So, do I HAVE to use my real name to make sales?

57 replies
CIP.

I've seen a lot of warriors insist on using their real names.

I'm not a fan of the idea. NO, I don't have anything to "hide", I just don't like the idea of my real name plastered all over google.

I don't even use facebook.

Managing a real life personal and business reputation is enough.

Is there another trustworthy, legitimate way to brand myself and keep in open touch with my customers?

Would a character or a persistent avatar work?
#make #real #sales
  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    Originally Posted by theinfomaven View Post

    CIP.

    I've seen a lot of warriors insist on using their real names.

    I'm not a fan of the idea. NO, I don't have anything to "hide", I just don't like the idea of my real name plastered all over google.

    I don't even use facebook.

    Managing a real life personal and business reputation is enough.

    Is there another trustworthy, legitimate way to brand myself and keep in open touch with my customers?

    Would a character or a persistent avatar work?
    You don't have to use any name at all if you don't want to. I really don't think it makes a big difference to tell you the truth.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lawrh
      Personal branding is necessary if you provide a service or wish to become an authority.

      It isn't needed at all for regular IM.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Franklin
    Hi Infomaven,

    Most Internet Marketers do not use their real name when it comes to promoting affiliate products or even their own product.

    If you did a whois lookup of many websites, you would find that the owner and the portrayed owner are different!
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    Why would'nt you want to use your real name ? It pretty much boils down to trust as all business does, online or offline..

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author Stefan Vee
    Some names pronounce better than other names.
    American or English names usually "sell" better than many foreign names.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marian Berghes
    You prove me that my name is easy to remember and easy to spell and I would gladly use my real name.

    But, until then I am in the process of finding a pen-name, I won't hide the fact that it is a pen name but I would use it in everything I do in business.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Mark Twain, Voltaire, Lewis Carroll, David Copperfield, Carmen Electra, James Herriot, Charleton Heston, Larry King, George Orwell and Tom Wolfe.

      None of those are their real names.

      The more important part is why you are using a pseudonym. If it is to protect your privacy or to have a more memorable name, then it becomes a non-issue. You just have to remember to use it consistently.

      In such a case, you have to treat a pseudonym as your real name. That means you don't do things you wouldn't do if everyone knew your real name.

      You especially do NOT want to be in situations where you change your name periodically because you promoted a bad product or something.

      If you use a pseudonym for deceptive purposes, then you can be in trouble, including legal trouble.
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      • Profile picture of the author traxmaker
        Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

        John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Mark Twain, Voltaire, Lewis Carroll, David Copperfield, Carmen Electra, James Herriot, Charleton Heston, Larry King, George Orwell and Tom Wolfe.

        None of those are their real names.

        The more important part is why you are using a pseudonym. If it is to protect your privacy or to have a more memorable name, then it becomes a non-issue. You just have to remember to use it consistently.

        In such a case, you have to treat a pseudonym as your real name. That means you don't do things you wouldn't do if everyone knew your real name.

        You especially do NOT want to be in situations where you change your name periodically because you promoted a bad product or something.

        If you use a pseudonym for deceptive purposes, then you can be in trouble, including legal trouble.
        Exactly what I wanted to say but couldn't find the proper words. Most very successful people didn't use their real name, for real legitimate reasons.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bugala
        Originally Posted by Dan C. Rinnert View Post

        If you use a pseudonym for deceptive purposes, then you can be in trouble, including legal trouble.
        Hadnt even thought that before, thanks from that piece of info.

        But otherwise on the subject.

        Basically giving your real name creates trust, since you can then in theory get to the front door of that guy and hit him in the face if he screwed you.

        So if hes willing to take that chance by giving his name and face, then theres better chance hes not screwing you.

        But of course it also depends on your name.

        Couple of examples:

        "Hi! i got this great business idea, just send me 1 000 USD and we will make 10 000 USD!"

