Use Your Real Name On YouTube? (Read This First)

Choosing a name for your YouTube channel is a challenge.

Like a domain name on the Internet, a YouTube channel can become a brand, a business, or an important household name in a community depending on your style or content.

Using your own name is tricky because other people may not understand what your channel is about.

Should my YouTube channel be in my name?

Your channel name is the core of your branding and steers your brand to success. There are times that your actual name will work as the name of your YouTube channel – usually if you’re already famous – while others may be better off using a brand name.

If you are turning your YouTube channel into a marketing tool or brand, you may want to use your business or company name instead of your own.

4 Scenarios Where You Should Use Your Name for your channel:

Using your name for your YouTube channel is a fast way to brand yourself online.

It’s straightforward and works if you intend to promote yourself and not necessarily a business. The goal is to consolidate your online presence under one name and helps create a particular keyword for people to search.

This is ideal for personalities who have already established themselves as experts in their industry.

People who should consider using their names for their YouTube channel include:

1. Politicians and Government Officials

Politics on YouTube is often a personality-based affair.

People will search for a name, and not so much about a platform that matters to voters.

If you are a politician or even a government official, using your name will let voters easily find you. Add tags to your videos related to your platform for better search results.

YouTube is also a great platform to engage the audience. Using YouTube’s live video stream feature is a good alternative to the usual news and a way to expound news and stands on issues.

Politicians can also reply to questions asked by their audience live.

2. Artists and Musicians

These include actors, actresses, directors, models, and other artists.

YouTube is the best platform for artists to showcase their works. If you are in music, film, or modeling, YouTube can host your demo reel.

If you are in visual arts, you can use this to curate your works!

Either way, if you are trying to promote yourself as the next big thing, using your own name is probably the best way to go about it.

3. Professional Athletes

Much like artists, athletes will enjoy YouTube in promoting their brand.

They can use this to promote products they endorse or provide tips and tricks in their respective sports.

YouTube had partnered with Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and his media company Thirty-Five Media to help other athletes establish their own YouTube channels.

4. Experts in Their Respective Industries

Now, this might not be for everyone.

For one, when people search on a general topic, keywords related to the topic are often searched instead of subject-matter experts. This means, people, searching for a review on guitars will not look for a specific person, but instead will search for guitar and related keywords such as “amplifier.”

If you have established your reputation in your field, then consider naming your YouTube channel in your name. As a recognized figure, people would search for you and for your name instead of the topic you are known for.

Those who want to know how to be successful innovators in the Information Technology industry may look up the Windows-founder, Bill Gates, instead of just looking for tips on how to set up computer business.

Using a personal branding approach is much more tedious, though, especially if you are looking at establishing yourself as an expert in a particular niche.

This means having to associate your name with a particular topic and consistently tagging your niche and your name together.

3 Scenarios Where you Should use a Branded Name:

1. Establishing Yourself as an Expert in a Field

You would want to do this if you want to share your knowledge in a particular industry, but don’t exactly know where to start.

For this purpose, if you want to establish yourself as an expert, you should consider branding your channel with keywords related to your interests. This will help viewers find your channel, as they will search for content using keywords, and not your name.

Thus, if you are setting up a channel that discusses video games, you would want to give it a name related to gaming.

But that does not mean you cannot use your name. Consider adding your first name with keywords related to your interest.

2. Aligning it With Your Social Media Presence

You name your YouTube channel with your brand to align it with all other social media accounts of your brand.

This is done to keep your digital presence consistent, giving followers just one keyword/custom URL to use when searching for you on the web.

3. You Want to Keep Your Name Private

Some Internet personalities want to keep their real identities private.

Keeping your name private may benefit your channel more as you can give more emphasis to the name of your YouTube channel and your expertise. Instead of worrying about your identity, you can focus more on delivering quality content to your viewers.

You can choose to have a brand or business-related channel name and then introduce yourself to each video by giving your audience your real name.

Putting your name as your brand might not express what your channel is about, but giving your actual name increases your credibility, as people will have an actual name and face to identify with when they watch your videos.

But, as long as you come up with credible content, chances are your viewers will look past your non-disclosure of identity in your brand.

What Are the Elements of a Good YouTube Channel Name?

Should you decide to set up a YouTube channel, it would be good to keep in mind the following points:

1. Avoid Using Long Names, Special Characters, and Numbers.

Using special characters, numbers, and long names defeats the purpose of branding.

It makes it hard to remember and hard to spell. The first thing that your viewers should be able to do is to say your channel’s name without effort and in a second.

2. Have a Unique Name

Like any brand, your name has to be unique to stand out.

So before choosing a name, you have to make sure your proposed branding does not sound similar to another channel.

You can check on YouTube if your brand sounds like someone else by doing a quick search.

3. Your Channel’s Name Should Say What Your Topic is All About

Once viewers read your channel name, they should be able to identify what you are all about.

If you are into do-it-yourself home repair, the name should convey that right from the start. But make sure it doesn’t sound too generic. It does not have to be a direct description, either.

Consider finding ways to hint your niche.

4. Your Channel Name Must be Easy to Remember

Brands become successful because of the ease of remembering a name and quality of work.

This is why you would want something viewers can easily remember for a person to name-drop your channel in a conversation with a friend.

Should you discuss your channel name with someone and he forgets the name, consider changing it.

5. Keep it Simple

Simplicity is king.

This will make your channel easy to remember.

Using complex or technical terms may turn-off potential viewers in subscribing to your channel. It may even alienate others from checking your content, as they may not have a full grasp of your topic.

Remember, the simpler the name, the better.


All things considered, remember a good name is just as important as the quality of content you produce.

Even if you have a good name, but produce mediocre content, viewers will still not be engaged and will remember you for not producing substantial content that keeps them engaged.


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