How do you pick an Instagram username?

It’s not as straightforward as simply using your name or brand name. With over a billion accounts on Instagram, it might be difficult or even impossible to secure your brand name or even legal name without having to resort to underscores, dots, or even inserting random numbers.

But picking out a name that’s on-brand isn’t impossible.

Here are three easy guidelines to follow when choosing your Instagram username:

1. Your username must reflect your brand.

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Dame Traveler @alicenotcake 🇯🇴 #dametravelerjordan #dametraveler

A post shared by Travel Blog for Women (@dametraveler) on Sep 5, 2019 at 8:18am PDT

You may think this goes without saying, but it’s actually easier said than done. If you’ve got a common name or a generic brand name, you’ll have a hard time securing your desired usernames.

Don’t worry, there are clever workarounds such as adding your industry or a keyword that directly tells your followers what you’re all about. For example, if you’re a beauty brand, you can add ‘beauty’ or ‘makeup’ or ‘skin’ to your brand name.

If it’s a personal account that you want to grow and use as an influencer, you can also add a keyword you want your followers to associate you with. Posting a lot of your outfits? Add ‘fashion’ to your username. Traveling the world? Add ‘travel’ instead.

2. Your username must be easy to remember.

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Searching for my peds (always) • in an @elietahari suit #elietahari

A post shared by Danielle Bernstein (@weworewhat) on Sep 5, 2019 at 2:22pm PDT

Another workaround is to get creative by using wordplay. This helps you secure a creative and memorable username. If you’re going to do this, however, make sure your creative username is both easy to remember and to spell.

You want potential followers to be able to find you easily if they’re going to search for you in-app. Make sure your profile also bears your name or your brand name without character embellishments to make it easily searchable.

3. Your username must be available on other social platforms.

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@hypebeastmusic: @earthgang has dropped their third studio album, ‘Mirrorland.’ The @dreamville duo revel in their unorthodox space in the realm of music, narrating the grey area they find themselves in as hip-hop outsiders. Head to the link in bio and listen to the album now.⁠ Photo: Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

A post shared by HYPEBEAST (@hypebeast) on Sep 6, 2019 at 4:00am PDT

Got the perfect Instagram username, but other brands or people own them elsewhere? You might want to rethink your username, or perhaps request for current owners to give it to you in case these accounts are not active.

Consistency is very important in branding, and it will be hard for your followers to find you on other social media platforms if you have different usernames on other platforms.

While it’s ideal for you to secure a consistent username on all sites, if that’s impossible, just make sure your username is consistent across the big social media platforms as well as YouTube and LinkedIn for brands you want to turn into businesses in the future.

Note: If you already have an Instagram account, you can change your username without losing your current followers.