LinkedIn – What’s in a name?

On a couple of our recent LinkedIn courses we’ve spent some time as a group discussing why you shouldn’t put anything other than your name in the name box on your LinkedIn profile.

A couple of people said that they have been encouraged to put their job title/ phone number/ slogan/ interesting characters or even emoji’s as well as their name because otherwise there are wasted characters in the box.

Your name may not use all the characters available in that box, but it’s called a name box for a reason. If someone searches for you by your surname and you have “Joe Bloggs – transmogrification guru” as your name, google is programmed to search for guru as your last name. (I have checked – no one has this particular epithet – yet). This means that you could be missing out on connections/ interviews/ offers of work by not showing up in as many results as you would if you didn’t have anything after your surname.

Also, if someone is looking for a “transmogrification guru” the search engines will look for that title in the headline box, job titles and text of your profile before it looks in your name. This means that you can again be pushed down the rankings or show in fewer searches.

Another reason for not including this information is because LinkedIn is the only one of the major social networks that allows you to download your connections. It very neatly transfers the information from your contact info into a spreadsheet. This could be the most valuable asset in your business! How many connections do you have? You can have them all neatly filed in a spreadsheet along with heir contact details as the basis of your CRM.

If you have anything other than your name in the name box your connections will lose your data. It may be that you don’t want your information to be available to your connections. Personally, I do or I wouldn’t have accepted them as a connection in the first place. I don’t know when someone will want to contact me about a project or piece of work. If they can’t find me on their spreadsheet who is going to get that work? Possibly a competitor. Why make it difficult for someone?  There is plenty of space in your headline box to put your strapline or your job title or even your phone number. Personally, I like to make sure the jobs I can do for people are highlighted and are easily available to the search engines in the headline space.

So, what’s in a name? Well it can win you work, or it can push you down the search list depending on how you use it. Use yours wisely!