MYTH: LinkedIn is for corporate people. Busted! Artists and creatives of all types, entrepreneurs and small business owners think LinkedIn is not for them, and I’m here to tell you you’re wrong.
Industry pros who hire or give you their patronage DO use LinkedIn – and you should too. For example, if you paint, the corporations that buy your work and the gallery and museum directors you want to know of you are there. If you’re s performer, Casting Directors, Talent Reps, Directors and Producers are there. Do you write? Agents, Managers and Publishers are there. Might your business need to be connected to the other businesses, lending institutions, legal and accounting folks in your area? They are likely all on LinkedIn.
Now if all those people, and the people who work for them, were all at a cocktail party, wouldn’t you want to be there with the change to connect and begin making a relationship? Yes, yes you would!
LinkedIn is a digital library of resumes but it’s so much more:
- It can connect you personally to hundreds of people who work for the people you want to not be a stranger to. You can see who has viewed your profile, and that can be a great conversation opener or invitation to write to them if you’re interested in what they do or their company.
- Its great for accessing many like-minded people through LinkedIN groups and organizations which are easy to join.
- Many people post a weekly article or self-written blog post – and people can now like them, comment on them and share them. Unlike other social media where you spend all day sharing others stuff. You can read and like and comment on theirs to learn and make your presence known to them. Or you can put out your own stuff and start to become an influencer yourself. You DO want to keep it professional, and only put out your best. It
The platform is very proficient at keeping you aware and engaged, sending their own variety of emails out to you and your contacts, increasing promotion of you through your connections about your activities, and even sending job offers in your area.
So are you IN?
Let’s start with your profile. You want to do the best job at showcasing your skills, unique talents, career highlights. Steamed as to how to do that? One way is to hunt down the best in your business, people you admire, and see how they wrote theirs.
This is the place for a clear and accurate head shot, even if you are arty. This IS a professional site, and you need to be yourself, but here’s where you put out the most professional version of you.
Make sure to add the url to the social media platform you’re best at maintaining with quality posts to help make a good impression and send them to where they can get to know you better.
And, you can show recommendations. If you know someone who is a bit of a someone in the industry, ask them to give you one. You have to be connected to them via Linked IN, as the platform makes it easy to send a request to people, found at the lower part of your profile page. If you don’t have any known names (yet), have the most important folks you’ve worked for write one – but be picky about who you chose. Optimize your ability to tweak what they write to highlight your best qualities – not just your talent, but your professionalism, your personal skills, and your good energy. If, over time, you work your way to about 6 or even 8, thats plenty. You can add new people and erase others in time.
POLISH your content/resume before you put it out there for all to see. Keep it direct and impressive as possible.
TIP: Shut off the notice that that lets people know you every time you make changes. You don’t want to broadcast the 100 times you go back to remove a period or rephrase a bullet point.
There’s a free level, as well as a few paid levels. Each has features that might really catapult you, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. Definitely start with the free one, and get the feel of things. You can always choose to bump up a level if your needs or goals change.
LInkedIn profiles come up highest, as do Facebook pages, when someone Googles your name. So if you don’t yet have a website, (and even if you do) this is an easy way for someone to stumble on you.
Bottom line: Even if you just put up a great photo and your resume, you should definitely have a presence there. So get on and get connected!
If you have questions about this, or want help with creating or maximizing your profile, please CONTAT ME HERE and we can chat!
If you are on LinkedIn, share what you like best about it or what features you use – in the comments below!