AskPat 134 Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey hey, what's up everybody? Welcome to AskPat. This is Episode 134. Thank you so much for joining me today. Before we get to today's question from Sami, I do want to mention and thank today's sponsor FreshBooks.
FreshBooks.com. If you go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How'd you hear about us?” section, you can get a free trial. You can try it for free. I swear, once you use this, if you aren't using this already, it's going to help you so much with organizing your books, with keeping all of your accounting stuff organized, and also helping you with invoicing and getting paid faster from your clients. Again, you can try it right now for free. Just go to GetFreshBooks.com, and enter “AskPat” in the “How'd you hear about us?” section for a free trial.
Now let's get to today's question from Sami.
Sami: Hi Pat, my name is Sami from London, UK. I really enjoy listening to your podcasts. My question is, how do you go about naming your products and websites? What process do you use? That is, if you have a process in place. For example, do you do a brainstorming session and then narrow down available domain names and social media handles or do you do something entirely different? Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Sami, thank you so much for your question. Choosing a name can be one of the hardest things to do. It's funny because I'm a member of different mastermind groups. Sometimes somebody in the mastermind group will say, “I'm creating this ebook,” or, “I'm creating this product,” or, “I have this new website and I need ideas for a name.” We always spend like 15 minutes just like, brainstorming, and it's one of the hardest things to do. So, if a name is not coming to you right away, don't worry. It happens to all of us. It's hard when you're on a call and there's pressure, and you don't want to sound like you have stupid ideas are something like that. That's why I recommend not . . . I mean even in our mastermind groups now, we know not to even try to figure out names. We're like, “Oh okay, trying to figure out a name, let's move on because we're not going to get it right now.”
The best thing you can do is to take time on your own, or maybe with another group of people, but have everybody sort of individually mind map. Brainstorm, like you were saying. There are no stupid ideas. Just write as many different things as you can related to that product or website or idea that you have. Write them all down, and don't try to edit them. Don't erase them if they seem stupid. They shouldn't even seem stupid because you're not even thinking like that right now. You're just sort of spewing whatever you can onto this piece of paper. Or, you can use a tool like a mind mapping tool, like I use Mindmeister. I think there's also another one called MindJet. You could use those to sort of organize a little bit. It's not really organizing, but it's sort of just being able to see what's in your brain. Then you'd be able to organize them by dragging and dropping, which is really helpful especially when you're creating outlines for things. But with brainstorming names, it could also be good.
Just write down as many as you can. You want to start to check them off after you're done; after you've got maybe 50, perhaps. Check off the ones that you know aren't going to work for whatever reason. There's a lot of tests you could use. Is it brandable? Is there a trademark for it? Is it easy to spell? Is easy to say? Is it easy to remember? I like, personally, not to use numbers. I don't like to have words that there are different spellings for it, like “there.” Like “their,” “there,” or “they're.” There's, like, no way to know if you're just listening which one it is. There are, of course, exceptions to the numbers rule and that sort of rule. You have to be careful. Creativity is good, but it can also ruin you, right? If I had a fishing site, and I said “real fishing,” is it “real” or is it “reel,” you know? It's creative, but can also get people to land on the wrong site. You've got to think about those things too.
Books, it's a little bit different. You can be a little bit more creative. But you've got to remember, people are typing in titles of books into Amazon and Google, so you've got to keep that in mind as well. I would take sort of my top 10 list and survey my audience with them. See which ones that resonate with them the most. There are people out there like Tim Ferriss who have talked about using book titles in advertisements and seeing which ones get the best click-through rate. I think it's a smart thing to do if you have the budget for that. I've done that myself with subtitles for books. However, you've got to understand that that's just one benchmark. Whatever the one that everybody else clicks on, that's a good sign that's a potential, but don't make that be the one. There are a lot of other tests you can use.
Talk to people who you talk with all the time in terms of online business deal. If you have a mastermind group, bring some options to the table and get their honest opinion on what they think. Talk to some specific people in your audience who you know are some sort of power audience members, and give them a little bit of insight on what you're up to, and have them tell you what their thoughts are. I think they would actually appreciate that, and become even more of a super fan, and be really excited whenever you come out with this, whatever it is that you're coming out with. There's obviously different things for books. For example, books, there's like different structures of what is a good book name. There's the idea of having some sort of catchy creative title and then a colon, and then sort of what the benefit is for the end user, which I think is really important.
You'll notice this with a lot of business books, for example. Made to Stick is one of my all-time favorite books, but that's the title of it. Made to Stick. But the subtitle is, “Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die.” It's very catchy but also informative title, right, so I know what I'm going to get into when I read it. That's for a book. For a website, of course, you have to do other things, like not only help people understand. The name of a website is interesting. You could do something like I did, which is Smart Passive Income, which is, people are sort of going to get an idea of what the site's about before they get there, but that doesn't mean that it always has to be that case. Think of Fizzle.co. What is that? Well, I don't know, but you go to the site and find out right away. Viperchill.com. That's another site where it's just a very brandable thing that once you get to know it, you can't get it out of your head, but what is it before you get there? You don't know. So those are things to think about.
You also have to think about, like you said, is that domain available? If it's not available at the .com, and it is available on the other ones, do you get it? Again, that's up to you but there are successful blogs out there, big blogs out there, that live on the .net and not the .com. Problogger.net. Zenhabits.net. Even Leadpages.net is the main site. So those are some things to think about as well. Also social media accounts, you want to put . . . you know, are those available too at the domain name that you're getting? There's a lot of things to consider here, but I wouldn't let one or two of those things stop you from moving forward if you really think it's an idea that you like, it's not trademarked, and you can use it, and it just seems to work with you and your audience.
So Sami, I know I don't have a specific formula, and I know it's hard because there's a lot of variables involved, but I think that gives you some ideas on brainstorming and sort of how to move forward after that. So Sami, thank you so much for your question. I really appreciate it. An AskPat t-shirt is headed your way. For those of you listening, if you have an AskPat t-shirt . . . No. That's weird. That came out wrong. If you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show and you'd like to get an AskPat t-shirt as a result, there you go. You can head on over to AskPat.com.
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I also want to end with a quote, as I always do, and this quote today comes from Sally Hogshead, amazing woman. I've seen her speak on stage before. She says this: “Any idea is only as valuable as its ability to solve a problem.”
Thank you, Sally. Thank you to everybody out there listening. I appreciate you. Please leave a review on iTunes if you have the time. Cheers, take care, and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat.
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