It’s vital for modern-day professionals to have their own piece of internet real estate. Owning YourBrandName.xyz can give you complete control of the content, design, and security settings around how you share your skills and personal brand with the world. This is especially true for members of the design community, who need to accurately express their expertise and taste level to potential employers and clients. This week’s #WebsiteWednesday
features a personal website that we can all aspire to: RodneyYoung.xyz.
RodneyYoung.xyz is the online portfolio of Berlin-based digital creative Rodney Young. Rodney mainly works as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, but also specializes in video production, front-end web design, and 2D animation.
Rodney didn’t always call Germany home. He was born on Maui, Hawaii, and moved to San Francisco, CA to pursue his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the Academy of Art. After finishing his degree, he worked in the Bay Area as an independent designer until he accepted the role of Creative Designer for Munich-based game development agency Remote Control Productions in 2017. He eventually moved to Berlin, where he now works on freelance projects.
Rodney is trained in both traditional freehand illustration and raster/vector illustration. His experience covers a wide range of styles, from simplistic cartoon designs to that of an incredibly detailed graphic novel. His expertise covers corporate projects as well, such as the striking logo he made for Remote Control Productions’ bi-annual summit meeting, and the dynamic ad campaign he did for game development company Zeuz. Additionally, Rodney also showcases his poster design work in his portfolio, which takes a more artistic and serious tone inspired by things like nature or 80’s music. Go to his Projects page to see more or view his PDF portfolio.
Having his own .xyz enabled Rodney to compile the work he’s done across continents and styles into one well-designed website with an expertly branded domain name. The homepage of RodneyYoung.xyz showcases – what else – but a superb illustration that instantly showcases what he can do. We especially like that information about him and his experience is displayed with icons and bold, pink text as you scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you can easily navigate to his portfolio from there.
If you’re interested in discussing a possible project with Rodney or are seeking advice as a freelance designer, connect with him on LinkedIn /rodneyyoungxyz and send him a message. You can also stay up-to-date with his latest projects by following him on Instagram @rodneyyoungxyz, and follow his latest inspirations by connecting with him on Pinterest @rodneyyoungxyz.
Once you’ve cornered your target market by finding and claiming your niche, it’s time to stamp your brand’s presence online. At its core, your brand is the perception others have about you. Your name, design, positioning, and values all go into creating this gut-feeling that lives in the hearts and minds of your target market.
Your brand is important because brand recognition is a big part of how consumers make purchasing decisions. Based on a survey by Nielsen, 59% of consumers say they prefer to buy new products from brands that are familiar to them. Building your personal brand online can also help with employment opportunities, as 57% of employers are less likely to interview job candidates if they can’t find information about them online, according to a CareerBuilder study.
Companies with similar products or services will compete for your customers, professionals with similar experience will line up for the job you want, and communities and organizations driven by the same mission will vie for the same members and supporters. One lasting way to stand out against the competition is by eliciting a gut-feeling that works in your favor and will make your audience choose you. Creating this feeling is known as branding.
We think good branding is truly the secret weapon of success, so let’s get started with establishing your brand in four steps.
The first–and arguably the most important–step to creating your brand is getting crystal clear on what your mission is. Also sometimes called a vision statement, your mission statement is a formal summary of the aims and values of yourself, your company, or your organization. It is the key message that you want everyone who comes across your brand to walk away with.
.XYZ was founded five years ago with a bold mission to unlock the internet’s limitless potential and give new users an innovative and affordable domain name to connect with the world online. With support in over 200 languages and more users than any other new domain in the world, this mission has been the guiding principle throughout every decision the company has made.
A great example of a company whose stayed true to their mission is Dare2Dream.xyz, a foundation who aims to “improve the quality of life for youth and young adults in order to strengthen our communities both domestically and globally.” Founded by Lefty Williams, star basketball player who once played for the Harlem Globetrotters, the foundation empowers youth and helps them develop healthy habits through ambassador programs and basketball and fitness camps.
Now you must give your brand a name. If you’re working solo and don’t have a brand name you want to use, then you could simply stick to your first and last name. For a new company or organization, you have a lot more room to work when choosing your name compared to an existing business. Use your mission statement as a jumping-off point to start brainstorming names. It should convey the feeling of your key message as much as possible.
Your brand name should be easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and easy to remember. Make sure it passes the radio test; if someone heard it on the radio (or a podcast), it should be memorable and easy to spell (even if you made up the word), so they can look you up later. Similarly, if someone else has only read about your brand, they ideally should be able to talk about it without worrying if they’re pronouncing it correctly.
Peer-to-peer sharing app, UseMy.xyz, chose a brand name that fits this criteria well. UseMy.xyz’s mission to allow people to share everyday things via their community-based platform is expressed cleary by their brand name. It’s also easy to spell, pronounce and remember, plus using the .xyz in their brand name promotes awareness about their exact website name.
Once you have some contenders, do your research to make sure the name you want to use is not already trademarked. You will also want to do a search online to make sure it hasn’t already been popularized by another business.
