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If you have decided to turn your freelance career into a business and brand, choosing your freelance domain name is essential to publicize your work, especially since it is one of the main ways to convey professionalism.
In general, your web domain should bear the same name as your brand, but you should know what to do in case that domain is not available and also learn all the advantages that having a professional domain brings, so that you can boost your business.
Importance Of Professional Domain Name For Freelancers
For your freelance career to be successful, you must treat it with importance, seriousness, and professionalism. If you look at any business, you will see that the address of its website is the name of its brand plus .com.
What would you think if the address of your website is business.wordpress.com?
Surely you would doubt the quality of that business and you would think that they do not even generate enough income to have their own web domain and that if they do not generate income it is because they do not have customers.
If they do not have clients, it is because they do not offer quality service or products and nobody wants to hire them.
Maybe it sounds a bit exaggerated, but all that is what a potential client can think when seeing a domain like that and you do not want your web domain to ruin the chances of winning new clients.
Having your own custom domain, bearing the name of your personal brand, or whatever name you have chosen for your business, is something that will improve the image of your business and that customers will appreciate.
Some have the misconception that having a professional domain is expensive, but it is actually affordable and brings several benefits.
1. It’s More Personal
Having a professional domain shows that there is someone behind that brand, someone who cares about their work. If your brand is focused on you, your name or initials can work very well.
Both to use in your web domain, and for your presentation. This option is great for freelancers who value transparency and a personal approach. Clients with the same values of closeness will be delighted to work with you.
2. A Professional Domain Includes SEO
On the other hand, if you have a unique name, choosing it for your freelance business can be a great idea. Every time someone searches for your name on the internet, they will find your business easily.
The most important search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo, give special importance to websites with their own domain, favoring the positioning of their pages in the search results.
The domain name can contain keywords that also help web positioning.
3. Provides Credibility
Using your own domain helps the user or customer remember the brand. In addition, the image that is projected is one of professionalism and credibility, two fundamental factors when it comes to attracting new clients or keeping the ones you have.
The registered domain is unique and can only be used by its owner, which provides an exclusivity that makes a difference.
How To Pick Your Domain Name?
You must be careful when choosing the name of your domain and evaluate it very well, since that way your customers will remember you and highlight the market.
The first thing to define is if you want to use your own name and sell yourself as a personal brand, or if you want to be seen as a business.
1. Use Common Domain Extension
What names do freelancers choose to sell their services? Some prefer a great corporate name that fits any context, while others prefer to put their own name or initials.
But what is the best option?
It depends on how you want to position yourself as a brand.
If you plan to involve other freelancers on your team in the future, a corporate or business domain like businessname.com would be better suited to that plan.
If your business has growth prospects and you plan to hire the services of other freelancers in the short or long term, think that choosing a corporate domain would be more appropriate.
In case you decide to register a web page with your first and last name, it is also a good option.
Although you could also add your occupation next to your name so that people immediately understand what your page is about. For example johncopywriter.com, or amyphotography.com.
If your goal is to position yourself with a personal brand, you need to transmit closeness to customers or users of your services.
In addition, if you choose to register a web page with your name, it is easier to find that domain available, although if you have a common first and last name it can be more complicated.
2. Personal Name vs Business Name
Branding with your personal name is ideal for freelance and/or sole proprietorships.
If someone wants to create a reputation problem for you, it will be a direct problem against you.
“People buy people”, that is, the market and buying/selling is based on relationships. Choosing your name as your brand will bring that closeness.
You will have to expose yourself to the public online and offline.
You will connect with potential clients on an emotional level as well.
If they search for your name on the web, not only will your website appear but also your social networks.
It is more flexible. Your company will evolve with you: If your approach changes (and you go to another niche or start working in another discipline) your name will always be the same.
Desired name may be taken.
Among the pros, your client does not want to deal with a thousand intermediaries and talk to nothing when they send an email.
They want to know that they will be able to count on you and that you will be personally involved in their business, either because they have an affinity with you, because of how you are, because of your values, your hobbies, your voice, etc. Using a personal domain can convey that closeness to them.
When it comes to the cons, in case of having a work problem, it will be completely linked to you. In a company, this can be diluted but in the case of your name, you are you.
By using a personal domain you will have to get out of your comfort zone and remove shyness because your photo and your name will be public and part of your personal life as well.
Those customers who are interested in your business may look for it on the Internet. However, if you are active on social media – Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok – it may not be such a good idea for your business to be linked to your personal life.
Although, sometimes it can be hard to find an available domain because there will be many people with your name and, therefore, if someone tries to find you it will be more difficult.
Or the other way around, if you have a really unique name, it may be difficult for people to spell it right and find you.
It is easier to grow and have a structure that does not depend so much on you.
It does not have the benefits mentioned in the case of a personal name: a business name can seem more impersonal and less close.
You can use a name that makes it clear what the business is about and helps you with SEO. For example allaboutexcel.com
If you decide to change the focus of your business, the niche you go to, your specialty and you have a business name with words that describe what you have done so far, then you will have to start with a new business name from scratch. This is very important to keep in mind.
It will be more likely to get domain, usernames, and emails with your name available.
They might misunderstand you and think that you have a team and that you are bigger than you actually are.
