Most of us lead a double life. We have a work persona that is composed and professional and a social/family life where we aren’t afraid to say silly things from time to time or behave a little childish. We maintain this dichotomy in our online activity as well. We use LinkedIn for work and business related content and Facebook or Instagram to keep in touch with our friends and families. And, it makes perfect sense. After all, your brother in law isn’t interested in the latest news in your industry and your boss doesn’t want to see your cat pictures.
But, what if you have two different professional identities with non-intersecting networks? Let’s imagine for a second that you are a freelance PR professional in the health industry with a side business as a jewelry maker. Should you create two different LinkedIn profiles and promote each side of your professional identity separately?
Let’s find out!
Should I have two LinkedIn Profiles?
LinkedIn was designed to provide a platform where professionals can connect, exchange valuable content, look for opportunities, recommend one another and so on. If you were to have two distinct profiles, that would defy LinkedIn’s purpose of helping you extend your professional network. Your connections are going to be split between two accounts, and it would be extremely difficult to reach out to your network or make recommendations or introductions.
Not only that but creating two profiles is also against LinkedIn End User Agreement. If a user notices that you have two different accounts, he or she can report you. LinkedIn has the right to shut down your accounts without further notice.
So, What Can I Do If I Have Two Careers?
There are moments in life when you have to pick favorites. That’s one of them. Choose the career that brings you the most personal and professional satisfaction or that will get you more leverage, and focus on that.
Let’s get back to our example above. Most probably, you enjoy creating jewelry more than creating campaigns for different businesses. But, you need to ask yourself: which audience segment is more likely to find you on LinkedIn.
The answer is rather obvious if you think about it for a second. People that want to buy jewelry don’t go to LinkedIn to find vendors. They spend their time on platforms like Etsy, Instagram or Pinterest. Businesses interested in taking their public relations to the next level, on the other hand, are more likely to search for potential partners on LinkedIn.
Focus on One Position in Your Headline
You are a complex human being, and you want your audience to know that there’s more to you than your job. But, you also don’t want to confuse them with the numerous creative hats you’re wearing. Make sure to write a clear headline that tells your network from the beginning who you are or what you do. For example, a headline that reads “I am a PR professional that also creates jewelry” is a bit too ambiguous and doesn’t help your network perceive the value they can get if they connect with you.
The best advice I can give you is to 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 here, so there’s plenty of space to present and expand on your passions.
If you need help creating your LinkedIn Profile, knowing what to say and where, then check out my LinkedIn Profile Quick Fix, a quick video tutorial that turns your profile into a client magnet.
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