Are you a new florist ready to start a new business or a designer looking to grow your personal brand online? Your first step will be to think of a business name.

Stop there.

Right now, you need to think further ahead. You will want your new business to have a website, a Facebook page, and Instagram and Twitter handles that are all the same as your business name. Is the domain name available? Has someone already claimed those handles?

If you’re trying to start a business or grow your brand, it’s very important to claim a domain name and social media handles.

In a previous blog, we introduced you to the tool If you’re a new business or brand, you should start here. Namecheckr will show you what brand properties – domains, handles, and Gmail address names — are still unclaimed and available. In our experience, we’ve had to turn this process backward as the availability of a website domain and social handles often drives the naming of the business.

So you found an available name! What are the next steps?

  1. Create a Google account with your new business name/handle. Once you do this, you have now secured this handle as your Google+, YouTube Channel, and Gmail address.
  2. Use this new email address to open and secure your handles on:

Log out of your personal account. On the homepage, scroll down and click the link to “Create a Page for a celebrity, band or business.” Follow the prompts to set up a business page.

Dont create your business Facebook page like its a person – instead, click “Create a Page for a celebrity, band, or business”.

First, log out. Next, click the drop down arrow in the upper left next to “Log in” and click the Sign up button. Follow the prompts.

As before, log out. If the home screen tries to prompt you to sign back in, click “Switch Accounts”. Then, click “Sign Up” and fill out the form.

Screen to create a new Instagram account

After logging out of your personal Instagram account, click “Sign up” to create a new account.

You get the idea. Open an account on any and all social media platforms you feel would matter, starting with Snapchat and Pinterest. It’s better to err on the side of signing up for a platform you won’t use right away than neglecting it and letting the handle get taken by someone else. At this point, your brand is secure on Google+, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What’s your next step after claiming your domain and creating your social media accounts?