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Thread: Using a pen name, when to use and when not to?

  1. #1
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    Question Using a pen name, when to use and when not to?

    I was just curious when or if you should use a pen name. Eben Pagan uses his pen name on his dating product, but his real name for his IM products.

    Everyone says to build relationships with your customers, so I'm assuming you should be using your real name. Or should you?

    Or does having a disclaimer saying that you're using a pen name suffice?
    Every Expert, was once a Beginner.

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    If you want to build an authority status or credibility level of some sort (in the niche you want to be known in), I would just use your real name and be you. If you have some side projects in other niches I don't see the harm in using a pen name. Many do.

    Andre

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    The benefit about building a brand around a pen name is that it's more "sellable" than a brand around your own name. Sometimes having your full name and a more personalized brand can help you gain more momentum though, so that's the trade-off.

    Pen names are perfectly acceptable though in many niches

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    I ditto what Kenster said. Think "Rich Jerk". I mean that was an entire character being developed ... but it made the business a lot more exit friendly.

    Depends on your business and goals... for me, it's brands all the way. As I close out and sell off my info product business, 'Rob Toth' will just be in the background and official documents. The company brand name will be the focus.

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    I've often battled with whether or not to use a pen name. I was working on a weight loss product where I was using a pen name but then always felt awkward about the product using a pen name. Now with IM products I use my name and I'm trying to build a brand with my name. Definitely one of those things I've been struggling with too.

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    Yes and if you want to be a perceived expert and hold expert status in numerous verticals, it may make sense to go the "brand" route over personal name route. That's most likely why Eben did that. When people search for David Deangelo, only his dating stuff pops up and almost all of his prospects wouldn't know he's an internet marketer by trade. If they did see he was an expert internet marketer and expert in 10 other fields, that would hurt his credibility

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    Who says you can't use a pen name and build relationships with your customers?

    Rob brings up a good point about Rich Jerk... the angle he used was a fantastic one for getting attention, and would it have been nearly effective if he used his name and just acted like a jerk? Of course not no, and obviously the ability to sell the brand is greatly amplified if it's detached from you personally. I have a couple pen names for lists, in fact only my traffic gen IM products, and one fitness product uses my real name.

    This also helps you create your own competition and "JV" with yourself.
    Want some tips on buying traffic and media buying? Check out ===> www.chadhamzeh.com

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    I've struggled with this too. My first niche sites were in areas that I had some professional experience of but I was not selling my own products.

    Now that I am focused on the IM niche I am using my name on all my social media accounts and so on. I'm building a couple of new curated sites - one is in NLP training (my profession) so although I am not training now, I would like to have my own name connected to the site. As NLP kinda crosses over into Marketing I think that will be okay. The other authority site I'm beginning is completely different. I'm building this one with my son and its about London life. He lives in London so will be able to dart around to different events and get pics or review. It's a long term project. I'd like to be connected but think I might use my name with a pen name so its maybe my 'maiden' name or as my hubbie is adopted I sort of feel we can use his birth name and it still feels like its me.

    With any other niche site that I don't have any professional or personal interest in, it's pen names all the way.

    Thanks for this thread, writing down my thoughts has finally helped me with a decision!

    Great,
    Leah

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    This is a really interesting debate which always causes a discussion in forums.

    Personally, I don't see anything wrong with using pen names, provided you're not doing so in order to deceive or fraud or anything.

    I'm in a slightly unusual situation, I guess. Before I got 'into' IM, I set up an offline business working as a hypnotist and NLP trainer under my birth name. That means that I have all of those domains and that branding set up for my offline hypnosis business (which is my passion and I still run today).

    So when I started online, I decided to use a pen name in order to keep my businesses totally separate.

    I didn't want people searching for me as a hypnotist (under my birth name) and finding all of this stuff about internet marketing and getting confused. The same applies in the other direction.

    I guess as long as you're honest about it then using a pen name is fine. So if someone found my hypnosis stuff then found my IM stuff and asked... then I'd happily explain the situation. Like I am here.

    In my IM stuff I appear on camera and record videos and attend live events, so provided you don't use a pen name to 'hide' behind or deceive anyone, I think it's fine.

    But that's my opinion
    Marc (aka Bob, Sue, Jim, Dorothy... Just kidding!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenster View Post
    ...If they did see he was an expert internet marketer and expert in 10 other fields, that would hurt his credibility
    I totally agree brother Kenster.. #Nuff Sad !!
    Last edited by Gugulethu Mokwebo; 05-05-2012 at 11:33 AM.

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