How to Pick a Million Dollar Name

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You’ve probably heard the expression, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover,’ but the reality is most people do judge books by their covers. In fact, they do the same with most products, services and websites. Here’s why you want to carefully consider any name you choose…

Back in 1982, there was a book called Astrological Love by Nora Hayden. The book sold less than 5,000 copies and eventually went out of print. A man found this book while strolling through the remainder bin in a bookstore. He flipped through a few pages and thought the content was fantastic, but the name was terrible.

So he licensed the book from Nora Hayden and changed the title to How to Satisfy a Woman Every Time and Have Her Beg for More. When it was re-published under this new title in 1998, it sold over 2.5 million copies becoming a New York Times bestseller with the exact same content and the exact same author. All that changed was the title.

That’s why names matter!

The More the Better

To come up with a name for your product, website or next book start by brainstorming different ideas. The more ideas you can generate, the more likely one of those ideas will be perfect. Even if you’re creating a free inbox newsletter or a $7 report, treat it as if you’re releasing a $5,000 training course. Every product deserves that much attention.

First, think about who your reader is. Are they entrepreneurs, working moms, survivalists, stock traders, or outdoor enthusiasts? You need to know without a doubt who your reader is.

Second, what is the desired end result of your product? What’s the benefit to your readers? If you were creating a Bug-Out Bag devoted to survivalists, customers don’t just want to survive but thrive after any calamity.

In your market, you may think all the best names have been taken so you need to use synonyms and antonyms. Visit sites like thesaurus.com and dictionary.com. Type in some of your name ideas and you can see the Latin and Greek derivatives.

Even if you come up with a clever name, you still need a tagline that calls out your market because this further helps them understand you’re targeting them.

Also think about rhymes and alliteration. Things like YouTube sounds fun. Double-Your-Dating is an example of memorable alliteration, much like Coca-Cola. If your title rhymes and includes some alliteration, such repetition can make your title memorable. Every time you have something memorable, it will stick in people’s minds and will be more fascinating.

Of course, make sure it works for your market. You don’t want to be too cute in the financial world. Your title has to match your market.

Eliminate Confusion from the Start

Also make sure you eliminate any names people can easily misspell and mispronounce. Eliminate names that are too long and any names that sound too generic. A financial newsletter called “The Trading News” is too generic people probably won’t remember what it is. That doesn’t mean your title can’t be simple.

One of my newsletters is called Working Moms Only. It is simple but not generic. When you say Working Moms Only, that’s saying this is only for working moms. The title calls out your group without being generic or too long. A good rule of thumb is three words or less, but definitely no more than four.

Most importantly, make sure your name isn’t already taken. Before you fall in love with a name, do a Google search for U.S. trademarks by visiting the U.S. Patent and Trademark site (http://www.uspto.gov) and search for your title. If nobody else has it, you’re probably fine (but check with an attorney to make sure), if someone has already registered that exact name, move on.

What you don’t want to do is create a logo, invest in domain names and websites, start building a list, and suddenly find out you’ve got to change the name. That’s expensive and confusing to your readers, which will hurt your e-mail deliverability rates and your credibility.

Once you’ve settled on a name, get it trademarked. It should only cost a few hundred dollars and any attorney can file a trademark for you. Also, get a relevant domain name. If you can’t get any relevant domain names, you may need to come up with a new name for the product because you really want to brand the name of your product since that’s what people will search for.

Check GoDaddy.com and see if there’s a relevant domain name available. It doesn’t have to exactly match, but if you can’t find a domain name that’s close, you might want to consider a new name.

With a little preparation and brainstorming, you can find the perfect name for your next project.

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