You now must register your winning brand name’s domain. Your website will be the main way your customers and supporters find information about you, so the URL should clearly state your brand name. The chances that your brand name is available depends on the top-level domain (TLD) that you choose, what comes after the dot. The longer a TLD has been around, the harder it might be to find a domain name that is available.
.XYZ is a new TLD, so the likelihood of getting YourBrandName.xyz is still quite high. It is also globally recognized and pairs well with any industry, profession, or mission. You can check your brand name’s availability at gen.xyz/register, or with one of our retail partners.
Using a .xyz also creates an instantly memorable domain name. Independent arts and music magazine, Preme Magazine, chose Preme.xyz because they wanted a domain name as cutting-edge as their content. Founder, Anthony Supreme, states, “Creating Preme.xyz was inspired by trying to think of something different than a typical .com. We wanted to name our site something creative.”
Once you have your domain name registered, you can set up your website. Create a logo and choose fonts and colors that express your brand’s mission and attract your audience. If coding and design isn’t part of your skillset, you can select and customize a template from one of the many website builder services that are available today, like the Weebly website builder that’s available for free with any .xyz domain registered at gen.xyz/register.
You want to fill your site with information about what you have to offer, and a good place to start could be your mission statement. A tagline and short description, also known as an elevator pitch, can also be used to spark interest in what you do. Make sure it defines who you are, describes what you do, and identifies what makes you unique.
Once you have launched your website, you must create ways for people to find it and contact you through email and social media. It’s recommended that your email address and social media handles are all the same in order to build brand recognition and awareness. Most of your communication with potential customers, clients and members will probably be done over email, so it’s key to use a custom email address in order to appear professional. With a .xyz, you can get your custom email address when you register your domain.
Use your brand name to create social media accounts on all the platforms that your audience uses. Using your full domain name as your social media handles ensures that you’re easily recognizable on all platforms.
Toronto-based R&B musical artist, Quami.xyz, shows true understanding of the digital world we live in by using his domain name as his stage name too. It’s easy to connect with him on social media as well, thanks to his branded social media handles @quami.xyz on Instagram and @quamixyz on Twitter.
Completing these four steps establishes your brand online and sets you up for success. You’re now ready to share what you have to offer with the world! At this point, it’s a good idea to summarize all of your brand information into a deck, called your Brand Guidelines, that you and your team can reference for the future. Keep in mind that your brand may grow and expand as the years go by, but your mission should still ring true. It’s common for brands to update logos, fonts, and colors as they grow.
Your brand may also expand in other ways. Fashion entrepreneur, Egreis Gjergjani of StilettoMeUp.xyz, started her blog four years ago as a way to share her story during a major life change: her first child. Since then, she’s launched two businesses, contemporary women’s line By Egris and children’s line Itty Bitty Toes, all while proving that juggling being an entrepreneur and a mom can be done in style.
Having a memorable domain name is one of the easiest tools you can use to bring more attention to your product, service, or personal work. However, if you really want to stand out to your target audience, incorporating your domain name into your brand opens up new marketing opportunities and helps you differentiate yourself from the noise. Today’s #WebsiteWednesday features three .xyz end-users who have done just that, and have used their .xyz brands to reach their personal and professional goals.
Streetwear brands are taking over today’s fashion industry, and cpfm.xyz is among the hottest designers on the market. Fashion icons like Kim Kardashian West, Pharrell Williams, and A$AP Rocky have been photographed in the brand’s experimental and bold clothing, which often features the brand’s .xyz-branded name printed loudly and proudly.
If you catch someone in a cpfm.xyz hoodie or pair of sweatpants, the domain name will catch your eye and stick in your head. If you visit the URL you can find cpfm.xyz’s contact info, access their 24-hour customer service, or follow a link to buy some cpfm.xyz clothes for yourself.
D0n.xyz is something of an internet jack of all trades. He uses an alias exactly matching the domain name of his online portfolio to produce unique pieces of art that take various forms. His creative endeavors range from putting on live audiovisual performances to creating a tool that scrambles the CSS of any website you choose to even launching a chrome extension that will fill your browser window with decorative plants.
D0n.xyz’s unbridled creativity paired with the internet-focused vision of his works have garnered coverage from indie tastemakers like Nebulae Magazine all the way to national outlets like the New York Times. His .xyz domain name helps him stand out as an internet-focused artist, works as a direct promotion of his portfolio website, and adds to his already well-established online brand.
We covered R&B darling Quami.xyz’s rise to popularity earlier this year, chronicling an impressive path that has seen him draw comparisons to Frank Ocean and Kendrick Lamar while being featured in outlets like Pilerats and Earmilk. Whether you’re using a web browser or your favorite music streaming platform, finding Quami.xyz’s music is as easy as typing in his stage name.
Quami.xyz uses social media handles that exactly match his website and stage name as well, so no matter where you look you can easily find him online. Using this well-rounded approach to promotion, Quami.xyz is able to share his music and promote his work anywhere he likes while pointing potential fans back to his website, which lies at the center of his brand.
