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How to get LinkedIn: for creatives

For those who don’t already know, Katy Lassetter of Chichester Copywriter has been writing the Social Media Review for What the Dickens? magazine! Katy’s first column was a review of Facebook pages for readers. In issue 8, our creative copywriter provides advice on how to create a winning LinkedIn profile …

LinkedIn may be regarded as the more formal social networking platform – onesie-wearing Facebook’s tweed-clad aunt, say – but it can be used to showcase your skills and portfolio whatever your profession or persuasion.

Whether you’re an artist or Zumba instructor, you can think of LinkedIn as your easy to use and easy to share online CV. It’s the place where you can let contacts, associates and prospective clients know all about your current projects, previous jobs, education and interests. They can view your profile, decide if you’re their type of person and send you an invite to connect.

In addition to its uses as an online CV, LinkedIn offers myriad discussion groups for creatives to join, including those for aspiring writers, designers and photographers. Here are some top tips to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is getting you the creative kudos that you deserve:

How to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile

#1 Picture perfect – Always upload a profile picture; there’s nothing more off-putting than checking out a profile and seeing that faceless, grey head and shoulders pop up. It suggests that you’ve either not put much effort into your profile or that you’ve something to hide, neither of which are images that you want to portray to professional contacts!

You don’t have to use a photo where you’re suited and booted, as long as it’s a good photo (preferably professionally taken) and not a holiday snap or a Show me the Way to go Home moment from a night out then it will do just fine. The best photos are those that reflect your personality and profession so you could use something arty and moody or something bright and welcoming. See my profile for an example.

#2 Flaunt those skills – While I thoroughly recommend detailing your Background, Experience and Education, not everyone takes the time to read reams of information in the first instance. The strength of keywords is alive and well (spot the SEO copywriter) and this is where LinkedIn’s newer Skills and Expertise section comes into its own.

Make sure to list all of your Skills and Expertise – whether they’re fiction writing, tightrope walking, ceramics or all three – so that people can see your assets instantly and decide whether you’re someone that they would like to connect with. Contacts can then endorse those Skills and Expertise which they have experienced, adding more weight for when prospective contacts view your profile.

#3 Speculate to accumulate – You might find it tiresome when people request your recommendations but these little beauties are actually very useful. That is, when you recommend a colleague you’ll often find that they will return the favour.

Recommendations on your LinkedIn profile allow people to view the lovely things that people have had to say about you and your work. But please only recommend people whom you have genuinely worked with, inventing recommendations just to make your friends look better is not in the spirit of keeping things real and acts to dilute the impact of true testimonials.

#4 Personality power – LinkedIn may be the Midnight’s Children to Facebook’s The Gruffalo but this doesn’t mean to say that you should leave your personality out any more than you would leave it at the office door. When social networking, you should act no differently than you would when networking face to face; remember your Ps and Qs and be yourself.

Many people don’t bother to fill in the Interests section but this is your chance to let people know that you love searching the streets of London and Brighton for Banksy’s offerings or attending the cinema to check out the latest novel to screen adaptations; these are the things that make your creativity shine!

Contact Chichester Copywriter today!

Katy has provided social media marketing consultation services to a number of authors. This service includes Katy setting up and optimising Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, LinkedIn accounts and blogs. She also provides creative professionals and businesses with tailored tips on how to use social media effectively to build their brands and communicate with customers.

Contact Chichester Copywriter to find out more about Katy’s social media marketing services or to arrange a free consultation.

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