Picking a name for your Instagram account

Picking a name for your Instagram account

Alright Instagrammers, like I promised (I don’t know two lectures ago), we have five main things that we need to get done in this section of the Instagram Blog Course.

  • We need to get you a username,
  • an Account Name,
  • a Profile photo,
  • a Bio and
  • a Call to action.

Now first up your username. Now I’ve said this before and will continue to say this in the future. Everything on Instagram is changeable. Like you can change your account name, username, profile bio and your call to action any time you want to. You have not locked into your name your username your photo really anything. And that’s why I asked you to screw around in the last blog post as I wanted to to get used to the user flow because nothing is permanent.

What’s your Instagram username again? That’s that thing that shows up at the top of your account. It’s what you’re going to be known as it will be the thing that people generally type in if they want to find you directly. It’s the thing that’s going to show up every time you post or put a comment.

Now the rules of the game when it comes to picking an awesome username depends on what type of account you’re creating.

  1. If you’re a business that has a brand and you’re just making an account that’s an extension of that brand, then we have a set of rules.
  2. If you’re promoting yourself or your personality and we have different rules and
  3. If you’re doing something not directly related but you’re still leveraging this to benefit your business in some way, again a different variation of the rules.

Now if you don’t know which of these three you want to be a brand personality or again what I call themed accounts don’t really worry about it, we’re going to talk about that first thing in the content strategy section of this Instagram blog course. You don’t have to commit to anything at this point.

Overview of Instagram Business Account

Let’s say you’re a business or a brand and that’s why you want to get into Instagram. Whether you should even be in Instagram’s, not for me to judge. In this case, you will want to get the name that’s closest to your actual business name. It’s really simple.

You need consistency across social media accounts. If I go to your Instagram page and can’t tell that it’s related to your website, you did something wrong. If every name is different, well you won’t be able to get a cross-platform following, just because people won’t be able to find you and they’ll just stop trying. That is no bueno.

OK so first off try your company or brand name and if it’s available then, you know, hurray! you’re done. Make sure to use a lower case and upper case in the same exact way that you do it on your website or wherever and you should be all good.

Now how do you check if it’s available?

How to Check if my brand name is Available on Instagram

Well, there are three different ways you can do this.

Method one is actually to go back to that very first screen when you’re creating an Instagram page and then just try typing it in and you’ll either get an ‘X’ or a checkmark depending on what it is.

In method 2, you could also go to the dummy account that we created then go to your profile section and click and edit profile. Now in there, you can do is just change your username, but you’ll have to try to save it each time just to see it. So it’s one extra step.

So what is the best method to check if my Instagram name is available?

Well, personally I just like going to a Website called namecheckr. Yes, that’s right. It’s name checker with just an R, because you know, misspelling things are cool.

It’ll tell you if it’s available and if it’s available on other platforms as well I’ll do it all instantaneously. If you don’t own the other ones please just do yourself a huge favor and buy them all now.

But my brand name is already taken on Instagram.

What happens if your brand name isn’t available like someone took it. Well, that’s super annoying but it could be because you have a common name, unfortunately. If your name is Social Media Marketing Company, then yeah someone probably has that name. Also, get a new name. That’s a terrible name.

It’s kind of like if you’re an alien here and you want to figure out what human emotions were and what they do and you to name your account ‘Great Product That You Want To Buy’. Your options are less optimal but still doable. Now try a variation in this case.

Now my personal favorite is just to get the dot com version of your username. So if you were ‘Awesome Properties’, and that’s obviously taken, then you can be AwesomeProperties.com.

Now, why is that an awesome name? Awesome? because you get to plaster your domain everywhere.

Anyone who sees your post or page will see your domain and in some cases, they’ll go to your website. For example, a friend of mine runs WorkFromAnyWhere.com. He posts on Instagram under WorkFromAnyWhere.com.

That means that he can put that link virtually everywhere and yes it does actually give him a lot of traffic. Outside of that, I’d prefer that you just add like Insta or Instagram to your name because that would kind of make sense immediately to a customer who recognizes you from the somewhere else same company but this is our Instagram account.

You also try things like adding your location instead of awesome properties. You can be Awesome Orlando Properties or Awesome Properties Orlando. You can also put your brand subtitle instead. So let’s say your theoretical real estate subtitle is Great Properties on Demand.

Now that could be effective as an actual username. You can also generally put your niche in as a differentiating factor so you sell clothing and your focus is like petite wearers. Well, then you could go with Petite Clothing or Clothing For Petite. So it’s easy for you as a brand to get a name. Get your actual name and if that doesn’t work, then just add the dot com extension that doesn’t work or you just have a really crappy like dot net domain, then try adding Instagram or location or even your niche. If your business focuses on a subset of your market which intent you probably do.

Now Lastly if your brand subtitle or catchphrase makes sense then try using that doesn’t always work. Now between all of those options, it’s going to cover like ninety-nine point nine percent of business accounts.

So what do you do if you’re just a person and you want this to be your personal account?

Well, similar rules. Try first to get your actual name which unless your name is like John Smith you probably have a decent shot at getting it.

My name, for instance, is free but please don’t buy my name. I don’t negotiate with terrorists.

