Matt Holmes, the Founder of Handshaking, talks about his brand, why he picked Handshaking as a brand name, and what was the reason to get the domain name Handshaking.com.
What is the story behind Handshaking?
Handshaking was launched in late 2014 to help real estate contractors shake hands with more customers in their city. Our network of 120 websites helps customers find quotes from contractors in all four time zones in the US, Canada, and even Philippines. Contractors pay us to answer the phone calls directly and take great care of our leads contacted each of our websites.
When did you start thinking about your brand name and how did you settle on Handshaking?
I picked Handshaking since personal relationships and networking have always been very interesting to me as an entrepreneur. After studying Psychology and getting an MBA, I set out to interview billionaires, venture capitalists, and even members of congress on how networking played into their success. They all agreed that having a mindset of abundance, and ‘giving first’ when meeting new people was the only strategy.
What was the reason to get the domain name Handshaking.com for your brand?
When we were new we bought Handshakin.com from GoDaddy. Years later, GoDaddy had acquired Handshaking.com and then sold it to us for a premium (almost $8,000). I don’t keep my domains with them anymore, but I’m glad I was able to get Handshaking.com with the ‘g’, as many people had been emailing me, firstname.lastname@example.org, and before I was not receiving those emails.
I’m glad I was able to get Handshaking.com with the ‘g’, as many people had been emailing me, email@example.com, and before I was not receiving those emails when we only owned handshakin.com.
Yes, we own hundreds of domains, but only about 20% of them are developed as our lead generation assets.
What would you do differently if you were entering your category market as a brand today?
I would start building web assets that we own soon. In the early days, we were building web assets for clients. We were like any marketing agency before, but now we own assets that generate income. If you’re building for clients, and you don’t own your web assets – you’re just a service provider.
Has the pandemic affected your company in any way? What has changed since?
We’re privileged to have already been a fully online remote company, so when COVID-19 dropped the bass we actually paid all of our staff a ‘coronavirus stipend’ to help them with any increased expenses or other family members that lost their traditional job. Our sales hesitated in March and April 2020, but then continued growing in May. They’re still growing today as we launch more and more lead generation websites.
What do you do to make sure your marketing is effective?
Track the numbers, theorize what changed them, make changes, and compare historical data.
What would your advice be to entrepreneurs who are just starting out, in general, and when it comes to branding and naming?
Stick with a one or two-word .com, and keep it simple. At the same time, get started today, if you’re taking too long to launch, then you’re good thinking about launching, but you’re not good at launching. Go take action today, or, give up and work for someone else who is taking action.
Where do you see your business in the future and how does your brand name fit into that vision?
We are the leading provider of handshakes in the real estate contracting industry, and we plan to help contractors shake hands in over 300 US cities by the end of 2021!
We hope the above information will help you in making informed decisions about your brand. If you want to say hi or have any questions about naming, branding, and domain names get in touch, we’re always happy to hear from you.