Whilst I’ve been pondering the ways I can exploit my experience and skills to make money and eventually escape the rat race, I wondered how I should represent myself. Having an online identity relating to you as an individual makes a lot of sense if your business is heavily related to you as an individual too.
For example, if you have a reputation as a public speaker, photographer, life coach, counsellor, or any other similar service, it would make sense to have a domain name that uses your own name.
Having an identity linked to your career
I’ve been considering a career in coaching, primarily in ecommerce, SEO, and website management. The idea is that I help people learn how to get the best from their website. I can also help them learn about what traffic they receive and why. The goal is to help individuals learn how to maximise income from their websites.
I also could see myself doing coaching courses or education eventually, teaching the skills I’ve spent so long building up as well as the skills I’ll learn in the future. Therefore I imagine that some day in the future, there will be situations whereby people will search for my name using search engines. I want to make sure I appear right at the top of the search results. I want people to find me.
What variation of name to use?
Regardless of the precise career path I take, I thought it’d be very wise to obtain my name as a domain name. I wanted to use my commonly used name, rather than my full name. My full name is Daniel Jago Harrison. All of that together makes a 3-word domain, and pretty long.
However, I commonly use my short name of Dan Harrison. When I did a uk whois for danharrison.co.uk, I found that it had already been registered by someone else. So had danielharrison.co.uk, but that’s a variation of my name I only use formally.
However, the danharrison.co.uk domain had expired in July 08, and as of Nov 08, the domain was about to be dropped (i.e. deregistered). Due to a massive amount of luck, I only had days to wait for the drop date, and I used Caught.co.uk thanks to advice from Scott at Self Made Minds.
Caught is basically a service that tries to register a domain name the second it is de-registered by someone else (i.e. left to expire). This is particularly useful if you want to significantly reduce the risk of someone else getting your domain name.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll catch the domain, as there are many other people trying to catch the more valuable domains at the same time. Caught.co.uk has a no-win, no-fee basis, and so you just pay £30 if the domain is successfully registered for you.
I doubt there were many, if any, people waiting for danharrison.co.uk to drop, but I didn’t want to take that chance. So I used the Caught service, and I am now the proud owner ofdanharrison.co.uk!
Associating your name with your business is an excellent way for people to find you by your name, rather than your official business title. People are typically better at remembering names than job titles too.