I don’t own the dot com version of my name, or any variation. I do own MikeSullivan.org thanks to someone dropping it. I was able to pick it up in a domain auction a couple years ago. I’ve always told my friends and family that owning their name is important, even if they can’t see it right now. In fact, as my friends were beginning to raise families, I urged them to register the names of their children.
I missed the opportunity to own the dot com version of my name, and it will likely cost me a pretty penny if I ever want to acquire it. That said, I’ve talked to some folks who own and actively use their names about why it’s important. So don’t listen to me, read what they have to say.
Owning the dot com version of my name / business has been most helpful for ranking (SEO) and branding. When I first bought the domain over four years ago, I didn’t know what I would end up using it for, but I wanted to secure it in case someone else had the same name as I. Eventually, a few years later, I ended up starting my own company, so it was very helpful to have the dot com version of my name.
– Jared Banz, JaredBanz.com
I originally purchased ‘demofish.com’. The idea was to train people on how to give great technology product demos. But I quickly found that my name was fairly well known in my industry, while demofish caused some confusion out there. So I purchased my name and used that instead. The result? A huge uptick in warm leads, especially from social media; contacts began sending me Facebook and Twitter messages with inquiries about training engagements. Very glad that I was able to snag my name. It has been most valuable to the health of my business.
– Matt Gambino, MattGambino.com
I struggled with using my own name as my domain because it felt rather conceited and arrogant. But as the owner of 2 businesses, a published author, a radio host and the owner of about 50 domains…I was noticing myself struggling to identify where different groups or customers should go to “find” me (My book titles, My business names, My blog, My Radio show?).
– Tara Kennedy-Kline, TaraKennedyKline.com
Owning my name as a dot com makes it super easy for people to find me – and more importantly: remember me. My matching email clearly defines ME as a brand and it also adds a level of professionalism that helps me stand out from the millions using generic email accounts such as hotmail.
– Lee Chambers , LeeChambers.com
In today’s competitive marketplace, name recognition is essential for creating a brand. People know what they need and you want them to associate that quality with you. As a motivational speaker, I use my name to associate that quality and value with me and my name, something that is unique to me and me alone.
– Gavan Ingham, GavinIngham.com
I was geeky before it was cool, and registered my name as a domain when I was 14 years old. (I’m now 25.) While I did it to show off in IT lessons, it’s proved a wise investment for adult life – not least when job hunting. My applications came from a professional looking email address, not Hotmail or AOL. If my prospective employer wanted to learn more about me and searched for my name on Google, I was the top result (in the UK, at least). I now work for an SEO agency, fifty6, and appreciate how good a decision buying my own domain was for search rankings. I’ve even bought my less tech-savvy sister her name as a domain – she’ll thank me, one day!
Chris Philpot, ChrisPhilpot.co.uk
Using my first and last name as my domain for my professional website has made my marketing easier in many ways. If prospects I meet at networking events know my name, they are more likely able to find me easier once they get back to their computers. I believe that I’ve received more traffic to my website because people are likely to use a professional’s full name to find them in search engines. And even though there are many new qualifier for domain names, .COM remains the first one people think of first. I have been approached by other professionals with my name, asking me to consider selling it. It is valuable Internet real estate so I will keep it and pass it on to my son when I’m gone.
-Bill Corbet, BillCorbett.com
The benefit to using my name as my website address has a lot to do with branding. I run an architecture firm that focuses on creative design. So with that, I have to sell myself and my unique philosophy of architecture. I am not selling plans, I am selling ideas and knowledge. What I want to convey is that when a client hires me to design their project, they are getting me personally and not a group of interns or employees. It is that personal attention that makes what I do different from what a larger architecture firm does.
-Ryan Thewes, RyanThewes.com
When I first started the blog, I was essentially a one-man consulting firm so it was more of an effort in self promotion – throw my thoughts on eCommerce and Big Data out there and when prospective clients were researching these topics (or researching me), they would find the site and have some insight into how I operate. That’s how I ended up getting involved in the TV products space to begin with, which ultimately lead to an offer to take the reins on AsSeenOnTV.com.
-Ron Rule, RonRule.com
…my business is based on trust and the relationship I have with my clients and my name is part of the foundation of that relationship. In other words, my name is an integral part of my business’ brand identity. (I am particularly blessed to have a memorable last name)! Having my first and last name as my domain name serves many important functions, including solidifying my brand identity. Equally importantly, it makes it very easy for people to find me doing a web search.
-Lori Lustberg, LoriLustberg.com