5 reasons not to underestimate LinkedIn

May 28, 2014

As a Digital Account Executive at The BIG Partnership, Scotland’s largest PR and digital agency, Lucia Fella gives us an insight into how LinkedIn can help your career, no matter what industry you’re in.

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Somebody recently said to me that they thought LinkedIn was like “Facebook for corporates”.  There certainly are a lot of profile pictures with men adorning formalwear, however LinkedIn offers more than just the opportunity to share a professional picture.

LinkedIn adds significantly more value to B2B communications than Facebook can.  Think of LinkedIn as an interactive CV and somewhere to showcase your work to potential employers or clients. Networking has always been a crucial part of business and career development, so in this digital age, why should it be restricted to offline?

Here are 5 reasons why creative professionals need to be on LinkedIn:

1) Creating an identity

In the creative industry, if you are a freelancer or you run your own business, then your name is also your brand. By creating a strong profile online, it gives you credibility.  It is more than likely that if a potential employer or client is interested in you, the first thing they are going to do is Google your name to find out more about you.  LinkedIn ranks highly on Google and so it is important to have an updated profile that honestly represents you.  Although you may not want to conform to the stereotypical suit and tie photo, think about what image you want to portray. It is a professional platform after all so it may not be advisable to use that photo from last Friday night at the pub…

2) Showcasing work

You may have a website or a presence on social media but if nobody can find you, then it isn’t fulfilling its full potential.  If you can direct the relevant people towards your services, then you can generate new leads much easier than traditional advertising campaigns.  LinkedIn gives you the option to link directly to websites or upload Word documents and PowerPoint presentations on your profile which can highlight previous work and business credentials.  Most of the brands we use today have been recommended to us by a friend or an acquaintance so this needs to be kept in mind when you are promoting your own brand.  Encouraging people to leave recommendations on your profile, both colleagues and clients, can bolster your reputation and will act as a reference for anybody visiting your page.  Skill endorsements are also a great way to recognise your connections’ skills with just one click, confirming that your skillset claims are authentic.

3) Be your own brand advocate

Advertising can be costly, and it is unlikely that you will have the budget to finance a national campaign.  Even if your business isn’t going to end up a main feature on BBC News, you have an audience in your current and potential customers.  By sharing news, articles or blog posts on LinkedIn, it gives you an opportunity to build closer links to your audience and engage with them in a way you couldn’t before.

4) Business opportunities

In the creative industry, networking is an essential tool to get your name out there.  Networking with potential clients, partners or suppliers has always been an integral part of business generation.  There is no reason why this can’t continue online. Add your LinkedIn profile to your business cards, and encourage people to visit your profile.  This allows them to discover more about you and your business at a later date and, by connecting with them, keeps you top of mind if they are ever looking for your services. You can also set yourself apart from competitors by posting relevant content on what your business is doing or what is happening in the industry. As a result of this, people will find you on LinkedIn through likes and shares and, if they like what they see, new leads will come about organically.

5) Groups

As well as networking with a variety of different professionals, you can join groups with like-minded individuals relating to your industry.  By using keywords on the search feature, you can identify groups that are relevant to your target audience and then share content such as articles, guides or blog posts that feature subjects pertinent to that group. This will help you become an influencer amongst your peers and will encourage people to view you as a thought leader in the industry.

With an estimated 300 million users worldwide, it’s hard to ignore the many benefits LinkedIn offers as a social platform for B2B communications so make sure it is part of your business’ web and social media strategy… even if you don’t wear a suit and tie as part of your daily attire!

If you’re looking for all the latest news, updates and networking opportunities in the creative community in Glasgow, then follow Creative Clyde on LinkedIn.