LinkedIn is a tool that will help build your firm, if used correctly.
Some people want to do everything they possibly can to optimize their LinkedIn profile, even if that means breaking some important LinkedIn rules. Since LinkedIn will increase your presence on Google, many people are now trying to put other information in the “Name” field.
Why do people put things other than their name in LinkedIn’s Name field?
I understand why people put their email addresses and phone numbers, as well as keywords and keyword phrases in the last name field, such as legal marketing, partner, etc. It makes their information very, very visible. It also goes completely against LinkedIn’s end user agreement (EUA).
I went to a Social Media SEO conference once, and the speaker said that the Last Name field in the LinkedIn profile was one of, if not the, most highly ranked search field on Google. Essentially anything you put in that field would get you found on Google’s first page.
The draw back is you will become “invisible” on LinkedIn because this goes against their rules. It will end up costing you money, time, and it is just a big pain to create a whole new LinkedIn profile and add all of your connections again. This will also cost you clients.
You might be saying, “Well what if they don’t find out?”
They will. Someone will report you. Wouldn’t you report a competing firm if they were breaking the rules and gaining more clients by doing so?
Will you get found on Google? Yes. Will it be worth the tens of thousands of dollars you will lose from the warm interested leads on LinkedIn who will no longer come to you? Probably not.
At the very least, if you post your last name as: Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org (970)555-5555, how in the world is LinkedIn going to index you correctly in the connections browser?
Do what LinkedIn says: Only your last name in the last name field.