Question – do you own your own name as a domain name? For example, I own darbysieben.com (the site you are one) and darbysieben.ca a redirection to my .com address. I highly recommend that every person register their domain name for personal protection as well as future marketing.
Let me explain why. As the world continues to use the Internet or devices connected to the Internet as our primary communication medium, I am betting that 5-years from now you will rely on this communication vehicle more than you do today. Consider what happens 10-years or 20-years from now? I have conducted a number of interviews in the past few months where the applicants I have interviewed – Googled me (here is the Google link to darby sieben) to find out more information about me. What do you think I do as a person who is looking for talent – I Google them to.
So what does this mean? The Internet can and in some cases is becoming the personal marketing tool for business professionals. With sites like LinkedIn.com, business blogs, etc. you have an incredible opportunity to promote yourself – you are becoming media.
Now, back to your name? What happens when you wake up one day and realize that you need to own your domain name? Why – because every employer, every potential new partner, every supplier, and so on, that you are trying to work with is conducting a search on Google to see what you have done and you need to consolidate information to make yourself the #1 choice. Consider what happens if somebody else owns your domain name? What happens if they are linking it to an undesired location? What happens if they are fabricating information about you? What happens if nobody wants to conduct business with you because what they see is what they believe and there is no official “your name” website that speaks the truth?
Sound unrealistic – maybe, is it completely unlikely, I don’t think so. Remember what happen when corporate Canada and the US thought they didn’t need to register their domain names and porn companies, competitors, etc. scooped them up? This short-sighted view caused a lot of grief and money.
What if for under $20 per year – that’s $800 for 40-years of work, you owned your domain name and had the fully security of knowing that nobody could ever use it in a way that is unsavory? With country specific domain names, like .ca for example, you may have some protection – albeit limited, but for a .com – this is open season.
Right now the hottest thing on the web is “local search”. I predict that in the next few years (we have already started to see the incredible growth of people search sites in the last 6-months) that personal marketing (shared by my friend Mitch Joel of Twist Marketing) will explode. The rush for personal domain names might become the next boom of domain name squatters. If I am wrong, so be it, if I am right – I am going to make sure that nobody can mess with my name – it is too valuable as I continue to build my professional career.
I don’t like sounding negative but I think this is a reality and I would hate to see any good person have to fight this battle. My recommendation – get your domain name – it could just be the best personal investment you can make in the 21st Century.
Both of my domains are registered through DomainPeople.ca – however, if you conduct a Google search for “.ca domain names” you can price compare or conduct a YellowPages.ca search for “.ca domain names” to find Canadian only companies.