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.

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