How to Pick the Perfect Username for Your Baseball or Softball Instagram Account

January 24, 2024

37 min read


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"What’s in a name?," — Shakespeare asks in Romeo & Juliet.

Though he could hardly foresee the rise of social media 420 years ago when he penned the classic play, in terms of Instagram, the answer to this famous question is “Quite a bit, my love.”

To help us first make the point of how important names are for your Instagram and your overall baseball or softball brand, here’s a collection of famous voices weighing in from across history:

"If names are not correct, language will not be in accordance with the truth of things."—Confucius

"It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to." —W.C. Fields

"Our names are labels, plainly printed on the bottled essence of our past behavior."—Logan Pearsall Smith

"Tigers die and leave their skins; people die and leave their names."—Japanese Proverb

"How vain, without the merit, is the name."—Homer (writer of Odyssey & Iliad, not Simpson)

"I’m gonna tell a real story. I’m gonna start with my name."—Kendrick Lamar

There are two types of people when it comes to picking a personal Instagram (or any social media for that matter) username. 

Type one: the perfectionist type that likes to spend a lengthy amount of time thinking, again and again, trying to figure out what would be the best possible name to go with. 

Type two: the impatient type that spends a good 5 minutes thinking about it, only to end up deciding to reuse a generic username they’ve used since high school due to lack of time or creativity, and swiftly moves on with their day. 

But, when it's for your baseball or softball brand, the stakes are higher, and all share the same goal: you want to have the perfect Instagram username. 

You want one that is memorable, unique, has a wow factor to it – and, possibly most importantly, one not already taken.

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​​Why Usernames Are So Important For Your Coaching Instagram Account

When you initially create your Instagram account, and fill in your basic information such as your email address, and phone number, you will then be prompted to choose your username.

First, let's elaborate a bit more on what function your username serves.

  1. Your username is first and foremost one of – if not the most – the important components of your Instagram account URL, as it's placed right after the dash that follows Instagram's own address e.g. 
  2. Your username, also known as a “handle,” is what makes you recognizable. It's also what people will be using to look you up in the Search and Explore section. 
  3. Finally, it’s how followers and partners will @ mention you and tag you on the platform.  

Your username limit on Instagram is 30 characters max and can only contain letters, numbers, underscores, and periods.

Your username is a proxy representative of who or your brand you are. 

You'll see your username on your Instagram account’s profile next to any content you post, likes you give, and next to any comment that you end up composing. 

Though it is preferable to decide from the get go what your permanent Instagram handle will be – if you do want to change it later on due to branding adjustments, for instance, Instagram does allow you to do so.

All you'll have to do is go on your Instagram profile, tap on Edit profile and edit your username as you please. 

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What The Perfect Username for Your Baseball or Softball Instagram Account Should Say About You

Before you even start crafting your username, you'll want to think about the direction of your overall Instagram account. 

You have two general brand routes that you can choose from on Instagram:

  1. Organizational Brand

    If you decide to choose this route for your account, it means that you will be communicating with your audience as a larger entity.

    Examples of this type include training academies, hitting or pitching tool manufacturers, software companies, clothing brands, and travelball organizations.

    And it means that your every move will have to be in alignment with what you've decided your brand should be perceived as. 

    Therefore, choosing a username that will support this overarching idea should be your primary focus. 
  2. Personal Brand

    If you plan on using your account to grow and sell your own services or knowledge (like hitting lessons or online video courses), where you'll be posting things that are more intimate, and that relate to your own individuality and accumulated knowledge, then using your given name somewhere in your bio might be most suited for you.

    A personal branded profile shows what you want people to know about you. Your viewpoints will be put front center, you’ll feel more accessible, and will often create a closer bond with your followers than organizational brands.

    This is because most people want to follow other people and not companies. Again, this approach works great if you yourself are the product or service.

    Putting your real name out there will also reinforce your brand's trustworthiness in the eyes of your audience. 

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For individual team coaches and private lesson instructors who choose to go with the Organizational brand name for their main Instagram username, it should be noted that this is totally fine. 

Many now-successful coaches have used this same strategy – by all means, create a unique brand identity and name for your services and use that in your username. 

However, in such a case, we would explicitly recommend putting your actual birth name for what is called your “display name” on the Instagram account profile. 

We’ll cover these in much more detail below.

But, for now, just know that your display name is the name bolded on your profile. 

And making it your actual name will still allow potential clients and their parents to easily find and identify you for their in-person or online lessons. 

Moreover, mixing a company-like username with a personal display name, might allow you to pursue the more innate prestige and credibility of organizational brands, while maintaining the positive intimacy and human trust of personal brands.  

The first profile example below decided to undertake a more faceless organizational style path, with the brand as a whole being promoted. 

