How to Choose Username? And How to Benefit From It?

Last Update: May 30, 2014

This blog post is inspired by WA member OldMule who recently wrote here about unacceptable usernames. With this blog post I want to help those (especially newbie) who struggle with the issue and don't know how to choose a proper username? My aim is to bring some light into the issue. There are some great benefits in choosing a right username.

1. How did I choose my username?

Actually I struggled with it when I joined the WA community. I had never been in the online marketing world before and when suddenly being here I was told to choose a username and password.

I hesitated as I did not know what to choose. Finally I chose my first and family name as my username. My first name is Egon, my family name is Sarv and my username is egonsarv. I made this choise completely out of igorance and only later I learned that luckily I had made a right choice.

Yet right after registration I discovered that most people here in WA used usernames that were very different from their real names. That time I did not notice anybody using his first and family name in his username. It frightened me.

Honestly, I was afraid: "Did I make a mistake? Do I make myself too vulnerable by making my first and family name public in the internet?"

I even considered to change it. But as the WA platform allows to change one's username only once, I decided to postpone it until I found something better.

I am happy that I did not change. Do you know why? Please read on.

2. Why choosing a right username is important?

Onine marketing is not only WA. WA is your training platform and support team. But your business will be outside of WA. You start to build your website. Also, you start to build your social networks in Google+, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Your aim is to build up your brand and make it known.

What you want is that your customers recognize you wherever they meet you. Maybe they first meet you in Facebook. Then they stumble upon you in Twitter. Then they follow your link and visit your website. Then they follow your recommendations and visit WA.

What you really want, is that everywhere they recognize YOU and your brand.

So it is wise to use everywhere the same photo of you (called Gravatar image) and a brand name that you want to promote.

Because of this is it wise to choose a proper username.

Here in WA people know you by your username. People know me as egonsarv because my username is egonsarv.

But if your WA username is abc123 and in twitter you are known as John Smart then people are not able to make a connections. How should I know that abc123 in WA and John Smart in Twitter is the same person?

Even worse, if in Twitter you use Simpson cartoon image as your profile picture and in WA a random photo of your car/cat/baby then how on the Earth should I make the connections?

Keep in mind, you begin to build up your online brand. So pay close attention to these small details, like profile picture and username. You will benefit from them if you do it right. And vice versa.

Example:

After learning this I changed all my profile pictures and if you look at my WA profile, facebook profile, twitter profile, Google+ profile, etc. you see everywhere the same username, egonsarv (or egon.sarv) and the same profile picture. I do it because I want people to recognize me whereever they meet me.


3. How to choose a username?

Now you understand that choosing a right username is a part of building up your brand. So the question is, how to choose it right?

I have 2 recommendations:

3.1 choose a username that represents your brand.

There are some examples right here in WA that I can give you as an examples:

Example #1. OldMule. He writes in his comment:

As you see, over the years he has built his username up as a brand. Everybody knows him as OldMule. And I like it. It has a great portion of humor in it too :)

Example #2. Mustard seed is another WA member and she writes in his comment:

As you see, she is building her brand and uses it also as her username.

Example #3. IveTriedThat. He writes in his WA profile:

As you see, he is promoting his brand also by using the same username.

etc.

All they (and many others) build their brands and want people recognize their brands.

But there is another option:

3.2 Choose your name and build your brand around yourself.

In case you cannot figure out any good (and short) brand name to promote that way, why not use your own name? It builds trust.

Example #1. DarleneJones explains in her comment, why she is using her real name as a user name:

Example #2. Wayne Wallace.

He builds a brand around his name, created a website with his real name and using his real name here in WA as his username:

Example #3. egonsarv (it's me).

Now let me be honest with you, It was not a calculated decision from my part to choose my real name as a username. I chose it out of ignorance. Only later I discovered that I could build a brand around my name.

My website is egonsarvreviews.com and I am promoting my name.

There are many other successful marketers outside of WA who have done the same. JohnChow.com for example.

4. Conclusion

If you have not paid any attention to it yet, maybe you want to reconsider what username to choose. I strongly recommend to include your usernames into your online campaign.

If you want to change your WA username...

In case you would like to change your username, go click your small profile image at the righ upper corner and then choose Account Settings from the drop down menu. There is your username. Click edit and change it.

I don't know how many times WA allows to do it (in the past it was just 1 time). Your followers will forgive you, if you change it one time and especially if it gets better. But don't try to change it every day. Then nobody recognizes you any more hahahaaa.

Any questions, comments?

Please drop a comment below. There might be other good ideas why and how to choose a good username and how to benefit from them.

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Paolomuzzo Premium
Nice post - very informative and interesting - thanks..
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Trialynn Premium
Great job!
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Karyskis Premium
Great insight, Egon. Glad to know that is your name ;)
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Bunn Premium
Many moons ago, way before I ever thought about having a website, for my Twitter acct I used (still do) sazzee1947. The only gmail acct I use is my regular one, SheilaCalabretta@gmail.com (for everything!). But I don't think Twitter lets one change it, darn it. But here I am Bunn and on the websites I give my real name and say 'just call me Bunn,' and I'll set up an email for Bunn@ so and so. So at least I'm *starting* to build a Brand.

Loved your post Egon. I've got to figure out how to do all these great pictures and original drawings like you did and get them uploaded. But I'll learn. I'm working on it...;)
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Bunn Premium
Oh, I just 'like' it....I think it went to my Facebook page. That's legal, right? I mean it's not a no-no.....I hope!
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coolcity Premium
I always thought it strange that a lot of you people use their face more than anything on various message boards and social networking.

Egon's logo works well as he uses his name in his branding, but his photo doesn't tell you what he does. While a picture is appropriate for a small community blog or on here, elsewhere you should be using your brand logo rather than your mugshot if you are one of those who is building a large branded website and not using your name as part of the business name.
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