Now if you can’t get your personal human name, then well you know does your main web site use your name if that’s the case and you can try that dot com variant that doesn’t work then well we’re just going to go down a slightly different decision tree.

I don’t generally like seeing names plus locations or names plus your niche. Now, why is that?

Because it’s limiting and it makes the scope of your account seem small. Now, why would I follow Evan Kimbrell S.F. if I don’t live in S.F. Just doesn’t feel right.

In this case, what I prefer to do is use your first or last name plus an adjective. So what’s an adjective that describes you or more specifically your content. Don’t put Evil Evan if you’re an blogger. Obviously, unless you hate me. What are you selling specifically?

Selling a lifestyle. Use positive adjectives. AwesomeGreat.

If you think you’re a guru, then use master, expert. Do you think you’re good at saving people money and put money saver.

Protip – The best accounts with this strategy are one or both of these – Alliterating and Rhyming.

Alliterating means you start each word with the same letter. Sell cupcakes? Cute Cupcakes, Fruity Flower, Decadent Delicious Dessert or Damn Diabetes.

Rhyming is… you know what rhyming is right. At the end of this blog post, I’ll link to some website that will help you find rhyming words for your brand.

  • One is a thesaurus and
  • the other one is a rhyming dictionary.

Incredibly helpful especially if English is your second language. Have fun with it.

Now if this doesn’t work then just try your best to summarize yourself or what you want people to think of you, in the shortest possible title, you can. If you’re a personal brand then what are you known for. Mine could be like I teach ‘Growing Business With Instagram’ or ‘My Jokes Aren’t Funny’.

Lastly, if you’re doing a themed account, your options are wide open. Personally, I suggest picking a name that tells people what they’ll get when they follow you. ‘I Post Puppies Every Day’, ‘Free Business Ideas’‘Millionaire Motivator’.

Same rules apply alliteration and rhyming are extra good. They make it sound better and they’re easier to remember. People, for example, are 20 percent more likely to remember a name that alliterates versus one that doesn’t.

Let’s take to to the comments section now. Let’s try coming up with some names and see what’s out there. When you get a list of possibles you think might work, then go the next blog post of this section, where we’ll do one more quick check of do’s and don’ts for your title. That’ll help you narrow down your list.

Here are some of my favorite names for real accounts. There are some sites that literally list off 900 unique names that are available. Lastly here are two different paid services that will come up with a name for you if you’re really really stuck.

  • Crown spring and
  • Squad Help.

You know what you have to do next. Show off your alliterating skills in the comments section below.

What goes into a good Instagram logo?

What goes into a good Instagram logo?

Getting design done for your Instagram profile picture

Getting design done for your Instagram profile picture

Hey Instagrammers! In this blog post, let’s discuss the scenario if you don’t have something you can automatically use your profile photo. How can you get a professional profile photo done?

It’s going to depend on obviously what type of account you are right. If you’re a themed account or a business account then it’s a question of do you have a logo. If you don’t have a logo, I’ll tell you how to handle that life-threatening crisis in a second.

Cheap or Free options to get a good Instagram Profile Picture

If you’re a personal account. Well, this one’s pretty easy it just needs to be your face right, just minimize the shoulders and body. So what you need is a headshot. Now there are a few options available for that one. Options kind of vary a lot of times;

  • If you want to be cheap about it,
  • You don’t want to spend any money,

You can just find a friend who has a DSLR. That’s a pretty good one.

I would strongly suggest that whenever you take a photo for a headshot, you get as far away from a background as possible because then what they can do is they can just blur out the background using that Bokeh kind of an effect.

We talked about it in one of the earlier blog posts – having not too much noise in the background. That’s pretty important so that people can focus on your face. Ideally, if you have lights then stand up in front of like a white sheet of paper or a white sheet, that helps again quite a bit.

You have to do a little bit of post-production after that just to brighten up the back, but that’s pretty easy.

If you have a small budget for your Instagram Profile Picture

Now if you want to spend a little bit of money, what you can do is you can actually hire someone to take your photograph or you can rent a nice camera and do it that way.

Renting a camera is probably like the middle option. I’ve done this before.

The best camera I can think of for doing something like this, is the Sony A7 R2. It used to be a kind of an expensive camera. But not anymore.

You can rent it for like $40 a day. It’s one of those cameras, that’s so nice that it’s really hard to take a bad photograph with it. All you have to do is just kind of hold it down or get somebody to hold it down for you. You can even do timed shots with it.

The resolution is insanely high and it always comes out like a really sharp picture. So that’s one way of doing it.

But let’s say you don’t have that rich friend who has that camera and your stuck, in the same life-threatening situation again. Do not fear, Cameralends is here! That’s probably the cheapest way you can do it.

Other than that, if you want higher professional you can use my experience

  • Thumbtack is actually pretty good.
  • Also, you can Craigslist a lot of times – People list themselves that they’re offering headshots. (check out the services section on Craigslist).

There are even companies and startups that will do mobile headshots. They’ll come to your location, you go to a location with them and they take the photo.