        Gubuntu Mbuntu, - Nigeria


        "Im not gona screw you, im not like all those arses who only try to get your money"

        - Dick Conner


        "Im an expert on Computer Technologies, been designing computer boards and website solutions for 10 years"

        - Apu Njahripur

        Would you buy from them?


        and then theres also a chance that your real names might be so funny that people dont believe you.

        In my country (Finland) there was this plant farm. The owner was something like Steve Vegetable (direct translation from my language and first name changed to english one) and he had employee called Kirk Greenthumb.

        So when empoyee answered the phone he answered, "Vegetable plant, Greenthumb speaking" "- can i speak to manager?" "Okay, il lgo get Mr. Vegetable here" and due to that they lost lot of customers since many people thought they were kidding.


        Obvious solution in unsuitable names case is of course to take another real name, like John Wayne and many others did.

        But then theres also the possibility to get a fictional name or brand name.

        examples:

        "Insights to Future of Web Design"

        Written by Google

        "Server stability guide"

        by Steve the geek


        I could buy from either of those.

        And especially Google is good example. Since thats no ones name, its just companys name. Even Apu Njahripur, Gubuntu Mbuntu and Dick conner might have all wrote it together, yet the brand Google works.

        And same with Steve the Geek.

        Its bit funny and obviously fictional, but its somewhat credible, depending on thing of course.

        I might not let Steve the Geek in charge of my 10 Billion computer system, but some ebook related to computer technology, why not let him tell me about it.


        So to sum up shortly.

        - Real name creates creditability, especially if you can check it.
        - But if you were simply named wrong, then you have to use fake name, fictional fake name, or brand name.
        - And of course you can choose to use them anyway instead of real name.
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        • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
          - But if you were simply named wrong, then you have to use fake name, fictional fake name, or brand name.
          No, you do not have to use a fake name.

          In the field of philosophy, there was one professor whose real last name was Brain (known as "Lord Brain," he was British), another one named John Wisdom and another one called J.J.C. Smart. Yes, it was kind of improbable and funny, but they each had long and illustrious academic careers.

          Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author radio
    It really depends at what level of business you're conducting online. I recently began selling a product (see sig) and with it comes a great deal of support. I've been loosely anonymous thus far - but I suspect the nature of the business will require me to reveal my real name. It wouldn't be that hard to figure out. I've had some domains on my box that don't have private registration. So whatever. Don't have anything to hide.
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  • Profile picture of the author traxmaker
    90% of people in any type of marketing don't use their real name. Take anyone who has replied anywhere in this forum and even if their name shows John Smith as the user ID, odds are that John Smith is really Samuel Jones (just fictional examples of course). Create a pen name or image and you will do fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author Headfirst
    I'm all for personal branding, but don't use you're actual name, you'll never be able to sell that business/brand.
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  • Profile picture of the author theinfomaven
    Awesome, thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author dsmpublishing
    A well known internet marketer on here that i am good friends with uses her mums maiden name as she doesnt want her own full current name plastered all over the internet for everyone to see.

    Like you she doesnt have anything to hide she just doesnt want to lose her privacy. I use my own and i am happy to do so and have found that those in the internet marketing niche use a pen name often get caught out and there subscribers often feel conned and may even unsubscribe.

    If you dont like the idea of your identity being exposed keep your first name and change the surname to a family name.

    kind regards


    sam
    X
    Ps remember you will be wanting to build the brand for your name so make sure its something that suits you and your happy to keep!
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  • Profile picture of the author macD231
    I dont think using real mark is mandatory for gaining sells. Yes it is needed when you wanna get your nearest client, meaning client those who recognized you face to face. Otherwise if you can market you product in a organized manner than no need for real name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rollover
    The ppl i work for have a call centre, they all use alias. Most change by their accent. Bcoz its useless if you use a British name with Chinese accent lolz (no offence to chinese)
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    • Profile picture of the author scraggz
      As has been noted by one well known marketer recently if you're selling in many varied niches it's necessary to use different pen names for each niche, as your expertise will be doubted if you're spotted in the different niches.

      An expert in scrapbooking writes a book on mig welding whilst training a schitsu!?

