What the blazes is a Word Hen? I hear you clamour, and what does it have to do with copywriting? Fair points. I agree that it’s not instantly clear. However, it does make people stop and wonder, and all the feedback I have had so far is really positive, people like the idea of a Word Hen, whatever it might be.
Choosing the right business name can be really hard. Spouse came up with the Word Hen idea. I had been struggling with Word Smith, Word Craft, Word Alchemy, and so on, but they either were taken or didn’t really click for me. I know that it’s best SEO practice to get a keyword in there if you can, but there isn’t a gnat’s crotchet of space between all the copywriting.com and copywriter.co.uk out there.
We rear chickens here at Word Hen Manor and there are always a few future Sunday lunches running around the garden. My alter ego can bore loud and long upon the topics of incubators, red mite, and poultry spice. Hens and me just go together. I liked it. In addition, there is the Scot’s dialect word “hen” meaning woman. Well, I am one of those. Another tick.
Canadian small business adviser, Susan Ward, gives some good, pithy advice, her five recommendations are:
1. It has to be memorable, but easy to spell.
This is important. Not only should you choose a name that people hear correctly, but also you should avoid quirky spellings – unless the quirkiness is part of the brand, such as with the toy company Playskool, (although how far it’s a good idea for a toy company to misspell school. . .)
2. It needs to create a good mental image.
People like pictures, they remember them easily. If your name doesn’t make people think of something, they are likely to attach their own mental image to it. Far better for you to control what that image is! Also, you are going to need a logo for your business at some point. Incorporating an image into the business name takes you one huge step towards that.
3. It should make people think about good things.
Or at least, not negative ones. Word Hen is fairly safe here. There are bound to be people with a dislike of chickens, but there may be people with a phobia about words too. To me, at least, a hen is a warm and positive image. There is the idea of words being like eggs, bursting with potential but needing nurturing before they hatch into life.
4. It says what your business does.
I am in two minds about this. It is not clear what a Word Hen does, which is why I sometimes lengthen it to “The Word Hen Copywriting and Content Creation Services.” However, I think this sounds really boring. Apple doesn’t tell you anything about computers, so it’s a risk I’m prepared to take. Having said that, for SEO purposes, having copywriting in my site URL would have been a good idea. I shall put it into the URLs of other pages when I update the site.
Although I didn’t realise at the time, it has also been beneficial not to have myself too tightly fenced into just copywriting. Although I set out, 8 months ago, to write copy, I have found I need plenty of other skills alongside my word-crafting. I now describe myself as a copywriter and content creator. It’s less restrictive and means I can offer a wider range of services than just the words.
5. It’s fairly short.
Yes, this is important too. You need your business name to fit onto a business card, a bumper sticker, a quarter page display ad, and most importantly, a website URL. www.wordhen-copywriting-and-content-creation-services.co.uk is a ghastly address.
So, what do you think? What works best for you? A descriptive, but possibly bland, name or something more memorable? Why do so many self-employed people use their own names + their trade, as in “Bill Jones Painting and Decorating Services”? How did you come up with your own business name, and are you still happy with it?
I’d really like to hear.
Joanna Brown is a copywriter and content creator who can help you achieve good, clear, and effective communication whether it be an advertisement, newsletter, website, report, CV, or job application.