Welcome to part 3 of my Nicknames and Aliases series. This entry is about the struggle between your business and you.
This step might be unnecessary for many people particularly if you only have your hand in one cookie jar, so to speak. But let’s go back to a previous example I gave about a gamer (BananaBone) who wants to start up a welding business. As mentioned in part 2 of this series BananaBone Welding might not really describe to your market what it is you make or sell. Granted, it’s a unique name, but it just doesn’t tell anyone about your company. Do you sell on Etsy? Are you a contractor? Do you do underwater welding? High rise welding?
So here’s the dilemma; are you bound to your business name or your personas? Sadly, the answer is both yes and no. Don’t worry, I’m here to explain and help you out.
Let me give you a real life example using one of my personal business heroes. You may or may not have heard of the business woman / model Kato. She mainly got her start through her clothing line Steampunk Couture. She needed models for her clothing as well as photographers to get the word out. So, she did both herself. This gave her a lot of recognition as a model as well as a clothing designer. She would go on to own an LLC housing several websites under the SteamGirl empire (if you will).
As you may have guessed Kato is not her given name, but it is instead a nickname/alias she began using. Even though she mainly got her big break through the steampunk community, she has now branched out into various other areas and has been able to retain her image as well as separate herself from being only known as the creator of Steampunk Couture.
(This is a hugely simplified tale of her life and I encourage you to go check her out to get the full chronological story)
What can we learn from Kato and others like her? Simply that if you are worried that your image may become tied to your business, allow yourself to create a name for yourself outside of said business.
To do this, you do not need to use a fake name if you do not want to, you just need to be sure that you are known outside of your business.
This is to say that if you wish to take on endeavors outside of whatever your start-up venture may be, it would be beneficial to carry your good reputation and following with you.
No one is so one sided that they have nothing more to them then the business which they work. We all have different parts of our personalities that make us unique and different. When choosing to become a “personality” you get to capitalize on your quirks. Picking a name for yourself can help you to stand out not only from your own endeavors but from others as well.
In our current society people are more actively seeking out companies and services which are run by people they personally like. We are more likely to follow multiple things created by the same person if that person appeals to us in some way. Whether that’s because you have an adorable corgi that you take to the office with you, or because you post funny pictures on Instagram, it doesn’t really matter what your “hook” is. “Because the hook brings you back. I ain’t telling you no lie.” (Thank you Blues Traveler)
I would just give the suggestion of having an idea of how you want to address yourself in mind as early as possible. As I have said several times through this series, it gets harder to change your name the longer you go on.
As you gain a larger following, you might find it helpful to create social accounts for your persona separate from your business(es). This can help you further your reach by showing people all of the things you do. Many of your followers will have similar interests as you, especially if your works all interconnect somehow. Plus, as I said above, we are ever more interested in seeing how other people live their lives. We like to learn more about the people we give our time and money to.
Don’t feel discouraged if not everyone follows you on all of your endeavors. Some people might really like watching your live stream videos, but really not care about what you’re selling. That’s okay! This will also help you to see what projects to put more time and energy into.
So go ahead and be known to the world as BananaBone; owner of Dark Horse Welding on Etsy, night club DJ, and video game extraordinaire!