The Secrets to Choosing the Best Freelance Business Name
Online freelancing has been on the rise recently. In 2020 alone, about 12% of the US working population started freelancing. According to Upwork, over 63% of freelancers would rather freelance than work a traditional job.
And since we’re expecting to see as much as 51% of the US population freelancing within the decade, any freelancer that wants to give their business a headstart in the market must first start by seeing their freelance career as a business and giving it a captivating brand name.
Why You Need a Solid Freelance Business Name
First impressions play a vital role in a product’s acceptance and adoption. And without a doubt, the name of a product or person goes a long way to shape the way they’re perceived and accepted by people.
Just as the value of a name is the reason why we respect some families and regard them as royalty, giving your freelance business a great name can give your business an immense advantage.
But we all know that finding a great name for a business, especially a freelance business, can be a complicated affair. So, let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room and figuring out what kinds of names would be best for you.
The Elephant in the Room
Freelancing, like the traditional sector, is multifaceted. The kinds of brand names that would work well for graphic designers may not work for programmers and writers and, in some cases, may even damage their business’s reputation.
Now, when it comes to naming your freelance business, it all boils down to figuring out whether to use your real name or to start by creating a business name.
But, before you decide what kind of name you want, understand that there are some pros and cons that come with choosing either your real name or a business name. Let’s look at some pros and cons so you can make well-informed naming decisions for your business.
Your name is likely the most natural pick for many freelancers starting their businesses.
But now, let’s see the benefits of using your name as your freelance business name.
Why You Should Use Your Name
- Personal Touch: Using your name breaks the first layer of building an acquaintance and sets the tone for friendly relations with your clients. Most clients don’t value working with a faceless brand because they hint at a lack of commitment.
- Accessible: Small businesses are usually interested in freelancers that use their name, and part of the reason for this is that they’re perceived as affordable.
- SEO Advantage: If you own a website, using your name could be a great way to leverage SEO advantage to build your personal brand and career.
Using your name is great when you’re new to the scene and looking to build a new career with little experience, as it can help you establish the foundation for a successful career.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Name
Here are some reasons why using your name isn’t always such a great idea.
- Could Hinder Future Growth: There’s a glass ceiling when it comes to building your freelancing business with your name. And that’s because they come across as less professional and unattractive to larger clients.
- Lack of Privacy: If you’re very active on social media, this could easily become a challenge for your freelance business. Your client can easily look up your post and find reasons not to consider your business for an opportunity.
- Difficult to Sell: This may not be a big deal for some freelancers, but if you’re considering early retirement, it may be difficult to pack up your bags and sell your business to an interested party. That’s because it’s carrying your name, and your clients deal with you as an individual. Or even when you manage to pull it up, it still feels weird for your name to be on something you no longer own.
- Lack of Brand Equity: If you haven’t built a reputation in the industry that you can leverage, using your name would make your business generic. Not to mention that it may even make it difficult for your audience to tell what you do. But many bloggers and freelancers that become popular eventually adopt their name as their brand name because it’s easier.
Choosing a premium name is usually overlooked or even avoided by many freelancers, forgetting that certain freelance businesses require a unique business name to succeed.
Now let’s analyze a few pros and cons of using a solid brand name.
Why You Should Create a Solid Brand Name
- Gives a Professional Look: Clients usually perceive freelance businesses with brand names over personal names as more professional. And one key reason may be the fact that they don’t appear like a solopreneur business but a well-structured organization.
- Better Opportunities: Remember the old saying that birds of the same feathers flock together? Well, that statement holds true when it comes to giving your freelance business a powerful brand name. The chances of your freelance business attracting more prominent clients are higher if you use a compelling brand name that aligns with your business.
- Attract Future Team Members: Without a doubt, it’s far easier to attract talented employees to a freelance business with a great brand name. The structure provided by brand names reassures clients and potential employees that your business has a strategic future and that it wouldn’t crumble at the first sign of adversity.
Another advantage is that it’s far easier to incorporate your freelance business and secure intellectual property rights and trademarks.
Why You Shouldn’t Use a Brand Name
Here are some reasons why a brand name may not be a strong fit for your freelance business:
- Filters Opportunities: Small businesses, in particular, or big businesses looking to cut costs don’t usually prefer working with freelance companies with brand names because they feel it may be too expensive for them to afford.
Smaller businesses value personal connection with individuals and flexibility. So, giving your freelance business a brand name may remove the personal touch they’re looking for. A way to avoid this would be to pick an appealing and emotionally impactful name.
- It’s Hard to Find the Right Name: Getting the right name requires research, creativity, and deep knowledge of various naming concepts and requirements, and this is something not every freelancer knows. The best way to sidestep this challenge is to leverage the help of a trusted naming agency.
- Not as Flexible: Picking a name that ties your business to a niche could mean you lose the flexibility to explore other areas you’re interested in.
Now that you have a clear idea of the pros and cons of using your name or a business name, it should make it easier to decide which would be best for your business. And if using your name is the best choice for your freelance business, go ahead and use it tastefully.
But if creating a solid brand name is the best option for your business, then start by crafting one that aligns with your business’s needs. And if you don’t know how to go about it, here’s a quick path to lead you to the perfect freelance business name.
Finding the perfect name for your freelance business takes time and is best done when the process isn’t rushed. So, grab some snacks, and a sheet of paper, flip up your laptops, and begin the naming process.
Ensuring Your Name Appeals to Your Ideal Clients
Your clients are the most important thing to consider when naming your freelance business. Your name must appeal to your ideal clients, easily communicate your business, and show your knowledge, skill, competence, and dependability.
And this is what makes freelance business names unique from personal names because if done right, they create an expectation in the minds of your audience. Plus, if you’re smart about your choice, it will let clients know what you do right away.
However, the main challenge with finding a great freelance business name is how to create one that stands out in the crowd. And the only way to find a unique name that is unique, impresses clients, and makes a great impression on them is to brainstorm.
Start Brainstorming Name Ideas
Understanding best practices for choosing a brand name is the key to making your brainstorming sessions run smoothly and efficiently. This makes finding words that align with your business, target customers, and services easier.
While brainstorming, don’t forget to check out other freelance businesses, get inspired by what they are doing right, and avoid or change what they’re doing wrong.
Try your best to generate as many words as possible that resonate with your business. After brainstorming, analyze each word and select the best phrase that represents your freelance business.
Use Taglines to Boost Your Name’s Impact
According to Entrepreneurs Inc., “the more information your business name communicates to your clients, the less effort you need to put into explaining it.” And the best way you can communicate more information to your customers is by using taglines.
Adding a simple tagline like, “we do the heavy research, so you don’t have to,” communicates a lot to your clients and reassures them of your brand’s identity and personality. Taglines provide context, clarify intents, and can deliver great promises. Using a catchy slogan will add more flavor to your freelance business name.
Get Feedback Before Using a Name
Before choosing a name, ensure you get feedback from your friends, family, colleagues, and selected group of customers to get an idea of how your clients could likely see your brand. Ensure that their expectations match the reality you’re trying to create.
Be on the lookout for anything they may not be too pleased with. Chances are that your customers may be unforgiving if they encounter them also.
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Grant Polachek is the head of branding for Squadhelp.com, 3X Inc 5000 startup and disruptive naming agency. Squadhelp has reviewed more than 1 million names and curated a collection of the best available names on the web today. We are also the world’s leading crowdsource naming platform, supporting clients from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies.