Today we will discuss how to secure your digital footprint and your digital assets for your upcoming new business. 

Basically, we are now at episode 9 of this multi-series of how to market a business from scratch.

It seems like it isn’t ever going to end, but I want to give you every single step of the process that has gone through and every step that you should logically go through in order to give your new business a fighting chance. And again, as always a quick reminder, the example business that we’re using is a child care center. 

Most of the stuff that we’ve done over the last several episodes, is largely strategic. We’ve done some planning, built a calendar, done some brand documents, colors, and logos—a lot of strategic stuff.

Now we’re going to start to get more in the weeds. We’re going to start to deploy tactics and start to put out videos, content, and a website. We’re going to start to put out press and advertisements, direct mail, and all of those different tactics over the coming episodes, to make sure that you’re hitting those numbers.

Before you can start to do that, I need you to spend some time securing your different assets. So what do I mean by digital assets—anything from your URL/domain name, to your different social media channels—all of those are going to be secured and taken care of so that you don’t have to think about this later. Or worse, that someone doesn’t grab, or someone grabs your name and you didn’t secure it, then you’re having to try and negotiate—it’s a whole long process. 

STEP ONE: SECURE YOUR DOMAIN NAME

Now, there’s a lot of options when it comes to domain names. What I will give you is my expert opinion as to what I’m advising you to do. While there’s a lot of vanity names that end in all these different things—.io, .tv or .dot, I don’t even know that there are hundreds and hundreds of stock finance, I like it. It’s just in an insane amount of domain names for your main domain name.

I’m always still advising you to focus on securing the .com because it still reigns supreme and is still considered the gold standard. There are lots of people that default to that. 

Let’s just say that your name was ABC Child Care, which hopefully it isn’t, because that’s been used by hundreds of different childcare centers already. So, really listen to the information about naming, and that whole piece and getting the trademark. Hopefully, again, your name is something that you can trademark and you executed that process. 

If it was ABC Child Care, a lot of families, they’re going to go to Google and they’re just going to type in abcchildcare.com, they’re going to assume that you own the .com. The domain .com is always in my opinion, it’s a non-starter if you can’t secure a .com. 

You have two completely different options for the .com. First, if it’s already taken, you can look to acquire the domain name. If someone’s using it, like another child care center having the same name as yours, and they look to be operational, that’s going to be next to impossible for you to secure that particular domain name. 

There are lots of people like me, but not as much as of late where, by law, have domain names and then resell them for profit—buy and sell and buy, like real estate, that a lot of these are for sale and I bought a lot of domain names that were for sale.

You can look at trying to acquire the .com if it’s not available. 

STEP TWO: NAME VARIATION

Now, you have to think about what kind of variation to that name. Could you use where it’s not insanely long? The first one that a lot of people end up using dashes, though I’m not a fan at all.

So, if it was ABC Child Care, could you change it to visitabcchildcare.com, joinabcchildcare.com, abcchildcarefamily.com, you could get a little bit creative with your actual domain name in order to have that calm. My preference and I will continue to advise this, is that your main domain name should be a .com. 

The other option and I’m throwing this option out there because this is what a lot of people default to is, rather than using a .com, they’ll go to abcchildcare.org. And then their main domain will not be a .com—it’ll be a .org. If you could do that, I would much rather see you trying to acquire the .com name or add a phrase that’s short, like I don’t want an extremely long name visit ABC child care.

I don’t want you to have your domain name be something that is not your name. If you’re called ABC childcare, I don’t want it to be ABC Academy. It doesn’t make sense to change that. 

STEP THREE: SECURE A TRADEMARK

You’ve got to try and find the perfect calm now which makes life easier if you picked a name that you knew, according to an attorney will end up coming back as a trademark. If you’re able to secure the trademark and someone does own the .com, it’s going to be pretty hard for him or her to hold that domain name because they will not be able to use it. 

You owning the Registered Trademark also makes it easier if you’re coming up with a different name that isn’t something that’s overly generic and then in that spirit, the name will be much more available. So once you find the .com, then I want you to go and spend the money and grab all of the other main domain names. I’m not saying go and grab 100 domain names, but I want you to grab the ones that are most commonly used so—.org, .dot, .info, or .net.

I want the ones that you’re using just on such a regular basis and you’re not securing those necessary to use, you’re securing those for defensive purposes so that someone doesn’t grab that particular domain name from you. So typically, I’m grabbing .net, .org, .us, .info, .co and .biz.

I’m a huge fan of .tv domain names if you’re going to put up videos and things like that or .io has been a new one that a lot of people have been using. But that’s really more in the technology, software kind of space. 

You don’t need to go through and spend $4,000 on domain names and buying email, LAN, tips and holding up—it gets to be a little bit addicting candidly. 

STEP FOUR: SET UP AN EMAIL

Secure the domain name first—the reason that I start there is that you’re going to set up an email. I’m a big fan of using Google Apps for Business so that let’s say your name was ABC Child Care, you were able to get abcchildcare.com, you can go to Google Apps and set up your email. What I want you to do, and most people don’t do this is, I want you to create a second email account and call it social @ whatever your domain name .com is. That is the email address that you’re going to use to register all of your different social media accounts.

Once you’ve got that, make sure you’ve got a strong password set up there. Make sure you set up two-factor authentication so that if somebody outside of you tries to log into that email, they’re going to have to get a code that sends over a text message to your phone.

STEP FIVE: SET UP SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT

You want to make sure you set that up because I will tell you that I have seen social media passwords and accounts get hacked more often than you would think. So in terms of which accounts would you go and register I like to focus on the big ones initially, I don’t think you need to go through and grab every little social media channel but grab the big ones and we’re going to talk through how you name those in just a second. Social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, potentially Tick Tock, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. Now those would be the ones that I would start with. 

What you’re aiming to do as much as you possibly can is you’re going to try and have consistency among how you name the social media channels. So I’m hoping that you’re able to secure facebook.com//your company name or youtube.com//your company name. 

You’ve got to keep in mind that again if it’s a generic name, which I never advise generic names, that it’s going to be tough. You’re going to want to look back at what you can use that you can grab consistently? Now, is this an absolute necessity?

No. But I would prefer to see facebook.com//abcchildcare or twitter.com//abcchildcare, so on and so forth, so that it’s the same handle all across. Is that likely to happen—most likely not. 

If you were to add a word to the beginning of the end, and as long as it’s not too long, where you’re then going to have too long of a name, and the platform doesn’t allow that for a username. But again, if it was ABC Child Care—visitabcchildcare, abcchildcarekids, or something, then you have a much easier chance at having all those consistent. Again, is this an absolute necessity?

No, people will most likely they’re not going to just go to Facebook and be able to directly know the information for your username or your handle so to speak. We’re trying to create that consistency across all of your different channels. That’s what we’re aiming for initially. 

All that you’ve done, you’re not billing them out. You’re simply going through, and you’re registering your domain name, setting up your email, and creating a social ad account. And then you’re also going in securing those top 567 social media platforms with a consistent handle. That is the next step in the process. 

Get out there, make a change, and take some action.