Is it ok to use a pen name for my online business?

24 replies
Hello everyone

I own a site and a facebook page which use my brand name

I was thinking of putting a pen first name in my "to" field of my autoresponder campaigns for a more personal and human experience for my leads

Something like Lizzy at lexcorps(these are made up)...

I'm a guy and my audience is 100% female, so i think a female name will sync better with them.

I don't sell products of my own.. i promote affiliate products from real(not pen) business owners.

My question is... is it ok to use a pen first name in my autoresponder ?

Just the first name.. nothing more

Is it illegal? I wouldn't want to go to jail or anything

Thanks for your input

Kingspark
#business #online #pen
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  • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
    This has been asked and answered on this forum, many dozens of times. It is a totally irrelevant question since no matter what name you use, real or pen, there is no way that anyone will know if it is real or not.

    Just take one minute to think about it, logically. It simply doesn't matter.

    Anyone who tells you to use your real name because you want to "build trust," is incapable of comprehending the lunacy of their proposition.
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    • Profile picture of the author kingspark
      Wow. Thanks a lot OptedIn. I never really thought of it like that

      thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
        Originally Posted by kingspark View Post

        Wow. Thanks a lot OptedIn. I never really thought of it like that.
        I am the voice of common-sense and reasoned solutions. :-) It's a gift that I freely dispense.

        "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."
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        • Profile picture of the author rodonet
          Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

          "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful."
          I like you because you're ugly.
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          • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
            Originally Posted by rodonet View Post

            I like you because you're ugly.
            You have self-esteem issues. :-)
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            "He not busy being born, is busy dying." - Bob Dylan • "I vibe with the light-dark point. Heavy." - Words that Bob Dylan wishes he had written.

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  • Profile picture of the author spartan14
    Doesnt matter man just use it
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    It is OK, K, but ask yourself:

    "Why?"

    If fear drives you, expect to face transparency problems. But if fun drives you, it grows into something playful and successful, over months and years.

    Ryan

    PS....I love Cyprus Nicosia and Paphos were both quite fun.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Ryan - you need to step away from the 'fear' and look at common sense


    Smart to have a pen name that mirrors your audience demographic....it's common and nothing unique to the online area.


    Absolutely nothing wrong with using a pen name. Many marketers even create a 'persona' and a story to go with the name. To me, that goes too far but it's personal choice, I guess.
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Originally Posted by kingspark View Post

    Is it illegal? I wouldn't want to go to jail or anything
    Thanks for your input

    Kingspark
    I'm guessing your real name isn't Kingspark. You're probably not even royalty.

    Does that help to answer your question?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jen Eick
    I think it's totally ok, in an online world. But it can still pose some problems.
    I wrote a book using a pen name, and found it challenging to market it since I couldn't really do offline public appearances being "me".

    Later, I launched an info product using a variation of that same name. Hard to tell if it was the name or my lack of knowledge back then, but I personally felt I struggled a bit due to using a pen name. I didn't feel "authentic". (This was just my own issue. You may not have the same issue).

    In my case, I wanted a pen name because hardly anyone pronounces my last name right. Now I just tell them "Rhymes with 'like'" and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by kingspark View Post

    I was thinking of putting a pen first name in my "to" field of my autoresponder campaigns for a more personal and human experience



    Did you catch the irony of what this statement says?


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Deniafebake
    Well I think there are some factors to be put to consideration. What is your website about? Is what you usually talk about something you think the female folk would only feel comfortable discussing/ asking opinions about with another female? Or do you think that they would want a male perspective of things.
    It really doesn't matter so much, don't sweat it. Or, to make all things balanced, why don't you go for a "unisex" name, like Andy, or Chris, Or Vic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Hunsons
    Pen name is already somebody's brand, isn't it?
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    I would not recommend using your real name. There was a time when I prided myself in using mine, and thought it made me "above" other marketers, or more "transparent..."


    If I could go back in time, I would not have made that decision to start using my real name.


