Before the Internet it was not difficult to keep our multiple identities separate. Few knew that, in addition to deriving the lion's share of my income from executive communications, I was a journalist. Now, all too easily a prospect for our services can go to the web and check out our branding.
Today, that happened and I don't expect a profitable outcome for me. Because ghostwring and speechwriting represent my core competence and most lucrative source of business, that's what my LinkedIn profile is all about. I tried the multiple identity and it drove away prospects. Most human beings cannot process a mixed brand identity.
Recently, thanks to my contract blogging at AOL, Motley Fool and Wall Street Jobs Report, I have been qualified to apply for telecommuting digital niche news opportunities. I had the resume. I had the cover letter. I had the samples. I had the references. One of the media properties reviewed my LinkedIn profile. I doubt if it will consider me any longer. The "mutt" breeding might turn the organization off.
My advice to newbies in communications? Consider different pen names for dominant lines of business. I advised one book ghostwriter who is also a published historian in his own right to create a pen name for one. His own publisher has been becoming increasingly agitated about the risk of putting a historian out there who also is other people's scribe.
Me? What I have figured out is, from now on, to put it out there in the cover letter that I wear a number of hats. Then position that as a source of strength. That is, because I am a published digital journalist I understand how the prospect I would ghost for can get the maximum attention. And the new game, whether polite society will admit it or not, is to get attention.