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You’ve decided you’re going to be a fitness model. The dilemma: Use your real name when modeling or create an alias?

Let’s start with the premise that whatever your direction, exercise consistency. Remember: You’re creating a product or brand, said product being you the model. If fans and industry people can’t find that product on the store shelves, your marketing department gets failing grades.

If you do one shoot with your real name, the next with an alias and the following shoot with yet another alias, you’re confusing the matter. Make your choice and be consistent.

Why do you need to use an alias name?

1. Designer Name

Like Superman villain Mister Mxyzptlk, what happens if you have a name that is difficult to spell and difficult to pronounce; or at the other end of the scale, a too common name lost in a sea of similar names?

Sometimes it’s just easier to design a name that works, that’s unique and that stands out.

2. Privacy

As a fitness model, your product is your physique. In this business, a sexy hardbody sells. Showing off that hardbody might entail minimal clothing.

You may be fine with that image, but there will always be people far less accepting of this than you are. An alias in the model world gives you an extra layer of privacy in the real world.

3. The Future

When you’re 21, the future might seem, well, somewhere off in the future. It’s not of immediate concern.

The person you are today might be quite different from the person you’ll become five years from now. Right now, it’s great to be in the spotlight, but what happens if you need anonymity in the future?

One of the major reasons why the web is a superior marketing tool versus print is that once you publish something on the web, it keeps working to bring you exposure long after a print piece meets its end in the recycle bin. Excellent when you want the exposure, but should you ever decide to change directions, your published web material awaits discovery by anyone curious enough to Google your name. Again, a model alias provides you with that extra security should you decide to take a different direction with your life.

4. The Past

Everyone has past transgressions, whether small or large.

Maybe you don’t want people to know about your past. Or perhaps you don’t want people to know about someone you associated with in your past. Again, a model alias can provide a layer of security between you and something in the past better left forgotten.

5. Job And Career

Not every work environment is welcoming to a lean, muscular, bikini-clad model and competitor. If a Google search connects model you with work you and puts your livelihood at risk, perhaps it’s time to consider a name change.

Making The Change

If you’re unsure, start by using your first name only as your fitness model alias. Better to err on the side of caution than start with your real name and then attempt to undo what’s been done. Keep in mind that once your name is out there, it’s there for the world to see.

If you compete, you can create a model alias and compete under that name. From a marketing standpoint, this is the ideal strategy as it’s going to give you maximum exposure and name recognition for your brand. Again, this speaks to consistency.

If you’re going to create a model alias, you need to put some thought into your name. Look at it from the perspective of naming a new product. You want something easy to remember and easy to pronounce. Although Buff Hottie might work for a nickname, it’s likely not a good choice for a model name. Avoid cutesy sounding names.

Once you’ve selected potential candidates, the next step is research. Google your name and make certain someone else hasn’t already made it uber popular. As important, make sure the corresponding URL is available so that you can purchase the domain name to go with your model alias.

There you have it – a new name and product waiting for you to take it to market.

Fitness model Fawnia Mondey strikes a pose

Fawnia Mondey – fitness model

Originally published June 2015