Personal Brand

Why I Use My Name as My Brand

November 3, 2020

About four years ago I spent about $500 dollars on my domain name. I had to snatch it up from under the other million ‘Angie Li’s out there. I’m looking at you, a gynecologist in NYC… Several years later I haven’t turned back. Best chunk of change I’ve ever spent! Up until that purchase I […]

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About four years ago I spent about $500 dollars on my domain name. I had to snatch it up from under the other million ‘Angie Li’s out there. I’m looking at you, a gynecologist in NYC… Several years later I haven’t turned back. Best chunk of change I’ve ever spent!

Up until that purchase I played around with a lot of fun brand identities, slogans, and names. Here are a couple of standout examples:

  • SenseNotCents (sensenotcents)
  • Style, Smile, and Compile
  • Dare to be Foolish

So why do I lead my branding with my name and not something more interesting?

  1. Interests change over time
    Using your name as your online presence eliminates the risks that come with industry-specific names. When you use a brand name that sits with a topic such as technology or crafting it can become limiting to the types of topics that you cover (at least until your name recognition is established).

    If you change your product down the line it can be confusing for your followers and even harder if you end up rebuilding your website and email list from scratch.

    Unless you’re steadily committed to a specific product or industry for years to come, I would use your name as your brand.

    Instead of Josie’s Makeup

    Consider
    Josie’s Corner or Josie James
  2. Wordplay is difficult to spell
    I thought I was clever when I came up with the username “sensenotcents.” The challenge is that you cannot phonetically spell this phrase when someone tells you this verbally. It’s not until you share it written out that a person can enjoy the wordplay.

    This makes it difficult to remember the name, find the correct sites or socials online, and harder to share with people face-to-face. Even worse, should someone misspell your brand they could end up at a completely different website (even a competitor!)

    Save yourself the trouble and avoid excessive wordplay.
  3. Dual purpose for professional and recreational
    As someone who is comfortable sharing my personal interests online, I find it extremely efficient to keep my professional work alongside my recreational tasks (blogs like this, travel photos, etc.)
    In fact, hiring managers often look for passionate employees whether that takes form in the place of crafting a blog or a touring with a band. Companies benefit from hiring passionate people because they provide special zeal to the work culture.

    For example
    Imagine that you have an Instagram with pictures of cakes that you make. If you add these same photos to a personal website or blog under your name employers would see the following:
    – You’re detail-oriented
    – You’re creative
    – You make improvements to your process over time
    – You’re committed to your work
    – You’re open to trying new things (recipes)
  4. YOU will never go out of style
    As you start to shape your online presence, it can be tempting to dive in and find some clever company or band name to aspire to. Don’t lock yourself in a box trying to formulate the most amazing company name when you haven’t sold anything! Start small and start with you! When the time is right, and your company is growing you can always revisit the idea of naming your work. YOU will never go out of style.

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I'm Angie, your tech friend.

I’m an experienced lecturer and passionate educator. I specialize in information architecture and web usability. I currently lead UX research and design for Connected Home products at Asurion.

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