Y’all naming my course was extremely challenging. We're going to be talking about those challenges today as I show you a little bit of my behind the scenes process, and many of you reading this may have actually walked with me through the naming process in one way or another as I brainstormed names and asked for ideas on what people like and don't like. I nearly drove my husband crazy with the naming difficulties! I'll tell you more about that in a minute.
It took me about a month and a half of trial and error to finally come up with a name for my course. Just the idea of naming it was always on my mind, taking up mental space. But yesterday, I officially named it, and it feels like a huge relief to have made that decision. Being stuck in indecision is such a frustrating feeling, especially for what felt like such a long time.
In this episode, I want to share a little bit about my process for naming the course and share some tips that can help you name your own projects, whether it's a course, a digital product shop, a podcast, or even a business. I have some valuable tips that can guide you through your own journey, as this naming process is still fresh in my mind. Plus - I'm revealing the name of my course and explaining why I (finally!) chose the name!
I came up with around 20 legit name ideas in this process, where I thought, "I could name the course this!" Out of those, about 6 or 7 names stood out so much that I even made a logo for them. Being a designer, it wasn't too difficult for me, but it was a bit challenging considering so many names at one time, unlike what I've experienced before. Some names were already taken, and others didn't receive positive feedback when I pitched them to friends and fellow business owners. PS - when you do this, it's important to focus on people who would be ideal customers for the course, or those who also serve your ideal customer for that product.
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE NOW:
Why Coming up With Names for Courses and Podcasts Is So Hard
First, it's highly likely that the name you come up with will already be in use, whether it's in your industry or not, whether it's trademarked or not. This is particularly true for podcasts. With so many podcasts out there, even when I named the Breakthrough Brand podcast, so many options were already taken.
On top of that, you're likely also trying to incorporate other words into the name while keeping it concise. For a course, for example, you might want the word "course" at the end, and for a podcast, you may want the word "show" or "podcast" at the end. Having to incorporate additional elements into the name poses its own set of challenges. Plus - you likely want to keep it short!
Specifically for courses, it's not enough to just use your own name, although you might do that for your business. My business name is Elizabeth McCravy, the same as my own name, but for a course, you can't just name it after yourself. So, I found naming this course to be an incredibly difficult task, even more challenging than naming Booked Out Designer because there are actually way more courses on podcasting than on building a design business.
Then, apart from that, when naming a course on podcasting, I found myself strangely competing with actual podcast names that use similar words. Considering trademarking and potential user confusion, this was just an extra thing to consider (which I didn’t have to consider for Booked Out Designer). Additionally, I wanted to include the word "podcast" without making it sound like the name of an actual podcast. Essentially, the name needed to include "podcasts" or a variation, but not in a way that suggests it's the name of a podcast itself. It was a lot!
Introducing… Podcast Success Blueprint!
Dun Dun Dun! Podcast Success Blueprint is the name of my new podcast course. Naming this course was challenging for a couple of reasons, but one of the main things was that it's not just a basic "how to get your podcast started" course, like many others out there. Instead, I'm providing you with a complete toolkit that goes beyond what you can find through a simple Google search. You'll gain confidence through strong organization and effective strategies. This course will take you from the fundamentals of publishing to monetizing your show and maximizing your marketing efforts. It's about making real money and real impact with your podcast. I wanted the name to reflect that!
To be totally honest with you, I had a few other options in mind, but I ended up picking this one. And by saying that, I don't want you to think that I don't love this name, I was just deep in decision fatigue. I literally named it yesterday morning when I had a deadline for recording course videos. At that time (literally yesterday!), I was considering another name, but it felt oversaturated and overused, so I decided against it and I’m glad I did.
Why Podcast Success Blueprint?
I really see my goal with the course as helping you create a successful podcast. I'm particularly fond of the word "successful" because it resonates with me. I believe that success is subjective and should be defined on your own terms. Within the course, I’ll share what a successful podcast means to me. I'll also share what it means to me and also address some vanity metrics that might not align with true “success” in the podcasting space. My ultimate goal in the Podcast Success Blueprint is for you to achieve whatever success looks like for YOU.
You don’t need a name, or for the course to be finished, before you start marketing it
Here’s a little tip before sharing the steps I took to name my course. When launching a course or podcast, it's important not to get stuck on coming up with the name before making progress on other aspects. In fact, you can start working on marketing, creating content, setting up groups and emails, and even writing sales pages without having a name yet. By immersing yourself in the process, ideas for the name may even naturally come to you based on the course content or your focus.
Don't let the naming process delay your progress. Remember, you can market and build anticipation for your course or podcast without having a name. I recorded this episode 6 days from my launch (only finalizing the name yesterday) but I have an entire module recorded, all the launch emails written, and the Facebook group created already. Also, if you're currently struggling with naming, I recommend checking out episode 50 of this podcast titled "Eight Mistakes to Avoid When Naming Your Business Course or Program" for more insights.
