Discover more than ten strategies to come up with unique username ideas.

10+ smart strategies to generate oodles of username ideas

Handdrawn 'Swirling Arrow' Sign (Black)
Handdrawn 'Swirling Arrow' Sign (Black)

Are you looking for creative ways to come up with the best username (or social media handle) for your business? Then you’re in the right place.

In this post, I’ll share more than ten strategies to help you generate some pretty cool username ideas in no time.

And as a bonus, I’ll share a tip or two to ensure that the username you pick is good to go across major social media platforms. Because I learned this the hard way with my Souldriven Solopreneur username (bye-bye consistent handles!)... but more about that later.

To make this post a bit more practical, I’ll give you some examples after explaining each strategy using an imaginary personal brand called “Linda Sophia Brown” and a fictional business called “Skylightviews”.

Without further ado, let’s dive straight into the username idea factory...

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strategy #1 - User your real name OR YOUR business namE

The first strategy is very simple and straightforward: use your real name if you are a personal brand or use your business name if you’re a business brand.

I know this one seems obvious to some of you; for other people, it might be precisely what they need to hear right now because they went straight into overthinking this rather than going for the obvious thing. 

If you say to yourself, “Duh, I thought I’d need to be super creative...” No, you don’t. Here’s your permission slip. Use your business name or real name. You can even sprinkle in your middle name - if you have one.

Maybe you’re thinking right now, “Are you serious, Sabine? Why do you think I’m here? My preferred username is already taken by someone else. That’s why I need to get my creative juices flowing with your tips.” I’ve got you covered; you’ll love the upcoming strategies.

If our imaginary personal brand and our fictional business would apply strategy #1, they’d jot down the below-listed username ideas.

Examples -

for Linda Sophia Brown:

  • @ lindabrown
  • @ lindasophiabrown
  • @ linda
  • @ lindasophia
  • @ brown

for Skylightviews:

  • @ skylightviews

To get the most out of this video, actually do the exercise for your own username or business handle after I explain each strategy. In the end, you’ll have created a list with a myriad of username ideas to choose from. Pinky promise.

STRATEGY #2 - Play Around with your initials

You don’t always need to think out of the box... have a play with what’s right in front of you. Grab your initials and see what usernames you’d create by combining those letters.

Examples -

for Linda Sophia Brown:

  • @ lsb
  • @ lb
  • @ ls
  • @ l

Or maybe a combination of them like:

  • @ lindasbrown

for Skylightviews:

  • @ slv
  • @ sv

When applying this strategy, you’d need to be aware that some online platforms don’t allow those super-short usernames that have only one to three characters.

STRATEGY #3 - 'SHORTEN' YOUR NAME

This strategy is all about shortening your name. Gary Vaynerchuk is the best example I can give you for this strategy because it’s tough to do it for the imaginary and fictional ones.

Rather than using his unpronounceable last name, he shortened it to Vee, or you could even just go with one letter (like V in Gary’s case).

Think of your full name and have a go to see if you can generate something short for your name or brand.

STRATEGY #4 - Toss in your nickname

Be courageous and play around with your nickname (if you have one and if it’s appropriate in your industry!). Use it, especially if your clients call you by your nickname anyway. The same applies if your brand has a nickname.

Famous examples of this strategy would be the profiles of “JLo” or “The Rock”. Over to our examples...

Examples -

for Linda Sophia Brown:

  • @ linbrown
  • @ lindaphiabrown
  • @ linsophia
  • @ lins

for Skylightviews:

  • @ slviews

You get the gist.

Do you want to create more social media name ideas to make your final call? Let’s check out the following strategy...

STRATEGY #5 - SPRINKLE IN SPECIFICS

This one is about sprinkling your industry, profession, services, products, etc., into your username. The strategy works like a charm no matter if you use your personal name or your business name as the same principles apply. But see for yourself.

Examples -

for Linda Sophia Brown:

If Linda is a designer, she could add the following specifics to her username:

  • @ lindabrowndesigns
  • @ lindabrowndesigner
  • @ lindabrownstudio

If she’s a coach, she could note down:

  • @ lindabrowncoaching
  • @ lindabrowncoach

Suppose she’s passionate about candles or shoes; in that case, she could write down:

  • @ lindabrowncandles
  • @ lindabrownshoes

Or, if you want to add in an official title, she could go with something like:

  • @ lindabrownphd
  • @ lindabrowngp

for Skylightviews:

  • @ skylightviewsdesign
  • @ skylightviewsbuilder
  • @ skylightviewsgallery
  • @ skylightviewsrealtor

You could even tie in your company structure as follows:

  • @ skylightviewsltd
  • @ skylightviewsbusiness
  • @ skylightviewsinc

Are you all set for the next strategy?

STRATEGY #6 - ADD YOUR LOCATION

I love this one. You could put in your street or city or your state. You can also add your country or even your postal code.

We all know the one from Beverly Hills, right? 90210... argh, did I just reveal how old I am?

Play with it, and check out the examples below for more inspiration.

