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Branding Under Your Name May be a Bad Idea — 7 Comments

  1. I have been going back and forth about branding under my name for a couple of years now and I still haven’t fully committed, thank you for your perspective.

    • Chiquandra,
      If you were my client, given your unique name, I would advise you to NOT brand under your name. Definitely own the url, and even start building some name recognition that links you with your business name and the service you offer. But building a business under a name that is easier to spell and pronounce will be much faster than trying to do it under your name.

  2. Lesa, I honestly wish I had not listened to those who encouraged “branding” because, as you mentioned, my name has nothing to do with my services or with the books I write. Unfortunately, it is too late for me, and probably for thousands of others who took that “branding” information and ran with it. Shame on me for not sticking to something that actually worked to benefit me with the SEO. Good advice from you, and in the spirit of hidsight, I wish I had known then….

  3. As much as I was tempted when I created my first website to brand under my name, I am glad I didn’t! I finally purchased the domain name for my name last year and have set up a separate website for services which did not really align with the business of the first website although they came under the same banner and kept my options open to redesign my name website as required. What I have done is kept the name of the new website similar to the first one and clearly indicate that it is part of the Group. Would that work for branding both for my business and my name, Lesa?

    • Vatsala,
      Luckily, you have a fairly unique name so I was able to Google you to do more research on your websites in order to accurately answer your question. 🙂

      Your Karmic Alley Coaching website is great. Nice layout. Easy to find information. This brand will allow you to be flexible as time goes on; bring in other coaches to work with you, create a coach training program, or even sell the whole thing.

      The problem that I see is that your other website doesn’t have a separate and distinct purpose. As a result, you are actually working against yourself, rather than helping yourself by having two websites.

      My recommendation would be one of two things, depending on how they fit into the overall plans for your biz:
      1. Don’t build a website at Vatsalashukla.com at all, but simply forward the domain to your main website. Only build a website there when it makes strategic sense and not just to make more work for yourself. (This is what I have done with the lesatownsend.com domain).
      2. Keep the website at Vatsalashukla.com, but completely differentiate it from Karmic Alley. Move all of the training to the other website. Remove nearly all of the mention of “Karmic Alley” at all, expect in your bio (creator of..) and when you want to specifically link to something on the other site (similar to how you’d like to other people’s content). Create a strategy for what you post on this site and make sure that has either: 1. a different audience from Karmic Alley, 2. or a different purpose.

      In making your choice between the two options above, consider which website you want people to see at the top of search results when they Google your name. Right now, your Karmic Alley website comes up on top when you Google your name OR “Karmic Alley coaching”. If you continue to develop Vatsalashukla.com, it will likely superseded the Karmic Alley website for your name and, depending on how much traffic it earns, maybe for “karmic alley coaching” as well.

      So, in other words, you have already done enough to link your name to your Karmic Alley website. You do not need to spend the time and energy building a new website or a new brand. Do option #1 above and focus all of your energy on building your Karmic Alley brand on your existing website. That is my advice.

      • Dear Lesa, thank you for a detailed reply.

        The second website is still a work in progress and your suggestions are ones that I have mulled over quite a few times whether to redirect it to my main website which is much older or use it for a unique purpose with a unique audience.

        The idea for the second website originally was to create a training membership website which I have put on the back burner while I wait for the MOSSVAT issue to get resolved.

        In the meantime, I have started publishing on Kindle and might just make it my books website removing the title of Karmic Ally Coaching and Training to just my name.

        You have given me much food for thought and guidance to finally decide what I need to do. Incidentally, there are 6 other ladies with the same name which makes it even more important to claim my name as a separate brand. 🙂

        • But, Vatsala, you have *already* claimed your name as part of your brand! When I Googled you, your website Karmic Alley, came up first. Followed by your social media accounts. You are already — without building out a separate website — claiming first place over the other ladies with your name.

          When I first set out to claim “Lesa Townsend” online, there was a real estate agent with the same name with a robust online presence. In fact, she owned the lesatownsend.com domain (she let it expire and I snatched it). However, now if you google “Lesa Townsend”, you won’t find her at all until the bottom of page 3.

          The way to solidify your first place ranking for your name is to send all of your traffic to your existing website (the one already ranking well for your name). The more traffic it receives, the harder it would be for another “Vatsala” to push your ranking down. I outrank the other “lesa,” even though she’s been around online a LOT longer than me, because my properties all outperform hers when it comes to traffic. And Google uses the amount of traffic a website gets (from all sources, not just search) to help determine how valuable people find the content, and thus, their search rankings.

          I wouldn’t recommend building out the new website, even for your books, until you’ve actually started to be known for them, separately from your Karmic Alley presence. Until then, another website will only dilute your traffic and thus, the hold you have over your name in search.

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