Step #1: I look for beginning, middle and end words that can relate to the course name.
I look for words that can relate to the course name - a beginning, middle, and in. So in this case, I knew a variation of the word podcast would need to be used. The options I saw were podcaster, podcasting, or podcast. I was a little concerned that using just the word podcast itself could make it sound like the name of a podcast. Knowing I had to incorporate that into the name from the start was helpful. I liked all three variations. Those were the three I considered (and I liked any of those options!)
Next, I knew I needed a “descriptor” word. When searching, I looked at various words that resonated with my goal and made me feel excited. I documented them on my phone and in Google Docs. Even recently, I attended a local business conference in Nashville where beyond connecting with people and learning from the event's content, my goal was to come home with a course name.
Throughout the conference, I kept a notebook where I wrote down words that resonated with me as they related to business and podcasting. One word that emerged was "thriving," which I initially considered incorporating into the course name. However, after more consideration, I realized that it didn't truly convey what participants would gain from the course. Therefore, I ultimately decided against using it.
During the conference, I found a name that I really became attached to. Unfortunately, I discovered that it was already being used by someone outside of the US. I decided not to use it out of respect for the other person and to avoid confusion from an SEO standpoint. But I was super attached to it and it was a hard decision!
As I was considering naming options, I realized I prefer using terms like "course" or "blueprint" at the end. However, I also thought about situations where the word "course" is implied but not explicitly stated, such as "Booked Out Designer". All of these considerations guided my decision-making process during the naming phase.
Step #2: I read my survey results and took notes.
For this course, I had an interest survey to gather feedback on what people would like to learn and where they are in their podcast journey. I have carefully read through every response multiple times. So, if you filled out the survey, rest assured that I have read it! I created a document and copied and pasted words that were frequently repeated or resonated with me from the survey results. Success and Successful came up a lot!
Step #3: I searched far and wide to see if anyone else was using it
Once I found a name I liked, I searched extensively to see if it was already in use. I consider myself pretty good at Google stalking, so this step was a fun (but often disappointing) exercise. I would Google the name to check its availability, which would often reveal if it's already in use or not suitable for some reason.
Another step was searching the trademark database, which is a quick piece of advice I want to share about naming. While checking for a trademark is important, it's not the sole determining factor. Many people don't trademark the names of their courses and podcasts. So, it's a good starting point, but don't stop there. Additionally, I explored other trademark databases like the UK and Canada when I got more serious about a name. Take these steps to thoroughly research and find the right name.You can also check if the domain name is available.
I checked Instagram and Facebook for any relevant groups or profiles. Sometimes, others might use the same name, but their website might not have good SEO or their product may not be popular. You'll need to put in extra effort to confirm if it's already in use.That's how it was with one of the names I got attached to—it was already in use but it took me a while to find it.
Next, I started to search the words on podcast apps like Apple Podcasts. Sometimes it took me a while to find out if a name was already taken. Some words are just overused together. I would find that the name I thought of is not used as a course name but is oversaturated on Google. Everyone has used those words together, which is a turnoff as a name. So this step took a while!
Step #4: I “tried on the name” by saying it out loud, designing a logo, etc.
When I was deciding on a name, I would repeat the name frequently out loud. I would write it as if it were a domain name, ensuring it doesn't spell anything strange. Creating a quick logo helped me visualize how the name looked with my own brand fonts and styles. I also considered abbreviations, making sure they were okay (although I don’t think this is a deal breaker). It's just important to try it out and make sure you aren’t accidentally spelling something inappropriate.
Step #5: I asked people for feedback
Another thing I did was ask people for feedback, but it's important to note that you can definitely overdo it. So, be cautious with this one. To be honest, I reached a point where I was asking too many people for feedback. When I named Booked Out Designer, I don't think I asked anyone for feedback. It was just me, myself, and maybe two trusted business friends.
My teammate Stacey ultimately helped me choose the name Podcast Success Blueprint when we were discussing it on Slack the morning of the video shoot! She told me that my gut feeling is usually right and all I needed was a little reassurance. I think this holds true for most of us, so don't overthink it.
On top of that, when you seek feedback, make sure it's from people who are either ideal customers or those who serve potential customers for the product.
As an example, I asked my sister and some close friends, who were in a book club together, for feedback on three names. I also asked them through a group text. However, I quickly realized that it didn't make sense to ask for their feedback. These are not people who are in online businesses or have podcasts. It was actually funny because my book club friends didn't like certain terms related to making money, which made sense since they didn’t have their own businesses. Lesson learned: be cautious when seeking advice.
Step #6: I worked with an attorney
One thing I did was work with an attorney to name my business, although I don't believe it's necessary. Currently, I'm in the process of trademarking other things like "Booked Out Designer" and "Breakthrough Brand podcast," which is exciting so I was working with a trademark attorney regardless.
