Full Transcript of the above video:
My name is Ellis Benus, owner of Floating Ax Technologies which is a Digital Marketing Firm. I’ve been helping organizations with their online presence for 15 years, 20 years, or something like that, but honestly who’s counting?
I want to teach you about the very first steps you should take to get your organization online.
I’m also going to tell you some things that almost no web designer or digital marketing professional will, so, stick around.
If you’re at the point of trying to learn about getting your organization online, then you’ve probably already thought about names.
That brings me to my very first point, domain names.
1) You need a domain name.
A domain name makes you look like legitimate and allows you to brand your organization.
Putting YourOrganizationName.com on a business card looks much more professional than email@example.com or something else right? In another email I will teach you about domain emails, meaning name@OrgName.com rather than those gmail, hotmail or God forbid AOL emails which make you look less professional.
Domain names have changed A LOT in the last… enter number of years I’ve been doing this…
Just finding a domain name can be a challenge now. But there are also a lot of new options as well.
First, the old .com, .net and .org aren’t the only domain extensions anymore.
Did you know you can buy domains with over 1,500 possible extensions?
Google Domains service, my preferred seller, has almost 400.
So rather than YourOrganizationName.com or .org
What about YourOrg.ninja? or YourOrg.best? YourOrg.one? YourOrg.cool?
There are TONS of options once you look into using domain extensions other than .com and .org
The ideal is definitely still to get a .com or .org, but that’s not always an option.
Plus, these new domain extensions are become more and more common so don’t be afraid of them.
Personally, I base the name of the businesses I launch off the domain name and social media handle availability. When we chose the name Floating Ax, part of the reason was because the .com was available. Same with TheSuperBelt.com or FoodTruckYourself.com (whisper: shameless self promotion there. sorry. *wink)
BUT, that’s simply not always an option. So don’t lose hope or heart.
If you’ve got a gmail account just open https://Domains.Google.com
Click on “Get a new domain”
Type something into the search box, and see what comes back!
This is a fun exercise and one you can share with family, friends and partners.
Most of the domain names cost $12 to $30 per YEAR, so they are very inexpensive.
If you don’t have a gmail account, they are 100% free and take about 5 minutes to setup. The reason I like google domains the most over godaddy or any of the other places you’ve probably heard of is because google’s service gives you lots of stuff for free that the others charge you for and they almost always have the lowest prices.
You CAN purchase domain names owned by someone else, but that’s a topic for another time.
Another thing we consider when launching an organization is what currently shows up on search engines and social media.
For example, when we launched Floating Ax, the only things that came up on
search engines were Bible references. Hint, that’s where the name comes from.
But that let me know there was…
- No chance someone would find another organization with the same name.
- I could get my website on the front page of search engines easier.
- Additionally, on all social media platforms, there was no other organization with that same name.
I’ve already chosen my name!
Now you might be saying… Um.. I’ve already chosen the name… What if it’s bad? Well, it’s probably not “BAD” but depending on your name, it could make things more difficult. There are ways to overcome this, but again, that’s for another video.
If you’ve already chosen a name you love, and the .com or .org are taken, then you simply have to either choose one of the alternative domain extensions OR you can brainstorm names which aren’t taken.
What could that look like for you?
Well, let’s say you’re a divorce lawyer with the last name of Smith. It’s safe to say Smith.com or even SmithAndAssociates.com are taken. You never know, so always search, but they are.
What can you do?!
Well, what if you chose GetOutNow.com? Or BeforeDeathDoUsPart.com
I checked, those are already taken, but I’m just trying to get your creative juices flowing to think in terms of something other than just the name of your org.
Is there a short tagline you will use?
Is there a funny, short, phrase that’s available?
Are You Regional, Only in 1 City?
One thing you can do if you are strictly regional, meaning you only operate in one city, county, or state is simply add that to the end of your domain or social media name. A nonprofit focused on helping families in one city doesn’t need to be as worried about having a name similar to one two states over.
You can even add your city, state, etc in the name. Like I own WebDesignMo.org for Missouri.
If you buy more than one domain you can also forward additional ones to the same location.
Do your due diligence here.
Pull up domains.google.com and search for a while with people you like.
2) You Don’t HAVE to Have a Website. GASP!
That brings us to my second point, and something very few web designers will tell you.
You don’t necessarily HAVE to have a website… GASP!!! Blasphemy!
3) Search On Social Media for a Name that’s Not Taken
If you’re just starting out and you don’t have a lot of capital to start off with your digital marketing then you CAN get online with simply free Social Media accounts. That’s where checking for what social media handles are available comes in. Search on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or whatever other sites you’re interested in being on. You will want to use a “handle,” which just means your name on that website, which no one else is using.
Again, I know this might be difficult, but conduct this research exercise the same as you did with the domain name search. You should probably do them both at the same time. Our goal here is simply to avoid someone finding the wrong organization when looking for you, especially if they are a competitor.
I’ve given this same advice to many people who have come to me and said they simply don’t have the money to pay a web professional.
That’s completely okay!
- Buy your domain name for $12
- Setup a free Facebook page
- Forward that domain to your Facebook page.
- Boom! You’re online and legitimate for $12…
Build a Website Later, When You Can
You can actually build a website in the future and stop pointing that domain at your social media profile, pointing it instead to your website.
I have several clients today who followed this path. I started them out with just a Facebook page. They grew their organizations and eventually we built them a professional website and more…
4) Where should I build a webiste? Coming soon…
In my next video we are going to dive into the different options for building websites. Spoiler alert I love WordPress, BUT, it’s not the only option available and I want to teach you everything you need to know to make the best decision for your organization.
Again my name is Ellis Benus.
If you have further questions you can find me on FloatingAx.com
You can email me at info@FloatingAx.com or give me a call (or text) at 573 777 8800
If you do this exercise and pick a domain name please give me a shout. I would love to hear about what you’re doing.