One great thing about selling domain names is it is so easy to get started. With just a little money to buy a few names, and an Internet connection, you can be in the business of domain name selling. There is no need to be part of a large company or set up a facility. You can do it alone if you wish. If you choose to work alone, you have complete control over what domain names you invest in, how you list, price and promote those digital assets, and almost everything else. You can work wherever and whenever you want. It is hard to imagine many businesses that are as easy to start, or give you so much independence. In that sense, domain investing is one of the best businesses possible. But that independence is also possibly the worst part of the domain name business. As a lone domain name seller, you don’t have the positive aspects of being part of an organization and working daily with others. As a business of one, there may not be natural mechanisms to get feedback and encouragement, and to protect yourself from making poor decisions. Social distancing measures have weakened social interaction in the workplace for everyone, but for many, domain investing was always like that. Some choose to work with others, either in a partnership or small company. But even if you work as a sole proprietorship, there are ways to feel more connected and benefit from the community of domain investors. Fortunately, we have a fantastic support network right here at NamePros. Why A Network Is Important So why is a network important, and how can it help strengthen your domain investing? Second Opinion While it is important to take responsibility for our own decisions, often a second or third opinion can help. By looking at issues from a different perspective, you will have a more firmly grounded understanding and make better decisions. Encouragement Domain sales tend to be sporadic. It is easy to become discouraged during a long interval between major sales. Having a network of colleagues will help you through those lows. Challenge Your Ideas Presenting your ideas on forums such as NamePros will naturally result in others pointing out negative aspects that you may have overlooked or discounted. No matter the field, critical evaluation can help improve ideas. Keep Current While some aspects of domain investing have not changed much for decades, there is also continual evolution. Whether it is being attuned to what is in style today in branding, recent legal decisions, or the latest research on what types of names are selling, it is important to be informed. Learn New Things As a solitary domain investor, it is really easy to get into a rut. It is natural to gravitate toward what we feel comfortable with, to acquire domain names in a single way, use just one registrar, sell domain names much of the time on a favourite marketplace, and invest only in one type of domain name. In order to grow as domain name investors, it is important to continually learn new things, even if you decide some of them are not for you. Opportunities Sometimes your network can directly provide leads for sales, development or acquisition opportunities. Feel You Are Making A Difference In every field, when you help others, you will find that you benefit at least as much as the person you are helping. Simply explaining something to someone else will often allow you to see an issue more clearly, and perhaps note things you had previously overlooked. But helping someone simply makes you feel good. NamePros Here are a few NamePros features that relate to building and benefitting from a professional network. Being Part of a Domain Community NamePros is the perfect place to make new friends and associations. Just by meaningfully and respectfully participating in discussions, this will happen naturally. Networking The Networking Meet and Greet section is a perfect place to get to know others. Getting A Second Opinion Do use that search field to make sure that a topic has not already been discussed, but almost anyone can start a thread if there is a topic that you want views about. Domain Appraisals If the additional opinions you are looking for relate to a specific domain name, the request should go in the Appraisals section. Website Reviews If you are looking for second opinions on your website or landers, the Website Review section is for you. News It is important as a domain professional to be up-to-date. NamePros has its own section for domain news. See something in industry news that you think should be shared? Start a post in the news section with an excerpt of the article, as well as a link to the full article. Socializing Sometimes it is fun just to hang out with others. The Break Room and Chat are two ways to do that on NamePros. Professionalism One aspect of being part of a professional network is acting in a professional and ethical manner. The NamePros Expectations for respect and constructiveness is important reading, helpful guidance not just for NamePros but professional interaction more generally. Opportunities Lots of opportunities to acquire and sell domain names here at NamePros. Also the appraisal section may give you additional ideas for leads. Comfort Zone and An Accountability Partner In researching this article, I came across It Is Time We Acknowledged Loneliness In Entrepreneurs And Did Something About It by Dr. Pragya Agarwal. We sometimes don’t think of ourselves as entrepreneurs, but we are. She writes the following: Another insight from her article is the idea of finding an accountability partner. Just because it is possible to be a solo domain investor, does not mean we should go it alone in all ways. Building a support network, and finding balance in all aspects of life, including domain investing, is important. Your Thoughts I hope many readers will comment on how they build and utilize their professional network. Have you tried an accountability partner? Special thanks to RJ for having the foresight to create NamePros all of those years ago, and all of the administrators and moderators who have shepherded our online community over the years.