Part 3. The name is part of the game
It took me a whole year to reserve my first business name “Florabeane” on a website, a whole year from when I started informally selling on Instagram to having a formal online brand and business. Personally this was the time I needed to grow into my identity as a paper florist and also, to have my baby.
(Why Florabeane? My handle on Instagram at the time was Photobeane, and it was an easy switch. My first name can be difficult for people to spell, but Florabeane was catchy and easy to spell. As my business grew, and a marriage and a mortgage later, I chose a new name that was more generic yet still captured the essence of my brand: Flower and Jane.)
Even if you’re not ready to share your work online, when the passion of paper floristry ignites your soul, think long and hard about your business name.
- Is it easy to spell?
- Is it available as a domain?
- Does anyone else have it?
- Is it too similar to others?
This process should take you some time.
You want to ensure that all of your online web and social media platforms can have the same handle or ID.
You want to make it very easy for people to find you on whatever social media you decide to use, beyond your website. (Yes, you need a website.) If you want to be a brand, a business, a presence, you must have your own website. It’s the real estate online that you own, that no one else can control or lock you out of.
For your name, write down your top choice and variations, and search online to see what else, who else, and where else this name exists. This takes time.
You DO want to be unique. You DO want it easy to spell.
Once you have the unique and winning business name that is available on the platforms of your choice and as a domain...yes, go and register, claim, create the accounts to represent you. Do them in order so all of your accounts are associated with a branded e-mail.
You will want to make accounts with the following platforms. There are costs associated with this, you will need to track the costs as a business expense. Remember, your own website is the most important. With a quality website, your other accounts will flow content from it.
- Gsuite (Gmail for businesses)- this is so you can become [email protected] and not [email protected]
- A domain seller, such as GoDaddy, you want your business name to end in .com and be sure to pay extra to make your details private in the WHOIS directory
These platforms are optional. I use only one of them to market my work.
- Pinterest (this is a visual search engine)
- Facebook Business Page (this may be connected to an already existing email)
- Instagram (this is an app for your phone although you can view pictures on your computer)
Don’t worry if you still don’t have any content to share on these accounts. Your accounts, such as your website and social media do not have to be live. That's right. Not even "coming soon". They just need to be yours. It is okay!
The first step is reserve your name everywhere you want to be. Think of it as making sure your kid gets into the pre-school of choice. A little due diligence (search and define what name works across the web and in real life), and it’s a walk in the park (make a list, and register each account!) You need a domain name (yes, a .com that represents your brand for eternity), and any social media handles. It’s a serious amount of due diligence....but will pay off later when you are ready to move ahead.
You’re practicing lots of beautiful flowers, organizing your studio, and you’ve figured out the name that works for you and your business long-term and done the legwork to reserve the name as a domain and across social media. This next step is one that legitimizes you as a business entity.