Ep#23 :: The pro’s and con’s of using your name for your business


Welcome to episode #23 of the Dreams for Breakfast podcast!

In this episode I dive into some of the pro’s and cons to answer the question:

Should I use my name for my blog and business?

There is a growing trend right now where people are choosing to become known by their full name AKA creating a personal brand.

This makes total sense, because in the digital age transparency is everything.

Especially with platforms like Instagram where if your audience knows it’s just you - then why go by a different name?

Using your name helps build genuine relationships with people because it’s an easy way to infuse authenticity into how you show up online.

That said, naming your business is probably one of the biggest decisions you’ll make.

And if you’re looking to turn your passion project into a profitable business, this may be the pivotal question you need to answer before moving forward.

So, in today I’m going to take you through some of the pro’s and cons, that will help you get clarity and take action!

Listen to the full episode:

Before we dive in, it’s important to note there is no right answer - there is only the right answer for you and your business.

First up: there are two important questions you need to consider as part of this decision:

What is the big vision for your business?

While you don’t need to have the whole plan mapped out for your business, you should at least have some idea of the vision for the business you are trying to create.

For example, if you’re a wellness blogger and you know that your vision is to continue working for yourself, that’s a pretty big indicator that choosing your personal name may be a good fit.

On the flip side if you plan to join forces with a fellow blogger to create a partnership or program that extends beyond yourselves - then this is an indicator that you’ll probably want to choose a name for your brand that fits your vision.

This is exactly what Jen Hansard and Jadah Sellner did, who started their Simple Green Smoothies empire together back in 2012.

There are always exceptions to this rule, but knowing the answer to this question is a good place to start.

The second question you want to consider is:

What is the lifestyle you desire that your business needs to support?

Hands down, the BEST thing about going into business for yourself is that you get to create something that matches the lifestyle you desire the most.

So, if you know your vision is to run a location independent business and create digital products and online programs, then you could totally run this using your name.

But if you want to create physical and digital products, then you’ll probably want to choose a brand name that encapsulates the vision you’re creating

This is exactly what Aileen Xu did who is the blogger behind Lavendaire. She runs a business with both her Artist of Life Workbooks (physical products) and her online courses (digital products).

Ok, so let’s start with the pro’s of naming your business after yourself.

  1. Using your name helps build trust.

Here’s the thing: - people do business with people! And when you use your name it already implies a level of trust because your clients are speaking and interacting with you directly.

Building your know, like and trust factor is the most essential part of creating a Love Brand - AKA a brand that creates loyalty beyond reason.

Way back in the day, Author, Self-Love Teacher and Podcaster Melissa Ambrosini used to have a blog called Path to Wellness. This was perfect for her when she was starting out as a blogger and Health Coach but as her business vision evolved and she became a published author, it was clear she needed to be front and centre of her business.

Which brings me to my next point….

2. Puts you at the centre of your business.

Using your name puts you at the centre of your business. For some people this is an easy decision but if you’re an introvert like me; or hate the thought of being front and centre of attention all the time, this may feel a bit uncomfortable.

Especially in the beginning because it requires you being super visible in your business.

While I don’t recommend going with a brand name so you can avoid having yourself front and centre of your business {that’s a topic for a whole other episode!} it's definitely a point of consideration if you want to become known as a thought-leader and the go-to expert in your niche.

Using your name helps to build your expert status. And over time this will lend itself to things like being a published author, or a thought leader who regularly is asked for their opinion and contribute to discussions in your industry.

3. It allows your business to evolve.

While your business may change and evolve over the years - the one constant is you and using your name can be a way for you to seamlessly evolve your business.

For example, did you know Gala Darling got her start in the online world as a fashion blogger!?

Yet, over the years, she’s evolved from teaching about blogging; self love and fitness, to her focus now which is money, abundance and mindset.

While her business focus has changed and completely pivoted, using her own name made it easy for her to seamlessly transition into different seasons of her business.

This makes total sense because as humans we evolve, grow and change and if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to be limited by a brand name you may outgrow one day in the future, then using your name may be the perfect fit for you.

Ok, moving right along to the cons….

  1. It can limit your future growth.

Using your name may limit your future growth because your brand becomes solely about what you do and create.

When you use your own name for your business, it can send the message you’re a one person show, but it’s not always the case. Think about Marie Forleo, she is most definitely not a one woman show and is backed by a team she lovingly refers to as Team Forleo.

But if you know down the track you want to create products and services that extend well beyond your name, then that’s your answer.

While it’s definitely possible to transition to a brand name down the track, you’ll want to consider that people will have already come to know you by your name; so it may be more challenging to get the new brand name to stick.

Either way - you shouldn’t let this stop you because as Marie Forelo says - everything is figuroutable!

2. Your name could change.

If you get married (or divorced!) your name could change which may cause headaches down the track.

But it can definitely be done gracefully - Jess Lively was known as Jess Constable before she got married.

But after she and her husband ended their relationship, she publicly acknowledged that despite the relationship ending she was going to keep her married name!

3. Your name may not be unique and /or hard to spell or pronounce.

If you’re a Jane Smith of the world then yes, it may be challenging for you to establish a unique brand and even more challenging to find an appropriate domain name!

So in this case {or if your name is hard to spell or pronounce} and you’re keen to use your name, you could think to incorporate part of your name and then relate it back to what you do.

For example Sarah Holloway AKA Spoonful of Sarah created a playful take on her name, giving it the healthy foodie element to it, which also makes it unique and catchy.

So to wrap things up, in the digital age which is largely powered by small and micro-businesses, there’s a growing trend of cultivating a personal brand which you are front and centre of.

There is no right or wrong answer, but hopefully these pro’s and cons will give you the clarity you need so you can move forward and get busy launching your brand to the world!

I’d love to know your biggest takeaway - find me on Instagram and let me know: which option for naming your business resonates with you the most?

Until next time, keep being your awesome self!


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