There are even places where they just have a permanent set up, and you walk in and they take your shot, and move on. Those places are actually pretty cheap relatively. So you just go in and out in like 30 minutes. That’s how you get a decent shot, especially for a personal account. That’s really all you need.

Instagram Profile Picture for a Corporate Logo

Now if you’re making a corporate account, like a logo or a themed one, again it’s going to depend on what do you want to spend money on.

Cheap free options. There’s not a ton. I mean one you couldn’t hack it out yourself. You can use like Photoshop and just do it yourself. There are some free logo generators out there. They’re not particularly great. If that’s the case but I strongly suggest it’s just taking the text from your name and then just trying to stylize that. If you’re new to graphic design then it’s going to be really way too hard and a large waste of time to learn how to actually design a symbol for a logo.

So again, I just use text and try to position it just try to go through fonts. That’s usually relatively easy to do and sometimes you come out with a good outcome.

There are some other websites that are worth looking at. If you can spend a little bit of money for a logo. The one Website you should probably be familiar with this is – Fiverr. The whole concept here is that you can get something done for $5. So you can just look for logo design in the search option. Usually, they’re a little bit more than $5, so you can pay more to have more versions made, you pay more to you know give them instructions on the logo.

Sometimes they’re just templates, but usually, they have some pretty decent ones. You just have to make a decision about what you want. If you want something that’s modern or do you want something that’s casual and fun and you can tell that a lot of these logo makers are pretty goods. In some options, you can literally pay $5 and they’ll give you 30 logos.

There are also some pro designers who’ll work on an exclusive design for you. They usually take four or five days. Usually ends up being around $100 – $200.

Personally, I actually love and it’s called Shapefactory. So what they’ve done is they’ve made a generator for creating logos and it’s actually really good especially for Instagram like the way that they compile them based on whatever text you give them is as incredibly good.

This is something that you will probably use, for the copy accounts or dummy accounts in the future. So she later in this Instagram Blog Course, will start talking about like creating zombies and that’s probably where you’ll use it.

So what you do is you go to logo.shapefactor.co, and hopefully when you go to this it’s actually up because you never know if some of these newer tools.

So you just type in your account name, then you pick your logo mark and, then it gives you different variations. Then what you can do is you pick a category for your logo. It doesn’t really matter or you can just search up here for something too. So you could probably just pick something that kind of fits your style.

It then gives you different variations of different shapes that you can work with and it even gives you color variations. This is actually a really fun one to play with.

It’s at the end of the day it’s only $40. So I honestly I think it’s worth it.

What I like about Shape Factory;

  • All icons are really good
  • their text is good and
  • I’m surprised sometimes I’ve come out with logos in this, that I like more than the logos I paid a thousand dollars for.

One other option I think worth looking into is 99designs.

This is if you’re ok spending a lot of money and you’re actually serious especially if you needed a logo anyway and it’s a legitimate business.

Well, what happens here is it’s a contest website. Basically, you’ll give a description of what you want and they’ll ask you questions. It’s like a questionnaire. You don’t have to come up with all the stuff in your head to give you the key sliders. You can even pick from for aesthetic styles. Then it tells you to show them what types of logos you like.

Over time people just compete on them, so you’ll actually end up seeing anywhere from 20 to 100 different logo variations and you rate them and it kind of goes thru this like a trial process and then usually around seven to ten days later, you have something you want.

I also like the fact that it’s not something that you absolutely have to commit to. So if you don’t like what you got, you don’t actually have to purchase it. You can go to their logo designs page – www.99designs.com/logo-design and it gives you a lot of ideas that you can use. You use to decide then you can even go and look at other people’s logos and see how it goes. Typically, I think for a logo the range is $300. You can pay up to whatever you want really, but $300 is the lowest. I think the most common you’ll see is probably $500. Especially if you need them to do a logo plus something, like a little bit of branding work like Instagram or something.

This actually is something that large and medium-size companies end up doing.

I think that’s pretty much all you need to know.

To quickly summarize this blog post,

  • Again if you need a headshot for a personal count pretty easy. There’s usually headshot studios in whatever city you’re in if not, use any platform.
  • You can just hire someone directly to take your photographs.
  • Do you want to do it cheaply just get a friend who has a DSLR.
  • I mean you can even use your iPhone (if it’s a newer one) because the camera isn’t actually decent enough especially with the newest ones with the portrait mode. That’s one way of doing it.
  • And if you’re really lazy you could just take a photo you already have and then run it through Instagram and use their filters and kind of screw with it that way to make it a little more like stylized. I don’t actually suggest that, but if you need to get something done today, that’s one way of doing it.
  • And then if you need a corporate account or a logo for a corporate account or a themed account, I like shapefactory, I like fiverr for this and 99designs works as well.
  • One other one I would say. If you just want to hire one specific designer or one person, dribbble is a good one. Yes, that’s right. It’s dribble with three B’s. You can just go and look at all the different stuff they have and just find someone you like and then just message them through the dribbble system. This is how I actually find a lot of designers because they just post little snippets of cool stuff.  I love that style and then I message them and that’s how we figure it out.

Let’s run quickly to the comments section and see your logos. When you drop your logo, do mention the kind of account you have and the site where you got it from.