LinkedIn Page vs. Personal Page: What's The Difference and When to Use Both
November 3, 2019
“I am my business.”
For many small businesses and startups, this is a fitting mentality, at least in the early stages. The founder is the driving force behind the organization’s growth (and maybe the only full-time employee), so promoting his or her personal brand equates to promoting the business.
But how best to navigate this scenario on LinkedIn? Should you spend more time growing your personal profile and professional network, or building your brand’s LinkedIn Page and its following? When does it make sense to switch gears?
All of your answers await in this breakdown.
What’s the Difference Between a LinkedIn Page and a Personal Page?
The LinkedIn community is divided into two categories: members and organizations. Both play important roles in the engagements and interactions taking place on the platform each day.
What is a Personal Page on LinkedIn?
We refer to these as “member profiles,” and using this terminology will probably make it easier for you to keep things straight. Your profile is your personal hub on LinkedIn — a digital representation of your professional brand. You can use this to list previous experience, build your network, share and create content to establish thought leadership, and keep up with your connections.
When people want to learn about you, they go to your member profile.
What is a LinkedIn Page?
This is an organization’s hub on LinkedIn. It’s independent of the founder and employees’ profiles, although (as we’ll explore) there are ways to strategically connect the two. Whether a business, school, non-profit, or institution, your LinkedIn Page is where you can define your brand’s identity, voice, purpose, capabilities, and culture on the platform.
When people want to learn about your organization, they go to its LinkedIn Page.
LinkedIn Page vs. Personal Page: Key Differences
- LinkedIn Pages represent collective organizations, while personal pages (profiles) represent individuals.
- Your personal profile has connections. Your LinkedIn Page has followers.
- You can only run ads on LinkedIn through a Page.
- You must have a personal profile in order to set up a Page.
- Your personal profile includes sections like Activity, Experience, Skills & Endorsements, Recommendations, and Interests. A LinkedIn Page includes sections like an Overview, About, Jobs, and People.
- One important commonality: both are free!
When to Use LinkedIn Pages vs. Personal Pages
Of course, situations vary and there are no blanket answers, but here is some general guidance for assessing whether you should put your energy into building a LinkedIn Page for your brand, as opposed to promoting through your own member profile.
Are You a Sole Proprietor or the Public Face of Your Brand?
Some businesses are synonymous with their owners. For example, you might own a practice called “Jane Doe Consulting,” wherein you (Jane) are the face of the brand (i.e., “I am my business”). In this case, it probably makes sense to focus on your member profile, because promoting yourself and bolstering your personal network is so critical to growing the business.
Do You Want to Build Equity in Your Brand?
Some small businesses remain sole proprietors, but for others, the long-term strategy calls for moving past that phase. In these situations, where there is an intention to increase in scale, it almost always makes sense to create a LinkedIn Page, and it is usually advantageous to commit resources to its growth.
Oftentimes, startups begin in the first category above, and eventually transition into the second one after adding multiple full-time employees. In such a scenario, it’s smart to emphasize personal network growth initially and then — once the brand entity becomes more independent — shift focus to the company’s LinkedIn Page and start growing awareness through organic content and eventually ads.
Here are some pointers on taking this crucial step.
How to Shift from Personal Page to LinkedIn Page
Our free guide, the LinkedIn Action Plan for Small Businesses, offers specific and practical advice for this very undertaking, but here are a few quick pointers for firing up a new or currently inactive LinkedIn Page, while leveraging your personal profile and network:
- Follow the three-step “Complete Your Page” process as laid out in the Action Plan guide to ensure your brand’s LinkedIn Page is ready for primetime.
- Consistently post content to your Page that is relevant to your target audience.
- Begin to reshare posts from your LinkedIn Page to your member pofile, encouraging your connections to follow the Page.
- Send a one-time email to your customer list, letting them know you’ve started or reinvested in your Page.
- If you have any employees or business partners, encourage them to complete all of the steps above as well.
- Tailor your personal page after these examples of masterful LinkedIn profiles and adhere to LinkedIn Pages best practices for your business.
From Profile to Page: Put Your Small Business Plan into Action LinkedIn
Building strong professional brand equity through your member profile can create a springboard for success with your small business, whether you channel that momentum into a LinkedIn Page or keep it centralized on your own profile. Hopefully the guidance above helps you find clarity around which route is best for you.
Find all the insights and recommendations you need to craft a winning SMB blueprint by downloading the LinkedIn Action Plan for Small Businesses.