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Branding Specialist at BizNameWiz.com
If you’re like many other entrepreneurs, then coming up with a name for your business is one of the hardest parts! The possibilities seem endless and since it will be the cornerstone of your branding, you want to make sure it’s perfect. Likewise, your username represents your business everywhere you want to have a presence on the internet. Since the internet is an indispensable tool to market your business, you should put an equal amount of effort into ensuring you pick a name that works on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and everywhere else you want to be found.
In this guide, we’ll help you do just that. So, let’s jump to it!
What to do Before Choosing a Username
By doing a bit of groundwork before you jump into choosing a username, you’ll make the process go much smoother and come out with a better result.
💡Check Site Username Rules
No matter where on the web you want to create an account for your business, chances are they have certain rules or guidelines in place. Before you go through all the effort of brainstorming the perfect business username, take a moment to get the following answers:
- What is the character limit? Fifteen characters is generally the most you should use and is the limit for some sites (like Twitter).
- What type of characters can you use? For example, some sites only allow letters or alphanumeric characters.
- Can you use your business name to register? Some sites only allow personal names as visible usernames.
- Do you have to modify your brand name in another way? For example, some sites don’t allow a username to start with numbers.
Collate the rules from the most important sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and try and find a rough guideline for your username that will work everywhere.
💡Do Some Research
Depending on whether your a new business and how established you are online, you can really benefit from some research before diving into creating your username:
- Keyword research: Use the main word you identify with your brand or other key industry phrases to look for popular keywords. Use tools like Google Keyword planner, Keywordtool.io, etc.
- Competitor research: Try to find out who the main competitors are in your niche. If you’re a small, local business, try to find similar businesses in your area. This will give you an idea of how to choose a name that’s relevant, yet unique.
- Target market research: Look at who you are trying to sell to. Find them on social media and see what hashtags they use and what is trending.
Step-by-Step Guide to Choose a Business Username
These steps, and their order, aren’t carved in stone. Change them up or repeat them to suit your style and circumstances. However, completing all of them will help you come up with a great username quick-and-easy.
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas
Now that you have a good idea of the availability and rules for creating your username, you can’t start brainstorming ideas!
This is the fun part where your creativity can roam free. Although you should keep the limits in mind, don’t be scared to try new or whacky ideas as you don’t know where they might lead.
This is also where using a username generator can come in handy to help you think of new possibilities and combinations.
For example, if I want to create an organic food company with the “Harmony” in the name, these could be some possibilities:
- Harmoney Green
- Harmony Herbed
- Harmony Heaven
It’s helpful to start with a main word that describes your brand and to build from there. You can then come up with new ideas by:
- Adding describing words that match your brand (e.g., “green”)
- Adding prefixes/suffixes (e.g. -ica, -omatic, -ness)
- Using words that alliterate or rhyme, etc.
Step 2: Shortlist Your Ideas
Next up, you can start being a bit more selective by narrowing down on a shortlist of ideas. For example, using the list above, I might get rid of “Harmony Heaven” because it’s a bit too long and mouthy. On the other hand, Harmonica has a nice ring to it and is short and sweet but the meaning is too ambivalent thanks to the instrument.
That leaves me with two options:
- Harmony Green
- Harmony Herbed
Step 3: Research and Feedback
With a shortlist, try and find out what others think about your username. This can be as simple and informal as a poll or question on one of your social media accounts. Ask whether others like your username and what are the words, feelings, or first things that come to mind when they hear it. This will help you establish whether you’re identifying with your target market and whether you’re getting your message across.
However, be prepared to get different answers on different platforms as they might have different audiences. In this case, try to think about whether you want to optimize your presence on different platforms and how that will factor into your overall brand.
Step 4: Check if the Username is Available and Reserve It!
For branding and identification purposes, you want your domain, usernames, and business name to be as close as possible. It will also make creating your branding and marketing material easier if you can name your business consistently. If your username isn’t available, try to think of words you can add or changes you can make that keeps it recognizable. If the domain is taken, see if you can find a relevant extension that still matches your brand or the purpose of your website. For example “.store” instead of “.com”.
You can also further refine the username by repeating some of these steps. If your username, or something similar to it, is too widely used, it might be a sign that you should pick something new and unique. You can use online tools, like KnowEm, to see if and how much certain names are used. If it is available, and your sure it’s the name you want to use, reserve it everywhere you can! There’s no telling how long that will still be the case. Register the domain and create an account on all the platforms that are the most critical to you.
Bonus Tips for Generating a Username
Here are some extra tips and best practices to keep in mind that will help you generate relevant, memorable, and effective usernames:
- Try to keep it as short and simple as possible so that it’s easy to remember and find.
- Try to pick something that’s easy to read and rolls of the tongue. An outside perspective can be helpful here.
- Using rhythm, rhyming, alliteration, etc. can make a username more memorable.
- A business username doesn’t have to be a real word(s). However, make sure it’s catchy and matches your branding.
- Keep it secure:
- Don’t make your username and password similar
- Don’t use personal/sensitive information in your username
- Use different username/password combinations for different accounts
- Use a password vault
- Use a username generator to help come up with tons of ideas in no-time!