What’s in a Name? Playing the Name Game

Who would have thought coming up with a unique name for my freelance business and blog would be so difficult?

My mom named me Linda Christine Philpott. Through marriages, divorces, and taking my step-dad’s name, my last name has legally changed multiple times from Berry to Mann to Mann-Berry and finally becoming Mann-Iiames 13 years ago. When I was 30 years old I started going by my middle name: Christy. Online I’ve gone by Linda Christine Mann-Iiames and a variety of parts of my name and initials.

All this name changing has caused challenges when doing background and credit checks, accessing medical and educational records, and even doing a Google search for myself. This made me highly aware of the importance of having a unique, yet unchanging name for my freelance business and blog. So I started brainstorming ideas.

Rainbow

My first freelance business was called Mann on the Run and I used a little stuffed Rottweiler puppy as my mascot. I wanted to be seen as friendly yet energetic. I wrote everything from press releases and advertising to theater reviews and business profiles for magazines. I thought about resurrecting the name, but my skillset, education, and interests are more diverse now, so I wanted something more encompassing of all my writing, editing, and design abilities.

When I was finishing my Communications degree in Technical Writing I used a rainbow as my portfolio image with the tagline: A Multifaceted Approach to Professional Communications. I decided I would call my business Rainbow Communications and started thinking about marketing and web design. Then, on a whim, I Googled the name and came up with a variety of companies who already used it or something very similar. I wanted something unique so there would be NO confusion when clients tried to find me online. How disappointing!

Back to the drawing board. I was leaning toward an animal logo, so I thought about my favorite animals and business or blog names that would go with them. I love the colors of the rainbow, so I looked to colorful creatures first. Peacock Communications: taken. Dragonfly Communications: also in use. I thought of Flying Freelance with a butterfly logo as the name of this blog, but another blogger already claimed the name. This was harder than I thought.

I looked in my living room and saw all my wild cat prints and thought of The Wild Wordsmith. I pictured a website with a background of animal prints and a logo of a woman on safari with a pen and paper in hand standing next to a Leopard. This could be good. Then Google again dashed my hopes; but worse than another business name, or writer’s blog, it revealed a scathing commentary on Sarah Palin. Definitely someone with whom I do not want to be confused!

I’d spent months dickering around with possible names while I researched the best ways to build a freelance business and made connections in the copy writing world. Finally, I determined I was letting this Name Game interfere with starting my business. I needed to create my online portfolio and start blogging so potential clients could find me. I could come up with the perfect name later.

Christy Mann-Iiames in purpleThen it dawned on me. No one else has my crazy hyphenated name. Just Google it, and you will see I’m the only one. My LinkedIn profile shows up, as well as Disqus, and even my old Myspace account. In fact, some of my other online personas show up too including @christyiiames https://twitter.com/christyiiames and instagram.com/christyiiames.. As much trouble as it has given me at times, it is my unique moniker. So, there you have it. My e-portfolio website and my blog about freelancing is just simply me, Christy Mann-Iiames, Freelance writer & editor.

I still want to name my freelance business and I am planning on creating other blogs and websites on specific topics with other names, but they will all link back to this website so clients will know it is me.

One last animal attempt: Elephants, fabled to have a fantastic memory, are my favorite animal so I thought of Memorable Communications. What do you think?

Has anyone else had trouble coming up with a business or blog name? I’d love to hear your stories.

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