There is no personal name disclosed, and all we know is what the brand has chosen to represent itself to be – with only the content it uploads to support its voice. 

The second account went for a more personal approach by using his real name, his own expertise, and himself on the front lines – as he is the brand – clearly demonstrating what he has built his brand to be for and about.

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What Is My Display Name on Instagram?

The display name and username are two separate spaces on Instagram. 

When you engage in posts, live streams, or comments, it's your @username that will be seen. 

Your display name, alternatively, is, again, the name bolded on your profile. And unlike usernames, these display names can be written in capital letters, spaces, and symbols. 

Display names can also be changed as often as needed to match the evolution of your brand. 

Having a different username and display name will increase the opportunities you can get from keywords and people's search terms on the platform, especially if you are just getting started. 

Since Instagram uses your display name in the Search and Explore page, it is a good idea to use words that your target audience is more likely to look up whenever possible – such as your full brand name or the activity or service that you specialize in. 

As mentioned earlier, for many baseball and softball coaches building personal brands, we recommend making your display name your actual first and last name if you haven’t done this already with your username. 

For personal brands that seek more private lesson clients and clinics in the beginning, along with influencer and affiliate sales opportunities as the account grows large, this is often your best bet. 

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In this example, you can see that the “Coach Murph” display name we’ve circled is different from the account’s username @icoachbaseball.

Picking The Perfect Username for Baseball or Softball – Do's & Don'ts

Now that you have a basic idea of what your username is, let's get into the best  practices to effectively craft your drafted username into the perfect fit for your business.

The Do's

  • Make it easy to remember, memorable.

    Easy to say and read with a nice ring to it should be your aim.

    If you pick a username that is too complicated to spell or too difficult to pronounce when said aloud, chances are people will have trouble finding you on the platform. 

    And poor searchability is a serious problem for your bottom line. 

    If you already have a username established, try asking colleagues or lesson clients to say your username out loud and even try spelling it.

    If you notice that it sounds off or that the likelihood of misspellings is greater than the occasional typing error, then it'd be best to reconsider. 
  • Have it be consistent.

    What we mean by consistent is that it must be similar, if not the exact same, as the one you are using on your various other platforms, like Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook. 

    If the name is taken on other platforms, but available on Instagram, then you’ll likely want to reconsider that username. 

    Having consistent branding on all media makes it not only easier for you to manage, but also easier for your followers to find you.

    Finally, showcasing a professional and unified image to potential clients is important. Like securing a website domain name, you want to own the brand outright.

    This will be a very beneficial 15 minutes of your time in the beginning, that you’ll be thankful for in the future.

    You can even use websites like KnowEm to check your usernames availability on all social networks.
  • Make it connect to your niche or audience in some way.

    Being a baseball or softball entrepreneur, you know the unique language that players and coaches use. 

    Consider the words or phrases that will resonate most with your brand’s audience. 
  • Research your keywords

    Continuing with our previous point, a good way to find relevant words to use in your username is to have a thorough keyword research session.

    Besides thinking hard about terms that are meaningful to your target audience within baseball or softball, you can get some help from free keyword research tools

    These tools are a way of cross-checking your brainstormed words against real data on interest and previous use, but they can also give you keyword suggestions and ideas that you might never have thought of otherwise.  

    Not only will it make you more likely to be found when a popular keyword is used by an individual on the platform, but it will also ensure your username truly reflects what your content will primarily be centered around. 

    After you have a list of 10-20 possible keywords, type each into Google and see where and how such names and keywords are already being used. 

    If your brand is to grow and eventually have a website and life beyond your social media accounts, you must be aware of the other brands and web pages that you might be in competition with for the top spots on Google. 

    Of course, this Search engine results pages (SERP) ranking consideration is often much less of an issue if your personal brand is using your own name. 

    But it’s still best practice to see who else shares your name and to ensure that so-called differentiators your future clients might use in Google, like “your name + baseball,” make you the person that they’ll find. 

    This searchability on Google is a definite benefit of having your profile on marketplace sites, like SeamsUp, because such sites and profiles will be what experts call search engine optimized in a way that most personal websites won’t really be able to match. 

    This means that a sales-optimized profile page giving potential clients the ability to purchase any of your customizable private lesson offerings in a couple clicks, will be on the first page of Google when they search either your name or things like “hitting lessons near me.” 
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  • Make sure it aligns with your current and future business goals.

    As you evolve, business evolves right along with you. So it’s very likely that you'll grow out of what you are currently doing at the moment.

    Which is why it's important to keep your long term goals in mind. 

    This means having a username that isn't too restrictive and allows for changes to be made later on, without it feeling like a drastic change to your audience.

    For an extreme example, if someone has an account with a username like @strictlybaseballequipment. 

