Here’s an easy and essential LinkedIn tip that everyone should do ASAP – create a custom LinkedIn profile URL.
Why? A custom URL will enable you to use your LinkedIn profile as a branding and lead generation tool.
Your default LinkedIn URL is not easily shared with your network
Your default LinkedIn URL is long and full of numbers and other characters, which is not very user friendly or easily shared with your network. The main point of LinkedIn is giving others the ability to quickly and easily find and connect with you.
Having a custom LinkedIn URL also helps with SEO on major search engines such as Google and Bing. Setting up a custom URL requires turning on your LinkedIn public profile – this is what search engines scan – which helps you to be found organically.
How to create a custom LinkedIn URL
Setting up a custom LinkedIn profile URL is easy to do – if your name is somewhat common, you may need to play around with it a bit to add in your middle initial or an “esq” or “cpa” because LinkedIn has more than 650 million users, many of whom have already set theirs up – here's how your customized LinkedIn profile URL will look:
(With your name, of course, in place of the language above.)
To change your public profile URL from your desktop:
- Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Click View profile.
- Click Edit public profile & URL on the right rail.
- Under Edit your custom URL in the right rail, click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL.
- It’ll be an address that looks like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
- Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
- Click Save.
Here’s how to change your public profile URL on your mobile device
- Tap your profile picture.
- Scroll to the Contact and Personal Info section and tap the Edit icon.
- On the Edit contact info page, tap on your personal Profile URL. You’ll be redirected to the Public profile settings page.
- Under the Edit URL section, tap the Edit icon next to your public profile URL.
- 5. Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
As LinkedIn notes, you can customize your public profile URL when you change what appears on your public profile. Custom public profile URLs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Members can only have one custom public profile URL at a time.
A few other things to note:
- Your custom URL can have 5-30 letters or numbers. Don’t use spaces, symbols or special characters.
- LinkedIn recommends using a variation of your name and/or your professional brand since you’ll share this URL with people, so they can find your LinkedIn profile. Some job applications may also ask you for your LinkedIn profile URL. It’s a good idea to add it to your resume as well.
- The customizable part of the URL is case insensitive. This means using JohnSmith, johnsmith, or johnSmith will all point to the same profile.
- If the URL you want isn’t available, please select a different one. They can’t make custom URLs available to members upon request.
- You can change your URL up to five times within six months. Once you have changed your URL for the fifth time, you won’t be able to change it for another six months. Changing your URL several times may make it hard for people to find you.
I recommend doing a firmwide analysis of each employee’s LinkedIn URL and then do a training/handout to explain how your employees can customize it themselves. Then encourage everyone to add the URL to their email signatures, pitches, business cards, website bios. Basically whereever your face or name appears your LinkedIn URL should appear as well.
It’s easy to change your custom LinkedIn profile URL – do it today.
[Stefanie Marrone helps law firms effectively tell their stories and find their unique voices. Over the last 18 years, she has worked with some of the most prominent and innovative law firms in the world, developing and executing global revenue generating business development and communications strategies, including media relations, branding, and multichannel content marketing and social media campaigns. She is very passionate about using social media for lead generation and brand building. She has a diverse range of experience in both Big Law and mid-size/small-law firms. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her latest writing on JD Supra as well as her blog The Social Media Butterfly.]