You can maintain the separation between your personal image and your work.
It is often difficult to find a memorable and catchy name.
If you choose to use a business name, you could even take time away from work and let others take care of everything because your business is not seen as a person but as a team.
You can also do this with a brand with your name but customers will expect you to contact them and solve any problem.
The thing is, you can have a business name and still be yourself (and that is why you have to be totally transparent and not pretend that you have a big team).
But at the same time nothing wrong with building your services a name – it all depends on how you want to be perceived.
In short, you will have to choose a name that reflects very well what you do, for whom, and why you want your business to be remembered.
Using your name is a great plan, but if you plan to expand your freelance business and go beyond your personal image, a business name might be more suitable.
3. Create A Brand With Keywords
It is about choosing a name for your brand that includes keywords related to what you do.
It depends on the niche in which you operate and you can choose words such as copywriter, designer, developer, etc.
At a more advanced level, you can even refer to your specialization and use words like weddingphotos, javadeveloper, frontend, among others.
This option has the clear advantage that it helps to position your site, increasing the chances that customers will find you when they search for keywords related to what you do on the Internet.
Although it is also true that keyword combinations can make your domain longer or difficult to write.
However, the SEO positioning benefit that provides is significant.
4. Check Availability
It is not enough to choose a name that you like and that sounds good, but you should also check its availability, not only regarding the internet domain but also in social networks and mail if you plan to promote your website in different places on the web.
Once you have chosen your domain name and check that it is available, make sure to buy the domain and create the social networks or website mail so that someone else will not take it.
5. Make It Memorable
Do your best to use a domain that is simple, easy to remember, and gives you an idea of what it is about.
Avoid using complicated names or those that are difficult to write, this to avoid confusion when your client has to look for you or contact you.
A good idea to choose your name is to think about what your potential client usually looks for when they need to find your service on the internet.
For example, your potential client could search for “expert copywriter”, then your domain could be that plus your name.
6. Stick To It
As we already explained, your domain name should be flexible in whatever direction your freelance career takes.
However, that is a situation that should not occur. Ideally, you should be very clear about what you want to undertake and focus all your efforts on it, so you can choose a name and stick to it in the long term.
Keep in mind that if you later want to change your name because you plan to take another direction, you will have to start from scratch in terms of choosing the domains and looking for them to be available. It is a situation that should be avoided.
Places To Get your Domain
To acquire your domain there are several options available, you can buy it independently, included in a package of some website builder or together with a hosting. When you have defined your domain name, you will have to buy it to be totally yours.
Namecheap is a record of domain names. There you can check the availability of your domain and in case it is not available it will give you more options to register it.
The page will give you several price options and you can pay it to belong to you for several years and to renew automatically. This is important so that you never lose your domain.
Along with Squarespace and Weebly, Wix is another platform that allows you to buy a domain along with hosting. You will be able to create your website there and also get your domain ‘(when you pay for any of their premium annual plans starting at ).
This could be a very good option since you can find everything in one place, from creating your website to selling your serviced, Wix offers many possibilities to many needs.
And if you are planning on using WordPress as your platform, you can buy the domain together with the hosting from an external server such as Bluehost. This option is economical since you can get hosting + domain for only $2.99 per month.
What to Do When Your Domain Is Not Available?
It is very frustrating to have spent a lot of time researching and trying to define which domain is best for you and that when you go to register it, is not available.
So what to do in that situation? There are alternatives to this, so do not be discouraged if this is the case for you.
1. Buy The Domain From Its Owner
If you are completely convinced that a certain domain is your best option and you do not want to look for another, you can try to buy it directly from its owner.
However, you must take into account that this might be expensive because seeing that you are interested, the person may try to sell it to you at a higher price than usual, but you do not lose anything by trying.
Visit the website and see how you can contact the owner, or you can also use a page like whois.com to get information about who is the owner of that domain and get their contact information.
2. Use New Domain Extensions
With the changing times and the ever-evolving Internet space, many new and unique domain extensions have come into play. Unlike the generic ones (.COM, .NET, .ORG…), the new extensions are rich in keywords, such as .store, .online, .market.
Your chances of finding a domain name in these new extensions are significantly higher.
3. Add Words Before Or After The Name
Let’s say the domain name you want is not available. Instead of changing the name, check out the option to add words like “the”, “my”, etc. before the name and try again.
Think about word of mouth and whether the web address with the chosen name will be easy to share in a conversation.
4. Try To Incorporate The Place (If Applicable)
Sometimes all you need to do is add geolocation to get the domain name you want.
This also helps you reduce the territory and add more value to the brand if it is a local business or if with your freelance work you can usually only serve people from a certain location, for example, if you are a photographer.
5. Use Creativity Tools
There are multiple tools available that can help you find a domain name that works. You can get help from domain name generators to get ideas and suggestions for available names.
Tools like these use multiple techniques to intelligently modify existing keywords to share a customizable domain name.
Choose Well And Be Sure Of Your Decision
The domain name is a crucial factor for your presence on the internet and can have a significant impact on your brand and business in general.
Therefore, before deciding on a domain name, make sure you are 100% satisfied with the chosen domain, as it should be the name you use in the long term, both for your website and email accounts.