Here’s a simple and essential LinkedIn tip that everyone should follow as soon as possible: Create a personalized LinkedIn profile URL.
Why? A personalized URL will allow 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 to give others the ability to find and contact you quickly and easily.
Having a personalized LinkedIn URL also helps with SEO on major search engines like Google and Bing. Setting up a custom URL requires activating your LinkedIn public profile – this is what search engines analyze – which helps you 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 have to play around with it a bit to add your middle initial or an “esq” or “cpa” because LinkedIn has over 650 million users, many of whom have already set up theirs, this is what your personalized LinkedIn profile URL will look like:
(With your name, of course, instead of the language above.)
To change the URL of your public profile from your computer:
- Click it Me at the top of your LinkedIn home page.
- Click on View profile.
- Click on Edit public profile and URL on the right rail.
- Under Edit your custom url in the right rail, click on the Edit next to your public profile URL.
- It will 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 on to safeguard.
Here’s how to change your public profile URL on your mobile device
- Tap your profile picture.
- Scroll to Contact and personal information section and press the Edit icon.
- On the Edit contact details page, press your Profile URL. You will be redirected to the Public profile settings page.
- Under the Edit URL section, press the Edit 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 edit what appears on your public profile. Custom public profile URLs are available on a first come, first served basis. Members can only have one custom public profile URL at a time.
A few other things to note:
- Your personalized URL can contain 5 to 30 letters or numbers. Do not use spaces, symbols or special characters.
- LinkedIn recommends using a variation of your name and / or professional brand since you will be sharing this URL with people, so that they can find your LinkedIn profile. Some applications may also ask you for the URL of your LinkedIn profile. It is also a good idea to add it to your resume.
- The customizable part of the URL is case insensitive. This means that using JohnSmith, johnsmith, or johnSmith will all point to the same profile.
- If the URL you want is not available, please select a different one. They cannot make custom URLs available to members upon request.
- You can change your URL up to five times in six months. After you change your URL for the fifth time, you won’t be able to change it for six months. Changing your URL multiple times can prevent people from finding you.
I recommend doing a company-wide analysis of each employee’s LinkedIn URL and then doing a training / handout to explain how your employees can customize it on their own. Then encourage everyone to add the URL to their email signatures, arguments, business cards, and website bio. Basically, wherever your face or name appears, your LinkedIn URL should appear as well.
It’s easy to change the URL of your personalized LinkedIn profile – 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.]