Training Video Time: 11 minutes & 40 seconds
Outcome: By the end of this training, you should have, not only a “Stage Name” but also a completely available username. This will eventually be both your handle (@yourbrandsname) & your domain (yourbrandsname.com). We’re also going to make sure there are no active trademarks.
Links To Follow:
When an artist is coming up with their rap name or “stage name” they can find themselves in a circle and not creating music because they can’t come up with a name. Before you start stressing your name, remember that a name is what you make it.
Rap Names Can Change
Before we get into different ideas and tips for finding your rap name, I want to tell you a BIG SECRET. Rap names can change. Seriously, you are not locked into a name until you “make it”. Think about J Cole. He wasn’t always J Cole. His old stage name is “Therapist” and he also went by “Blaza”. 2Chains originally was known as Tity Boi. So all that being said, remember that you can change your name if you feel the need to.
Can You Stand Behind The Name
Only you know who you are. So when you are coming up with your stage name you need to ask yourself if it is a name you want to stand behind for the rest of your life. You need to look up if the words you are using in your name is a word in another language. What does it stand for? Is there a negative vibe around your name? The list can keep going. Just use your better judgement.
Be Sure That Your Rap Name Is Easy To Remember & Spell!
There are a few exceptions to this rule, but for the most part you want to make it easy for people to be a fan. If they hear a song by you and try to remember your name later, is it going to be easy for them? While I enjoy a few of his songs, “SwizZz” was a name that took me a while to remember.
If you follow Gary Vaynerchuk (If you don’t, you should!) you have probably heard him talk about the “worst branding move ever” starting on twitter as @GaryVee. The two silent Es make it hard for branding when you are starting out. So keep the spelling and ways it could be pronounced in mind.
When it comes to anything you do marketing wise you want to follow a crazy phrase that was told to me years ago. “Always market to the dumbest person in your target market so everyone gets it”. Yeah it sounds wrong but it’s true!
The Best Rap Name Ideas Always Start With You!
Hear me out. The best names, at least in my opinion, are always formed by something around the artist. Of course there are always exceptions to the rules and I’m sure I’m going to miss some things but there are many different things you can lean into to help you get creative when you are finding your rap name.
Here are some ideas to spark your creativity for selecting your "stage name".
How To Claim Your Rap Name Online
This is where you may lose out on that “perfect name” so brace yourself!
There is an awesome tool that I use to check if a name is available as a domain(.com).
The cool thing about this tool is it also checks for trademarks and checks social media username availability for almost EVERY SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM.
Some of the platforms they check are:
- Instagram (currently this feature isn’t working)
- And Many More!
The tool is Knowem.com and I’ve used them for years BUT I DO NOT USE THEM FOR MY DOMAINS! Remember that this is just to check our names to see if they are available.
Understanding KnowEm.com’s Free Username Search Tool
The first thing to know is that KnowEm.com’s search tool for username availability is NOT ALWAYS RIGHT. Sometimes there are issues where the platform changes something and it shows unavailable no matter what you search.
(To my knowledge, Instagram is the only platform not currently working properly and always showing taken regardless of the search) The other platforms that have “Oops Error!” that are shown below, almost always display the same.
But that does not mean it isn’t one of the best tools available to us.
The tool is 100% FREE! So please take advantage of it.
Once you are on the website all you need to do is put in your desired name in the search bar and click on “Check It” (They may update the name of the button but it should be self-explanatory.)
This will bring up a page similar to the image below.
Don’t get overwhelmed! 🙂
We have three categories to check. The biggest problem is the level of importance is backward on KnowEm.
The most important thing that you should check, in my opinion, is the “Trademark Availability”. This section is towards the bottom of the page. Trust me, it is worth the extra scroll to check this first. Even if the domain and social media sites are available if someone has the trademark then you need to completely move onto something new.
After you check the trademark and it shows it is available, now it’s time to check the domains.
Check For Domain Availability
I recommend that you look at the (.com) domain the same way you do a trademark. If someone else is using the .com, find something new.
I say this because, after years and years of programming, most people will automatically type in a .com. If you are Lil John and think liljohn.yeah would be fun to have, you can get it but I would recommend building the website on the .com domain. You can always redirect a domain later.
***DON’T REGISTER THE DOMAIN YET*** We still have more to do!
Checking Social Media Username Availability
Before you freak out, you don’t need to be on every social media platform. If you click on the “Social Networks” tab on Knowem.com to search other platforms besides what it checks on the home page, you may find it easy to be overwhelmed. Don’t Be!
There are a lot of different social media sites/apps. But you DO NOT HAVE TO BE ON EVERY PLATFORM. Just focus on the main platforms.
That being said, I’d currently consider these:
- Instagram (Currently isn’t checking availability on KnowEm)
I also recommend you go do a search on SoundCloud, TikTok & Spotify just to be sure you are not going to be competing with someone else with that name later.
Once you have found a name that you really like, that’s available on social media, for your domain (.com) & isn’t trademarked, make sure that no one else is using a similar name for something dishonest, spammy or offensive.
While this might seem like a very boring task, you don’t want your website confused with a similar website that’s not ethical. Even if you aren’t associated with them, it doesn’t mean people won’t automatically think about them when they visit your website.
NOTE: While you may want to use different extensions I highly recommend that you ONLY MOVE FORWARD WHEN YOU FIND A .COM. If you want to use a .net .org or one of the fun extensions such as .yeah, you can. But, you would be better getting the .com and building your website there then forward the other domain(s) to your main website
Now is time to register your domain.