It's a new step for me because I've had the podcast for four and a half years without trademarking it so I don’t think this is required when coming up with a name! As a consumer, you can actually search the US trademark database yourself without the need for an attorney. However, due to recent issues with people copying my work, I decided to trademark those two things and then with this course, I wanted to be proactive, so I collaborated with my attorney to decide on a name.
I do think this made it a little more challenging because some names I loved couldn't be trademarked for various reasons, and not necessarily because someone else in the same field was using them. If it's your first course, I don't think you need to go through all this. Eventually, it's great to trademark your work and ensure it's eligible for trademark, but don't obsess over it. This naming process did lengthen things a bit due to the back and forth with my attorney, and I probably drove her crazy too with all the name ideas.
Step #7: You Need to Ultimately Make a Decision
Honestly, I found myself overwhelmed by decision fatigue and indecision. While I am usually pretty good at making decisions in my business, as an Enneagram six, I can sometimes struggle with making choices and lately, I have been stuck in a state of indecision. In fact, I even joked with my team member Stacey about how this has been more challenging than naming my second child! Now that I have finally named the course, I can focus solely on finding the perfect name for my little boy.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, remember that ultimately, a decision must be made. And when that decision is made, you’ll likely feel a TON of relief!
Remember: The Name is not EVERYTHING.
The name of your course is not as important as you might think. Please don't misunderstand me - I'm not saying that naming a product is irrelevant because names DO matter. As someone who has primarily worked in branding and website design, I understand the importance of branding and naming. However, what I'm trying to say is that the name of your course is not the sole factor that will determine its success. The name is just one piece of the puzzle.
During my struggle with indecision, multiple friends, including Joy Michelle, a fellow podcaster whose show is called "Called To Both," gave me feedback on names. After sharing her thoughts and my name ideas, Joy sent me a supportive voice memo, saying, "Oh Elizabeth, people will buy it no matter what, so just pick a name." Stacey also told me recently that I could name it anything, and people would still buy it. The key is to choose a name that you feel confident in repeating over and over.
While every business is unique, and what works for one may not work for another, but speaking specifically about naming this course, I've been marketing it for about two months without a name. I've even built a waitlist for it without a name, and several people have already committed to purchasing it without knowing its name. This was also true for my previous course, "Booked Out Designer," which I marketed for a considerable time before announcing its name just two weeks before opening enrollment, and the demand was enormous. So again, names do matter, but they are not everything.
The Name Matters More For a New Audience
When it comes to the importance of a name, it matters more to new audiences. For instance, if I share that I'm creating a course about podcasting, people who already know and like me might consider purchasing it without even knowing the course's name.
However, those who have never listened to my show or made a purchase, and who are not template customers or designer students, may make a decision based on the name alone (or at least, consider it a higher factor).
Ultimately, it's important to consider the different audiences you are marketing to. Initially, when you start, you are marketing to your existing audience. Therefore, the name may not matter as much. However, when I was naming my course I knew that in the long run, I wanted a name that could rank well on Google and resonate with a broader audience. This is why I favor the name Podcast Success Blueprint, as it has a strong SEO potential and can resonate with a colder audience.
For more advice on naming your course or product, check out episode 50 of the Breakthrough Brand podcast, where I share eight mistakes to avoid when naming a course or product in your business.
I Hope You’ll Join Me Inside the Podcast Success Blueprint
The launch is scheduled for October 23rd, and it will only be open for four days for the beta round, from Monday to Thursday. The reason for the shorter cart open period is that it is a beta launch and coincidentally, Friday is my birthday, so it made sense to wrap things up before then.
It's important to note that beta launching means the product is not yet fully completed. For this course, if you join on Monday, you can expect a smooth onboarding experience with a confirmation page, receipt download, and an email welcoming you to the course. The next steps will include logging into Kajabi to access the available modules, joining our Facebook community, and adding coaching calls to your calendar.
As a founding member, you'll have the opportunity to participate in two group coaching calls over the next few months. You'll also gain access to the course content in Kajabi, which currently includes the module on successful solo episodes. This module consists of nine lessons focusing specifically on solo episodes and is already packed with valuable content.
Going forward, I'll be working on earlier modules for beginners and more advanced topics for experienced podcasters. So, as a member, you'll have the chance to join the Facebook community, schedule coaching calls, and start learning from the modules already available in the course.
I’m making podcast systems templates too!
Also, there's an option to upgrade and add ClickUp and Notion templates for podcast organization. You can get the exact podcast system I use for managing my show. Every episode goes through the steps I discussed in a previous podcast (in WAY more detail!) where I shared podcast systems that saved me time. If you want insight into what this is, go back and listen to this episode.
Shop All of My Showit Website Templates (use code BBPODCAST for 10% off!)
Not Sure Which Template is Right For You? Take The Quiz!
Join my FREE Breakthrough Brand All Access Facebook Group
Connect with Elizabeth on Instagram
Join me inside Booked Out Designer
October 18, 2023