“Tiago Valente” – a Personal Branding Challenge

One of the things that we can’t change after we born, although nowadays it’s possible, it’s our name. It’s extremely hard (for all the reasons).

I’ve born, fortunate and luckily (or not) with a “famous” name (including my surname), that was picked by other parents, even from different countries (other parents with good taste ✌️ ).

This doesn’t represent any material or major challenges, however in the internet world, if you don’t exist in Google, you don’t exist. Especially in my area — digital, this is key.
Hence, as a digital native guy, ofc I have a personal website. But when I went to register I only got the .pt because .com was taken, since a long time ago, by another fellow “Tiago Valente” who’s a photographer.

Following my last year’s life transformation decision (maybe a topic for another post 🤔), this time I’ve decided to invest more in my personal branding. So as a first step, I’ve to figure out a strategy for it. And having a “unique” (easy to find) name/domain, is strictly associated with this (or at least I believe so).

I did a quick “audit” to see how many people exist with my name, what chances do I have, what are the different domain names already taken and used. The results are not good. Even Wikipedia is “taken”. 🤦‍♂️

Results…

The 1st check was a search on my default search engine — DuckDuck Go, without using incognito.

1*49dtiHMLI0iRuVmw9Rntcg
A quick search for “tiago valente” keywords

0 results. 
Only a picture appears. Once I click it goes to the speakers’ gallery from Click Summit where I gave a talk a few years back (SEO working well!).
None of my social media profiles nor my website appears on the first page.

2nd tentative. Google search using incognito browser mode.

Page 1 results = 0
Page 2 results = 0, only a picture. When clicking it goes to my Twitter. (nicee)
Page 3 results = 1, my Crunch Base profile (which btw I have to update)

Page 5 results = My Twitter profile

1*9i491cOQksSZz6ubMLz4nw
my Twitter profile appears in the search result of the 5th page in Google in the fifth position.

However, still, none of my social media profiles nor my website appears on the first page. Not even my LinkedIn profile


Page 11 results = finally!!!!!! Here I am. 
My website appeared as 1st position… on the 11th page of Google 😒

1*6Hhh4yVvUavjC2P8f sAUQ
My personal website (tiagovalente.pt) as 1st position on Google results…on the 11th page.

Well for 6.430,000 results, being on the 11th page, isn’t bad at all 😅

Summary…

DOMAINKEYWORD / NAMENATIONALITYINDUSTRY
tiagovalente.comTiago ValentePortuguesePhotographer
N/ATiago ValentePortugueseProfessional Footballer
👉  tiagovalente.ptTiago ValentePortugueseProduct Management & Digital
tiagoescritor.comTiago ValenteBrazilianWriter
tiago.comTiago MachadoBrazilianMusic
tiagovalente.bizTiago ValenteBrazilianDesigner
tiagovalente.nameTiago ValenteBrazilianDesigner
N/ATiago ValenteBrazilianCars Company
valente.comValenteN/AEmail Domain Company
tiago.ptTiagoPortugueseCivil Engineering

Options…

  1. Changing name 😅 — maybe too much
  2. Finding an alternative domain name
  3. Work on SEO and content to improve my branding and digital relevancy (keeping the current domain — tiagovalente.pt)
  4. Get the ‘tiagomvalente.com’ (and do something with that)

Anything else?! 🤔 For now, I’m going for option 2, not because I’m a “domain stalker” (I cannot confirm or deny this 🤷‍♂️), but it’s just to satisfy my curiosity and see options available. So I’ve checked on GoDaddy and these are the possibilities:

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Gogaddy suggestions for “tiagovalente” based on available domains

Not anything catchy to my eyes. Maybe only the “tiagovalente.digital” might be a possibility (since ‘.product’ is not a domain yet). But I’m not yet 100% if would be worth it.

Conclusion

Based on my intentions (which is to build an audience), I think it’s relevant to keep my name associated with specific keywords — such as ‘product’, ‘digital’, ‘apps’ because this is how I’d like to project my personal branding.

Being said that, I think I’m going for a bundled approach to the options mentioned above.
Working on option 3, together with purchasing some short alternative domains to redirect to my main URL (tiagovalente.pt). The same applies to option 5 (acquiring the tiagomvalente.com).

Risks: commitment to keep releasing different and relevant content to the public. SEO might work against me because of such redirections.

So I’ll need to think a bit more about this…

What are your thoughts? Have you ever experienced something similar?


P.s. Please excuse any typo(s), meaningless or understandable sentences. I’m sure you’ll find those a lot here because I write as it comes to my mind, so sometimes what makes sense for me, might sound stupid for you.

Comment below, tweet or email me. Whatever you prefer. See you around! Thanks for reading and stopping by 🙌

If you think this is ridiculous, laughable, or, by any chance you have enjoyed (you have to tell me how come, pls?!), share with your FFN (family, friends, and network). They also deserve it.

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