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30.05.2018

Choosing a name for your freelancer business: your name vs. a company name


When thinking about starting a new business, there are a few questions everyone will ask themselves. “What do I name my business?” is one of the most common and controversial questions when starting out as a freelancer. Are you also struggling with this?

Some people want to go for a big corporate name that suits everything from a small freelancer to a big corporation. Others are just happy to go along with their own name or initials.

But what’s the best choice? That depends. There are advantages and disadvantages to both picking your personal name and choosing a business-y one. In this article, we’ll cover those – with our list, you’ll be able to decide which option suitsyourfreelance business best.
 

Pros of branding your business under your own name

1. More personal

Picking your own name 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, your own name, your initials or a wordplay based on one of those can work extremely well.

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.

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. Well, 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 is.
 

Cons of branding your business under your own name

1. Could hamper growth in the long run

Picking a personal name might seem like a good idea at the start of your business. But take a second and think about what would happen when you have a team behind you or are part of important meetings with huge corporations. Just going by your name tends to be perceived as less professional and could hurt your long-term chances.

2. Hard to sell a business named after you if you quit

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 business. But it’s good to consider. Once you have a solid network of clients, selling might become a possibility. 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 business are going to look it up online. There’s just no way around it in the Internet age, and more’s going to pop up than your carefully-crafted website. If you’re someone who share a lot of their personal life on platforms like Facebook or Instagram, you might not want that kind of content to pop up when people look up your company.
 

Benefits of choosing a general business name

1. Appears more professional

A “real 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 get from your name, that’s something to consider.

2. More likely to land you better paying clients

Big attracts big. Many larger companies won’t prefer to work with what they see as small freelancer companies. If your name indicates a certain size, you will be most likely to get contracts from bigger companies. That tends to be where you’ll find the big bucks.

3. More relatable for future team members

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, 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 than personal ones.

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 go with personal names – they allow you to skip that whole process.

3. Potentially not as flexible as a personal name

Finally, a company 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. Names need to be specific and marketer-friendly, and for some businesses, a made-up name won’t work for those purposes.

 

What name are you picking for your freelancer business? Share it in the comments below this article!

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