    Dont get me wrong... if you LIKE "stalkers", then its a great idea.


    Once you develop a few thousand followers, there are GOING to be a few people in the crowd who start to resent you for some reason, if only for an imagined slight... and some of them turn into stalkers.


    As far as being "fear" motivated: There are alot of people here on this forum who have made the decision to be "brave" and use their real name in the past, and they dont anymore.


    Using a pen name is not "fear", it's just "smart", if a person thought about it.


    I know it works for Tony Robbins and others (using a real name) ... but Im sure Tony Robbins cant even go to the bathroom without someone knowing about it. If you like that kind of attention then go for it.


    There comes a point when it doesnt feel so great to have your name being plastered everywhere.


    Another thing, and I have learned this from experience, is that: You can potentially pigeon hole yourself, which makes it harder to diversify your subject matter, or change your stance on a subject... because you have already been branded for a certain thing.


    On a last note: Having an alarm system in your home isnt just "fear", it's "smart". Well, think of it... you can even put your own family in harms way by putting your name out to millions of people.


    Yes; I have literally had people look up my family members phone numbers and addresses. That was only possible for them because I used my real name.


    There are alot of reasons to use a pen name. It's everyones personal choice, but , down the road, in hindsight, you may agree with me.


    Hindsight is 20/20


    As long as I have been on the "Warrior Journey", there is a bunch of experience to offer. I think this is one of my more valuable peices of advice. Giving the whole internet the keys into your personal life is really not smart, no matter how well intending you are.


    Hope it helps someone.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hersh
      John, I agree 100%.

      I had tons of educational videos on YouTube back in 2008. A few unstable people must have searched me online and found out my home phone number. They complained/harassed me a bit. I believe they could have dug deeper and found my home address if they wanted to.

      So, this left a bad taste in my mouth.

      I am neither paranoid nor very worried that anyone will actually come to my home and/stalk me,

      but...

      I will sleep better at night knowing it's much less likely (or nearly impossible) if my online presence didn't contain my image and/real name.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nico Mallo
    In my own opinion, I don't think that's gonna be a big deal unless you have a hidden agenda. It has an advantage as well, like what you mentioned all of your audience are girls, you don't want to make them feel awkward or something. I don't think having a pen name will cause a big trouble, just stick with your plan and work genuinely so you won't have any problem in the future. I myself use a pen name to protect my privacy, in your case you need to be careful as well. Good luck to your business if you choose to use your real name for your business then that's good as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Sure, why not?

    Many people do this.

    But, just don't be deceptive.
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  • Profile picture of the author kingspark
    thanks a lot everyone for your input. My doubts have been settled. Thank you all once again
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    My pen name is Bic Papermate.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      My pen name is Bic Papermate.
      Mine is Parker A.T. Cross.
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      "He not busy being born, is busy dying." - Bob Dylan • "I vibe with the light-dark point. Heavy." - Words that Bob Dylan wishes he had written.

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  • Profile picture of the author Sean Carter
    Personally, I think that using a pen name is the only sensible thing to do. With people's personal information being so readily accessible, I'm not sure if you'd want to take the chance of having your security compromised.
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  • Profile picture of the author SiteNameSales
    I've been using a 'nom de net' since I got involved with online marketing several years ago. It was a common practice back then much of my online sign-ins, etc. use it.

    It may offend some in the 'know, like and trust' crowd, but the name is essentially my alter ego and I pride myself on being as upfront and ethical as possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author dioni
    The way you said of how you're using the 'pen name' because you're a guy and you have a 100% female audience for the products and you want to sync better with them is totally acceptable.

    1. I don't think everybody has the time to Google or research about you (though I'd have to admit that working in marketing, there are really people who do this.)
    2. I don't think it's ever illegal to use a pen name for your autoresponder
    3. Work with what you think is comfortable for you and your audience.

    Hope this helps even with a bunch of replies already
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  • Profile picture of the author CosCom Incorp
    Some times it is the safest measure needed. However, most times it sends wrong signals to prospective customers.
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