Got a downloadable asset? Name it to get found.

If you users can’t find it, they can’t share it.

Failing to add author or organization to a file name increases the difficulty for prospects to find, review and share your thought leadership. It’s a missed opportunity for branding and poor naming also plays havoc with your team’s speed to retrieve and reuse.

One of my pet peeves when I download a great asset is the file names that people use. They aren’t thinking about the end user and how their prospect might find the file again later. It’s a common problem and I was guilty of it myself recently, inspiring this post.

Think about it for a sec. You want your followers to consumer your assets, read your books, find value in your white papers, lead magnets, ebooks and checklists so they will get your thought leadership, buy your products and services, review your work and share, share, share with colleagues. You are nurturing your next champions and evangelists!

Most of them have the title of the white paper, checklist or ebook, but no reference to the author or their company. Titles like 5 Things to Make X Better. Here’s a snapshot of how these look in my folder. I am likely to remember that the asset I’m looking from was from so-and-so, but not likely to remember it was called 6 Steps to Running… or 7 Deadly…

File names starting with a number

Notice at the bottom of my screenshot, the asset I’ve downloaded was called FileNamingHandout_v3. I’m lucky in this case, my search on “file naming” does come up with this document with the “File”. However, I am more likely to remember it as having come from Stanford Library. Yeah, you would think, as the authors of a document on file naming best practices, they’d consider that it should include the author or organization, right? Yeah, it happens to the best of us.

Another problem is folks who call their assets “The” something or other. See this next screenshot. Yeah, I’ll really search for a “The” when I’m trying to find this.

List of file names starting with The

I don’t think eMarketer initially got it and I changed at least one of these, but then they did and you can see them all in a very neat spot saved neatly in my library. I can find anything easily when I want to quote from one, refer it to a friend, or share it in a blog post or social media.

And the File name: how-to-publish-on-amazon? Good luck remembering those guys.

Screenshot of eMarketer folder file names

Moreover, file naming should be a part of an organization-wide naming convention so team members will spend less time looking for assets and more productive time repurposing.


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