I’m having a small dilemma here. Some background: I’m a writer and I’ve submitted content across various sites on the web. I’m also pretty active on Twitter (@francescastaana) and I communicate regularly with bloggers, clients, potential customers, etc.
The thing is, I’m getting married in November and I’m considering changing my last name and take my husband’s family name. But I’m worried about the confusion that might arise if I do this. Everyone that I interact with online, from my clients, to my readers and Twitter followers, know me as Francesca StaAna.
I’m wondering if I should change my Twitter handle/LinkedIn name. Should give my clients a heads up? Can I legally change my last name and keep using my maiden name in blog posts, emails, and social media?
I want to know your opinions on this. Has anyone been through a similar situation? If so, what did you do about it?
Thanks and I look forward to your thoughts!
First, congrats on your upcoming wedding! Second of all, I do not have personal experience with this (I'm a guy!), but I say keep Francesca StaAna as your professional name or pen name. Assuming your husband to be is cool with that. I think there is a lot of value in keeping it simple and maintaining the brand of YOU that you have worked so hard to build up. (ie. search engine marketing, facebook, etc.) I don't think this restricts you from changing your legal name. But as far as your client's are concerned, I wouldn't change a thing. I would suggest on Facebook if you go ahead and change your name for your friends/family to interact with you, maintain your "StaAna" identity as a Fan Page.
the flip side of the coin is to go ahead and give your customers and prospects a heads up and use your new legal name as your professional name too. But I see value in the long term in adding a bit more privacy for yourself by maintaining this alternate identity, not to mention keeping all those old web links, affiliate promotions, article posts, etc.
Let us know what you decide to do and how it works out. I'd be curious to know myself of your choice.
I think it's up to you as to how much it would bother you using your old name. Personally, I was excited to get my name changed everywhere when I got married (but this was before I started on social sites and blogging).
I think people get the whole name change thing. Put it in your signature and if you have to change your Twitter account (I think you can just change your username without a new acct) link the old one to the new one.
Maybe just go by Francesca? That's memorable.
You can change your name legally and still be your business persona online.
I'm married and I didn't change my last name, if you've made yourself known with a certain name it's better to keep it alive as is, you can create a separate account for other things (such as personal) with your married name and have both :)
I don't see any reason why you can't take your husbands name in marriage and keep your maiden name for social media. Actors use stage names all the time as do writers, etc. One other suggestion is to ease into things by giving everyone an excited "heads up" about your good news and adding your married name to your maiden name. Many people eventually drop the maiden name and then just have their married name. After all, businesses do it all the time when taking over an existing company, as well. Just a suggestion.
I am not getting married but glad to see the comments here. If ever I will get married, I know what to do. They are right, if you have already build a brand under your name, you do not need to change it. Maybe just talk to your husband about it.