Should I buy a personal or a brand domain name? This is one question that comes up more than most in the personal branding community. Well, let’s think about this for a bit. When people ask this, what they really mean is, should I buy myname.com or should I buy mybusinessnmame.com?
The confusion seems to stem from a few common misconceptions about personal branding and what it’s all about. Before I go into what I think you should do, I’m going to break those misconceptions down.
Common Misconceptions of Personal Domain Names
Many entrepreneurs fear that yourname.com might be limiting from a business perspective. They think there’s a ceiling on growth potential if they operate exclusively under our their personal name. Actually, the opposite is completely true.
The second misconception is that it isn’t as professional as yourbusiness.com. Some think if we go with our personal name as our domain name, we won’t be taken seriously in business if our business is also our name. I would say that very important people like Oprah, for example, would beg to differ.
The third misconception is that yourname.com doesn’t resonate. We think we need a catchy and memorable brand name to get people to pay attention to us. This one, honestly for me, is just completely backwards. Memorability comes from the quality of what you do as the brand, not the name itself.
Should You Buy a Personal or Brand Domain?
When it comes to personal brand entrepreneurs, you should 100% buy yourname.com. That’s your best real estate on the internet. If at all possible, you want to own that real estate especially if you’ll be building a business based on your experience and your reputation.When it comes to personal brand entrepreneurs, you should 100% buy yourname.com. That’s your best real estate on the internet! You want to own it if you're building a business based on your experience & your reputation. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
When you get to the point of using your personal domain name for your business, a few factors come into play.
The first question is, what kind of business do you have? If you’re a blogger, podcaster, coach, consultant, author, or speaker, your business is based completely around you as an individual. This means doing business under yourname.com is the absolute best choice to build your personal brand. If your interactions with your clients are very personal and they’re 1-1, obviously, it makes the most sense to do almost all of your business from yourname.com.
Now, the other question you ask yourself is, do you ever want to sell your business? This is a biggie. If you’re building a business to sell it, you do not want to grow your brand using yourname.com. Nobody is going to want to buy a business in somebody else’s name. It’s not going to happen. That’s the only reason why you don’t want to have yourname.com when it comes to building your business based around your reputation and you as an individual.
When I’ve had this discussion with people before, one of the things they almost always come up with is, “Well, that’s great and everything, but what if I don’t know how I’m going to be building my business in the future? What if I want to pivot in the future?” Here’s the main takeaway from this, if you’re a blogger or a coach or a consultant, an author – whatever it is – if you’re building a business based around you, your reputation, the people that you want to serve and you’re doing it the right way, pivoting is built directly into your personal brand already. Think about it properly. The content of your personal brand business matters less than the person behind it.
If you start talking about one topic under yourname.com, I promise it is not actually that
big of a deal when you change your mind and start talking about something else a few years from now. The common thread here is you. As long as you are building trust, connecting in the right way, and are building loyalty with your audience through your online presence, they’ll be around.
That’s really what it comes down to. If you are creating a brand based around your experience and those you want to serve and you have no inclination at all to want to change that in the future regardless whether you pivot or not, you should absolutely buy yourname.com if you haven’t already done so.
Chris founded Youpreneur® in 2015. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of the bestselling books “Virtual Freedom” and “Rise of the Youpreneur”. He hosts our weekly podcast, Youpreneur.FM, as well as our annual conference, the Youpreneur Summit. Chris is based in Cambridge, UK.