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Domains: Make It Personal
As a small business owner, you've probably given thought to building and growing your business brand — but what about your own personal branding? Whether you're an author, a coach, a public speaker, an event organizer or simply an entrepreneur with unique skills and expertise, creating a personal brand can give you wider reach.
One way to promote your personal brand is to register a dedicated domain so that you have an online spot where you can share your online portfolio, bio or a blog where you showcase your expertise and personality.
A popular option is to register a domain name with your first and last name. For example, if your name was Sammy Johnson, you could register a domain like sammyjohnson.info.
But just like with a business name, the options are endless, and with a personal brand in particular, there's plenty of room for creativity and making your unique personality shine through. benbookdesigner.pro not only feels personal, but also puts Ben's expertise front and center.
Make it easy for people to find you
People who hear about you, for example when you're speaking at an event or are mentioned in a newspaper article, will search for your personal name to learn more about you. A personal domain where you promote yourself makes it easier for people to find you through search.
Own your online reputation
What do people see when they search for your name? Do they see your Twitter status updates? That awkward photo of you in a banana suit? If you register a personal domain, it's easier to control your online reputation and present people with the best version of yourself.
Make your personal domain memorable
A bland or long URL is awkward to mention in conversation and instantly forgettable. A domain with your name — or a combination of your name and expertise or an aspect of your personality — is much easier to remember.
Get an email address that's really personal
As a small business owner, you want to stay away from free email addresses (like the ones ending in @gmail.com or @hotmail.com) when contacting customers, clients or potential clients. The same goes for representing yourself professionally.
You can use your company email address, of course, but when you're trying to build a personal brand, it's not always the best choice. The business name may not be right for your personal brand or you may want to have an email address that will last you for a lifetime and is independent of what business you're running at any given time. A dedicated domain for your personal brand gives you that opportunity.
Share your personal thoughts and insights
There are many free online blog platforms — from WordPress to Medium — but having your own personal domain adds weight to your words. After all, if you're publishing your insights on a domain with (part of) your name in the URL, you're putting your personal reputation on the line, more emphatically so than on a generic site.
A spot for your online portfolio
There are also many free portfolio sites (like Crevado or Dribbble), but if you go that route, you run the risk of putting a lot of effort into sites that may later disappear or charge a fee. With your own domain, you're in control and can easily re-direct to a new free-site or your own site when the time is right.
How to Register a Domain Name for Your Personal Brand
Registering a domain for your personal brand is an easy process. You just need to look up your personal name (or the creative name for your personal brand) on a domain registrar's website and pay a fee to register it for a year or longer. There's an option to pay extra to make your personal information — like your phone number, email, and address — not publicly accessible.
You have many interesting domain extensions to choose from. For personal branding, some domain extension to consider are .me, .info, and .pro.
A dedicated domain for your personal brand may feel like an ego trip — but it can be a smart move on your journey to success.