When thinking about starting a new business, there are a few basic questions you need to ask yourself. “What do I name my freelance business?” is probably one of the most often asked questions when starting out as a freelancer. Sound familiar? Then read on to learn how to name your freelance business.
In this article:
- Pros of choosing a general business name and branding agency
- Cons of picking a made-up business name
How do freelancers decide on their company name? Some people pick out a big corporate name that encompasses everything from a lone freelancer to a big corporation. Other freelancers are just happy to use their own names or initials.
But how do you make the best choice? It depends – mostly on how you would like to position yourself.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both picking your personal name or choosing a business one, and in this article, we’ll cover a bit of both – with our list, you’ll be able to decide which option suits YOUR freelance business best.
Naming your business after yourself
Pros of branding your business under your own name
1. More personal
Picking your own name for your freelance business allows you to tell a personal story. A lot of freelancer businesses are based on storytelling – and that’s because it works. If your brand is heavily focused on yourself, using your own name, your initials or a wordplay based on one of those can work extremely well. This option is great for freelancers that value transparency and a personal approach.
Brands that especially value a personal approach will be excited to work with you and will feel invited to sharing information with you.
2. Perceived as more affordable
Personal names also come across as more affordable. Whether or not that is the case, there is just something that tends to pull clients to “smaller businesses”. And part of that is definitely the price.
Generally, everybody understands that agencies are more pricey, so if you name your company after yourself, it could result in more leads because potential clients believe you are more accessible (even if ultimately, you are as expensive as other agencies!).
3. A unique personal name has built-in SEO
Last but not least, if you have a really unique name, picking that for your freelancer business can be a great idea. A lot of what goes into picking a name is focused around how unique it is.
It’ll be easier for you to rank your site on Google and other search engines if someone searches for your name. On the other hand, if you’re called John Smith, a Google search isn’t very likely to display your business on the first pages, regardless of how great it works as a business name.
Cons of branding your business under your own name
1. Could hamper growth in the long run
Choosing your personal name as your freelance business name might seem like a good idea at the start of your business. But it’s also important to keep an eye on the future growth of your freelance business.
Take a second and think about how the name is going to reflect your business when you have a team behind you or are part of important meetings with huge corporations.
Using just your name may be perceived as less professional and could hurt your long-term chances or generally, your potential of working with bigger companies.
2. Hard to sell a business named after yourself
Asking yourself what happens with your business in case you quit isn’t usually on the top of people’s minds when they start a new freelance business. But it’s appropriate to consider the possibility.
Once you have a solid network of clients, selling might become a potentially profitable idea. That’s not as easy to do if the business is stuck with your name.
3. Makes separating business from personal life more difficult
People who are interested in your freelance business are going to look it up online. There’s just no way around it in the Internet age, and they may come across more than your carefully-crafted website.
If you’re someone who shares a lot of their personal life online – on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok – you might not want that kind of content to pop up when people look up your company.
If it’s safe for everybody to see and you’re okay with potential clients seeing your holiday photos, then great. Otherwise, you might want to consider choosing a distinct name for your business.
Have you decided on your freelancer business name?
Choosing a Business Name for your Freelance Business
Benefits of choosing a general business name
1. Feels more professional
A “real” business company name just seems more professional. That might not be a rational way of thinking, but it’s just how our minds work most of the time. If you’re very concerned about the image clients will perceive from your name, this is certainly something to consider.
2. More likely to land you better-paying clients
Big attracts big. Many larger companies won’t want to work with what they see as a small business run by individual freelancers. This is probably because there’s a certain idea of risk when not working with another big company like themselves. If your freelancer business name indicates a certain size, you are most likely to receive contracts from bigger companies. That also tends to be where you’ll find the big bucks.
As we said before, choosing your business name depends on how you want to position your brand.
Here the question is: would you like to be seen as a premium big brand? If big companies are your ideal client, then probably not naming your freelance business after yourself might be a better option for you.
3. More relatable for future team members
Another question to ask yourself: Do you see yourself working with a team in the future? People who work at Amazon wouldn’t feel as good about their jobs if they were working at Jeff Bezos Sales.
If your business is likely to grow to a level where you have several employees in the team, you will want to consider what is more attractive to employees as well as clients.
Cons of picking a made-up business name
1. Can scare away smaller clients
Just as big attracts big, small clients might be reluctant to work with a company that has a bigger name than themselves. Again, it comes down to company names being perceived as less affordable and also less personal.
Small companies often feel more valuable working directly with individuals as they feel a personal connection and can often relate to a smaller freelance business.
2. Finding a good company name isn’t easy
The search for the perfect company name can be very difficult. It requires creativity and good knowledge of the field in which you’re looking to start. There’s a reason a lot of people choose to go with personal names – it allows you to skip the whole naming process and launch your business faster!
If you are wanting to come up with a good freelance business name, we recommend you follow these steps:
- Brainstorm ideas that come to your mind related to what you do
- Analyze existing freelancer business names – What works for them? Why do you like those?
- Come up with 3 – 5 business names
- Run a poll with your network on what resonates better to them
- Check availability
- Register the name for your business
3. Potentially not as flexible as a personal name
Finally, a made-up business name might not be as flexible as a personal one. A lot of good company names highlight what the company does. But if that changes, the name is worse than obsolete – it promises something it won’t actually provide.
Business names need to be specific and marketer-friendly, and for some businesses, a made-up name won’t work for those purposes. This applies to freelance business as well.
How to name my freelance business? Quick Checklist
Once you have read through the pros and cons of both naming your freelance business after yourself or coming up with a brand new name, these questions should help you with your decision:
- How do you want to position yourself?
- Do you have a unique name?
- Who is your ideal client?
- Is being accessible and more personal important to you?
- How do other freelancers you follow position themselves?
- Do you want to have a team in the future?
- Would you like to be seen as affordable?
Also never forget that businesses evolve and you might want to change the direction of your freelance business in the future. That’s not a bad thing!
If you are just starting out, we’d recommend you name your business after yourself and trade with your name – you’ll have the option to integrate your brand in business in the future and simply continue with your personal brand separately.
What name are you picking for your freelancer business or how did you name it? Share it in the comments below this article!
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