Other creatives who are in the process of choosing a business name often ask how I chose mine, Jill Lynn Design.
Today, I’m going to tell you this riveting (not!) tale…
My naming wasn’t full of drama, research, excitement or nail-biting, because I guess I’ve always thought that ultimately, your actual business matters so much more than its name.
Alas, here’s the story of how my business name, Jill Lynn Design, came about—and a few tips on picking the best name for your business.
I started freelancing in 2002 when somebody needed a logo and I realized, Hey, I can do that! I decided that to make it official, I needed a business name. I was married at the time (for the first time), so I went with my then-name, Jill [married last name] Design.
Then in 2003, I got divorced and had to change my business name. It occurred to me that I never wanted to have to change my business name again, so I went with Jill Lynn Design. Lynn is my middle name so it seemed like a safe bet. That wouldn’t be changing, even if I decided to change my last name again, which I ultimately did when I remarried.
But as it turns out, Jill Lynn Design works just fine. Here are my thoughts on my business name, and some tips that I hope will help you choose yours:
If you’re considering doing anything with SEO, try to have a keyword in your business name.
I like that my name has “design” in it—which is an important keyword, so that’s pretty great. Sometimes I wish it had “development” in the name—because I do that too. But hey, when I began, I did print…not even web design, so overall I guess I got kinda lucky.
If your business is YOU, use your name!
I like that it’s my name, and not a company name, because my clients get to work with ME. I’m an independent business woman, and I like being authentic and transparent—so it works. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with your name.
Do consider if you want to grow bigger than just you.
I never really had the desire to be an employer, but you might. Do you see it just being you in the future—or do you want to grow bigger? If you plan to have employees, you may want to choose a business name that will accommodate that evolution.
Think about how your name might confuse people.
Sometimes people think “Lynn” is my last name, or they call me “Jill Lynn” which is fine, but I don’t actually go by it in real life. Sure, sometimes I wish it was Jill Anderson Design—less confusing.
Keep it short and simple. Save witty for your content.
I like that my business name is pretty short and easy to remember. It’s fun to think of quirky name ideas, but if they’re hard to spell or remember, I’d say to save the personality for everything else about your business.
Don’t drive yourself nuts.
Maybe as creatives we can be too perfectionistic, but the truth is, choosing the “perfect” name is impossible…because despite our best plans, we don’t know how our businesses will evolve. No matter what, you can’t predict the future!
If your business model, services or ideal clients change, you might have to change your name—and that’s okay. You’ll survive.
When some of my previous clients grew from solo to bigger:
- George Costello creative changed to Costello Creative Group
- Ginger Berman Events became Events with Ginger & Co.
- Laura Beth Studio evolved into Intend Creative
On the flipside, Justine Clay changed her name from Pitch Perfect to Justine Clay because she felt like she wanted it to reflect what she brought to the table.
So when it comes to your name, don’t stress. Do your best. And when in doubt, just pick a name so you can get down to business!
2 thoughts on “How I named my business”
Hi, Jill! For my business, I decided to use a company name because my name is common. TOO common. I google my name and I see more than 10 websites with my name, but different variations. And the other thing is that I don’t like my name, and I want to be able to proudly say my business name to others.
It varies from person to person, but I agree with everything you said. In conclusion, don’t stress!
Thanks, Paula! It definitely varies from person to person, and if a business name feels right to you—go for it!