matter long-term depending on how long you plan on 'being in the business.' The legacy you start out with your 'brand' will be with YOU for as long as you want to make it successful and knowing you, you will WANT to be successful.... and it will be.
So, some quick thoughts to consider if you are starting a side business/project and are wondering whether you should name it with your 'personal name' or with a 'brand name'.....
Using a 'Brand' name instead of Your 'Name'
- Depending on what you decide is your 'thing' and what field/sector it is in, you could come up with something really catchy that would get people's attention
- Make sure your 'brand' name speaks volumes for what it is that you are selling or trying to share
- A brand provides you with the platform that you can put your name behind rather than using your name which entails you "be your brand" at all times
- Be careful in choosing the wording of your brand - is it too long, too short, catchy enough that it would look good in media/online and what acronyms could be used from your brand name in case people short form it which happens often
- If your ever considering hiring others to work for you, it may be easier to hire behind a brand/company name rather than the brand that is "you" if you use your name
- If you do decide to pursue a 'brand name,' then you have to ensure that the 'brand' is available to purchase as a domain name and that social media accounts are also available. Make sure you do your homework so there are no other 'you's' operating out there that could come back at you months/years later with copyright issues, etc. Make sure to do an extensive Google search!
Using your 'Name' instead of a 'Brand' Name
- It will never change because hey, your name will never change (Well.. unless you get married or want to change your name of course!)
- People always know you by your name so it will be easy for people to search you and find you
- Because of this, your name will become your SEO (search engine optimization) so you won't have to worry about additional SEO for your brand
- Using your name may appear more professional depending on the field you are planning to do business in
- If you don't think your "day job" will allow you to have a side hustle, than sometimes operating under an alias is a better idea than your name
- If your not just 100% sure yet on what your 'niche' is, but you know for sure that you want to start "something" then your name is a way to protect yourself from potential rebrands and domain changes
- On that note as well, if your 'niche or focus' changes over time or you think it may change over time, then you don't have to keep rebranding your website/blog if you go in a totally different direction if you use your name. Again, your name never changes.
Looking forward to seeing more of what your passionate about shared with the rest of the world. Now get going and name that side hustle!