Understanding the Importance of Your Name in the Music Business

By Loren Weisman

It’s only a name! Right? No, it’s all about your name! It’s the first step of connecting people to you in the music business. Your name is what people Google to find your website, band bios, and tour dates. Finding the right name makes this decision-making process more important than just scratching out names on a yellow legal pad and narrowing it down to the one that everyone settles for.

Coming up with a name

Create a mixture of a name you like with what you are able to grab for a domain name. Compare that against what looks good on a poster, banner, or a pen. Then add in how it can be spelled or misspelled, and you’ve got a little more work on your hands than you may have thought.

It’s a good idea to do an online search to see if any other bands already have your potential name. Even more so, however, it’s important to see what companies share the name and who might have a trademark, copyright, or some level of marketing that tie into the name or phrase.

Avoid niches that might be too close to other bands or brands or nicknames that might confuse fans. When building the foundation for your brand, let it be yours and not tied to something or someone else.

Your name is going to be with you for a long time. Make it something that you’re proud of and do not see it as a placeholder till something better comes along.

Making your name memorable, easy to spell, and not too long

Thurston Sedgewick Beauchamp III, which is a whopper and easy to misspell, would also be a challenging domain name to use as well as making the branding process with that name a whole lot more challenging.

Do what you can to abbreviate and simplify. Also, consider the domain name when you create email addresses. Make that name a little shorter for every possible use in your branding in order for more people to connect with you.

Searching for availability beyond the domain name

It’s more than just capturing a domain name after you have a name that you think might be the one. Make sure it works across social media pages, and then go for it.

If you can’t find the name, look to other names that might add music to the end of a band name or simple adaptions. Don’t just go after a .net extension. It is better to grab all the extensions you can to secure that brand for you.

The top seven most recognized extensions for domains are .com, .co, .org, .net, .us, .info, and .biz. It’s a great idea to lock them all up, and it’s great branding if all are available.

Securing free emails for your name and brand

The following list shows the top eight free email sites.

  • Gmail: kittylikesavocado@gmail.com

  • Outlook.com: kittylikesavocado@outlook.com

  • Yahoo! Mail: kittylikesavocado@yahoo.com

  • Inbox.com: kittylikesavocado@inbox.com

  • Yandex: kittylikesavocado@yandex.com

  • AOL Mail: kittylikesavocado@aol.com

  • Mail.com: kittylikesavocado@mail.com

  • My Way Mail: kittylikesavocado@myway.com

Keep a simple spreadsheet for all the emails, blog sites, social media pages, passwords, and everything else online.

Locking up the free blogs for your name and brand

Lock up the six free blog sites with your name and your brand. Again, this doesn’t mean that you have to blog on each of these sites, but you can connect them and share from your main site.

  • WordPress.com: https://kittylikesavocado.wordpress.com/

  • Webs.com: http://kittylikesavocado.webs.com

  • Wix.com: https://kittylikesavocado.wix.com/kittylikesavocado/

  • Blogger.com (BlogSpot): https://kittylikesavocado.logspot.com/

  • Weebly.com: https://kittylikesavocado.weebly.com/

  • Blog.com: http://kittylikesavocado.blog.com/

Sign up for all the social media pages

Signing up for the following 28 sites for musicians as well as making it a regular habit and part of the schedule to continue to sign up for new pages is the best way to spread your name and brand across the Internet.

Google+ YouTube Facebook Live Journal
Twitter Instagram Tumblr Last.FM
About Me Ello MySpace Skyrock
Spreaker Pinterest LinkedIn VK
Flickr Vine Reverbnation Meet Up
Deviant Art Reddit Tagged Friendster
Snapchat Vimeo Ask.FM Music Xray

Like the blogs and emails, fill out the profiles in full. Add everything you are allowed to.

Get your name out there

Get your profiles set up on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Amazon. Musicians are always looking for reviews for their music but often times don’t think about leaving reviews for other people. It’s not only securing your band name on some more sites, but again, by filling out the profile in detail and putting some efforts in to your reviews, you may attract people to your profile page and get them to click through to find out more about you and your music.

Connecting through these other pages can connect you with a large group of people who may not be looking for you at all, but then be drawn to you from a review you leave for a musician, product, hotel, or restaurant.

Securing your name on other sites

Create a music publishing company with the name of your band. Even if you have your songs published elsewhere, secure that name as a publishing entity. Set up an Amazon account with your band name, travel review sites, and even your business legal entity. Secure the Skype chat name, KIK name, Yahoo! Messenger, and anywhere else.

Protecting that name

Copyrighting a name is not allowed. You can’t copyright a domain name, either. These are pretty big misconceptions.

The best steps to take for the protection of your name and brand initially is to lock it up so that no one else would want it or be able to use it and then look into the trademark options. If you’re able to lock up and have all those different elements in place with that name, then it’s worth going after the trademark.