    This name implies it will be focused on providing or talking about baseball-related equipment. 

    But then later on, if they decide to change it to something along the lines of @meditation_forbetterhitting, which is quite different in theme from the first chosen name, you can imagine how confusing it will look to both current and future followers. 

The Don'ts

When their desired username isn't available, people often resort to doing several things that result in a not so helpful image to potential followers – and to the Instagram account indexing algorithm. 

A beneficial starting point exercise is to imagine one friend telling another about your profile. But these friends are at a ballfield with no wifi at the time. 

Now that friend, who is poised to become another follower or customer, gets back home and tries looking you up. 

Will you be easy to both remember and find?

The answer will be an empathic no if you do any of these don’ts below:

  • Repeating letters next to each other or misspelling words on purpose just to get that one username you wanted that isn't available is a very big don’t.

    It's fine, we've all thought about it at some point, but the only time this has sorta worked was back in the 90’s for Mortal Kombat.
  • Another don’t is overdoing it and cluttering your username with underscores, periods, or numbers that aren't used for a specific purpose or hold no important meaning.  

    By purpose we mean that it must serve or directly relate to your brand in a way – especially when using numbers – and if it doesn't, then don't use them at all. 

    On the other hand if you are using numbers that have a particular meaning – like it was your jersey number in MLB or college – or using underscores or periods to separate two words, for example your first and last name, then it becomes a conscious choice and not just random moves to force-fit a name. 
  • A final trap to avoid is a username that’s too long

    These often end up being confusing and too difficult for people to effectively remember or share with others. Which will seriously hurt your brand awareness. 
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@44progloves is an account that specializes in providing 44 professional baseball gloves and so this number is integral to their brand.

Instagram Username Hacks for Your Coaching Instagram Account

Here are some ways for you to create the Instagram username to be proud of, along with some clever ways to get around your dream username being already taken. 

And throughout the remainder of this article, we’ll also pepper in examples of strong usernames in the space. 

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You can insert your location in the beginning or at the end of your username as a way to signal where your headquarters are to your audiences – especially if you're a more locally focused brick and mortar type of business. 

This tactic also works if you are part of a training academy franchise or other collective, like a travelball organization, with multiple locations.  

Use Initials

If you wanted to use your name as your username but found out that it was already taken, what you can do instead of giving up on it completely, is try using your name's initials. 

Whether it's your first, middle, or last name’s initials, you can take your pick and place it where it would sound best to you. 

For example, let's say your name is Josh Richard Miller, and @JoshMiller is already taken. You could try turning it into @JoshRMiller. 

Try as many variations as you want until you find the one that sticks with you the most.   

Combine Words

If you don't want to have your birth name be a part of your username, you can choose words that relate to your services or brand in some shape or form. 

Seek words that convey what you're looking to project into the world. 

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Be obvious

You can try just adding what you do or specialize in before or after your name.

For example, @coachyourname, @yournamepitcher, @yournameprocoach, @yournamebaseball, or @yournamelessons.

Adding the words “I am” before your name is another great way to get around an already used personal name for your Instagram account.

Use “Story” or “Daily”

Placing one of these somewhere in your username could work well if your account’s content theme revolves around constantly showing behind the scenes shots of your training sessions and events. 

Or, if you plan on branding yourself to consistently upload such themed content on a daily basis as in the example below.

Try honorifics

Mrs., Mr., Miss, Dr., Professor, and even Sir or Madame might work in the right themed context.  

This is another method that allows for you to use your name even if you find it to be unavailable – which is usually the case if you have a fairly popular name.

Be witty

If you want your brand to be perceived as the friendly, humorous, approachable type, don't shy away from being witty with your username. 

Word play, or funny terms used for effect, can add a little something to your username that attracts followers with its uniqueness.

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What If I Change My Mind On My Username or Coaching Brand Along The Way?

If you decide that your current username is wrong or that you've evolved into a bigger, better version, don't worry. 

You can switch over to a newly created account if need be.

Though it might confuse your pre-existing followers, if, after careful reflection, you come to the conclusion that it's the best course of action for your brand, then go ahead. 

However, try to make the transition feel gradual for your community by announcing the move ahead of time via feed posts, stories, or live streams.

This changing usernames advice holds unless your old profile is a verified account with the blue check mark, in which case you would be much better advised to send a message to the Instagram Help Center for them to update it for you. 

This is due to the fact that Instagram will not permit a verified profile to move to another owner.

Your Instagram account and its username will be front and center in your marketing strategies as you grow your personal brand or coaching business. 

Wanna grow your baseball or softball coaching brand?

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About the Author

Mike Rogers

Co-Founder & CEO

Mike Rogers has spent a lifetime entrenched in baseball and softball as a player, a private instructor, a training facility owner, and the son of two college-level coaches.

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