I get asked this question a lot and to be frank and to the point, I’m going to say to use your name.
Now if you want the case on why, I’m going to outline 3 reasons as to why I have this response.
There’s obviously cases for both sides, but I want to share with you some thoughts as to why you should think about using your name.
1. People do business with people
This is especially true in the freelance or consulting space.
When you are starting out, there are a ton of distractions that force decisions on you that to be honest, don’t matter.
What matters is getting out there and getting those first few clients. How you get them is by making conversations and talking about problems that you can solve.
Chris Ducker, founder of Youpreneur, always says that people do business with other people. Forming that P-2-P relationship is the foundation of business.
I couldn’t agree more. Here’s the thing, if you continue the discussion with a random business name rather than your name, you start to dilute the impact your name has.
There aren’t a couple of logos that sit across the table from each other and work together.
When you build trust as yourself and not a business name, that trust is much more solid. It becomes something you can build a foundation off of.
2. You will change direction
What you start out doing today won’t be what you are doing 3, 10, and especially 20 years from now.
When you pick a business name, you’ll probably go with something that is related to the “thing” that you do.
Just as an example you are doing development today but then 5 years from now, create a product to sell. Sure you can use your business name for anything, but people are more likely to follow Jane Smith to the next thing, more so than “XYZ Development Inc.”
This is the very heart of a personal brand. People recognize a person and will follow that person around to their next thing. When a logo changes or shifts direction, people are much more reluctant to shift because it doesn’t fit what the logo once was.
3. Get that business name
Starting out is easy, but building business and being sustainable is hard.
You may not make it. Let’s face facts, right? Since you are listening to the show, you are trying to build sustainability and I have little doubt that you’ll get where you want to be.
As you build your business and it continues to grow, then you can go out and make everything formal.
See here in the U.S. there are certain benefits to formalizing a business. If you are starting out and not putting all your effort into building sustainability no business name will matter.
Nothing is set in stone other than yourself. Putting your name out there as trustworthy, responsible, organized, and professional is what the focus should be. Build that reputation around yourself, not a business name.
When you are ready and get that business name, that business name will have instant credibility because you are the founder.
Start a Freelance Business
More episodes in this topic:
What are the costs involved in becoming a freelancer?
Is the income from freelancing reliable?
What payment structure should I do?
How do you build a good freelancing profile in the field of web development considering the competition?
What are skills you can learn fast and have high freelancer value?
How to start freelancing?
Should you do free work to build a portfolio?
What is freelance?
How can I start freelancing without experience?
What does it take to be a freelancer?
Why did you start freelancing?
What is the very first step to work as a freelancer?
How do you set the boundary of work you do and work you don't do?
What are your client red flags?
What should you be able to create as a web developer before starting in your freelance career?
When starting out freelance, should I just be a generalist to get my feet wet, or should I go for that niche?
As a developer, should I throw my projects on Github or build a site from scratch to grab attention?
What can I use for social proof when starting as a freelancer?
How can I start freelancing as a web developer?
Should I use my name or create a business name when starting?
Should I call myself a “freelancer” (definitive answer)?
Why should you not be a freelancer?
How do you collect online payments as a freelancer
How much money do I need to make?
Why is hourly billing bad?
Why is hourly billing good?
What are the biggest mistakes a freelancer can make?
How to adapt and change to the WordPress climate?
How to budget as a freelancer?
What is your marketing plan?
What is your sales process?
What do you do to position yourself as an expert to leads?
How do you balance your time for sales and marketing?
How do you get high-quality clients?
Should I offer my services as a web designer/developer or specialize first?
What do you do again?
What is the best freelancing website?
What do you do for a follow-up sequence for leads?
How to attract clients with big budgets?
How not to be annoying in sales?
How do you convince someone to sign a contract?
What to say when a client is late on a payment?
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
S06 E12 - Undercharging, Targeting the Wrong Audience, and What You Should Do About It with Alex McClafferty
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
S09 E11 - Differentiation, Reputation, and Pivoting From the Top-Down with Peep Laja
S01 E11 - Kai Davis helping freelancers get more clients with outreach