Have you ever received a LinkedIn invitation from someone you KNOW you are already connected to? Have you ever logged into your LinkedIn account to find it looks nothing like the one you worked on last week? Have you ever created a new LinkedIn account because you just couldn’t get into the one you created years ago while at a previous job? If you have answered yes to any (or all!) of the above, you may, in fact, have multiple LinkedIn accounts.
It is NOT uncommon to find yourself with multiple LinkedIn accounts. Sometimes it is an accident; you cannot remember which email you used so you try another and before you know it, you have created an account using that address. Or you use the ‘Sign Up’ box rather than the ‘Log In’ box and they tell you that an account already exists with that address and prompts you for a different one. Sometimes it is out of frustration; you can no longer remember your password and/or no longer have access to the email address you used to set up the account in the first place.
Rest assured that you are NOT alone – this is a very common problem. But you do want to consolidate them as soon as you realize there are multiples. This is not a case where more is better! We want to make sure that you have a single, well articulated, fully detailed profile for people to find and refer to. Having multiple accounts diminishes the likelihood of someone finding you, scatters your efforts and is unprofessional. Read on to see how to resolve this dilemma with minimal frustration.
First you need to identify the root of the problem as the resolution is different for each circumstance. See below for scenario specific suggestions:
Scenario One: You have one account using your Personal email address and a second with your Business email address.
Unlike Facebook where having a personal account, separate from your professional one makes sense, on LinkedIn, you should have ONE professional account. You can have multiple email addresses, both personal and professional, associated with the account but they should all be under a single profile.
Make sure that you know the passwords for each and that you can access BOTH before starting this consolidation!
If you CAN get into both, go in and see which has more links and a more thorough profile. In my experience, I find that people often have more links on their personal account (usually because they have not yet figured out how to import business contacts – the topic of another tutorial!) and more info on their business one but check yours. We are essentially using this info to decide which account we will be keeping and which we will be closing.
Even if you have a ton of connections on your personal account, it MAY be prudent to keep the work account as you will have to notify your contacts of your issue and ask them to join you on the other account. If you have important business connections on the business account, you may not want to risk losing them in this shuffle so do keep this in mind!
Once you have decided which to keep, make a copy of all the contacts and content from the one you will be closing. There are two ways to get the contacts from one account to the other.
- You can send a message, from the old account, to all of the links you want moved over to the new account. CHECK FIRST – they may already be linked to you on the other account as well! You don’t want to confuse them further – be sure to only send the message to those that you need to re-invite. The message should be something like:
Unfortunately, I have more than one LinkedIn account – I will be closing this account and sending you an invitation from the other account. I do want to stay connected so please keep an eye out for, accept, the invitation. Thank you!
- Then, send an invitation to those contacts you are not already connected to on the account you moving to. I suggest explaining again that this is the invitation from the account you are keeping, etc.
- You can just send the invitations from the account you are keeping, being sure to include the message about why you are sending it.
Even though it takes a bit more time and can seem redundant, I do suggest that you send both the message AND the invite. My reason for this is that some people, when they see an invitation come in, do not bother to read the message. If they think (know!) that they are already connected to you, they may just ‘ignore’ the invitation.
Once you have sent the messages from the old account and the invitations from the ‘New’ consolidated account, be sure to add all your profile info. This is a good time to make sure that the info is all correct and up to date. Remember your keywords and give me a call if you need any help!
You then want to CLOSE the old account. To do this, you go to the upper right hand corner of your LinkedIn page, click on the little triangle and then ‘Settings’ on the drop down.
Note: LinkedIn may ask you to verify that you are the account owner by having you login again – this does not mean you made a mistake!
Click on the ‘Account’ tab at the bottom of the page and then the ‘Close your account’ link.
Now that you have closed that account, you should add the email address from that account, to the new, consolidated account. See the ‘Adding an Email Address to Your LinkedIn Account’ Tutorial for that step, and these tutorials for resolving other scenarios:
Scenario Two: You no longer have access to the email address of the other account. Check out Part Two of this post
Ready to learn more?