Okay first of all, let me start by giving a quick background on 2 Chainz…just in case you are not familiar with him. He is a rapper (real name, Tauheed Epps) that used to be one half of the hip hop duo, Playaz Circle, who were a part of Ludacris’ recording label, Disturbing tha Peace. He has just released his debut studio album Based on a T.R.U. Story, with the first single being No Lie featuring Drake.
So what can this rapper teach you about personal branding?
Your name (and in this case, your social media handles and website domain) can affect your overall branding and reputation.
Before Tauheed gained his new identity, and while he was still a part of Playaz Circle, he used to go by a different stage name…Tity Boi.
2 Chainz insists that this name was not meant to have any derogatory implication and was just a nickname that had been given to him as a kid by his family. Although this may have been the case, it is obvious why this stage name would have made it extremely difficult for him to go mainstream. With the release of his new album, his single is being aired on hip hop radio stations all across the country, but would this be the case if he was still going by the name Tity Boi? How many radio stations do you know that would be okay with saying the following on air: Now here is the new single by Tity Boi featuring Drizzy Drake, it’s called No Lie…?
Tauheed needed to change his stage name to 2 Chainz in order to create an appearance and branding that would be acceptable to mainstream America. Fortunately in his interview with Vibe, he explains how the new name, 2 Chainz, still has some personal significance and meaning.
“Don’t use the word tity in your name if you plan to go mainstream” [Click to Tweet]
How does this story relate back to you?
When working on your online personal branding and reputation, the key things you need to consider are your social media handles and your website domain. You need to be smart about how you choose to represent yourself and I strongly believe that you should keep it simple and just stick with using your actual name, or some sort of variation of that. Depending on what industry you are looking to get into, and the kind of image you are hoping to give off, it would be wise to select handles and domains that are people friendly. This means try and stay away from anything that could be considered offensive, aka Tity Boi.
Think before you give yourself a “stage” name because your audience is everybody on the World Wide Web. Stick with something simple like your actual name or something that has some sort of relevance but can not be taken the wrong way. This name is something people could eventually start associating you with, so make sure it is not something you will end up regretting.
Your turn: What is the worst or funniest names you have seen on social media?