Congratulations, you’ve tied the knot! You and your new spouse are still basking in the glow of the happiest day of your lives, and we hope you can keep those good vibes going. As thrilled as you are to be hitched, though, we know that you’re also making it a priority to maintain your personal identity as distinct from your partner’s. While it’s nice to be listed together on invitation envelopes and have your parents finally take your relationship seriously, you don’t want to get lost within coupledom. You were your own person before the big day, and you still are! You might find that it’s a delicate balance to transition into married life while maintaining your sense of individuality and independence IRL… but the same concerns exist online. After your wedding, you’ll likely want to put some extra effort into ensuring that your digital personal brand remains totally your own, no matter how much you love your spouse.

Woman wearing wedding ring on laptop

Everyone Has a Personal Brand

If you’re thinking that you don’t even have a personal brand because you’re not a celebrity or social media influencer, think again! According to Natasa Djukanovic, personal branding expert and CMO of .ME, a company that specializes in personalized domain names, the phrase “personal brand” can scare people away, but it really does apply to everyone in our hyperconnected world.

“We are not talking about CEOs, influencers, or startups only,” Djukanovic says. “We’re talking about every individual who is doing something for a living, and social media can help us establish a personal brand in a specific industry or niche. A personal brand encompasses basically everything centered around you and your public image — on paper, on the internet, and in person.”

It’s no secret that pretty much anything is fair game thanks to Google, and all the results of a Google search of your name play a major role in your personal brand. Ensuring that all of said results are up-to-date after your nuptials — in terms of a name change if you’ve gone that route, but also regarding matters like your politics, opinions, and other personal associations — should definitely be on your post-wedding checklist.

“The key to every happy, long-term relationship is that both you and your partner stay two separate people who decided to spend a life together,” Djukanovic tells us. “The same goes for establishing different personal brands.”

Where to Start

The best way to start this process? Google! If you did decide to change your name, using incognito mode is a great method for finding out where your name has and hasn’t been updated online. Incognito mode will allow you to search without the interference of previously cached search data. Search for yourself under your maiden name and your married name, then figure out which platforms still require changes. You might be surprised by how big your online footprint actually is.

Regardless of whether or not you’ve changed your last name, you can also take Google a step further by searching for different combinations of your and your new spouse’s names. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential client or employer: How easy will it be for a perfect stranger to connect you and your S.O.? If the answer is “very easy,” it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions about how bae is presenting him or herself online.

Talk to Your S.O.

The list of results that pops up after a Google search of your name might be entirely unproblematic, but does the same go for your spouse? Consider the off-screen controversy in the latest season of The Bachelorette, in which contestant Garrett Yrigoyen’s social media history turned up some pretty questionable and offensive activity. Should Becca Kufrin choose to ride off into the sunset with Yrigoyen, she’ll certainly be forced to address the controversy — and the same could happen in your own relationship if you and your spouse aren’t having open conversations about how each of you is presenting yourself online.

“You have a chance to take control of your personal brand from the very beginning [of your married life],” Djukanovic says. “Use every step along the way to express your uniqueness and to distinguish yourself not just from your partner, but from everyone else. Your awesome personal brand deserves it!”

How do you keep your online identity separate from your spouse’s? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)