When Romeo’s lover waxed poetic about “what’s in a name” and the sweet smell of the rose, she did not have to worry about the practicalities of changing hers from Capulet to Montague. Back then, word would spread quickly in closely knitted communities. Changing a name today is far more complicated than the rivalry between the Capulets and Montagues.
I know. I got married last weekend and my new last name is Baribeau. Informing government agencies like the Social Security Administration is a cake walk compared to getting the word out in cyberspace. With more than 300 articles published under my former last name, which I used for 17 years, I wonder how long it will take Google to figure out that Annmarie Geddes Lipold is also Annmarie Geddes Baribeau.
Many brides with professional careers especially struggle with what their names should be after they are married. Some stick to their maiden names only to find this causes confusion socially, especially after having children, who tend to have the last name of their father. These women often end up using their husband’s last name socially to avoid confusion.
Surprisingly, there is little information available on how to efficiently let your professional world know about a name change, which has everything to do with personal branding. Yes, changing it on social media is easy, but who gets your message has a lot to do with how much they use social media in the first place. LinkedIn postings get buried pretty quickly if you have a large network.
Some experts say you need to convey a message seven times before people remember it. My plan is to re-tweet and post several LinkedIn messages, including my groups, announcing my name change hoping that my network gets the message. Being redundant and sending personal messages to your network are critical for getting message out. Of course I will also be sending emails as well.
Surprisingly, there is little information available on how to efficiently let your professional world know about a name change, which has everything to do with personal branding.
Changing a business name is even harder. It requires you to dust off your business plan and go through the branding process. Thoughtful and effective re-branding requires a great deal of consideration and the logistical details that are as complicated as moving and planning a wedding in two months, which I did!
For now, I am keeping my company as Lipold Communications. My new company name will reflect what my company offers instead of using my last name.
Your advice, feedback and experience about changing your professional name halfway through your career years are most welcome. Please post them in the comments section. Thanks!
In the meantime, you can still reach me as always at firstname.lastname@example.org.