LinkedIn Top Tips For Artists is not a blog I thought I would be writing, but…
LinkedIn has changed quite a bit over the years since I’ve been trading. It’s become a really serious place to build your business. To be honest I’ve never been that excited by what it has to offer, but things have changed for the better.
It sits right on the very edge of all the Social Media and offers a much more business-like, serious note. If you really want to make high-quality connections, you have a big message with your art, or you are ready to network direct with the decision-makers, then my LinkedIn Top Tips For Artists is the post for you.
As I’ve previously mentioned in many of my articles particularly on Social Media, I advocate focussing on one main platform. You choose that one platform by looking to see either where your customers are most likely to be, or where you feel most comfortable (ideally a mixture of both).
For example if you create pieces specifically for offices and the corporate world making contact with larger business owners is exactly what you’d need to do. LinkedIn is one of the best places to do that.
Here Are My LinkedIn Top Tips For Artists & Creatives:
So what do you need to know about marketing yourself on LinkedIn? On first impressions it appears very similar to other Social Media. One the main differences however is that in order to build followers you must already know or have a connection to the person you want to connect with. This can make things slow to build, but can also mean quality over quantity.
Tip 1: Optimise Your Profile
I’ve always seen LinkedIn as an ultimate online CV, with a place to show off a list of all your qualifications, education, jobs, self-employed status, and a space to show your experiences, character, and what you can offer people.
The first area to take note of is the Headline under your name; this is searchable, so you’ll want to use your main keywords here. Then work your way down the details, such as where you live, past careers (that can also be your business names etc.).
The main area then is in the Summary and here you have a chance to really shine. Tell people your story; what inspires you, what’s behind your work and the benefits of what you offer.
Here is a good example of the Summary section from an artist friend of mine: Alex Florschutz
Did you know you can also add a supporting Document, Video, Slide presentation, Photos or a Link? Think of the impact a Slide Share of your latest work could have right there on your main profile page.
Under the LinkedIn Summary section you have the next place to shine and that’s your Experience. Here you can enter previous Jobs, Career or Business Names. Then use this space to go into more detail about what you offer. You will see in Alex’s page she has used this space to talk more about her work.
Tip 2. Gain Social Proof
Gaining Social Proof is vital; as we know people buy from people they know, like and trust. Nothing says trust like a testimonial from a happy customer. There are various ways you can do this; here are the easiest two to get you started.
Recommendations: For each area of your Experience you can ask people to Recommend you. Scroll to the bottom of your profile page and you will see a section marked ‘Recommendations’. Hover over and then click on ‘Ask to be recommended’, where you can send a message to one or many of your connections. Here you can also prompt (as we all tend to procrastinate a little when it comes to writing these) and remind people.
Skills & Endorsements: Here you can add your own that you want to be endorsed for, and it’s easy for people to simply click on ‘Endorse’ for as many of your skills as they want. It’s important here as you are building relationships to endorse others as you go along.
Tip 3: Use Your Home Page Wisely
So here is where you will land when you log in, where you can see your connections posts and engage with them by liking, commenting and sharing.
You have three main options of post type here:
1. Share an up-date: Here you can post a short status up-date, link to a blog article, or share a video or add an image.
2. Up-load a photo: This is exactly what it says, LinkedIn is now MUCH more geared for images. So why not share your latest piece of artwork.
3. Publish a post: This is my favourite section as you can now click on Publish a Post and write or copy/paste direct into the LinkedIn Page. Use this area for blog posts, short articles or commentary, or for more promotional things. Maybe you have an exhibition coming up, or you want to let people know about your latest work etc. Don’t forget to add images. These Posts show up as a section to be browsed through on your profile.
Tip 4: Build Yourself A Company Page
Did you know that there are many places on LinkedIn where you can showcase your art? That’s why my LinkedIn Top Tips For Artists is so important. If you decide that this is going to be your strategy, then you absolutely must create a ‘Company Page’.
To set up your first page, look under Interests (on the black bar at the top), then Companies. Here you will see a link to ‘create a company page’.
Go ahead and fill out all the information to set up your page. The most important things are your page description, resist the temptation to just copy/paste the About Info from your website. Think about whom you are wanting to speak to here and invest the time to craft something special.
Next you want to create your big Background Image, which will be the first thing people will see when they look at your page.
Here you can use images of your work, let people know how they can reach you, add your phone number, website and any other ‘call to action’ that is appropriate.
Lastly, you can also set up sub-pages to showcase a particular collection or exhibition – the possibilities are endless!
Tip 5: Join Or Run A LinkedIn Group
Go to Interests, and click on Groups to search for relevant groups you might like to join. Once you have joined some, this is where you will also find a Groups Feed with the latest activity from the groups you belong to.
Each Group will have it’s own etiquette laid out by the owner (or should have), which normally includes instructions on “adding value, making friends, offering help, answering questions and not spamming with your sales stuff.”
Once you’ve been active in a couple of groups, possibly consider the benefits of starting your own.
When I was formally active as a professional artist I ran a local artists group, organised an Open House Trail, and set up group exhibitions. Being able to run an online communication and sharing group would have been a life-changer.
So, big breath, this really is only just scratching the surface of what LinkedIn could offer you as an artist. I haven’t gone into depth here about how to use Your Network, Interests, Showcase Pages, Messages & Notifications or many other small hidden gems such as LinkedIn Advertising. ☺
LinkedIn Top Tips For Artists started out as a small post, but as I dug a bit deeper myself I am so excited with all the possibilities. So get to it and create an awesome profile. ☺