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Mark Twain said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”
So is your program name the lightning bug or the lightning?
Getting the just-right program name is one of our trickiest tasks as coaches and course creators!
How do you find a great program name when:
All the good names are taken?
Everything you think of seems blah?
You are just NOT creative in this way?
Today I’m giving you a thumbnail of the process I teach my clients!
Listen. I know that your program is the lightning, but if you don’t have the right name, people will walk right past like it’s the lightning bug.
The name MATTERS.
Today you’ll learn:
1) The free websites I can’t live without for naming programs
2) The most important component of a knockout name
3) And exactly how long YOU should spend naming YOUR program before moving forward
Let’s deep dive:
1. There are three websites that I can’t live without when I’m naming programs.
a. Thesaurus.com. When you are trying to think of the right word (that difference between lightning and the lightning bug!) this site is your bestie. Maybe your program helps people be more happy but the word happy just feels…kind crappy. Trusty thesaurus to the rescue!
You can even click each word here and dive deeper on that word with a whole new range of synonyms. It’s almost impossible NOT to stumble on your just-right word!
Losing yourself in the thesaurus is weirdly fun (she says, at risk of sounding like the biggest dork EVER). But even more fun is what comes next: taking those words that grab your attention and plugging them into my next favorite website…
b. Rhymezone.com. No, your program name does NOT need to include a cheerful little rhyme. Not at all. But…it couldn’t hurt?
Sometimes exploring rhyming words and letting yourself drift down the rabbit hole on them can lead to all sorts of new ideas and inspiration. And hey, if you happen to find that perfect, memorable rhyme that feels just-right to you, it’ll be that much easier for your potential clients to notice and remember it too!
Sifting through lists like this can lead to new word associations and ideas you wouldn’t have had otherwise!
c. And finally, still on rhymezone.com, make sure you navigate to the Phrases tab (top right in the pic below).
Here you’ll find phrases, movie and book titles, Wikipedia page names, and an endless well of inspiration!
Is there a phrase you could change slightly to make it match your ideas?
For instance, above, you might see the phrase Happy Hour and think, “Happy OUR: Your guide to creating new traditions as a couple.” (Or, I mean, you might have a WAY better idea than that…but you get my drift.)
Finding a phrase people already know and inserting a rhyming or similar-sounding word can be a clever way to create a memorable title!
2. Allowing yourself time on all these sites will create an idea-stew for you, and it’s fun to stir your possible titles around.
But before you ride tooooo far off into the sunset, let’s come to the most important component of knockout names. It is…(drumroll) clarity over cleverness.
I should be able to guess what your program is about from your very, very, very clear name.
Sometimes we come up with the name we think is SO cute, SO perfect, SO clever…and no one knows WTH our program is about. (Ask me how I know.)
A common theme in writing workshops is Kill Your Babies. What does this mean? Sometimes the title or turn of phrase we think is our most brilliant, our most clever–simply doesn’t work. We have to let it go–kill the baby.
I recommend running your name by a few trusted people. Do they immediately understand the name, and have a clear sense of what your program is about? If so, great. If not, hop back over to those websites: you’ve got more digging to do!
3. How long should you spend coming up with your program name?
Here’s the bad news: as long as it takes (and it might take a minute…or a month).
It can take me weeks to come up with a program name! But guess what–that doesn’t matter! The trick is to keep BUILDING your program, even without the perfect name.
Often the act of building out your program is what inspires the perfect name!
When you can’t find it right away, keep developing your program, keep moving forward…and trust. These are the times our subconscious stays hard at work and the perfect name suddenly hits you in the shower or the parking lot. The trick is to keep going, knowing that as your program develops the name will be crystallizing in the back of your mind at the same time!
Naming your program will have a direct impact on your number of sales: your bottom line.
Choosing the right name is wildly important.
You might even change program names over time, testing different ideas as they hit you, to see which perform the best.
Your Final Steps:
Remember, when your perfect name hits, your final step as a responsible business owner should always be to make sure it’s not trademarked (to prevent any future legal issues!).
If your name IS trademarked, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use it, particularly if it’s being used in a different industry and unlikely to cause any marketplace confusion. This is where you’d want to consult a trademark attorney to know for sure!
And finally, if you’re having the greatest day of your life and the trademark is wide open, you should immediately go see if you can purchase the URL!
Buying a URL only costs about $10 at our preferred vendor, which is Namecheap.
Even if the URL is not available, take heart. You don’t NEED it–need it. It’s nice to own, but not a necessity, as you can always create a URL like this:
And there you have it!
Your creative process for choosing the perfect name, plus protecting yourself legally, plus getting it online!
Happy naming–we can’t wait to hear your ideas and inspiration!