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James Iles

Expert Exchange: An Interview With Domain Buyer Broker Bill Sweetman

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By James Iles, Mar 29, 2017
  1. James Iles

    James Iles NamePros Writer PRO Trusted Blogger Business Account VIP

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    Bill Sweetman is the President of Name Ninja, a company that works with entrepreneurs, global startups and marketers to buy some of the best names available. Unlike most domain name brokers, Bill concentrates solely on acquisition services, something that gives him a unique perspective on the domain name industry.

    Below, Bill (@BillSweetman) brings his experience and industry insights to the table in a fascinating interview.


    How did you get started in the domain industry?


    You describe yourself as a "buyer broker." How does a buyer broker differ from a standard broker?


    bill.jpg
    Bill Sweetman
    What is the largest domain name purchase you've brokered that you can tell us about?


    Who typically pays the most for domains? Startups, corporations, wealthy individuals, etc.?


    What would your advice be for startups looking to buy their first name? What would your advice be if they currently have a horrible name?


    Do your clients focus mainly on .COM acquisitions? If not, which other extensions are currently sought after?


    Do you have any advice for domainers about how to work with a buyer broker who is interested in one of their domains?
     
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  4. James Iles

    About The Author — James Iles

    Writer for NamePros.com, domain name investor and broker. For all inquiries relating to stories and interviews, please email: [email protected]

    This is James Iles's 353rd blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (15)

  6. XF.com

    XF.com Heritage Auctions Heritage Auctions VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Great info.
    Bill is truly one of the good guys in the domaining world. Always honest, hard working and responsive.
    A great asset to our industry.
    Thanks for the insight guys!
    Aron
     
  7. deez007

    deez007 Emancipate Yourself From Mental Slavery VIP

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    Agree with @XF.com (f^cken hell that's a nice domain)

    Bill is refreshingly friendly and approachable compared to many of the other folks in the industry.
     
  8. TERADOMAIN

    TERADOMAIN Business Member Business Account VIP

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  9. Rex Powers

    Rex Powers TRex Business Account

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  10. youaintme

    youaintme Established Member

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  11. Impaler The Vlad

    Impaler The Vlad Established Member

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  12. 168

    168 Active Member VIP

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    Bill,
    How long do you think it will be before New "G"s could become a mainstream recommendation ?
    Thanks
     
  13. Bill Sweetman

    Bill Sweetman Name Ninja Name Ninja ICA Member VIP

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    I recommended some new TLD domains to a client yesterday because they would be appropriate for his situation however I don't see new TLDs ever becoming more popular (with end user buyers) than other .com alternatives like .net or .org or ccTLDs. I think new TLDs will always be a niche and 'exotic' choice and there's nothing wrong with that. In some cases a "be different" domain strategy can help a company stand out from the crowd.
     
  14. 1Darko

    1Darko Established Member

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    Thanks for sharing!
     
  15. pablohc86

    pablohc86 Active Member VIP

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    Holy words:
    just because a domain buyer broker is knocking on your door wanting to buy a domain name doesn’t mean there’s a huge budget to spend. Not every company has a champagne budget; most of them have a beer (or soft-drink!) budget
     
  16. abcproductions

    abcproductions Active Member PRO VIP

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    Great questions James. And outstanding answers Bill. I especially like
    "My general advice to startups is to focus on getting a domain that exactly matches your company name, even if that means you have to change your company name."
     
  17. Silentptnr

    Silentptnr Prycr.com Crew Business Account VIP

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    Thanks for the share and the time @BillSweetman ! Question....you seem to brand yourself both as your name and as your website name. Can you recommend which is better? I've been thinking about personal branding versus business name branding. What are your thoughts on that? Are your clients looking for NameNinja or Bill Sweetman?
     
  18. Bill Sweetman

    Bill Sweetman Name Ninja Name Ninja ICA Member VIP

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    That's a really interesting and loaded set of questions! I don't believe there is one "right" answer to the personal branding versus business name branding dilemma. It depends on your specific situation. Some of the things you need to consider for your decision are whether or not you want some separation between the personal branding (who you are) versus the business branding (what you do) and how much future flexibility you want or need. One of the advantages to keeping the two separate is it doesn't box you (the person) into one specific set of services or products. That way you are free to launch or offer other services (or maybe shut down business #1 and launch business #2), perhaps under new/different business names, without impacting your personal brand. In my case, the "Bill Sweetman" brand is the domain name consultant and 'below' that is the professional services firm "Name Ninja". This way if I wanted to launch a new services or product venture I would use another brand name for that.

    I get most of my business by word-of-mouth referral from existing clients and strategic partners, so I guess you could say they are looking for Bill Sweetman. But the "Name Ninja" brand does appeal to my target market, especially first-time clients, and I chose that brand because it's memorable (IMHO) and sounds like a boutique operation, and that's exactly what we are. I didn't want the business to sound like a large company. Also, the plural of Ninja is Ninja, which is kind of cool. So when you hire Name Ninja you are getting more than just me; you're getting a team of Ninja.
     
  19. Silentptnr

    Silentptnr Prycr.com Crew Business Account VIP

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    So you probably meet some via the website, but most via referral to you the expert. Makes sense. I think the answer is if you build your personal reputation first, you can also develop ventures "under" the personal brand. So NN is boosted by your personal reputation, brand and efforts.
     
  20. slader23

    slader23 Active Member VIP

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    Interesting insight into the "buy side" of domaining. Kind of surprising that the F500's are less inclined to splash the cash, but I guess more is on the line for start ups so the risk/reward plays out as higher. Great interview!
     
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