I’m often asked how to use LinkedIn to promote multiple businesses or activities at the same time.
It’s a tough one because, as I say in Content DNA, it’s best to be known for only ONE thing.
I have no silver bullet for you but here are some thoughts on how you might go about promoting multiple business streams on LinkedIn.
My best advice is to find the intersection of what work really stimulates you and what pays the bills. Make whatever that is the primary focus of your LinkedIn efforts.
For the rest of this article, I’ll assume that you have one primary business and a secondary business or activity that you’re trying to promote.
- Create different content streams
- Leave hints about your other activities
- Comment on relevant posts
- Join & post in relevant groups
- Create two company pages
- Edit your About statement
- Add relevant Featured items
- Add relevant Experience items
- Send DMs to relevant connections
- Find overarching umbrella brand
- Use separate social networks
- Let’s wrap up
Create different content streams.
You could simply post different sets of content on your personal profile. This is what many people do when trying to promote more than one business.
While it’s easy to execute, I have to wonder how effective it is.
If someone is following you, it’s probably because they’re interested in only one of your business activities (assuming it’s not a friend or family member).
If your content isn’t consistently relevant to your followers, they may unfollow you – and then you’ll probably never get them back.
Leave hints about your other activities.
The subtle approach is to focus on your main activity in your LinkedIn content and comments but to include hints about your other areas of interest.
If you do it in a conversational, non-salesy way, interested parties may be intrigued to find out more.
Comment on relevant posts.
Instead of promoting separate activities on your own feed, look for relevant spots on other people’s posts where you could comment.
That way, you engage in relevant conversations about that business stream and become known to those who are already following people who create content about that subject.
Because some of your engagement activity is exposed to the people who follow you (I call this your extended content footprint), some of your followers will see conversations they’re not interested in. If those people unfollow you, you’ll probably never get them back.
So, be careful: this method could be great for building authority in your secondary business but if that’s done to excess then it could alienate the people who care only about your primary business.
You’ll find relevant conversations to contribute to if you follow the right hashtags for the industries you work in.
Join & post in relevant groups.
You might not want to try to promote two or more streams of business in public, so perhaps you can find relevant niche interest LinkedIn groups instead.
Join them, get active by posting and commenting and you’ll start to become better known in there for your secondary and other businesses.
This will protect the visibility of your primary business while helping you grow your other streams.
Create two company pages.
You’re not allowed to have more than one personal profile on LinkedIn, but there’s nothing to stop you creating multiple company pages and using them to promote each of your separate streams of work.
Even if you have only one thing to promote, I highly recommend that you create a company page.
Check out my article on the benefits of creating a LinkedIn company page.
Visibility and engagement tend not to be too great with company pages, so it might take some time to build momentum for various lines of work.
If you have the ability to create a Showcase page inside your company page (via Admin tools | Create a Showcase Page), you could separate your offers through this facility. Showcase pages have their own followers and analytics that are separate from the main company page. I haven’t tried this myself so I’m not sure how effective it is.
You could fast-track the growth of your company page presence by placing ads, though it seems you need a chunky budget to make this work (perhaps $2000/month!).
I did an experiment with LinkedIn ads back in 2017 and it really didn’t work for me, though my budget was tiny.
If you need help with LinkedIn company page ads, check out my recommended experts:
Edit your About statement.
After your headline, your About statement is the second most important bit of text on your LinkedIn profile.
It can be up to 2600 characters (~450 words) and should convey what you do, who you do it for and give people compelling reasons for getting in touch to start a conversation.
I recommend focusing on your main gig in your About statement. Reserve some of the space to talk about your secondary line of work, with a specific call to action for anyone interested in learning more.
Add relevant Featured items.
The Featured section at the top of your LinkedIn profile lets you showcase your high-value content.
Use it to promote one or more of your business streams.
Only a few items will appear onscreen before people have to scroll to see more, so be strategic about which things you want to promote.
Add relevant Experience items.
The Experience section of your LinkedIn profile lets you list past and current work positions.
There’s nothing to stop you listing concurrent roles, so if you have a side hustle that you want to promote, you could list it here.
If one of your roles is more important than others, make sure that this comes across in your Experience section. You don’t want to confuse your audience or dilute the power of your central message.
Keep an eye on which Experience item is listed first, as this will be reinforced at the top of your profile.
Send DMs to relevant connections.
It might be possible to promote your secondary line of work away from the public glare of LinkedIn, through direct messages with the right people.
This will be especially wise if you’re employed and don’t want your employer to know that you’re working on something else on the side.
A “private promotion only” approach means you would miss out on building public awareness of what your secondary activity is.
So, perhaps you want to mix public and private routes to building up your credibility.
Find overarching umbrella brand.
This is far from easy but if you can develop a brand identity that encompasses both of your lines of work, you won’t need to worry about promoting more than one thing, because it will all make sense.
For example, if your two business activities were accountancy and maths tutoring, a brand identity around helping people to be less scared of numbers would make sense.
In the real world, separate business streams might have less in common than that, so finding an umbrella brand identity might be a big challenge. Nevertheless, it seems to be a valuable activity, and you’ll hear a lot of people tell you of the importance of “finding your why”.
When developing your brand, it’s a good idea to create your own hashtags to help make your presence memorable.
If you want to discuss branding and positioning, check out my 1-to-1 consultations.
Use separate social networks.
This article is about LinkedIn but the best decision for promoting different work streams might be to separate your communications by social channel.
For example, perhaps you promote your main business on LinkedIn and your secondary gig on Instagram.
Remember that you should be active where your target customers are. Place your billboards where your traffic is.
Let’s wrap up.
Pushing two or more different products or services at the same time isn’t easy, and I can’t think of any outstanding examples of people doing this well.
I always recommend focusing on the intersection of what pays the bills and what you’re passionate about.
Only when you’ve got that nailed should you devote some time and energy into promoting a different area of business.