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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's In a Name? by JP Erickson

This article was written by JP Erickson, a fitness photographer whose work appeared in Oxygen Magazine, Fame Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Pro Wrestling Illustrated, MuscleMag International, Women’s Physique World, Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness and more. It is copyright of JP Erickson has been reposted here with his permission.

Should you use a model alias or your real name when doing shoots?

Let's start with the premise that whatever direction you choose to go, be consistent. 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, you're not doing your job.

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; practice consistency.

I strongly recommend using a model alias. There are multiple reasons for making this choice.

As a fitness model, your product is your physique. In this business, a sexy hard body sells. When you're showing off that hard body, some of your shoots will feature minimal clothing.

You may be fine with that image, but there will always be people that are far less accepting of this than you are. This could be anyone from your employer to family members. An alias in the model world gives you an extra layer of privacy in the real world.

The person you are today might be quite different from the person you will be five years from now. Right now, the spotlight might be great, but what happens if you need more anonymity in the future? Creating a model alias provides you with extra options in the future.

One of the major reasons why the web is a superior vehicle to print is that once you publish something on the web, it keeps working to bring you exposure long after a print piece dies. 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.

If you compete, you can create a model alias and compete under that name. From a marketing standpoint, this is the best strategy as it's going to give you maximum exposure for your product, that product being you.

If you're unsure, start by using your first name only as your 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'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 that is easy to remember and easy to pronounce. Avoid cutesy sounding names. People might call you buff and people might call you hot, but Buff Hottie as your model name likely isn't a good choice.

Once you've selected potential candidates, the next step is research. Google your name and make certain you haven't selected one that belongs to an adult star or mass murderer. As important, make sure the corresponding URL is available so that you can purchase the domain name to go with your model alias. This is the first step in building your product and something we will explore in future articles.

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

I would like to thank JP for sharing this article. You can view more information and articles on his website, Muscle Model 101

Aviva :)

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I am curious however, is there a certain process/formality that you have to go through in order to make your alias "official"? Or do you just start calling yourself by your alias?


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