The Importance of Your Name
Get it right the first time
Is your Content Creator name setting you up for success? Have you chosen a name that is going to be with you for a year? Two Years? Five years? Are you the next Ninja? Shroud? Dr. Disrespect? It is going to take you a long time to reach the success you want, and the very last thing you want to do is find out that to be sponsored, affiliated or monetized you will have to start over. I’ve seen some people do it and it can be done, but it is messy, and you lose all those historical views and minutes watched, the real meat of your metrics.
I am not going to lie, I wish that I hadn’t used Paradox Gaming Network as my organization and I wish I hadn’t included it in my name. There is a plan at work here with the Paradox Gaming Network, it is just taking longer than I planned. Which is ok, it's a long term plan, but now I’m stuck streaming on a Channel with a 22 character name. Sure it is great for marketing, but it is horrible for discoverability.
So the biggest problem for me, is that if you google Paradox looking for me, you don’t actually find me, you find the word Paradox and since it's an amazing word, it fills the entire first page. Luckily in recent weeks, due to lots of hustle, I’ve managed to make myself really discoverable when you search for Paradox Gaming.
Unfortunately doing a google search on Jahlon is pretty disastrous, which is why I recommend you do a Google Search on your name before you decide on it and start making content, because you don’t want to redo work.
Sit down and really think about what you want your name to be. Is the name you are picking setting you up for success? Even if you are doing this for fun, even if you use a stupid, silly in-game name, you might to consider the long term ramifications of standing a brand under the name Killa97, or Prince Slap-a-hoe, or Bitchwhodontmiss. You might find it difficult to salvage results from these names and you may have to start over from scratch if you try to turn your Content Creation hobby into a career.
Remember, it's really easy to stop doing it for profit and just have fun. It is nowhere near as easy to suddenly decide you want to turn a hobby into a marketable brand.
You never want to have to walk backwards.
Imagine having 10,000 Subscribers or Followers and 2,000,000 views and finding out that to capitalize on it and make money you need to start over from scratch because your name is just not acceptable to sponsors or advertisers?
Most people would be devastated and they might not be willing to make the attempt. Even if they did, it would take a long time to recover, and time spent recovering is time not making profit.
Once you think you have a name, do some research to make sure someone else doesn’t have it and it is actually going to be good.
Check Google - What comes up when you put your new name into the search box? Is this the sort of stuff you want to be associated with? Is there already making content with that name or a close name? Do you want to be associated with them?
Specifically check the following sites:
Steam (If a gaming channel)
Your specific community websites.
Is your new name taken on any of them? You are going to want to have that name on all 6+ platforms. Now when it comes to Dlive I only have it as a reserved name. I'm completely happy being a Twitch Streamer, but on the off chance that one day I want to change, I already have my names reserved. Since it's free to register, go ahead and register and secure the name now.
I also recommend that even if you are going to Stream or YouTube with another person, create your own identity first.
Even if you are doing 100% collaborations, make sure you remember anything and everything can happen. You need to be your own identity first, just in case something happens and you end up having to walk away from the other person. Success and money makes people do stupid things, the last thing you want is to be the sidekick in a partnership and the other person gets the channel and the profits.
You should have your own brand, your partner should have their own brand, and then you come together to do collaborations.
This is one of my biggest mistakes. I worried about having a community brand first before I worried about myself. Then again, I’m not in it for the money. While my personal success will help bring success to the other streamers and video makers I bring under the umbrella, if my own success was stronger before I built the new community name I might have been able to help people a little better.
Next up, should you make a brand new account for your new content creation identity?
Brand New Account
I highly recommend when you start the journey of becoming a content creator, that you create a brand new Gmail Account (you’ll need this for YouTube anyway) and only use this account for your Creator Stuff. This way you will have your YouTube, Streaming Platforms, Twitter, Discord, Paypal (if you start making money) etc all tied into one email address that’s separate from your personal identity. I’m not going to go into the fact that in the United States being a content creator is no longer a hobby (IRS rules changed in 2019) and you are in fact a business owner. That’s something you need to dig into for yourself.
Branding Across All Platforms
I know some of you think you will only want to make YouTube videos and that you are never going to stream. That’s ok. Go and get your three streaming service accounts (Twitch, DLive, Mixer) anyway. It's free, what is it going to hurt to have them?
Why? You may just end up like me, jumping on stream one night, start streaming and loving it. Why get all three? You may not want to be on anything but Twitch today, but you do not know what tomorrow will bring.
I also know that some of you want to be Streamers and you know you don’t want to make any YouTube videos. That’s ok. Go create a YouTube account that pairs up with your new name, because after a few months of slow growth on Twitch or Mixer or DLive you are going to come to the realization that you need a second source of organic promotion and a YouTube channel is going to help with that, some extra income, and more.
Oh, you swore that you’d never be on the Platform with the little blue bird? You hate Twitter that much that you won’t use it even if it will get you 50 subscribers? 100 subscribers? What about 5,000 video views? What about 100 people on your livestream? If you think Twitter isn’t a serious platform for helping direct traffic to your content you are mistaken. I’m not going to hold a gun to your head and tell you to get a Twitter Account, but I’m going to tell you that you are missing some easy opportunity for promotion if you just do a little hustle.
My primary content is Video Game work, I’ve had several Game Developers Tweet at Me or Retweet my work, that alone has been worth the daily grind of trying to remember to post something useful on Twitter. Getting a boost from a big studio often drives hundreds of people your way.
Now, with that said being successful on Twitter is a whole next level of content creation that you will have to study to get good at. It's not just a matter of using it as a hashtag billboard. One of the things we are going to talk about in the Using Platforms Properly is Twitter.
Now you will notice that I didn’t list Discord in the list above. That’s because you get to create your Discord and there is quite a bit of flexibility with Discord since people will be joining it via a custom link. Obviously if you can make your Discord Name the same as all your other names just for consistency do that, but I would not switch up my brand name just because the discord name doesn’t exactly line up.
There is a Reddit community for everything, and chances are if you are doing something Content Creation wise. It just looks nicer and neater if you have everything with the same name. Branding is everything. Reddit is another one of those places where I have my name slightly different due to being stupid when I started. Remember that 22 letter name? Yeah didn’t work with Reddit. That’s why I’m Paradox_Support at Reddit, which even that was a stupid name, but you know we live, we learn, we endure stupid names.
If you are a gamer, you will want to make your display name for Steam the same as your Channel Name because of the Guides and Videos Section. This is literally the easiest thing you can do to help drive views.
You can drop videos into their video section without any other commitments, and end up getting some traffic.
Other Platforms (Instagram, Facebook, etc)
I didn’t talk about Instagram and Facebook as platforms, but they certainly are. I’m not really qualified to talk about them as platforms but I do want to recognize them as potential sources for promotion. Again though, like Twitter, content creation here is more than just slapping up a picture and adding links; at least if you want it to be effective.