Getting a domain name via popular aftermarket platforms such as the Uniregistry Market or Afternic, is a cinch. These domain selling venues provide a secure negotiation interface, expert domain name brokers, and a quick exchange process that secures the funds and delivers the domain to the buyer.
For start-up founders and companies, acquiring domain names in the aftermarket should be the result of a bigger branding plan.
Domain investors often function as beacons of brand potential. When a domain is taken and available for sale, it means the brand itself is something of interest and value—and acquiring the matching domain that complements it is a smart move.
Unlike domain investors, brand builders don't just hop on a list of domains trying to invent a purpose for the ones that stand out. A great amount of value exists in domain names that are either short, generic, or brandable, but the real work is done by creating content and forming the brand that populates that domain name.
In that sense, planning the brand before acquiring the domain name is how everyone investing any amount of money in a domain should go about. Going blindly around with a domain you acquired from a drop list, or a list of for sale domains, is not the way to do it.
Many impromptu entrepreneurs that follow the domain investor mentality have a "plan" for every domain they acquired; these domains are rarely built into meaningful projects that generate revenue. The idea is to make money using the best domain name for the job, but the job description comes first—not the other way around.
Planning the brand entails the following steps before even embarking on a domain search:
- Deciding on the product or service that you want to provide.
- Defining and calibrating your target audience of consumers.
- Scouting out what the competition is doing.
- Finalizing the goals and lifespan of the brand.
What follows this task list is the generation of a list of name candidates that would fit the brand's functions. That's the moment when domain searching kicks in!
At that point, the characteristics of the best-fitting domain name follow a set of criteria:
- Short, descriptive keywords that define the brand.
- Clarity of any fanciful words for invented keywords.
- Popular extensions, such as .com, .net or .org.
- Availability of the brand on popular social media platforms.
This checklist is by no means exhaustive and it's only a subset of the start-up founder's ability to budget a smaller or larger brand. Generally speaking, more money can buy a better domain matching the brand, but there are ways to spend less and still be on track with the brand's goals.
Such methods involve:
- Using a short prefix such as "the", "my", "new" etc.
- Include a prefix that is a related call to action verb, such as "get", "go", "draw", "drive" etc.
- Introduce the main corporate name along with the brand, for example "Acme Widget", "Acme Product", "Acme Service."
- Using TLDs other than .com, preferably localized for the brand's regional target.
Conclusion: The domain name leading to the brand online, is not an afterthought of the brand but rather its direct continuum.
By creating the brand in advance, choosing the right domain name would involve its registration, or its acquisition in the domain aftermarket. Putting work and effort into brand-building leads to actually using the domain name you end up paying money for!