I joined Linkedin some time back but I have to be honest, I didn’t feel it was a place for Artists and was not sure how to use it correctly. It was in a discussion with a very successful career woman, who assured me a huge percentage of her business came through Linkedin, that I decided it was time I made an effort to do the same. I am still learning I have to confess, I am no expert, but I have discovered a few things regarding the platform that I would like to share with you.
Linkedin is useful for the artist as it helps to establish you professionally in your field and enables you to connect with other professionals and like-minded people. I engaged with someone on Linkedin a short while ago which resulted in a collaboration in Saudi Arabia.
First and foremost, your profile must be complete and up to date in order to appear professional. You can create links to your services and products, list your website, blog, Facebook pages or other URL’s. Include what your interests are outside of work too – it helps create an image of the authentic person outside of work.
2 Important aspects to your Profile:
- Ensure your picture is a good one. Although some people prefer not to show their face, it is important that members can see the person behind the name. Even if you choose to use a logo or an art image, make sure it is consistent with other portals to remain recognizable.
- Ensure you have a concise heading. Be specific about what it is you do, Not the company you work for if you do work for someone else, but what it is that you do at that company.
7 Ways to use Linkedin:
We obviously understand that we can use Linkedin to make professional contacts, but there are some aspects you may not be aware of – especially if you’re green like me!
- Resume: You can build your own Resume, and then use the PDF format which you will be able to export to share across your social networks. To do this you go to: http://www.linkedinlabs.com where you will be asked to allow permission to connect through your Linkedin account. Then, you will be offered templates from which you should select a design. This will automatically retrieve all your information directly from your Linkedin profile.
- Sharing: You can share interesting stories with others from News today on Linkedin. http://www.linkedin.com/today/
- Groups: You can join groups pertaining to Art, writing, crafts or whatever your line of business as an artist is. It’s true that some groups are full of people spamming the discussions with their own links rather than contributing to the discussion, but most offer useful information and an opportunity for you to learn as well as help others learn from you through your input of knowledge, expertise or experience. You can respond to others, follow other members of the group or begin a discussion yourself. Join as many as you want where you feel you will meet like-minded people. As your presence grows on Linkedin, you will often find some of your contacts belong to several of the same groups as you do. If you can’t find a group specific to your needs you can always create one. This is also a good way to make contacts and establish a reputation on the platform. Make sure your profile is as complete as possible and up to date before you start commenting, or you will not succeed in making contacts, as they will not take you seriously.
- Connections: You can make connections related to your industry, which all assist in driving interested people to your website and to effect business deals. Only contact people who are directly linked to your industry and don’t spam people. I think that you find the best connections through the members of the groups you belong to and have interacted with there before. You can also invite people to join your professional network under the “Who you may know” heading.
- Organize Contacts: You can help clarify your relationships by keeping them organised. Linkedin allows you to add tags to your contacts (these are not seen by anyone but yourself), which enables you to remember who does what or who to contact relating to specific tasks, e.g. book editing.
- Other Media Links: You can sync other social media you use, like Facebook or Twitter, your blog and your You Tube videos directly to Linkedin, which will automatically then update and notify those on Linkedin of this activity.
- Add Apps to your profile page: Linkedin enables you to create a portfolio display, add WordPress, E-bookshelf, Bloglink, Boxnet, Slideshare Presentation, Polls and reading lists from Amazon. All this assists you in expanding a complete and interesting profile.
A few Extras:
- You can find out who has viewed your profile. (Some members block this in their privacy settings. Also Free users can only see who has visited in the last few days, whereas paid users can see who has ever visited.)
- You have the option to only send tweets to Linkedin that have the hashtag.
- You can create a company page.
- You can recommend others and receive endorsements. (Although you can ask for them, it’s wiser to only recommend someone if you’re sincerely satisfied with their services or it could reflect badly on you)
Through networking with other professionals, Linkedin enables you to find work, establish yourself as an expert in your field and even sell your Art or books.
Lastly, a friendly word of advice, don’t only take – use your time on Linkedin to also give, by contributing to the discussions, interacting with the members and by visiting their websites, liking and sharing their posts and pictures. In no time you will reap the benefits and meet people you would never have met before, perhaps even me! As the Heading says, if you are not Linkedin, you will be Leftout!