Naming Your Podcast: What’s in a Name?
Your podcast is your baby, and as every parent knows, you have to give your baby a name. Otherwise how will people know what to call them when they are boasting and bragging about how awesome they are? If you want your podcast to be known, naming your podcast is very, very important. In saying that, you don’t want to slap a name on it that isn’t as unique as your ‘why’ or your niche. You’ve got to make it special, meaningful. Sure you could name someone Bob Smith, or you could name someone Roberto The Amazing Knower Of All Things Guaranteed To Make You Amazing Too. Granted it’s a bit long, but you get the point. The second one is going to get noticed far more often than the first.
Let’s Not Rush.
The last thing you want to do is skimp on time when naming your podcast. Its name is the first hook in your arsenal of reeling in new listeners. Before they know your content, before they adjust to your format, and long before they are reading the transcripts, people are going to encounter your podcast name. This name will be listed on directories, on other blogs, appear in your marketing material, basically all over the internet. So, don’t rush it. It’s easier to change now, in the planning stages, than when it’s in search engines everywhere. Trust me, if you have been calling your child Bart for several months and then all of a sudden call him Jackson, the people that already know him are going to be confused, especially your oldest fans like grandma and grandpa.
Knowing Your Brand.
Here is where all your work, up until this point will, come in handy. Knowing why you are doing a podcast and what the subject matter is, and who your targeted audience is, will play heavily into your brand. And your name is what will be on your brand. Your name is the first word to be spread around the office, at parties, and in general phone conversation. “Hey, yeah how are you? Have you been listening to ‘insert name here’?” “Wow, did you hear the ‘blah blah blah’ podcast today?” “Look at my new merch! It’s from ‘yaddah yaddah’.” However they say it, you want it to be memorable, and to relate to your specific podcast. By knowing what you are putting out to the masses for general consumption, you can more readily choose a name that reflects that product.
Keep It Unique.
Like your niche, your name needs to be unique as well. You don’t want to use a name that is already in use. Why would you waste all the time and effort you have already put into your podcast development by picking a name that is bland as milktoast or that someone else has already capitalized on? We don’t want that. Repeat after me, “Follow the Four Pillars of Podcasting to succeed.” Nice.
You will want to research any of your choices for names before you commit to them. With over 2 million podcasts out there, the most obvious names are probably in use already. Sit down and begin a list of possible names. Narrow that list down to three or four unique names, and then type them into the directories and search engines. Are there any similar names out there?. If they are close, how close? Enough that listeners may get confused? Try another name. If you can’t find any matches on your chosen name, then you are off to the races.
By knowing what your podcast category is, its topic, and your intended audience, you can begin to play around with your creativity. You don’t believe you are creative? Of course you are, you’re creating a podcast! Don’t be afraid to mix it up, be straightforward, or even be a little silly. This name will be what represents you and your unique podcast.
Let’s assume you are producing a humorous podcast. If you can make your potential listeners laugh with your name, they are going to check out your podcast. Be a punny human. See what I did there? Now if your podcast isn’t in the humor genre, you’ll want to forego the jokes, yet still be creative.
Descriptive titles also work for memorable podcasts. Baking & Banter could be a good name if you’re going to discuss baking tips, or Rooting It Out for the expert gardener podcast. Know what your podcast is about, and look for common descriptive words to use. Also, a thesaurus can be your best friend for alternatives to a bland name.
It’s always an option to simply choose to use your real name. This may prove to be a bit more difficult if you don’t already have an established following, or a well known identity, but it can work just as well. Never try to ride on the back of another established persona. This could turn into a legal disaster. The trick is to know your why, your niche and really who you want to be drawn to your podcast.
When All Else Fails, Get Inspiration.
Okay, so you are really stuck. The names aren’t following. You are completely stumped. Don’t pull the plug yet. We can get you through this. Just like there are directories for podcasts, there are also name generators online. From fantasy to farm you can browse through these generators for inspiration. They might not be the best suited names for your intentions, but they can give you a sufficient jumping off point to get the wheels turning.
Write down your ideas and then use your friends and family to test them out. See what types of reactions you receive. Do you get a chuckle? Does someone say, “yeah, I’d listen to that”? Maybe your friends and family are a tough sell and are straight up “thumbs down” to every proposed name. Feedback can serve as an important tool for inspiration too. Not to mention, one of those people may give you the perfect name. Sometimes two minds are better than one, and if two are better than one, then three or four have to be downright inspirational.
Let’s recap naming your podcast.
- Know your ‘why’.
- Pick your niche.
- Who is your intended audience?
- What category will you be in?
- Check directories.
- Make your name creative, descriptive, or real.
- Test your name on actual people.
You’ve done it! You have successfully given your podcast a name it can be related to for all of its life. Congrats, it’s a bouncing baby podcast! Now, all you need to do is, raise it, feed it, clothe it, give it an education, let it move back in.