A common question that comes up when I’m mentoring my clients who are starting their coaching businesses is around what to name themselves.
It can be a tricky question, should they go with their name, have a strapline, what about their domain?
Well, I’m going to be answering all of these questions in this post as well as covering some tips on naming your services and products too if you’re a more established coach.
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Naming your coaching business
When it comes to what to actually call your business there’s 3 main options, each one has some pros and cons:
Your actual name
The first option is to simply go with your name. Many coaches choose this option because it’s the simplest! However, there are a few things to consider:
Is your name fairly common? If so, you may have some issues getting hold of the domain name and social media handles, it could also be the case that someone else with a similar name has a business and that could be confusing. You might also want to consider if your name will be changing at any point in the future and if that change would be reflected at a professional level too.
The pros to going with your name is that it’s really great for connection, as coaches we are our businesses anyways so having your actual name as your business name makes sense from that perspective.
Going with your name also means that if your business pivots direction in future you probably don’t need to change your business name.
A brand name
Some people might consider having a brand name. For example, my previous business name was Uniquely Healthy. This can be a fun option because you can use your business name to immediately communicate something about your niche and message.
If you think creatively you can also come up with something very unique which has the potential of helping you stand out.
It could also be easier to find an available domain name and social media handles if the name is unique enough.
However, when it comes to that connection piece, having a business name rather than going with your actual name means that people may not immediately connect with you and it can sometimes feel like you’re hiding behind the business brand.
Depending on the name you choose, it can also be hard to pivot to another niche without the upheaval of having to change your business name completely (believe me, I’ve been there!)
One potential thing to bear in mind is if you choose a brand business name then, if it’s something you’d want to consider in the future, you have the option of selling the business and brand to a new owner. This isn’t something that comes up for a lot for coaches to be fair but it’s always worth having an awareness of that option.
A hybrid name
A hybrid business name is where you combine your actual name and another brand element, for example Wholeheartedly Laura!
My current business name came from my old business name which was Uniquely Healthy, which then changed to Wholeheartedly Healthy and then to what it is now.
I really like this option as it feels like it brings the best of both options into the mix. Wholeheartedly says something about my brand, messaging and approach and then also having my name in there means everyone knows who I am.
Once you have some business name ideas, it’s time to run them through a few checks:
Google the name and see what comes up
Are there any people / other businesses that are very similar to yours and where there could be some confusion if you choose that name?
Is the domain available?
What many of my clients are finding is that the .com is not available but the .co is available. I’d check to see what is live on the .com and if it’s just a holding page where it’s fairly obvious someone’s just bought up domain names I’d just go with the .co
Are social media handles available?
Check the social media platforms you plan to use (if any!) and check if there’s suitable handles available.
Check companies / trademark registers
It’s worth checking out registers of trademarks and companies especially in the country you’ll be based in to see if anyone else has your business name registered
If after these checks things look good then you have your business name!
- Buy your domain name
- Grab your social media handles and register the accounts
- If you’re planning on registering as a company do that
Naming your services and products
As well as your business name, the other things you might want to name in your business are your services and products.
Alexandra Frazen has a brilliant post called The Ultimate Guide to Naming Your Thing which is well worth a read, but here are a few tips from me.
Literally, what is it
Sometimes we can get tied up in knots with names, but can we just call it literally what it is? Would it make sense to do that?
Example: The Hypnobirthing Digital Pack from The Positive Birth Company
Brainstorm your key brand words
Consider your brand, niche and message. What words come up for you? Make a note of them and see if any of them spark off some ideas. Maybe you have a certain brand aesthetic, are there words that link into that?
Focus on the outcome
Think about the outcome of your product or service, do any words come to mind that you could use in the name of your thing that links to the outcomes it will be helping people achieve.
Consider the process
Think about the process you take people through in the product or service, is there anything about this process that you can use in the name?
What makes the thing different
What makes your product or service different from other similar options or what makes it unique? Is there anything in that which you can use in the name of your thing?
Ultimately, it’s worth remembering that it’s just a name, it’s not worth procrastinating over too much! Our businesses will shift and change and names can change too, nothing is set in stone so try and have fun with it and pick a name that feels good without getting super hung up on it being perfect.
What’s your business name? Which tip will you try to name your next thing? Let me know in the comments.
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