Tuesday January 17, 2012
7 Ways to Deal with Multiple Businesses on LinkedIn.
Can (should) I create more than one account on LinkedIn?
The short answer is NO. Mainly because it goes against the End User Agreement (EUA) and if anyone turns your profile in, LinkedIn will suspend both accounts and if they are feeling generous that day, allow you to pick one.
Which means all the time and effort you put into creating your second account – all the people you invited, all the recommendations you received, all the work you did on writing your profile, will evaporate like so much smoke. I should know – I created a second account strictly for training purposes (LinkedIn should have known this because the headline said: “This account is for training purposes only”) and it was closed down. At the time that account had over 500 connections and 10 recommendations. A lot of effort down the drain.
So it is not a stupid question. Many people wear more than one hat:
- You might be a C level exec at a company but also have a start up.
- You might be working for a company and want to look for a job on LinkedIn without your boss knowing.
- You might be an entrepreneur with three viable businesses and one start up.
- You might be a Mompreneur with a successful job and a hobby that pays - in a different industry
- You might be a student with vastly different interests.
- You might be a musician and a teacher.
- You might be an artist and an attorney.
- You might want a profile to reflect you as a person and a profile to reflect your company (A big “no no” in the EUA – they have company profiles for that)
So what’s a LinkedIn Member to do?
You are not going to like this – but you have to choose. You don’t have to completely exclude your other interests, but you do have to choose what you want to focus your LinkedIn Profile on.
But don't despair - you will have plenty of opportunity in the following sections to tell people about all your interests, passions and businesses:
- Contact Me
That being said - your profile should be focused on the particular job, business or industry you really want to highlight at this time in your career. (You can always change it later – LinkedIn is highly editable!)
Let’s take this step by step:
1. First you will want to create a headline that focuses on your main interest. You have 120 characters here, so make it dynamic. Here’s one I love from Danusia Malina Derben:
Unleashing Leadership Genius Mentor Selfmade Thrillionaire Parallel Entrepreneur Creator of a SuperBrood Talent-Investor
If that is too enthusiastic for you, something like this from Andrea Vahl, social media and Facebook genius might work:
Social Media Consultant, Strategist, and Speaker - Specializing in Facebook Marketing - AndreaVahl.com
If your two interests have some synergy, you might be able to blend them in this section:
5th grade teacher & musician looking for an opportunity with forward thinking school interested in multiple teaching styles
2. Use “Experience” to fully define all your current jobs, but then use the formatting option of ordering your current positions, putting the businesses you want to focus on first. In “edit” mode, scroll down to the body of your profile and hover your mouse over the job, then drag it up or down on your screen. It will also re-order how your jobs show up in the “Top of the fold” section of LinkedIn
3. Use the “Summary Section” to explain how your passions make you better at your job. You have 2000 characters. Use them wisely.
For instance, if you were a CPA, and recently passed your law exam, you might tell people how your 15 years in accounting will make you a more knowledgeable tax attorney.
If you are a musician and also teach school, convince people that your artistic talents lend creativity, fun and increased learning to your class room.
If you were an Engineer and are now moving into marketing, explain how your ability to visualize not only the end product, but all the details that create the end result fit together, makes you the person to put together a marketing campaign – up close and 30,000 foot view.
If you spent the last 12 years raising your children, let people know how your ability to schedule, juggle, entertain, manage, problem solve etc far outweighs a MBA!
Tell the people reading your profile what’s in it for them – why do ALL your interest and passions make you the better choice?
4. Use the Specialties section to list all your specialties- not only those related to your focus business. You have 500 characters. My
interest in old Porsches got me a social media job with a Porsche restoration company in CA. If I hadn’t listed it in my specialties and interests they never would have found my profile.
5. If you want to use the “Summary” section to strictly feature your focus business, then use the “Contact Me” section to add more details about your passion (or other businesses). If you want, you can drag that section a little higher into your profile body. This is also a good place to put your contact info as well. You get 2000 characters.
6. I love Skills – stay tuned for a post devoted strictly to Skills next week – but in the meantime, use this “new” app to list all your skills – up to 25 – in your profile. You can find the Skills tab under “More”
7. Interests are just that. ALL your interests. Up to 750 characters. The nice thing about the Interests and Specialties section is that they are highly ranked in the LinkedIn search algorithm, so whatever you list in these sections has a better change of getting found – and getting your found by the people searching those terms.
So that is how you can “hold” multiple jobs, interests and passions in one LinkedIn profile. If you have any other questions – just ask! Its your questions that help to create these posts.
Tonight's LinkedInChat will focus on these issues:
Q1: Are you a business professional? Are you an executive? Are you a job seeker or entrepreneur?
Q2: Are you representing more than one business on LinkedIn? Where / How are you doing it?
Q3: Do you have more than one product or service you want to promote on LinkedIn?
Q4: Are you considering switching businesses or industries?
Q5: DO you have more than one account
Q6: Do you have a company page?
Q7: How are you using your business page(s)?