What domain name superpowers do you possess that can give you a competitive advantage? While much has been written on the best approaches for success in domain investing in general, I want to turn the focus here on tailoring the approach to take advantage of your particular skill set. Here are some potential domainer superpowers, arranged in alphabetical order. Business Experience Previous experience setting up and running a business, and business management training, can give you a significant advantage over domainers without these skills. Creativity Many brandable domain names could be considered creative works. Finding that clever combination of terms to create a memorable and suggestive term is a skill not everyone possesses. Creativity that you may have earlier applied in art, music or written word, can be adapted to creating domain names. Aspects of creativity can be learned, as this interview, Who Says Creativity Can’t Be Learned?, with Tina Seelig of the Stanford University Ventures Program argues. Critical Thinking While many of us occasionally acquire names on impulse, those who take a more disciplined approach to the positives and negatives of a name are probably more successful. Also a critical approach to considering new niches or approaches is important. This article Critical Thinking Skills is a nice introduction to the general topic. Cultural Awareness There are cultural sensitivities that make some names that at first glance seem good, not work in certain cultures. Those who travel and live in many different parts of the world are at an advantage. Domain Industry Knowledge Obviously knowing the domain industry well brings advantages. That can include aspects from history and trends, to knowing options for marketplaces, registrars and landers, or exactly how to efficiently transfer names or list them on parking services. This takes time, but the pages of NamePros can make you an expert on almost any domain-related topic. Emotional Sensitivity If you are a SquadHelp user, you will be familiar with their emotional characteristics assigned to each domain name. This is an often overlooked area, but those seeking a name may well have ideas on how they want the name to feel emotionally. Are you good at evaluating the emotional dimensions of a domain name? Languages While the majority of names that sell are in English, that is not to say that names in many other languages do not sell. If you speak several languages fluently, that can be a definite advantage in domain investing. Also, a word based in one language may make a good brand in another. Legal Legal aspects are playing an increasingly important role in domain name investing and selling. While posts do not constitute legal advice, and take into account the expertise of the person posting, you will find much general information on legal aspects of domains in the Legal Discussion section of NamePros. Linguistics Phrasing and word combinations benefit from a knowledge of linguistics and word use. While this is a difficult area to learn from scratch without professional training, even some familiarity will make you a better domain investor. Literary Strengths While sometimes we deliberately break wording rules to achieve a more memorable or quirky name, most of the time domain names should be correctly worded. A subtle change can make the difference between a 5-figure domain name and one that is nearly worthless. A sound knowledge of grammar, phrasing and spelling is essential. Motivation One of the strengths of domain investing is also potentially a major problem: most of domain work is solitary. This can make it hard to keep self-motivated and to set and keep schedules and goals. This article on Domain Investing - Don’t Do It Alone offers some ideas on how to overcome the solitary nature of our trade. Simply how enthusiastic you feel about domain investing can be important to your success. Negotiation If you deal directly with potential buyers, particularly if you use Make Offer pricing, the right negotiation skills can make a real difference in how much your names will sell for. A number of articles and discussions at NamePros have dealt with this topic. For example, Darryl Lopes invited members to Learn Negotiation Skills From Watching Movies while Keith DeBoer interviewed an FBI negotiator in this article on Never Split The Difference. New Trends Are you the type of person who stays informed about the latest developments in technology and society? This can be an important superpower in allowing you to secure names that may become exact matches for important technologies and services. Enjoying reading news with an eye on domain possibilities can be a superpower. If you need motivation on how well that approach can occasionally pay off, check out this interview with Joseph Ciprut.. Open Mind Part of domain investing, catching the right trains and avoiding train wrecks, depends on being able to predict the future. Research suggests that those with an open and inquisitive mind do better predicting the future. Part of having an open mind is being open to try out, and then critically evaluate, new approaches. One aspect of having an open mind is to be alert to possible cognitive biases that you may hold. Organization Being organized is definitely a relevant domain skill, whether that means keeping your portfolio up to date, tracking your expenses professionally, or simply getting names effectively listed promptly. Presentation Skills There is some evidence that domain presentation is important, whether that is an appealing graphic, a logo or a description. Is effective presentation one of your superpowers? Psychology Quite a few years ago, Eric Lyon wrote an interesting article, based mainly on personal experiences and opinions, on domain selling psychology. Knowledge of psychology and consumer behaviour may help you become a better domainer. Quantitative Skills Quantitative skills can give you an advantage. This allows you to go beyond simple rules of thumb, and not depend on analyses done by others. Whether you are analyzing how pricing in an extension depends on length and type of name, or the ratio of completed sales to names for sale in a certain niche, when you do the analysis yourself, you will know exactly what assumptions went into the model. Research Skills Data science plays a rule in most sectors these days and domain name investing is definitely no exception. Looking at what has previously sold, what is used in business names, and trends are all important. Here are some free domain name research tools that you might use as a starting point. Sales Skills Particularly if you do outbound, the suite of sales skills will be important. This can be everything from first contacts, query emails, follow ups and much more. Sector Expertise From your education and employment history, along with personal interests, there are certain sectors that you know well. Perhaps you have worked in financial planning for decades, or are a passionate golfer. Those suggest sectors where your expertise can help you succeed and avoid pitfalls. Social Media and Networking Those who are adept at using social media, and networking in general, will have advantages in making contacts that may lead to a domain name sale. Technical Skills A wealth of technical skills are required, particularly for those who do development or manage their own websites. While that can be outsourced, some level of technical expertise definitely helps. Using Your Powers to Influence Your Portfolio If you have not already done so, please go to the associated poll and tick off all the items that you consider your own domain superpowers. Step one in gaining an advantage is to identify what your superpowers are. Next, sketch out how each of those powers might influence the type of domains you invest in, or how you operate as a domainer. For example, if one of your areas of expertise is artificial intelligence, you might want to focus more on domain names from that sector, either in .com or .ai. If you have very strong sales and communications skills, then more outbound might be logical. If you really like social media, perhaps consider how to leverage that in your domain selling. Consider ways to improve skills and expertise, such as online classes, books, articles, podcasts, blogs and, of course, right here on NamePros. I have undoubtedly missed some relevant domain superpowers. Please add them in the discussion, along with any other comments on the skills and expertise needed for domain investing. In researching this topic, I came across this nice article by James Iles on What Makes A Great Domain Investor. While the primary skills are acquisition of the right domain names, and selling-related skills, he also notes how important it is to understand security and legal aspects, and to network, both within and beyond the domain community. As James wisely writes at the end knowledge and learning is critical: My NamePros Blog article Becoming A Better Domain Investor This Year is also related to the topic. As we build our skills related to domain names, new avenues will open up, as well as more success in current approaches.