Examples -

for Linda Sophia Brown:

  • @ lindabrownny
  • @ lindabrowncanada
  • @ lindabrownoncavillave

for Skylightviews:

  • @ skylightviews90210
  • @ skylightviewssydney

By the way, adding in a location could be great from a search engine optimisation (SEO) perspective, especially if you’re a local brand or want to add some of the glam that comes with your location.

STRATEGY #7 - TAKE YOUR USERNAME IDEAS TO THE NEXT LEVEL

This one is all about taking it up a notch and adding what I call a ‘title’ in front of your name.

A title could be: Mr, Miss, the, real, original, authentic, genuine, I am, We are, Call me, This is and so on.

Examples -

for Linda Sophia Brown:

  • @ thelindabrown
  • @ iamlindabrown
  • @ misslindabrown
  • @ callmelindabrown 
  • @ drlindabrown (if we’re talking about actual titles)

for Skylightviews:

  • @ officialskylightviews
  • @ weareskylightviews
  • @ thisisskylightviews

You get it, right?

STRATEGY #8 - ADD yOUR CREATOR TAG

This method is similar to the previous one. Just add the word “by” or “with” or an extended version thereof.

Examples -

for Linda Sophia Brown:

  • @ withlindabrown
  • @ createdbylindabrown

for Skylightviews:

  • @ byskylightviews
  • @ madebyskylightviews

Easy peasy... Buckle up because the next one’s coming right up.

STRATEGY #9 - USE YOUR DOMAIN ENDING

Yes, you heard this right. Use your .com or .net or any other domain ending you use in your website URL and add it to your handle.

Don’t include the dot (.) in your handle, but more about that later. Let’s first look at the examples.

Examples -

for Linda Sophia Brown:

  • @ lindasophiabrowncom (if her website would be www.lindasophiabrown.com)
  • @ lindabrown.co (if her website would be www.lindabrown.co)

for Skylightviews:

  • @ skylightvviewscc (if their website would be www.skylightviews.cc)
  • @ skylightviewsio (if their website would be www.skylightviews.io)

Pretty cool, huh? Let’s keep up the momentum and breeze through the next strategy, which is strategy #10. And no, it’s not the last one because I have a bonus strategy for you.

STRATEGY #10 - GIVE YOUR HANDLE SOME PERSONALITY

This one is super fun because it gives your handle some personality. It could be about particular traits you or your brand have, or maybe a quirky something about you or your brand.

Get a little bit creative here, but use it with caution to keep it professional.

Examples -

for Linda Sophia Brown:

Assume Linda runs a rescue home for cats, then she could jot down:

  • @ catgallindabrown

If she’s a personal trainer, she could use:

  • @ fitlindabrown

Or, if she’s a yoga instructor, she could go with:

  • @ chilledlindabrown

for Skylightviews:

Let’s say the business is a techy one, then they could use:

  • @ geekyskylightviews
  • @ skylightviewsnerds

Do you need more inspiration? Really? Good, because there’s a bonus strategy for you...

[BONUS] STRATEGY #11 - MIX ALL STRATEGIES

I talked about using initials, locations and so-called titles, right? Lots of different methods for you to try out different username set-ups... it’s time to mix them all up.

Use your initials with a title, match your trait with a nickname, use your first name/s with a location, and the list goes on and on.

Get creative!

You have all the strategies at your fingertips and your idea list from the previous exercises in front of you... shake them up. Create cool combinations and come up with some unique ideas.

Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm, and don’t edit anything out of your list. You can always do that later on. Just get some cool and creative usernames on paper.

TOP TIP: Guidelines to choose a username that works on multiple platforms

Go through your list and circle your favourite username ideas. Yes, more than one because you want a pool of usernames to check which one is allowed and available on your preferred social media platforms.

As mentioned in the beginning, I learned this the hard way with my Souldriven Solopreneur username... When I wanted to secure my handles... guess what happened?

Twitter doesn’t accept names over 15 characters. I was ‘slightly’ annoyed about that as I needed to choose a different username for my Twitter account, even though I would have preferred having consistent handles across platforms.

So, the rough guidelines for choosing a username that can be used online across all major social media platforms - think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Clubhouse, YouTube, LinkedIn etc. - would be choosing a username that is between 5 and 15 characters long.

Use only letters from A to Z and only numbers from 0 to 9, if you really need to. I associate numbers always with a handle like ‘catgirl372972’... And use only, and really if you absolutely need, underscores. So no hyphens or dots in your username. 

Sticking to these parameters will ensure that you can use the same handle for most of your accounts.

Say hello to handle consistency, memorability and brand recognition!

Go through your preferred handle list and check them against these rules. The ones that fit, give them a big, fat green tick.

YOU DID IT!

Congratulations. You just came up with a bucketload of creative usernames for your business.

And by the way, if you want to make sure that the username you’ve just picked is yours to secure on all key platforms, then head over to this blog post.

I’ll share step-by-step instructions on how you can use specific tools, entirely for free, to check username availability across channels. Yay!

Created with ♡ by Sabine Biesenberger


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