Got a Great Idea? Take These Digital Steps to Lock It In
By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies
Every now and then, you probably find yourself struck by a flash of inspiration — a brilliant idea that you don’t have the energy to invest in at the moment, but that you would like to return to when the time is right. Perhaps it’s a radio station for car enthusiasts, a shoe culture convention or a podcast series about the baby polar bear at your local zoo. These inspirations have a habit of popping into my own head at inopportune times, but if I think the concept is a strong one, I like to take a few digital steps to lock it in immediately. In about 30 minutes, I am set up to return to the idea when I can give it the attention it deserves.
Here are the three digital steps I take to lock in a good idea:
1. Register a domain name.
First, I log in to a domain registrar such as GoDaddy or Bluehost or HostGator and start looking up domains. If you already own some domains, it’s best to use the same registrar. Unregistered domains are pretty cheap, so I look to see what’s available and purchase anything I think I might want to use down the road.
I avoid purchasing anything that doesn’t end in “.com,” I discover variations by looking up synonyms at Theasurus.com. The domain generator Nameboy can also be helpful.
For example, if I have a brilliant idea for a shoe culture convention, I might check to see if these domains are available:
At this stage, I am usually not locked into a specific name, so I’ll buy several domains to give me flexibility down the road.
2. Set up an email address.
Next, I select the domain that I am most likely to use for my idea when the time comes and set up an email address for it. I’m going to use this email address to register various social media accounts, so I usually pick a role-based address, such as “email@example.com,” instead of a personal one, such as “firstname.lastname@example.org.” If I think my idea will ultimately be a one-man operation, it doesn’t matter much; but if might involve a team, it’s easiest to start with a generic email address now.
3. Claim the social media handles.
Next, I lock in the social media handles for my idea. On Facebook, I can do this by creating both a page (and claiming its username) and a group through my personal Facebook account, and then claiming a URL that corresponds to one of the domains that I registered. For Twitter, I’ll need the email address you just created, and it’s best to create an Instagram account using that email address as well. You cannot claim a YouTube URL until 30 days have passed and you have at least 100 subscribers, so I skip that for now. If you think TikTok, SnapChat or some other social media platforms will be key to your ideas success, set up new accounts for these as well.
Often, the social media handles that directly correspond to the URLs I registered are not available. For example, perhaps I really like “ShoeShow.com” as a URL, but “@ShoeShow” is already taken on Twitter. In these case, I give the domain priority because it’s more important that people can remember the URL with unaided recall. I will add hyphens, underscores, numbers, or abbreviations as necessary to capture the best social media handles that I can. In this example, I might register the Twitter handle “@Shoe_Score.”
Once I have secured the appropriate URLs and social media handles, I can rest assured that I can return to my idea later when I have more time.
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