LinkedIn has become the definitive social media outlet for business. If you are professional and you are not using LinkedIn, you should be. Enough with the plug – if you have a LinkedIn account there are a lot of ways to promote it. Here is one nice article by Carol Ross on Promoting Your Personal Brand to get you started. But I promised to show you how to add a LinkedIn Profile Badge to your Outlook 2007 signature, so here goes.

For the experts, these are the basic steps:

  1. Select a badge style
  2. Copy the HTML code LinkedIn gives you
  3. Create a little HTML page
  4. Open that page in a browser
  5. Copy the badge from there
  6. Paste it into the Signature Editor in Outlook
What is a “Profile Badge”?

The kind of badge I’m talking about is actually a link. People can click on it and it will open your LinkedIn profile in a web browser.

Where Do I Find One?

Log in to your LinkedIn account and select “Edit Profile” from the Profile menu in the upper left.

Now that you are in “edit mode,” click the “Edit” link next to the custom URL located at the bottom the main information box (the box that has your photo and current stats).

This takes you to the page where you can edit your Public Profile. In the lower right corner, you will see a link to “Create a Profile Badge” – click it. (Note: at this point, you may want to customize your public profile URL BEFORE creating a badge.)

Creating the Badge for Your Signature

There are several badge styles to choose from. You be the judge, but for a professional email signature, I prefer something smaller and more discreet.

Whichever style you choose, click in the box to the right and it will instantly select all the code. Right click on the highlighted code and select “Copy” to copy the code to the clipboard.

Now create a new NotePad file. I usually do this by right clicking on the desktop and selecting New> Text Document (or Plain Text).  (Note: DO NOT use Word to do this.)

Save this file as an HTML document by selecting “Save As” from the File menu. In the “File name:” box, name it “badge.html” – INCLUDING the quotes – and save it to your desktop or somewhere you can find it. By including the quotes, you are telling NotePad to use “html” as the file extension. Without the quotes, you will wind up with badge.html.txt and it won’t work.

Now locate the badge.html file you saved (it should have a browser icon, not a text file icon) and open it. It should look something like this:

Now highlight that image and right click. Select “Copy” – NOT Copy Image or Copy Link, etc. JUST “Copy” – from the menu.

Getting It Into Outlook

Next, move on to Outlook. From the Tools menu, select “Options” and then the “Mail Format” tab. Click the “Signatures” button.

Select your signature, and in the edit box below, right click and select Paste. This will paste that button you copied from the HTML page into your signature.

Click OK a couple of times to get back to Outlook and you are DONE!  Now when you send email, everyone will get a chance to view your linked in profile!

Wrapping Up
  • You can now delete the “badge.html”.
  • Also remember, if you didn’t set a custom URL for your public profile earlier in this process and you decide to do it later, you need to update your badge as well.
  • I have not tested sending this to a recipient who uses a “plain text” email editor.

Enjoy!