Last week I was a guest speaker at a networking group and as part of a customized workshop, I reviewed different LinkedIn profiles so that the attendee could clearly see some of the principles that I had presented. I always find this an interesting part of a presentation because sometimes people don’t want to see what others see. However, if you have set up a LinkedIn profile, it is on a PUBLIC domain for all to see not just your first degree connections. This week’s blog post is focused on using your profile name.
A profile name should be set up for an individual not a company. If you want your company profiled, you can set up a company page (this feature was introduced in August 2010 to compete with Facebook Business Pages). At this point in time, however, we are just talking about an individual personal profile. My professional opinion on the importance of developing a comprehensive profile was mirrored in a recent featured article in the Chicago Tribune. The article discussed the names people use on their professional profiles (read article here: Names in the workplace ).
I championed that it is best to use the name that you are most commonly known as. For example my name is Margarita ~ not Margie, Maggie, Marge, Margaret or Margeurite. That is the name I am known as and the name I use professionally. My brother on the other hand goes by his middle name. His full name is Juan Carlos but his profile use to read J.C. (Carlos) Meneses. Now, he has just left it as Carlos Meneses. To us as a family, he is Juan. When I introduce him, I use Carlos. Professionally and on a daily basis, he is using the name that he is know for.
If you have a common name or unfamiliar name but go by the shorten version or nickname, I suggested that you may want to use that version instead.
We now use Google, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn search features to look for people. Personal SEO (search engine optimization) means that you are searchable (who hasn’t Googled their name at least once?). So if I Google your ‘common’ name but you have a profile under you ‘formal’ name, I am less likely to find you. LinkedIn has become a powerful force in social media networking so much so that if you search for someone’s name (and not just their company), their LinkedIn profile will likely be on the top half of the search page.
Why is this important? For business owners and service providers, your name may be synonymous with your brand. So if your name/brand rises consistently to the top of the page, then you are more likely to be the one they call.
“Ultimately, it is an individual choice of what name to use.
It is after all your profile that all the world will see.”
Next week, I will discuss another hot topic at the workshop: a profile picture. Should it be you or your logo?