How can one value brandable domain names

How do you – as a domain name owner – increase the value of your domain names by 100, 200, or even 400 percent? That’s the secret I’m going to share with you today.

The secret applies to brandable domain names, like flickr or Google or Disqus. I suppose it could apply to keyword-specific domain names like buy-a-wedding-ring-now.com, but not as much and it would have to be a short generic domain name.

Hey, everyone. It’s Michael Cyger. I am the publisher of DomainSherpa.com, the domain name authority. We are the only publisher of information that helps regular people like you and me figure out the convoluted domain name industry, making it more transparent and easier to navigate. You’ll never find an affiliate link on our site, we’re completely independent of registrars and service providers, and we only maintain a few domain names for testing and sharing lessons learned with you.

Today’s tip is this: How do you – as a domain name owner – increase the value of your domain names by 100, 200, or even 400 percent? That’s the secret I’m going to share with you today. The secret applies to brandable domain names, like flickr or Google or Disqus. I suppose it could apply to keyword-specific domain names like buy-a-wedding-ring-now.com, but not as much and it would have to be a short generic domain name.

It’s an idea that came to me when I was buying the DomainSherpa.com domain name for my new publishing website.

Here’s the backdrop:
• Every year, there are 6 million new US businesses formed
• Each needs a company name, and most need a domain name so they can build a website
• For each domain name, many businesses will need social media usernames to match, so they can connect with customers in the manner most preferred by their customers

You can read the full story on why we selected DomainSherpa as our company name at domainsherpa.com/why.

The short version is this:
• Brainstormed a ton of names, narrowed the list to 3
• Used an online service to check domain name availability, trademark use and social media username reservations
• DomainSherpa had all social media usernames available and was the best vision of what I was trying to deliver: a trusted guide for helping you navigate the domain name industry

I ended up paying $500 for domainsherpa.com from the person that owned it. Now here’s the kicker: If all of the social media usernames were available and came bundled with the domain name purchase, I would have gladly paid up to $2,000. In some cases, you might be able to get as much as $10,000 or $20,000 for a brandable package. It all depends on the industry.

Think about it. Millions of new companies launch every year. They need company names. Most brandable company names have been thought of already and the domain names have been reserved. If you can reserve all of the social media usernames as well, it makes a nice package for sale.

My 2011 picks for major social media networks include: Facebook and Twitter at a minimum. Depending on your industry and customer base, you may also want: YouTube, flickr, digg, eBay, WordPress, Blogger, Buzz, Delicious and Stumble Upon.

Here’s a tip: Go to Google. Sign up for brandablename @gmail.com. Then go to the major social media networks and reserve the username at each using the Gmail address you setup, using a standardized password. When you go to transfer the usernames (many need to be transferred, not sold, per the terms and conditions of the social networks), you can simply provide access to the Gmail account and the password.

This has been a tip presented by DomainSherpa.com, the domain name authority.

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On Facebook, it is a little more difficult to reserve your username. First, sign-up for a fan page for your domain name (select “official page,” then “Brand, product, or organization”, and follow the prompts. After your page is setup, you will be able to choose a username on a first-come, first-serve basis for your Facebook Pages that you administer by visiting www.facebook.com/username/. (This turns your long URL on Facebook, such as www.facebook.com/n/?pages%2FDomainSherpa%2F127498867308493 into www.facebook.com/DomainSherpa.) However, you will first need 25 fans on your page before the www.facebook.com/username/ function will allow a change — so be sure to email all of your friends and ask them to “Like” your page as soon as it’s setup.

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