      False cred maybe but then isn't most of marketing an illusion?

      As others have said, it really depends on your aim.

      Stan
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  • Profile picture of the author Creative Thinker
    Eben Pagan's multi million dollar dating advice business runs under his pen name of David DeAngelo.

    If you decide to use a pen name, make sure that it is good to remember and rhyming.
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    • Profile picture of the author Elmar Sandyck
      Personally, I don't think it is the name really but the relationships that matter.
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  • Profile picture of the author alisdairgreen
    I don't think eben pagan is a real name, sounds too catchy!
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    • Profile picture of the author Creative Thinker
      Originally Posted by alisdairgreen View Post

      I don't think eben pagan is a real name, sounds too catchy!
      May be not. No one knows!
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      • Profile picture of the author alisdairgreen
        Originally Posted by Creative Thinker View Post

        May be not. No one knows!
        Its the repeating name syndrome:

        eb-en
        pa-gan

        da-vid
        de-angelo

        frank kern - kinda rolls off the tongue, don't you think?

        what about mike filsame (feel (the) same?)

        Jeff Johnson - another repeater, sticks in your head as well

        Tellman Knudson - thats a serious stick-in-your-head-er!

        There is a pattern somewhere
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        • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
          90% of people in any type of marketing don't use their real name.
          I'm sorry, but that is a ridiculous statement. Do you realize how small the Internet marketing world is compared with marketing in general?

          Outside of the entertainment world, where I agree pen names and monikers are common, nearly all marketing experts use their real names.

          If you're not an expert, it doesn't matter.

          But if you're not an entertainer and you ever hope to be interviewed by traditional media, or taken seriously by a trade association that wants to bring you in for a speaking engagement, or hired by a corporation for consulting, or given a book contract from an established publisher, you'd better be using your real name.

          Marcia Yudkin (my real name)
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Gosse
    I think using your real name puts your credibility on the line and makes you naked in the world of marketing.

    Using my real name creates a higher level of honesty and integrity.
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    • Profile picture of the author shirland
      Originally Posted by Brad Gosse View Post

      I think using your real name puts your credibility on the line and makes you naked in the world of marketing.

      Using my real name creates a higher level of honesty and integrity.
      Yes, I agree if you are marketing your business for the long term ,then being open will only help you. There are many different marketing strategies so if you don't use Social Media, then that is okay.
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  • Profile picture of the author zankee
    Real names are good in certain social media it makes it more personal. In other instances you can use a "character name" or corporate name. Depends on what you like really
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  • Profile picture of the author Keith_Purkiss
    I use my real name for IM, eBay, Amazon etc and a pen name in a niche I am experimenting in.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger was once told to change his name because nobody would remember it. If you're trying to spell it to search on Google it's a different matter!
    If you have a very common name you may want to use another one as it makes it easier to check you search results, get an own name domain etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author sitywyde
    Most people on the internet aren't real anyway...so come up with a sort of real name?
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  • Profile picture of the author Tyrus Antas
    You don't need to use your real name, a pen name can work too.

    It's easier to make a business successful if you use your personality behind it rather than just solely relying on your business brand name. Why? Because we're social creatures and therefore want to have relationships with other humans. Ever wondered where the "faceless corporation" expression comes from?

    Tyrus
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  • Profile picture of the author ricarde88
    Hmmm....if you want to sell a product of your own on Clickbank then its better to use your own name. However, if you are an affiliate then you can most likely use any name you want.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zemalf
    It is good for you to promote and brand some name, your own, your business, or an alias name... So I think it's about whether or not you want to be known as yourself in that market/niche. In some niches it might be important that your "marketing alter ego" is in fact real and in some others it might be the other way around.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    Using your own name gives you a lot of credibility online. it is really your choice. Everyone who has their own business online can either "hide" behind their business or their website or they can come out and show the whole world who they are.

    I always use a picture and my name. I have NOTHING to hide. This was my choice a few years ago.

    There are a lot of scammers out there who use bogus picks of themselves and use names that isn't theirs either.

