Every writer knows that it’s way harder to write something short than it is to write something long.
In a nutshell (ha), brevity can be challenging.
That’s because the shorter a piece, the more precise each word must be.
Now: consider the challenge of naming a business.
In just one or two or three words, your business name must convey a vibe, a feeling, a personality. Bonus if you can also communicate what your business actually does.
That’s a heavy load for a coupla words!!!
There are whole businesses who do only this: they’re called naming agencies. (I googled around and found one in Portugal with the attention-getting name Brands are Boring–not an endorsement, but I loved their site).
There are also free name generators like this one on Shopify that will give you long lists of (very weird!) options based on whatever you put into the search.
Well, none of this was for me–I’m a word person, a copywriter, and naming my business would not be left to others! (Disclaimer: I do not offer this service, or at least not yet.)
A few years ago, I went through B-School, Marie Forleo’s interactive video-based marketing course for entrepreneurs.
Marie quite strongly recommends using your own name as the URL for your website, as she has done, because it allows you to evolve and expand without limits, beneath the umbrella of your own name.
The only exception to this would be if you someday aspire to sell the business (never my goal).
So, early on in my training, I made a decision: my business would just be my name. No need to stress about finding clever, quirky, creative words to sum up the brand that is me.
But… plan #1 was foiled early on.
The Other Katie Crouch
I have a doppelganger who shares my exact first and last name. We were born less than two months apart, and we’re both writers (she’s a bestselling novelist). We both lived in San Francisco, then New York, then San Francisco again (simultaneously). And we have a long history of entanglements (captured in essays on Ozy and a podcast on Snap Judgment, I do recommend going down this rabbit hole if you have a little time).
When she first started publishing novels like 10-15 years ago, she grabbed our firstname lastname dot com URL and used it for book promotion purposes. The site was seemingly managed by her publisher’s publicist. I assume it got great traffic.
But at some point, she/they let the domain lapse, and my firstname lastname dot com became available. I was not alerted to this.
This is where porn comes in
Welp, someone in Japan saw that this site had good stats and decided to scoop it up. By the time I completed my Marie Forleo course and was ready to lock down my domain name, my firstname lastname site was a page full of Japanese characters with no images.
When I copy/pasted these into Google Translate, the result read like nonsensical soft porn produced by a bot.
I hired GoDaddy to attempt to buy back the domain name and, after weeks of trying and waiting, they didn’t receive any response.
So I got firstname middleinitial lastname, which was disappointing and didn’t feel right at all. But I was pretty committed to not naming my business.
Naming my business
By the time I was getting ready to launch my business full-time, I realized that firstname middleinitial lastname wasn’t going to cut it.
Time for naming my business. (UGH!!!)
It felt very weird to name it NOT my name, since I run my business solo. Why call it something that’s not just…me?
At first I considered Juicy Copy, but it felt like it could have icky or inappropriate connotations (and I’ve since learned that some people have an aversion to the word “juicy” the way many people do about the word “moist.”)
Any other word I put in front of copy ultimately felt weird and arbitrary. So, I turned to my initials: KC.
KC has a good ring to it, and it’s been my professional nickname for a long time, due to the plethora of Katies (and Katie Crouches) always around me.
The only potential downside, which worried my web designer who lived for many years in Kansas City, is that people would assume I’m in Kansas City. But I’m not super worried about that. I’m not that far away in Chicago!
As for the second word, I considered “creative,” since I love how that sounds and it leaves room for me to evolve. But it sounds too much like a creative director, which is a known role that I’ve never held. I also considered “copywriting” but… it’s such a long word. (I’ve since realized via LinkedIn that there’s a KC Copywriting in Australia.)
So: KC Copy. It’s easy to say. It says what it is. It doesn’t offend. It’s not stretching to be something it’s not. The domain was available.
Every time I provide my email (email@example.com), I’m grateful that it’s so short and simple!
Everyone’s naming journey is different!
You can’t really screw this up. Set forth and start the process. Google around. Much will be outside your control, such as what domains are available and who’s putting porn in your name.
Speaking of which, when I was registering kccopy.com, I went to check on firstname lastname dot com and it was not soft porn anymore. It was actual porn with images and everything!
As of today, though, it’s a blank page again, it looks like the domain expired again. (I highly recommend that you NOT go there!)
But I’m done with naming my business anyway. I’ve already got the perfect name. ;D