Jason Martin: Which byline is my brand?

Jason L. Martin
Jason L. Martin

There are, I’m willing to bet, a lot of Jason Martins.

One particular Jason Martin is an online marketing manager in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He left a worthwhile comment on yesterday’s post about branidng your byline.

It prompts a conversation I’ve had here and read elsewhere, but it’s always worth returning to. With a common name how do you break through a crowded field of Web-search competition?

First Martin’s coment:

Christopher, what do you do if your name is already a registered domained owned by someone else? I could buy my name with my middle initial, but few people would know or think to include my middle initial in my domain. Advice?

Surely. First, with a Google search, I checked to find some other competitive Jason Martin’s online.

I see Jason competes with a Californian musician, an unpdated blog and an artist. There are others, so there’s no doubting the crowd, but that is nothing he can’t slice through.

What’s more, Jason L. Martin’s LinkedIn profile gets a top-two yield when incorporating his middle initial – which is in his LinkedIn URL, but not his profile.

In his comment, Jason said “few people would know” to include his middle initial.

Of course, the response is, why?

It still blows my mind that Del.ico.us began the news aggregation business with a .us domain extension, an “ico” address and a sub-domains. Two periods and three nonsense letter combinations. But, of course, they branded that.

Jason has two choices. Compete in a competitive field of Jason Martins. Buy JasonMartin.net or .us or whatever he needs to do. Then flood online social networking devices – if only just to sit and place his flag – link out to folks and try to build.

Or, get on board with Jason L. Martin. Write it everywhere. On his LinkedIn profile, in e-mail signatures on birthday cards to his great Aunt.

These competitions are nothing new. My good buddy and Web designer Sean Blanda competes in Web searches with Hall of Fame NFL legend George Blanda and I’ve been saddled with the founder of the Blue Man Group, whose name is the same as mine.

Really, Jason Martin or Jason L. Martin, it doesn’t much matter. What does is with what you feel comfortable, getting started on using a single version and running with it.

I don’t care if anyone calls me “Chris Wink.” That’s my name, but I chose to dominate “Christopher Wink” Web yields, so that’s how I choose to compete and I won’t look back. That hurts your brand.

Because the reality is this doesn’t matter as much as folks like me make it sound. If you’re smart and work hard, you’ll be just fine. But, make a choice and go with it.

Best of luck to Jason and all you others out there trying to brand a name even more common than mine.

Any more advice? Did I miss anything? Any other common names to deal with? Leave a comment below.