A good idea and name are not enough to make your startup stand out. You must also build a strong brand that appeals to your target market. Branding has become easier now thanks to the many resources available to us today, most of which are free. Learn how to boost your brand with these 4 simple tips:
1. Register a Good Domain
Find a good .com domain. It is the most widely recognized and the de facto industry standard. The shorter and more memorable, the better. If YourCompany.com is available, go register it now. There’s a big chance though that it isn’t available. Most of the good domain names are already taken. This means you’ll have to do some digging to find good alternatives.
An easy way to do this is to use a bulk domain search tool. Simply enter all the combinations that you like then click search. Sort the list of results by price to filter out those that are taken. If one of your choices is still available, go ahead and register it.
If there are no good .com names available you can try one of the newer extensions like .tech, .software, .media, etc. Choose the one that fits your type of business. These new TLDs are usually heavily discounted (as low as $2) for the first year of registration so you don’t really need to spend that much to have your own domain.
2. Set Up Custom Email
A custom email is better for branding than using a free @gmail.com or @yahoo.com account. It helps build trust and rapport with your potential customers. After registering your domain, you can proceed with setting up your own @YourCompany.com email address.
We recommend Zoho or Yandex for this. Both platforms are free and easy to configure. Though we slightly prefer Yandex because it doesn’t need a mobile number for verification. There are some technical steps involved so you may want to ask your tech co-founder to take care of this for you. Don’t have a tech co-founder? We can help.
3. Design a Nice Logo
Your first logo doesn’t have to be great. As long as it’s not downright ugly, you’ll be fine. You also don’t have to be a great designer to come up with a decent logo. Just make it simple and clean. Your company’s initials set in a good font and placed on the center of a square or circle with a solid color background (see our logo) is a good start.
If you’re willing to spend a little, just hire someone on Fiverr to design a nice logo for you for as low as $5. Use this logo as profile photo for your social media accounts.
4. Social Media Accounts
Aside from your domain, you also need to register a Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Opening these accounts enables you to do social media marketing and protects your brand from squatters and imposters. We recommend using the same user names for all your accounts.
Facebook requires that your page have at least 25 likes to change the username so invite some of your friends to like your page. You can also run a short ad campaign for a few bucks to get the 25 likes if you don’t want to bother your friends.
We also recommend registering company pages on LinkedIn, Angel.co and Google+ as well as team accounts on GitHub, Bitbucket and GitLab. Also reserve your blog names on WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger and Medium. You can use Namechk to find other available sites to reserve. This all sounds tedious but is a good investment in protecting your brand name.
None of these tips are really needed for a simple launch. You can use a free subdomain, use your personal email, don’t use a logo and ignore social media, and still be able to launch. But by spending just a few hours applying these tips, you’ll improve your brand and stand out from the competition. If you need a competent team to help you with your branding, we can set it up for you.