What Happens when Your Identity is Confused with Others?

Unless you have a very unusual name, chances are there are several other people in the world that share your first and last name. This is kinda neat, but what if your name twin doesn’t do the honor justice?

Before the Internet, you may have never known. Now a simple Google search can lead to all kinds of misunderstandings. What if a client runs a Google search and instead of you turning up, your name twin does?

Ines Hegedus-Garcia has been dealing with this issue for quite sometime. Check out her recent post.

Here’s some suggestions on how to ensure you rule over any other name twins online.

  • Make sure a fabulous recent head shot and bio appears on your website and blog.
  • Check any website (like a nonprofit you volunteer at or organization you belong to) and make sure you are correctly identified. Make sure your stats are consistent: name, title, occupation, company, hometown, contact info.
  • Join a professional networking site such as LinkedIn. Your profile will rank high on Google searches.
  • Leave online bread crumbs. For example, whenever you post a comment on a blog or write a book review on Amazon leave your real name rather than a user name.
  • If the persona of your online twin is so strong that you can’t avoid being confused get clever. Consider always using your middle initial or a nickname in everything you do to distinguish yourself.
  • If you are a new agent check for online name twins before they start building your personal branding strategy. (Coaches, this would be a good idea for you to instruct your agent clients to do). This will save you lots of time, money and disappointment by making tweaks now rather than later.
  • Make contact with your online name twin. There may be ways you can work together to help one another. A mutual link on each others websites or adjustments in title tags. Of course this assumes you don’t have an evil online name twin!

This is just one more thing to add to the list of considerations when managing your online identity. Good luck and happy Googling!

BTW, I’m not the Wendy Forsythe who graduated from St. Bernard’s High School in 1994, or the Wendy Forsythe from Idaho Falls or the Wendy Forsythe in Colorado. If you happen to leave the “e” off my last name and Google Wendy Forsyth, well that’s definitely not me!

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