We’ve mentioned before that your website functions as the digital waiting room for your nutrition coaching business. Following that analogy, your business name is the front door. Before your potential clients enter the waiting room to get more acquainted, your business name greets them and tells them who you are, what you do, and how you do it. Your name not only sets the tone for your business, it is also intertwined with so many other aspects of doing business, from building websites to securing a bank account.
As such a prominent feature that has to accomplish so much, it is no surprise that selecting a name is one of the most important pieces to starting up and maintaining a successful business. It can also be the most difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to name your nutrition coaching business for real results.
Do the background work
Before you come up with the perfect memorable, catchy-but-not-too-cheeky name, back up a second. Take out your brand statement (or work through crafting one if you haven’t yet), know your ideal client in detail, and also know your points of view and your points of difference. You want to know both how you fit in with your industry and how you stand out from other coaches. With this information in place, finding the right name is less like an impossible cryptogram in another language and more like a fun, intriguing, easily assembled jigsaw puzzle. You have all the inspiration, now take a look at other names out there and brainstorm your own.
Differentiate yourself, but not too much
What are the most popular names in your industry? What are the typical trends? You do not have to follow them, but a quick internet search for “nutrition coaches near me” or “online nutrition coaches,” can help you get an idea of some names. You can also click through to different websites to see if the brand and the coach matched their name and how you compare in terms of your approach to the work.
If you are too different from other businesses in your industry, you might stand out in the wrong way. A name that is overly unique might not carry enough association with your work, might not show up in internet searches, or it might signal that you don’t know your industry well. None of these things will set you up for real results.
Instead, differentiate yourself along your points of difference and your niche. Who is your ideal client? Consider that client and what would attract them to doing business with you. Also consider your approach to the work. Are you an excellent goal setter and boundary setter who will bring in high energy and lead your clients to focused success? Are you steady and calm and bring a consistent comforting energy to clients who might already be stressed with health diagnoses or crises? How customizable are your services or packages? The answers to these questions can help drive some business naming brainstorming.
While you do not want a bland, safe for everyone, single word name, you do want to enlist the help of friends, family, and other entrepreneurs and business professionals to give you honest feedback on your potential names. Be detached; maybe you absolutely love a name, but then feedback highlights something you had not thought of, like the word’s meaning in another language, or an association you hadn’t thought of yet. Trust the opinions and feedback you receive, and move along when a name just isn’t right.
Stay memorable and make sense
When you are starting out, you have to build your brand and garner business. If you have a name that has to be explained, then you are making more work for yourself. Stay away from your own name, which might seem like a great idea, but conveys very little. For example, “Kate’s Coaching” is alliterative and memorable, but says nothing about what kind of clients Kate works with, what Kate’s approach to the work is, or what to expect from her business. If you are working as yourself, by yourself, this might be very tempting, but in the long run, unless you are trying to craft a personal brand, stay away from using your own name.
Also steer clear of acronyms. They often seem like a good idea, but rarely are they meaningful to clients. They work a little better for explaining your approach or process, but for names, not so much. If you have to explain what they mean and how they relate to your work, the name just doesn’t make enough sense on its own.
Be memorable for the right reasons too. Stay away from puns that you get, but have to explain to other people. That is not to say you cannot let your personality shine through and have a catchy or fun name. You can balance that catchiness with branding and even carry it through other aspects of your business.
For example, if your last name happens to be close to or exactly a fruit, like “Appleton,” or “Apple,” perhaps you could have fun naming your coaching business something like Fruitful Nutrition Coaching, and if you decide to have a blog, you could title it An Apple a Day. Apples are an iconic symbol of health, and so this playfulness can be memorable and obviously connected to nutrition, as opposed to memorable for being silly or ironic.
If a name makes sense, you will not have to explain it to anyone. They will know right away that you are connected to your industry and what you do. Keep brainstorming, and you will come upon that perfect balance of staying memorable, but also making sense.
Keep the spelling simple
Another way to stay memorable is to steer clear of complex spellings. An easy way to test this is to say the name aloud for people and ask them to write it down. If they are not sure or cannot do it, set that name aside and move along.
Whip out that business plan! Where is your business going in the next three to five years? Think ahead for those years. Do you want to travel and see clients 1:1, be entirely online, expand your offerings, or hire people? Consider these goals and modify your name appropriately. Perhaps you add words to convey a group like collective, tribe, or group after your name. Maybe add on something that conveys motion or location adaptability like traveling, bespoke, customized, or individualized into your name.
If you know you want to stay put or have a brick and mortar shop front, then it makes sense to explore names with local references, like landmarks, neighborhoods, or local identity. Think bayside, mile-high, 5280, island, mountain, or big apple. If your local identity is notable enough, than you might want to consider using it to add credibility to your work, even if you are also doing online coaching, Being able to say, “Based in X big city,” or “X-based company,” will contribute to your overall business persona and can help you attract your ideal clients.
Balance being unique and specific with being appealing and thinking long term for your business, and you’ll get a name that will last. Think about your business’s tree trunk, rather than the individual branches that make up your niches and revenue streams. Go for the big picture, not the short term little one or else you might accidentally limit yourself and find yourself wanting to change your name later on.
Keep it legal
Before you get your heart set on a name, make sure you can use it. Do a quick search online to see if you can get a website. While there have been mixed opinions for quite some time on what domain to use, do not fret if your .com is not available. You can easily use a .co, .coach, or .health name if need be. While of course the .com still reigns supreme, as more and more businesses are opening, fewer people care caring about what the domain name is. They just want to find you and connect, and a .co will do that as easily as a .com.
You’ll also need to do a quick search with your local secretary of state office and look up the trademark rights in the USPTO database. Make sure your business name is not too closely related to another business and make sure that you can file a trademark to keep your logo and branding protected.
Don’t get stumped
There are plenty of name generating websites out there to help get your ideas going. Try sites like: Shopify’s Name Generator, Oberlo’s Name Generator, or try holding a contest via Squad Help. You can also check in with your local chamber of commerce or other similar local resources to see what help they can offer. You might just be pleasantly surprised at how welcoming communities are and how happy they are to help and support local business owners.
You just never know where your name might take you or your business. If your name ends up being catchy enough, you might easily make social media hashtags, build campaigns, and even sell swag. Selling items with your brand name on them helps with word of mouth and exposure, in addition to being another revenue stream, so do not underestimate the power of your name and how it can help you get real results for your business.