In this day and age, it is becoming increasingly important to own your online presence. Your online presence can be described as the multiple online channels (portfolio/brochure websites, social networking sites, online directories and review sites, etc.) that lead to you or your business. Having only a website for your online presence is no longer sufficient for competing on the web and communicating with your potential clients. With multiple online channels, you or your company is afforded many more opportunities of being found.
Assuming you are going to develop your online presence from scratch, it is important to be consistent. Your domain name and every username you create thereafter should be the same. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to come up with an idea for a business name or even try using your own name (i.e. johnsmith.com) and then hurry to purchase the domain or secure your Twitter username (i.e. twitter.com/johnsmith) only to find that the desired name is already taken. Do not be discouraged though. Often you can add a slight twist to your name or company name that is unique and available.
Your ultimate goal should be to own:
Even if you do not think Twitter, *Facebook, Gmail or the other various extensions of your URL (i.e. uniquedomain.com, uniquedomain.net, and uniquedomain.org) are important now, it is good to have the accounts as placeholders. Otherwise, if you develop a company and it eventually becomes quite successful, you might find yourself dealing with cybersquatters who have registered accounts under your brand name in hopes of being bought out.
When you create your Gmail account, you’re able to use that same account name to access all other Google products—Analytics, Webmaster Tools, Ad-Sense, Calendar, Docs. It is important to become familiar with Google products/services as they can provide valuable information and even opportunities to make money.
If you already have a website and multiple accounts yet they aren’t consistent, it is possible to create redirects from your website to the different sites. Here’s an example:
- domain.com/twitter ► redirects to twitter.com/preexistingusername
- domain.com/facebook ► redirects to facebook.com/preexistingusername
The internet has largely been “first come, first serve.” Once a domain name or a username has been taken, it can be next to impossible to ever get them back—unless you’re ready to drop a hefty amount of cash to buy it. The point is, you need to act soon to secure your personal or your company presence online. And when you do, try your very best to be consistent.
*It is important to note that if you create a Fan Page on Facebook, you must have at least 1,000 fans before you can designate your URL name.