What’s in a name? If you’re an entrepreneur, it could be a lot.
Your name carries your reputation as a business owner, your credibility as an expert in your field, and your personal brand in the webosphere. With more than 7 billion people in the world, someone is bound to share your name, making it more important than ever to secure your domain name before someone beats you to it.
This is something I learned the hard way after discovering that adambinder.com was already owned by an English sculptor of the same name. This left me with two less-than-desirable options: the less exciting .net, or the lesser-known .me domain. For this reason, one of the first pieces of advice I give to my friends and colleagues looking to get involved in business or politics is to claim their own domain name. Here I’ll be sharing that same advice, bringing you my top five reasons to purchase your own domain name today:
It Establishes Credibility
Not only does having your own domain name look professional, but it also sets you apart from your competitors who do not. Your website can serve as your living breathing resume, highlighting all of your notable professional attributes and accomplishments. It can act as a central location for every event you’ve been a part of, every article you’ve been featured in, and every way potential clients, followers, and employers can get in touch with you. Presentation also has a lot to do with establishing credibility, and owning your own domain name means you will receive a corresponding professional email to go with it.
It Helps You Brand Yourself
You can control your image in terms of the way you dress, speak, and present yourself in person, but controlling your image online is a whole other challenge. Truth be told, consumers rely on the internet for many of their purchasing decisions, and while they might be interested in your services they must first be willing to invest in the brand that is you. Purchasing your own domain name is a great opportunity to build up your digital presence and develop your personal brand to influence the way potential customers view you both personally and professionally.
It Increases Your Visibility
Taking SEO into account, owning your own domain name is invaluable. While the overall Google search algorithm is still a mystery to SEO experts, the domain name is without a doubt a significant ranking factor. What this means for you is if someone is searching for you, having a domain name that is the same as your own name will catapult your website to the first page of a Google search. Considering that approximately 68% of users click on the first five links on a Google search, this acts as a great opportunity to increase the likelihood that they click on your website first.
It’s a Fair Price for Total Control
If the thought of having to pay for your own domain name is what’s holding you back, hear me out – it’s worth it. While the temptation to start your personal blog on a free hosting site might sound like the best deal, the negatives will most likely outweigh the positives. While free hosting sites offer some customizability, it does not come close to the complete control you will have over the look and feel of a website you personally own. Spending an extra few dollars every month to be able to customize your website to fit your brand image and professional standard will prove to be a priceless payoff.
To add to this customizability, around 700 new TLDs (top-level domains) are either available now or will be in the near future. These include more specialized domains specific to your title or field, including .actor, .agency, .guru, and so on. You can even purchase negative TLDs, such as .sucks, to prevent someone else from buying it and using it to tarnish your brand identity. You can find a full list of new and upcoming TLDs here.
It Could Be Useful in the Future
We are living in the age of overnight success stories, and with the way the internet works now, you really never know when you might hit it big. An article you write could get thousands of shares, or maybe one of your social media posts goes viral. Regardless of the situation, it will only benefit you now to own your own domain before someone else claims it first and profits off your name.
Domain names are the new savings bonds – even if you don’t need one now, it would only be advantageous to secure it now in preparation. I even purchased milesbinder.com and milesashton.net to safeguard these domain names for my four-year-old son. In addition, owning your own domain name means someone else can’t use it against you. This includes all potentially popular search variations of your name – I’m sure Ted Cruz’s campaign team regretted not buying TedCruzForAmerica.com first:
How Can I Claim My Domain?
Checking the availability of your domain name is easy – simply go to any domain registering website and search. Once you are ready to make the move to individual ownership of a domain name, the next step might be to reach out to professional web designers and developers to help you create a website that best reflects you. At Creative Click Media, our team of internet marketing experts will collaborate with you to determine which domain names will be the most productive in achieving your personal and professional goals. Our experienced website designers will work with you to create a visually stunning and functional website to elevate the most important brand – yourself.