Is using your real name for all freelance activities weak or strong?


(Marise) #1

Hey, I have a question. Since I have different activities as a freelancer, I’m wondering where I should use my real name online for all these activities or work with one or more pseudonyms. For my community work, people know me by my real name. Also for the holistic health practice I use my real name. Now I want to publish watercolor paintings on some art platforms as well. Should I use my real name? Google would connect all these paintings to my name if I do so, and I wonder what it would do for my “brand”. Are these paintings professional? Would you go to a massage therapist who has so many different activities? Would you hire a community manager who paints creative stuff and massages as well? Is that trustworthy? Would love to hear your insights!


Tips on username process when using SSO
(Robert McIntosh) #2

I’ve used the same username EVERYWHERE for years, but never hidden my real name so the two are interlinked (though I have a reasonably common name). It was good for people to know I had varied interests - wine, parenting, travel, etc.

[EDIT: as I do here :wink: … but it can be confusing to be discussing Renewable Energy and be called ‘thirstforwine’]

However, I was almost always using this on personal sites, or on groups and communities where I represented myself or was the owner. Now that I am doing freelance / consulting work I see the value of only using my real name as the work I am doing in these communities is not the same as the other content linked to my username, and since using my real name is more ‘professional’ in these current cases.

I would say that in your case it sounds like, while it would be great to know that the person working in this community has more varied interests, it is not essential, and the same is true in reverse (you will not sell more art because you are a Community Manager).

If your work is done in your real name, and you need to do so for professional trust reasons as a therapist too, I would personally create a separate ‘persona’ for your more creative endeavours. There is no reason you could not make your real name obvious in association with it, but it would at least indicate that you saw this as a separate part of your output.

My 2¢ :slight_smile:


(Marise) #3

Dear Robert / thirstforwine, thanks for sharing you experience and yes, I see that both community manager and a therapist are serious professions where it’s necessary to share your real name. I see having varied interests is ok, no problem. The bottleneck indeed is my work as a therapist, where I must be trustworthy. So the thing is not to intermingle “commercial” and health interests. So a separate website and FB-page for my work as a therapist under my real name, a website with pseudonym plus real name and Pinterest/Instagram for my creative work (under my real name?) and personal stuff, and a website plus LinkedIn for community management work. WHeee, hope not to be keeping to many balls up (is this an English expression as well??!)


(Robert McIntosh) #4

Ha! Yes, though you might want to add “in the air” at the end as a “balls up” is something slightly different

or you could refer to “spinning plates” instead :wink:


(Marise) #5

in the air :slight_smile: thanks


(Sarah Hawk) #6

Great discussion.

I have also always used the same name everywhere and haven’t ever tried to hide anything on the internet. My personal belief is that everyone has a multi-faceted life, and unless one of the things you do might reflect unfavourably on another then I like the idea of transparency. I don’t see that being a hobby painter as a negative on any level, even if your paintings aren’t to my taste (note: I haven’t seen them!).

Most recently my career has been in the tech and/or startup space so I’m not speaking from the POV of someone that is heavily entrenched in a corporate environment, where I concede things might be different.

I’d love to hear from @jtcarboni on this.


(Jeanne Carboni) #7

Thanks for inviting me to the discussion. Because of my birth name (Terrysa Jeanne Tallman) and two marriages and one divorce (not in that order :wink: ), I’ve had to use different names, and it is a real pain. However, as I got into social media I’ve tried to keep it to jtcarboni and Jeanne Carboni as much as possible. I think it is very important to have a consistent brand for everything you do (unless it’s something illegal, which is another topic entirely).

I can also see the point that, if you want to have an alternative brand for something very unique, you could use a different name that fits and even enhances the brand. For example, rock stars and actors often change their names to something more “cool”. But make sure it is something that you love because it may become the name you are known by for the future. :slight_smile:


(Marise) #8

That’s another viewpoint. Thanks for your input. Why do you think it is important to have a consistent brand for everything? What was the pain in using different names? I do feel something for being consistent, but also want to play around a bit on art platforms before choosing to be branded with my real name and paintings. It doesn’t necessary have to be a cool name, but I’m not sure yet I want massage clients to find my work. But I guess for me it would make things easier on social media, to have just one account on my real name and refer to some of my professional and creatieve activities every now and then rather than having several professional social media accounts.


(Jeanne Carboni) #9

Well, my use of different names wasn’t really by choice. It was more life event related. I’ve been known by:

Terrysa Jeanne Tallman (birth name)
Jeannie Tallman (childhood nickname)
Terrysa Jeanne Obenour (first marriage)
Jeannie Obenour
Terrysa Jeanne Carboni (second marriage)
Jeanne Carboni (professional work name)
Jeannie Carboni (close friends and family)
Jeanne Tallman Carboni (facebook name)
Terrysa Carboni (healthcare companies and other employee benefits)

The painful part of this is that I get a lot of people calling me Terrysa, which I’ve learned to answer to. Also, I have to remember how I’m registered with different organizations so that I can log in correctly.

In the end, though, it depends on what you want to achieve. For me, I think it would be cool if my massage therapist also painted professionally, but I’m not everyone. If you want to keep the massage therapy and the painting completely separate, then you should probably find another name to use.


(Marise) #10

That are a lot of names! I see how that would to confusion. I will let the idea of using my real name for everything sink in for a while. You might have convinced me here!