How To: Use LinkedIn in the Creative Industry

Here are our top tips on how to use LinkedIn as a creative. Check it out.

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How To: Use LinkedIn in the Creative Industry

When it comes to social networking, LinkedIn can seem more corporate suits than creative pursuits. However, it does offer some serious opportunities for young creatives – but only if you use it correctly. So, if you are wanting to move up from creative soul to creative professional, then it is worth investing your time into perfecting your LinkedIn account.

Here are our top seven tips to making your using LinkedIn in the creative industry:

1) Choose the right profile photo.

It might not seem important, but choosing the right profile photo is vital to your success on LinkedIn. Your choice of picture will say a lot about you and using the wrong photograph can give the wrong impression. Remember, the wrong impression on LinkedIn means losing out on potential work.

Spend time making sure your photo represents you at your very best. The best approach is to wear the outfit you would wear to your dream workplace. Pick the clothes that make you feel creative, competent and confident and this should reflect in your photograph. Also,  maybe stay off using your boozy pics as an expression of who you are!

2) Use the right language.

Treat LinkedIn as a visual, online advert of yourself. You are advertising your skills and achievements to the world, it is so important that the language you use reflects that.

Utilise well-known keywords to describe yourself. Recruiters will often search these keywords so it is important to sit down and think about two or three top phrases that really describe who you are and what you do. Make it strong and confident. You want it to say, ‘this is me, this is what I do and this is what I can do for you.’

The summary section should be concise but compelling. It is the first place people look to get to know you so it needs to make an impact. Describe what motivates you, what’ve you’ve done and what you intend to do.

3) Show off your work.

Do you run your own online shop? Edit a music magazine? Write your own fiction novels? Use the publications section! On LinkedIn, you can directly link to any content you have created and want to promote. Not only does this make your profile far more visual and interesting but it’s the evidence to back up what it says in your summary. It shows, rather than just tells, what you are capable of.

You are showing them the physical things you have created or achieved. Honestly, if you work in a creative industry, sharing your projects is a must.

4) Build your contacts.

A good starting point for building contacts is to import contacts from your address book. This allows you to add old colleagues, work contacts and school friends into your professional circle. Once you’ve established this base group of connections, you can begin to widen your network.

LinkedIn shows you how closely connected to other users so one option would be to follow the trail to find people you’d like to get to know better. Or you could search for specific people you admire and send a request. One of LinkedIn’s advantages is that it allows you to connect with people you may not meet under normal business circumstances.

However, it is worth keeping in mind that LinkedIn is about quality over quantity and has its own style of etiquette. If you have never met a person in real life, be sure to send a note with your request.

5) Get following.

Just as on Twitter or Facebook, brands and companies can have their own profile pages on LinkedIn. A top tip would be to search for the brands and companies you are interested in working with and follow them. This allows you to keep up to date with them and what they are doing in their business.

Quite often, LinkedIn will be the first place they advertise any new job openings which put you in prime position to apply. By following them, not only will you have first dibs at applying, but you’ll also have the knowledge to show you are up to speed with their company.

6) Join groups.

There are many groups dedicated to the creative industries. Use the search tool to find your specific area of work and join the group that suits you. Joining these groups allows you to make connections with other like-minded creatives and ask advice, offer advice and potentially get feedback on projects.

Another option is to join alumni groups. LinkedIn has a great alumni tool which helps you find your fellow alumni and you can even filter to find specific people, such as alumni currently working in publishing, etc. This tool can be used to reach out to people in your chosen field for advice.

7) Stay active.

One of the biggest mistakes people make on LinkedIn is not going on LinkedIn! Whilst many of us will use the other social media daily, a huge number of people do not use the site enough. This is a huge mistake. To make sure you stand out on LinkedIn, you need to be active.

Post regular updates about current projects and link to them. Comment on other people’s updates. Write recommendations for people you’ve worked with. Participate in discussions. Endorse people’s skills. Be sure to stay current and active to make the maximum impact on other people. If they already know your name, they are more likely to think of you if a job opportunity arises.

For more hints and tips on how to boost your profile as a creative, be sure to check out how to market yourself as an artist. Also, let’s not forget, with success comes the press! It may be time to learn how to write a press release! Check it out here.