Posted: Tue 5th Apr 2022
There are over 800 million users on LinkedIn. 800 MILLION!
In a pond that large it’s very easy to become one of the small fish swamped by a shoal of others who look just the same as you.
So you need to find some ways to stand out and ensure potential clients come to you, not your competitors.
A simple change to your default profile URL is the starting point.
Why you should change your LinkedIn profile URL
LinkedIn is, essentially, a massive search engine.
It works much the same way for its users as Google does for websites. When a LinkedIn user – that’s your potential customer – is looking for a solution to their problems, they’ll turn to the LinkedIn search bar.
By default, your profile URL will be the name you used when you joined LinkedIn. In my case, that looks like this:
That’s all well and good, but if anyone’s searching for you using your name either:
They already know who you are
You might want to consider a restraining order…
Instead, you should think about what your clients might be looking for.
Anyone looking for someone who does what I do, to use an example that’s close to home, might search for “LinkedIn trainer” or “Marketing consultant”.
Now, there’s one slight problem here, in that LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to use its own brand name in your URL. So I’d have to use “social selling trainer”, “social media trainer” or something similar instead. Some lateral thinking can be required!
So let’s take the less complicated “marketing consultant” as our example.
How to change your LinkedIn profile URL
First, you have to find WHERE to change your LinkedIn URL… Like so much on LinkedIn, that’s not as easy as it might sound!
Open up your LinkedIn homepage and head over to the top right-hand corner.
Click on ‘Me’ underneath your profile picture.
Click the ‘View Profile’ button.
Click on the ‘Edit Public Profile & URL’ link in the top right.
Note: at the time of writing, this link gets partially hidden by a ‘helpful’ additional navigation bar that LinkedIn pops up as soon as you start to scroll back up the page. Persevere, the benefits outweigh the pain!
Choose your new URL carefully
It’s important to note that your LinkedIn profile URL is NOT dynamic.
You can change it as often as you like, but that won’t change any existing links to your profile that are out in the wild.
So, if one week you choose to use “mary-smith-lion-tamer” then the following week you decide “mary-smith-hamster-training” is a safer business bet… any links you’ve already sent out to your profile will stop working.
Obviously, you want people to have an easy way to find you on LinkedIn, so you should be putting links to your profile out there. Whether that’s on emails, your website, printed on business cards… when you change your URL, all those links will instantly be out of date.
For that reason, you really only want to change your profile URL once.
So ensure you choose something that’s meaningful, relevant, and makes it clear what you do.
The perfect LinkedIn profile URL
Perfect is a strong word but it’s what you should strive for in choosing your new URL.
Here are my top tips for getting close to perfect:
Use a combination of your name and what you most want to be found for.
Keep it personal and searchable to increase your chances of appearing above your competitors.
Take some time to write out different variations before making the change.
One final thought on changing your LinkedIn URL – it shows good attention to detail. If you’ve put thought into your URL, you’re showing potential clients that you plan ahead, think about how you present yourself and understand the importance of paying attention to the small things.
It’s never too early to start giving yourself a competitive advantage. So now you know how to do it, head straight on over to your LinkedIn profile and give yourself a shiny new URL!