    I personally suggest that you use your full name with a picture.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
    I can say this: i don't buy stuff in groceries where the owner uses a mask.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rolliesworld
      Originally Posted by Fernando Veloso View Post

      I can say this: i don't buy stuff in groceries where the owner uses a mask.
      That is a weird comparison ... it's like saying the choices in IM are either using your real name or bluntly stating to your visitors/prospects/customers that you are not willing to reveal your name (Call me "Mr Anonymous").
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  • Profile picture of the author eddiejames
    I think it depends on what you're doing and so forth.

    Eddie James isn't my real name, but it is a spin on my real name. My actual first name is James and my middle name is Edward.

    I do prefer to keep my surname private sometimes, but if you looked around - wouldn't be too hard to find that out either.

    On some of my business ventures, I also use my full real name - on others, I have characters that are used.

    Even Frank Kern - isn't actually called Frank Kern - thats just his middle and last name. His legal first name is Irwin.
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  • Profile picture of the author xohaibx
    You don't have to use your real name to do business. I still don't know the name of the store owner next to my place, and I have no problem buying from him.
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  • Profile picture of the author chazmer
    I don't think it really matters if you use a false name or your real name. However if your real name is something exotic, then it's probably more beneficial to use an alias
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    Originally Posted by theinfomaven View Post

    CIP.

    I've seen a lot of warriors insist on using their real names.

    I'm not a fan of the idea. NO, I don't have anything to "hide", I just don't like the idea of my real name plastered all over google.

    I don't even use facebook.

    Managing a real life personal and business reputation is enough.

    Is there another trustworthy, legitimate way to brand myself and keep in open touch with my customers?

    Would a character or a persistent avatar work?
    I don't see the big deal... unless you're embarrassed to be an internet marketer which would say a lot about your level of seriousness in this business.

    Furthermore, for those who believe using no name at all won't make much difference couldn't be further from the truth.

    Using your name (or pseudonym) is marketing 101. Although I use my real name in the IM field because that's were I hang my hat. For other niches I am involved in I use pseudonyms, not to be dishonest but to cover my marketing tracks.

    It's self-preservation from a business perspective because there are a lot of people who cannot (or refuse) to think for themselves and blatantly try to rip you off.

    Mike Hill
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  • Profile picture of the author alisdairgreen
    What about 'Fake' names like 'The Rich Jerk' and 'Rich Dad' ?
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    Using a real name or pen name shouldn't matter. Just build your brand. If your name is really hard to spell or pronounce you may wish to use a pen name. Some do, some don't, but I wouldn't get hung up about it.

    As Dan C Rinnert pointed out, many have changed their name to make it easier or sound better. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one that didn't but he still is successful and everyone knows his name now. If only a name change would do it alone...
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  • Profile picture of the author Slyknight
    Originally Posted by theinfomaven View Post

    CIP.

    I've seen a lot of warriors insist on using their real names.

    I'm not a fan of the idea. NO, I don't have anything to "hide", I just don't like the idea of my real name plastered all over google.

    I don't even use facebook.

    Managing a real life personal and business reputation is enough.

    Is there another trustworthy, legitimate way to brand myself and keep in open touch with my customers?

    Would a character or a persistent avatar work?

    Just use a name that sounds real. Something short and catchy like "Jameson Kade."

    A bad name would be "Raphael DeLaghetto"
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  • Profile picture of the author RebeccaL
    I use my name on IM related stuff, but for other niches I have seperate pen names per niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author DotComSecretsTour
    I personally use my own name on everything, but as most people noted, many large marketers won't (and many will!) There is no need to use your own name if you keep a pen name consistent in that niche. I really enjoyed reading all the various points of view in this post...lots of discussion on this!
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  • Profile picture of the author MR. Bliss
    I use both my Real Name and an aka because I visit many forums and have made contacts.
    I also want those who bragged so much at my first High School reunion
    to see that I am doing great! If they don't believe me I will prove it
    and they will want to know how I did it. New clients for me.

