Grab Your Name Online

“If I had a child I’d make sure the web address for their name is available before naming them.” Personal branding guru William Arruda  at NYU speaking event.

William Arruda might be carrying it to an extreme, but many online marketers recommend purchasing a URL before registering a company.

Since most of us are committed to some forms of the name our parents gave us we should at least grab our name in the social networking sphere. If you are already known professionally by a name it’s probably too late to change it, but if you are just getting established it might be a good time to change it

Take the time now to grab your personal and business name in as many social sites as you can. For any business that has not already done it, grabbing the .com url for their business name is a must do.

Social Networks and Personal Branding

You can go to  knowem.com to find out what is available. If your can afford it you can pay them, but most bussinesses would be better served by using knowem.com to find the best name for their business that is available in all or most of the social sites they are concerned with and then doing the work themselves to register the name.

Be consistent, Remember Keywords.

When choosing your public name as consistent as possible. That’s where knowem can really be helpful as you can try a few names and see if they are available on all the sites that matter to you.  For example, YourName or YourCompany might not be available in many sites but YourName& Profession and YourCompany&Location (or your service or main product) probably will be. In other words, couple your name with your most important keyword.

By being consistant and in line with the way you are known you should be able to come up multiple times in searches you or your organization.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn allows you to create a friendly URL for your site to change the very forgettable URL  to a pretty or friendly url such as  http://www.linkedin.com/in/tomhartweb  .

To grab yours, go to your edit profile tab and look at the bottom of the “blue box” with your profile summary information. You’ll see your public profile URL and, at the end of it, a small little “edit” button. Alternatively, you can edit your public profile URL from your settings page.  Of course, if LinkedIn has once again changed their pages you may have to search around to figure out how to do it.

Facebook

Go to  http://www.facebook.com/username/ (signed in) and you can grab a name for both your personal account and for your business page (you do have a business page, don’t you?)

Other Social Networking Sites

Twitter is certainly popular, but most importantly, it has become a source for fast breaking news and the go to spot for reporters of all types. If you have a blog there are ways to feed your twitter site from your blog.

YouTube is owned by Google. Google is working hard to promote it so you want to be on YouTube. Creating adequate video content is off course the next part of the equation, but if you don’t own your name on YouTube you’ll never get the best search results for your work.

As far as other sites go, well, one of the key social marketing concepts is that you want to be where your customers and potential customers are. If your customers or potential customers are using other sites you should be trying to be on those sites and you should at least take the defensive position of grabbing your name.

Is there a new social networking site you think most companies should be involved in? Are the links we mentioned not working…social network sites are notorious for changing things so do comment below and let us know!