Tips about using the Internet and social media — especially LinkedIn

Add Pizzazz To Your LinkedIn Profile With Symbols

Here’s the answer to another question I’ve been asked this month.


Where do you get the symbols you use in your title on LinkedIn and throughout your LinkedIn profile?


I use symbols and lines and such because it differentiates different sections of my profile and makes a profile easier to read. And we all want our profiles read, right?

I gathered those symbol since 2004 from a variety of places online. You have my AOK to copy and paste the symbols and use them on your profile, too. Here’s my profile

You can create them, too. When you’re on your computer, open a document, you hit control >alt and some numbers, you’ll create a few of them the old fashioned way! They way we used to create them in the early 1990’s.

Symbols are also available by going to MS Word, then change the font to one of the Wingdings. Use the symbols you want and then copy the symbol to your LinkedIn profile.

Lastly, you can use the cheat sheet I use nowadays at

Are You Ready To Create Your Blog?

Are you planning to buy a hosting service for your WordPress blog or a website? Maybe when you started your blog or website, affordable hosting options weren’t as available as they are now?

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Click the picture below to learn more about Hostgator

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Service: I find that calling them is so better than chatting, emailing or using Twitter.

How To Protect Your WordPress Website or Blog

You may not think of protecting your WordPress blog other than changing your password every now and then.  But it’s important to protect your WordPress website or blog from synyster bot net attacks, too.  (I mean wouldn’t it be great if all the hackers and virus, trojan, or malware developers turned their so very negative energy to something positive? I mean not even the sky would be the limit!?)

One way to protect your WordPress blog from one of the worse attacks to hit this program in many years is to add the plugin “Brute Protect” to your site. OR download the Jetpack plugins (it comes with some great marketing options, too) and activate their Jet Protect which now includes Brute Protect.  (I am using Jet Protect.)

What to do next

Add and activate a protect plugin on your blog.

If you’ve never added a plugin to your blog:

(c) 2015 Elevating Your Business


How To Make Your LinkedIn Profile URL Shorter

ID-100249677When you joined LinkedIn, their system  automatically assigned a Public Profile URL to your account.  It looks something like this:

Make it shorter.

Extra letters and numbers make URLs harder to remember.

Sometimes, advisors who aren’t allowed to have their own websites (yet), use their LinkedIn address as a substitute for a website.  I often see those long random URLs on business cards.  It bears repeating:  Every extra letter or number in a URL makes it harder to remember (and type in correctly) when someone attempts to contact you.

You can do better than that!

Currently, LinkedIn allows you to change the URL for your LinkedIn profile.  But if you’re been using that URL throughout the Internet and in your marketing materials, changing it will be a lot of extra work.  If you start by creating the site with your name, life will be so much easier!



Choose a Public Profile URL that is easy to remember and easier to share.  Here are some tips:

1)  Remember that your LinkedIn profile is PERSONAL. Don’t name your profile after a business. Your business name may change or you might close or sell your business*.


2)  If your name is taken when you’re naming your profile URL, then you’ll need to add “something” else to it.  My advice is to use your middle initial, middle name, or if you’re like me and have no middle initial, look at something else that is easy to remember.

Examples:  JohnDoe, JohnEDoe, JohnEdwardDoe


3)  Don’t add a hyphen, slash, or period to your Public Profile URL or for that matter, your email address or website name.  They’re just too easy for someone to miss, type wrong, or forget.

This also makes it easier for anyone who creates marketing materials for you, off or online.  Create a Public Profile URL that’s easy to remember and use without error.



  • Log in to your LinkedIn account.
  • From the “Profile” drop-down, you can select “Edit Profile” and then click on the tiny gear that appears to the right of your Public Profile URL.
  • OR, click this link and find the Public Profile area on the right side of your screen. Don’t forget to give the new link to your web designers (so they can fix the social networking link on your website or blog).
  • Here’s the link again:


*A Company Profile is created AFTER the owner/partner of a firm creates a Public Profile.  When you sell your business, your LinkedIn Company Profile is part of the business’s assets.


(c) 2015 Elevating Your Business.  Maria Marsala, RIA Operations Marketing Manager & Coach.  As an early user of technology (1973), Maria joined LinkedIn on March 27, 2004 and is their 399,261 member.  Like this tip?  Get the next social networking or best practice management tip delivered to your Inbox weekly. Go to 

Why Financial Advisors Must Have a LinkedIn Profile

ID-100249677Every financial professional needs a LinkedIn profile.  This is not a “should have” — this is a “must have”.  Why?  What most financial advisors don’t know is that when someone types your name into a search engine, your LinkedIn profile will often rank higher than your own website!

Years ago, the financial industry was light years ahead of every other industry when it came to technology.  My first job on Wall Street, in 1973, involved computerizing a division of an operations department.

Today, most financial firms are 15-18 years behind anything Internet-related.  If you’re a financial advisor, there is a chance that you don’t have a website (yet), have a very generic website, or are not allowed to have a website.  In this case, the only place that may substitute for a website is your LinkedIn profile.

Of course, before you add information to your LinkedIn profile, always speak to your compliance department, the compliance consultant you’ve hired, or your custodian.

Find out what you can and cannot post on your LinkedIn profile as a financial advisor online.  Especially important is to add your phone number and/or email account.

(Boy, do I wish more financial firms would just get on board with basic social networking!)

Even if what you include in your profile is dictated to you, create one in order to save your name for a later date.  One way or another, get an “approved” LinkedIn Profile up and running.


  • Find out what you’re allowed to do regarding LinkedIn. Ask if there are approved tools or templates available as guidelines to create your profile.
  • Go to and register for a profile. You’ll own a profile page, even if it doesn’t contain much information yet.
  • Go through each section of the profile and put your answers in a Word document. (I provide my clients with a template designed for this purpose.)
  • Get a written or email approval from the appropriate authority.


Once you create a Personal Profile, if you are an advisor-owner, create a Company Profile.  Start Your Company Page here:

If your marketing team is working on a new website for you, ask them to temporarily forward your new site’s URL to your LinkedIn Company Page.  This way they can use your new URL in your marketing materials until the new website is ready and the new URL will go to a page about your company.

If you are part of an RIA, search for a Company Profile and follow the company.

(c)  Elevating Your Business (Company page on LinkedIn is

Photo by Stuart Miles.