If you’re hoping to find success online promoting your business, organization, app, personal work, or anything else you can think of, then a great way to make your brand stand out from the rest is by using your .xyz domain right in your name. Whether you use it to secure exact matching social media handles like Quami.xyz, tie it into the products you make like cpfm.xyz, or leverage it to appeal to your target audience like D0n.xyz, the branding potential of your .xyz domain is unlimited. Creating your brand with a .xyz domain is as easy as choosing your name and building your site. Get your .xyz today and start turning heads and making waves in your target market!
This article originally appeared in XYZ Quarterly Vol. 2 Issue 1.
Getting online is a critical part of successfully reaching the people that matter most when you’re looking to promote your business, showcase your work, or raise funds for an important cause. An online presence is how your audience will find you, learn what you have to offer, and potentially become loyal customers, fans, and supporters.
One of the very first steps of marketing yourself online is picking a niche. A niche is an industry or genre that you specialize in and the types of products or services that you offer. Some popular niche markets of 2019 are alternative health and diets, environmentally responsible living, and the latest modes of transportation. Essentially, it’s a particular market that you know you can serve over and over again.
Growth marketing agency, GrowthEngine.xyz, is an excellent example of this. By focusing mainly on “growth hacking” for digital businesses (e-commerce, mobile applications, and software as a service), the agency is able to expertly deliver what their clients want most: customer acquisition and retention.
Finding your niche will help you to strategically concentrate your efforts in one direction. If you’re clear on what you offer and who your audience is, you will be able to best determine how to entice them.
One common misconception is that your online presence needs to appeal to everyone. A new business that attempts to market itself to the masses often results with a watered-down message. Creatives often seem more experienced when they have a distinct specialty, and non-profits can seem more trustworthy when known for benefiting a specific cause.
Marketing with focus will help you build expert status in your space. You will be able to bring value to your potential audience by identifying and meeting their unique needs. Starting with a small, well-defined niche doesn’t mean you can’t expand into other spaces as you grow. Take notes from contemporary culture online publisher, Milk.xyz. They have been able to expand beyond writing about innovative brands to rolling out their own collaborations and podcast due to the growth of their community.
Start defining your niche by making a list of possible ideas. Some questions to ask yourself are:
Chicago Tribune reporter Louisa Chu and WBEZ’s Monica Eng did exactly this when they started Chewing.xyz. The pair combined their shared interest in food culture to create a podcast and website that explores the intersection of good food, good health, and good policy.
Pick your top three ideas and narrow them down by general interest and profit potential. It’s important to know if there is an audience out there that can benefit from what you have to offer, and there are a few ways that you can determine this:
A useful way to gauge general interest and profitability is by checking keyword search query reports online. Generally, focus on keywords with at least 10,000 search queries in order to find a niche with a substantial audience. A high level of competition is not necessarily a bad thing, as competition means there is a market interested and ready to buy. A low level of competition may mean that there are not many interested people out there.
Another way to measure the market size for niche topics is by checking the amount of books, articles, and papers written about it. If there is a substantial volume of work on your topic out there, then that means publishers have deemed it to be a profitable subject, publications consider it to be newsworthy, and researchers find it to be important. A low amount of published work on the subject could mean that there’s relatively low public interest on the subject.
After determining which topics have an interested market, it’s time to research the competition. Search the keywords associated with your niche and see what and who comes up. Start logging all of the major competitors and defining the characteristics that make you stand out in the crowd.
Key differentiators may be the pricing, level of quality, and innovation of your product or service.
Fashion tastemaker, JovelRoystan.xyz, stands out from other influencers by catering his content towards ambitious young professionals, and sharing on-trend style sharp enough for the office.
One immediate way that anyone can instantly differentiate themselves is with content and design. An expertly branded website with clear navigation and functionality can be the ultimate decider for a new customer or supporter.
A new domain name ending like .xyz can offer a consistent and clear brand message. Get a domain name that is the exact name of your business, or your first and last name, so your audience can easily find you online. A .xyz domain is generic yet memorable, so it’s perfect for any niche market. Register your .xyz domain today to start building your online reputation.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at XYZ! Now that Turkey Day is in the rearview mirror, it’s time to shake off that tryptophan-fueled food coma, fire up your web browser, and get incredible deals on .xyz domains. During this year’s XYZ Black Friday Cyber Monday sales, you can get your hands on memorable .xyz domains for as low as $0.50!
Want to get the perfect domain name for your side hustle or business? Register YourBrandName.xyz. Looking to launch a personal portfolio to show off your work or to stand out to potential employers? Grab YourFirstName.xyz. Been working on something cool all year that you can’t wait to share with the world? Launch it on YourIdea.xyz. Whether you want to secure a few domains for yourself or a handful of domains as gifts for the holidays, there’s no better time to get the .xyz domains you want at super-low prices.
Can’t think of what you might do with your .xyz? No problem! Check out our #WebsiteWednesday series for inspiration from .xyz users, discover members of the XYZ community from around the world, or learn how to start building your website in our How-to blog series. You can also take advantage of the helpful tips we’ve been giving all year for how to get your business online in each issue of our XYZ Quarterly.
Simply find your preferred registrar below and click through to take advantage of their Black Friday Cyber Monday sales.