    Sorry I got caught up in the revenge thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrvlPal
    OK if you dont use your real name then how do you cash your big checks? I guess thru your dba or LLC or Corp i would imagine
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    • Profile picture of the author LB
      Originally Posted by TrvlPal View Post

      OK if you dont use your real name then how do you cash your big checks? I guess thru your dba or LLC or Corp i would imagine
      My pen name is "Cash".

      Works best that way.


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    • Profile picture of the author Joshua.E1
      i agree that you do not have to use your real name on the Internet.

      just like a author who writes a book, has a author name for the fans, we can do that too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Emma Ngin
    I really think that you must use your real name. Specially when you do intend to make sales. Otherwise, how will you be able to get the money from said sales. Thought, I'd voice out my opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Tee
    I'm just wondering about this question if you are writing a real book, do you want to use a real name so you can brand yourself later, or should you use a pen name?
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  • Profile picture of the author Justin1
    Some of u guys have cool names and should use them for IM!

    The first time I heard Tellmans name, I really thought it was a novelty name, Tell man Nothing, tell man nudson, like in the hogans heros show when the fat guard, says, I KNOW NUSSING. But thats the way my head works I spose. Ive had my stepfathers name since he brought me up, but its a hard name to spell and is spanish/italian, and like some others, I really dont want my name all over the place, so I will have to think of some other cool name lol
    Talking about Tellman, man that man sells any crap in his emails, worst list I am on I think!!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author Rolliesworld
      You only focus on one main niche:
      • You could either use your real name or any name.
      • You'd have to stick to whatever name you chose to use.
      • If it is not your real name, you might want to consider paying for WhoisGuard privacy protection in order to prevent people from accessing your real name information
      • You'd have to consider situations down the track where you might have more exposure with the public in 'real life' (radio station interviews etc) ... not sure if they'd accept your fake name
      You work in a number of different niches:
      • This I find tricky ... on one hand, you lose credibility as an 'expert' in each respective field if you chose to use your real name
      • On the other hand ... imagine you are using VIDEO on your various sites ....people will recognise you by your looks, your voice, your accent ... but will be confused when they realise you are obviously concealing you real name ....however, NOT using video or audio for that reason I don't find a good idea ..!
      ====> Any thoughts on how to approach the multiple niche aspect...when using video and audio?
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  • Profile picture of the author CPA
    Hey mate,

    No you don't. Just take a look at what the rich jerk did for example.

    Just come up with your own unique idea and stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author The Pension Guy
    Names can be funny things - and be careful when you choose a pen name
    Your Name Is Who You Are

    Let me give you the story of my names outside of IM because one might have to change names even in the real world, not only online...

    I my native country I started a journalist career as Lastname I. Firstname (I. stands for middle initial and in my native tongue we put the "family name" first). It has become a brand name for me, even in its abbreviated form: LIF.

    Then I moved to another country and after about a year or so writing with the same name I got an offer I couldn't refuse: to work at one of the most prestigious newspapers. So, here I was sitting at my new desk when the editor in chief stopped behind me and asked: what name are you going to use, mister? Because he had exactly the same Lastname Firstname as mine

    I picked a new Lastname and again made it a brand in a few years. Even my oldfriends learned to call me on my new name.

    Then I moved to my third (present) country and started to use just my original Firstname Lastname (no initial and lost the accents... รก became a)

    One day I started to play with some website building stuff and signed the otherwise awful result with the name my niece used to call me, something like "uncle Bob". I signed up in different forums and websites with that nickname, started to make websites etc.; finally built a relatively profitable web design business all using this "uncleBob" nick.

    Recently, when decided to "save the baby boomers" I figured it would be better to use again my real name instead of a nick name, and separate this IM activity from that old web designer persona...

    However, if I will ever venture into other niches, I will, probably, use different pen names, as many people say they do.

    As you can see, sometimes you may be forced to change your name, other times a joke becomes your "brand". It doesn't really matter as long as I can honestly stand behind whatever I achieved under different names.
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