You have come up with a perfect name for your company and now you are wondering, what should your next step be? Before you get in too deep with your brand, there is a foundation you need online to stake your territory to make sure everything is in place before you go live.
We talked to Fred Cary, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of IdeaPros, and Laura Rubinstein, founder of Transform Today – Digital Marketing Agency, about ways to claim your online territory and secure a strong digital footprint.
Every entrepreneur who wants a profitable business needs to have a digital footprint. A digital footprint is an online presence that involves everything from a website domain to social network profiles and pages. To do that correctly with the name you have carefully chosen, you should secure the social media accounts, website domain, and usernames on all the important social platforms. Do that early in the process, but not before you are sure you can use the name you have come up with.
At IdeaPros, we insist on having “evocative names” and going through the whole process of naming the company with our partners. No matter how your process looks like and once you have the results, the first thing you should do is trademark it.
Trademark offices have separate classes, which means that if you have an approved company called Acme. You could use Acme Construction, Acme Software, or Acme Tools as well. They are all in different classes. You could also have an incredible name and then get a response from your trademark attorney that it is already used in this specific class that your goods, service, or app belongs to.
You have to make sure that it is available for a trademark first. If it is not, you will have to come up with a new one. If the name is available then you will spend $500 to trademark your business name. Start protecting it then move on to get your website domain and social media accounts.
When checking if your name is available as a domain name, don’t worry too much about your URL. Let’s say acme.com is taken. You can go with tryacme.com or any other combination that sounds good to you. If you love that name, if it resonates, and it is an evocative name not having the exact URL shouldn’t stop you from choosing it.
A good example is one of Fred’s companies, Imagine Communications, which is now a $1 billion company. He came up with Imagine, but the closest URL that was available was www.imaginecommunications.com. It is known by the name of Imagine. The URL doesn’t have to be the same as your name for your company to thrive.
“Think of your URL as your telephone number. Your modern telephone number that’s all it is.”— Fred Cary
To get the right name for your online usernames and domain it takes a bit of hunting, searching, and creativity. Luckily some tools can help us in that process. Keep in mind that you always want to strive for a .com because it is where people feel comfortable and it is a default for the majority of the world out there that you’re likely going to target.
The tools that can help you spark creativity are Lean Domain Search, Instant Domain Search, and Knowem where you can see all the variations of Acme. On Name Check, you can do the trademark check and app check as well. Don’t forget to consult a trademark lawyer for legal advice before proceeding to the next step.
There are five core social platforms that your business should have: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. If you already have accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn, you can create business pages within those accounts and it is not necessary to show who is behind the pages if you don’t want to be exposed.
On Facebook, you can set up as many business pages as you want in your main account. Then you can set up your Instagram business profile and connect it to your FB account. Once you have the pages set up, you can reserve the usernames.
On Twitter, just set up a brand new account. You can have as many accounts as you want as long as you have different emails. If you’ve been using a Twitter account that has a nice following, you can just change your username to match your brand.
Pinterest would be another account to have especially if you have a product to sell. For now, you shouldn’t stress about putting something on those pages. You can set up a banner image and a profile picture. You don’t have to do a lot on that account just to hold it. You can sit on a name without having anything up there.
People don’t want to just see what you have to sell, they want to join and be a part of what you have going on online. Make sure that you get all these things done. Otherwise, it’s like having a storefront with no door.
The “Idea Pros” at IdeaPros have the resources, experience, and tools to help you at this step or any step in the entrepreneurial journey.
We partner with entrepreneurs at any stage and who are ready to invest their ideas. Apply for an interview and let’s explore partnering together.
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