Should I have two LinkedIn Profiles?
If your business offering is something that you wish to promote to other businesses then you would choose LinkedIn as your preferred social media platform. If your business offers products or services directly to consumers (the general public) or family and friends, then you would use Facebook or Instagram to promote your services. And, this all makes perfect sense. After all, your sister-in-law isn’t interested in the latest news in your industry and your target business audiences don’t want to see your holiday pictures!
A question I am asked regularly is what if you have two different professional identities with non-intersecting networks? For instance, let’s say you are a freelance PR professional in the automotive industry with a side business as a celebratory card maker. Should you create two different LinkedIn profiles and promote each side of your professional identity separately?
LinkedIn was originally designed as a recruitment platform but more recently it now offers a place where professionals can connect, exchange valuable content, look for opportunities, recommend one another and so on. If you choose to have two separate profiles, that would defy LinkedIn’s purpose of helping you extend your professional network. Your connections are going to be split between two accounts, you would double your workload and it would be extremely difficult or even messy to reach out to your network or make recommendations or introductions.
You should also note that by creating two profiles you are working outside LinkedIn End User Agreement. If a user notices that you have two different accounts, they can report you and LinkedIn has the right to shut down your accounts without further notice. You will then have spent all that time building your profiles only to lose all the work you have done.
You obviously want to promote your range of products or services and you want your audience to know about your offerings but you don’t want to confuse them with all your creative hats you wear. A clear headline that tells your network from the beginning who you are or what you do will help to clarify your offerings but a headline saying "I am a PR professional that also creates celebratory cards" is too ambiguous and doesn’t help your network perceive the value they can get if they connect with you.
I always suggest to my clients that they should pick a career and focus on it. However, if you want to showcase both of your professional personalities, then do it in the Summary section. You have 2000 characters, so there’s plenty of space to expand on your business offerings. Then, I suggest that you set up two separate business pages and link to these pages in your "Experience Section" in your LinkedIn profile. Going forward, you can then share the posts from your two business pages in your personal "LinkedIn Activity" section.
Good luck with your LinkedIn Marketing and if you need help in understanding how LinkedIn can help you build your business connections then please get in touch.
All blogs are written by Amanda of Sunflower Creative and they are based on my experience.