This year on my birthday, instead of a trip to the spa, I bought myself a gift that will give me a more lasting sense of peace. I bought my name. The .com version of my name, that is.
There’s a lot of Judy Sims out there. My optician’s best friend is a Judy Sims. I once met the owner of a chain of comedy clubs whose second in command was a Judy Sims. There are 15 Judy Sims on LinkedIn and 60 on Facebook.
Any one of these Judys could have bought my (well, our) name.
And depending on the Judy who bought it, it could have become a nightmare for me. A dear friend of mine was horrified to discover that a women in our city with the same name and in the same profession, was a big-time party girl with a fairly raunchy and open Facebook page.
I’m lucky. On the whole, people named Judy Sims seem to be a good group. A Judy Sims in New Mexico is an artist. One in Arkansas is a CEO. One wrote about common cures for heat rashes on Helium.com. There is even a professor of communications and journalism in Wisconsin who, according to a Facebook group in her honour, is not afraid of giving out zeros to (un?)deserving students.
Maybe, I’m particularly sensitive to this issue because I’m on a job hunt. But in a world where, in Chris Anderson’s words, “Your brand is not what you say it is…it’s what Google says it is”, why are more people not buying their names?
What are all those other Judys going to do when they need to do a little self-marketing? Or what if one of the Judys turns out to be a raunchy party girl, a criminal, or worse, a very vocal Tea Partier? A few of them will be able to buy .org, .ca, .net, etc. But there are still more Judys than suffixes.
That’s why in addition to my name, I also bought the names of my nephews Jaxon (19 months) and Grady (3 months).
I figure it’s never too early to protect your brand.
P.S. You can now access this blog at http://www.judysims.com