Help me name my freelance business.

I am an experienced technical writer and editor who – thanks in part to CairoCarol – is thinking about starting to do freelance editing work (while keeping my day job; yes, it’s ok with my employer). I’m still in research-and-heavy-thought mode, but I figure it can’t hurt to skip to the fun part for a while: coming up with a name for my business. :smiley:

I have been trying to think of possible names for a few weeks now, and I’m at a complete loss! The only thing I’ve come up with so far is a potential tag line: “Say what you mean.” (The idea being that written communication can be tricky, and a big part of my job will be using my editing, proofreading, and formatting skills to help ensure that the client isn’t easily misunderstood – that they are saying what they mean.)

A few notes:[ul][li]Clever is good; clever and somewhat esoteric is better. grin[/li][li]I don’t want the name to be boring or cookie-cutter, like “Lastname Communications,” but I also don’t want it to be too cute. I’m going for unique yet professional, erring on the side of professional.[/li][li]If possible I’d like to avoid using the word “communications” in the name at all, because around here it’s often used in the name of telecom companies.[/li][li]Services will include editing, proofreading, and formatting, as well as PDF conversions – all kinds of document stuff.[/ul][/li]Got suggestions? :slight_smile:

Word to the Wise
Doc Doc
Text U All

What about Tiepoe?

Heh, you should sign up for the Freelance mailing list – we’re discussing this topic just now!

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(If you do happen to sign up, just mention pie or Duran Duran or something in your intro blurb and I’ll give you a shout-out.)

Anyway . . . I would encourage you to leave out the cutesy plays on words involving words like “write,” “words,” “edit,” “pen,” etc. It’s been done to death, you probably won’t be able to come up with an original one that’s not taken, and . . . ugh, just don’t. (Full disclosure: I started out 13 years ago with a name exactly along those lines. Eventually I found out that somebody else had had it for a long time before me. They even owned the domain name. Little chance of confusion, because they were a big company and I’m just little ol’ me, but I changed it for a name that’s definitely unique (in the purist’s sense of the word) and, I’ve been told, lightly amusing and memorable.

Also, I’m with you on “Communications.” Yuck. What the heck does that mean? Are you a TV station, a PR flack, or what? It’s too generic.

My vote is to just use a name related to an interest or philosophy of yours. Could be anything. For example, I could conceivably use “Three Dogs Publishing Services,” because I have three dogs. One of my clients has an office located on a street with a picturesque name, so they’re “[Name of street]’ Publishing Services” with a logo that’s an iconic representation of that name. (What happens if they ever move? Good question.)

OK, these aren’t the best examples, but you get the general idea. We have lots of creative names on the Freelance members list, but I’m loath to “out” anyone here. Look in the Editorial Services section (or whatever it’s called these days) of Literary Market Place online for inspiration.

Write Right[sup]TM[/sup]

I’m having a hard time coming up with one, but a word to the wise - try and pick something that you can say easily and sounds professional on the phone. My husband and I started a business some years ago and came up with a name that was great on paper, but otherwise…sheesh.

Hmm. Off the top of my head, a couple ideas:

The Written Word - if you’re in an overly-religious area, this might be misunderstood, though.

No Misunderstandings - goes well with the tagline, but fails the main test of any business name, in that it doesn’t say what you do. Not that big a deal nowadays, though. :slight_smile:

All Your Text - heh.

The Document Doctor - straight to the point. (On preview: Raza beat me to it, and more cleverly, too!)

Language Wrangler

Scribe, Ink. :smiley:

I’ve decided that when I become a freelance translator and creative copywriter, the name for my company will be Millionth Monkey, in reference to the “if a million monkeys typed for a million years, etc…” story. I realize the actual numbers are much higher, but 10[sup]34[/sup]th Monkey just lacks something, alliteration-wise.

Since I don’t see too much competition between your business in D.C. and mine in Tokyo, feel free to use it if you want.

Clarity Unlimited

Contracted Clarity, Idea Filter, Same Page Interpretations, Intended Impressions, Master Messenger.

TextSub (with a graphic of 20th century Russians and the slogan “we take dictation”)


The Write Stuff

Misnomer–how about a pass/fail list on the suggestions?

Thanks so much to everyone who has made suggestions! Nothing has jumped out at me yet, but it is so helpful to see these ideas: hopefully they will help me keep thinking of my own, and I won’t be surprised if I wind up going with something that is similar to a Doper suggestion. :slight_smile: Please keep them coming!

I will definitely look into that, thanks! Freelancing discussions are happening all around me lately … seems to be a new trend for people in my industry (defense contracting).

I completely agree, and is why I said “not too cute.” Clever is good, puns are bad (with apologies to the punny among us!).

Interesting idea! I’ll definitely have to do some thinking along those lines.

Important advice, thanks. :slight_smile:

Yeah, one of the hard parts is that I definitely want the name to at least imply what I do.

Something I keep considering, then rejecting, then considering again is “Lorem Ipsum Services,” but I keep rejecting it because I feel that it only makes sense to people who work with documents … and they’re not likely to need to hire me. grin

Oooh, I like that! And thanks for the offer to let me use the name here in the States. But I think it implies more writing than editing, and I won’t be offering any writing services. I think it’s great for a freelance copywriter, though! So at least for now, you can be the lone Millionth Monkey. :wink:

Not quite what I’m looking for, but that made me laugh out loud. :slight_smile: I might have to try to introduce that term elsewhere … “scryptonite,” heh!

I’m here! I’m here! :slight_smile:

I posted right before I left work yesterday: I had plans last night, I’ve been working all morning, and this is the first chance I’ve had to check in on the thread. I probably should have mentioned in the OP that I wouldn’t be able to post again until today, but (clearly) it didn’t occur to me. Sorry if I had anyone thinking that I’d abandoned the thread!

The Joy of Text

Silver Street Publishing

Since you’re in DC:

How about…

Capitol Letters

US Print

Department of Corrections (that’d be fun to answer the phone)

The Company

I don’ geddit…?

Ok, that I like. :slight_smile: I’ll have to think about that one for a while. Thanks!

What, and risk being confused with all of the 3-letter agencies around here? :wink:

EDIT: Oh, and I can post today until 5, but will be away most of the weekend and probably won’t be able to post again until Sunday night. But I promise that I’ll be back!

Silver Street just has a nice flow, and connects in that certian way minus the dreaded epiglottal stop, but it has no real meaning (to me).

You’re welcome.

And sure, why not. Might even get you some press locally, which is always good.

Ok, I’ve decided/realized that a DC-related name isn’t a good idea, because I don’t plan to always live in this area and I’d like to be able to take my freelance work with me wherever I go … without having to change business names. :slight_smile:

I got a little happy this weekend when I thought of “In So Many Words” (despite concerns about cutesy names with “words” in them), but a Google search quickly revealed that there is a freelancer in the Los Angeles area using that name. However, there doesn’t seem to be anyone else out there using the name – at least, no one with a discernable web presence – so I might still keep it in the back of my mind. It shouldn’t be a problem as long as I don’t ever move to southern California, I guess. grin

Any other ideas out there?

A great name can help, but it’s not everything. Check out intercom from April 2007, in which Rachel Davis describes how she built Red Dog Writing Services into a going concern. There was also an article by Geoff Hart in intercom December 2006 in which he describes how he launched his freelance career (toward the end of the article). Don’t think he even mentioned the name. Identifying and exploiting his niche was far more important than the name.

My only advice would be to make sure the first word in the name starts with A, B or C, so you’ll be close to the top of lists. :wink: