Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Survey Results

First off, a huge thank you to everyone who took the survey, responded on Facebook, emailed me, etc. Self-branding is quite the soul-searching process, I've discovered, so all of your input and suggestions have been extremely valuable.


Now, I've had several people ask me about the results, so I'm going to put them up here for you to peruse. However, I have to admit to one giant mistake I made when posting this survey: I did not explicitly indicate whether "1" meant best or whether it meant worst. Therefore, I am certain that at least a few people used "8" to mean best rather than "1" (which is what I had intended: for 1-8 to be ranked best-worst), which of course then skews the results.

That said, here's what I've got.

what's in a name...?
In spite of the ellipses, all of the original name options are shown in full on this graph
 except for the 3rd option from the top, which should be "Allison Editing Services."

People gave some really good reasons for choosing their favorite name, although some of the explanations were so good, I started feeling almost as lost as when I first posted the survey! Here are a few of my favorites:
Write, Edit, Allison -- It puts things in order of importance. I also like the one-syllable, 2-syl, 3 syl rhythm.

Allison, Wordsmith -- I think "editing" is too vague

Gold Edits -- I like how this one both combines your name, what service you're offering, and has a bit of flair/double meaning (Gold as in gold standard or first rate editing!). It's not as fun as some of the others but not totally sober either.

Allison L Goldstein -- It's you and at the end of the day people are hiring you. My guess is that you'll get more business by word of mouth than by someone picking up your card from a Starbucks (or name your favorite shop) counter. You're selling you and it's vague enough that should you ever evolve into author, screenwriter, director, or general contractor, the domain allows you to do so.

Ally Edits -- Ally: "to join (yourself) with another person, group, etc., in order to get or give support". It plays off your name while also sending a message that you are easy to work with and will form an alliance with the writer. You are part of their team.
I also got some fantastic--sometimes hilarious--suggestions for other business names. (Although unfortunately a number of the matching domain names were already snatched up.) In no particular order, here are some of the suggestions:
  • AG Editorial Services
  • Goldstone Content LLC
  • Editrix
  • Edit-chic
  • Halycon Editing
  • ReadingWritingAllison
  • Cleanedits
  • Goldstein Scribing
  • Word crisp
  • ED-IT
  • All Gold Media Services
  • Meditopolis
  • Word'em up
And now, for what you really want to know....

At the moment, I'm leaning toward using my full name, most likely with the "L," with a tagline of some sort below, kind of like this. (Anyone have any suggestions?) You could call this the lazy [wo]man's way out, because by going this route I can stay a sole proprietor and I don't need to register a fictitious "doing business as" name anywhere. However, my primary reason is that I agree with whoever made the comment about "people hiring me." I've spent many hours hunting down and exploring competitors' website, and I've found that those editors who market themselves under their own name strike me as somehow more trustworthy than those who offer services under a more anonymous business name. Ultimately, I always went to their "About Me" page anyway!

My main hesitation with this approach concerns my impending marriage: if I ultimately decide that I want to change my name, that will throw a huge wrench into things; I'll have spent all this time building my professional identity around my current name, and then what? But, as they say:

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

slightly terrified elephant