As I write this post, I see I have surpassed 10,000 connections on LinkedIn. Not too shabby right? I believe that puts me somewhere in the top 5% on all of LinkedIn. By the way, LinkedIn maxes out your connections at 30,000. My Facebook fan page seems to be stuck at 4300 likes, which is perfectly fine. I hardly use that Facebook page. I guess I should use it more often. I seem to prefer my personal Facebook page over the fan page. Its easier to navigate and I like the interaction, which is almost non existent with the functionality of the fan page. Of course I have profiles on all the other nonsense sites like Pinterest (great if your a teenage girl into fashion), Instagram, Flickr and Tumblr (Tumblr has plenty of penises and vaginas by the way). Instagram I never really took too. I use it, when I remember too. At one time I was a big Flickr person, but I quickly grew bored with that. There is just too much shit photography on there to wade through. I don’t have the patience, and life is too short. Twitter, I probably use almost as much as Facebook. I love that whole stream of conscience thing going on there. Its really short and it moves fast, so no one has enough time to get on my nerves. I have about 3300 twitter followers.
The truth of the matter is, I much prefer to host my own content on my own websites (like this one). Lets face it, we are all nothing but products for Facebook and all the rest. Our participation in social media is whats making those fuckers ridiculously rich. The real kicker is, we don’t even own the very content we create and post! They do. Yea you can put that copyright notice on your stuff before you post it, but it doesn’t mean jack shit. Read the TOS. Anything you post on those sites is their property, forever.
So the best practice, if your serious about your art, is to buy your own domain, set up your own blog, and post your work there. Then if you want to post it on social media just post the link to your page. Thats the best way to own your own stuff.
But what I really wanted to talk about was LinkedIn. I have been looking for new opportunities the last few months and spending a lot of time on LinkedIn. As I said earlier, I have over 10,000 connections there now. Mostly people in the arts and higher education, which is my target industry. Someone recently asked me how I got so many LinkedIn connections. There really are no secrets to this. So don’t go out and spend money on some charlatans e-book. Here is how I work LinkedIn:
1-Use lots of keywords in your headline. If you are looking for a job as “professor of photography” as I am, then put that in your headline. Use every single space allowed to fill up that headline with keywords. I use artist, educator, fine art etc.
2-Next go down to your summary section and do the same thing. Really elaborate about your past, and more importantly your future goals. Use the most text they allow. Fill up every space. Short and sweet is not good here.
3-When filling out your past experience make sure to elaborate as much as you can, without too much fluff. One or two sentences is not going to cut it. If you worked at a company for a few years then surely you can write a couple of paragraphs about what you did there.
4-Add examples of work. This is very important. LinkedIn allows you to upload photos, PDF’s and presentations. I uploaded various projects that I have been working on.
5-Join relevant groups. Join as many as your can. I believe the max is somewhere around 50 groups. I joined all relevant groups in my industry. But then, make sure you contribute to those groups. Post meaningful content.
6-Do not make yourself invisible! When you view others profiles LinkedIn gives you the option to make yourself appear as an anonymous viewer. Don’t do that. for one thing, its creepy. Don’t be a stalker. I don’t care who looks at my profile, but if there is someone you don’t want viewing you theres a solution; its a new feature that allows you to block people. But there is a very real advantage to letting someone know you viewed their profile; they will most likely then view you! For example, when I am applying for a job I always view the recruiters profile. This lets that person know I am interested in the job and possibly gets his or hers attention. Hopefully that person will see something they like on my profile and then reach out to me.
7-Post frequent updates! I try to post updates every day. Its not always possible, but I do try. Also, update your headline often. I change those keywords around once every couple of weeks. Stagnation is death in SEO. Search engines love frequently changing content, even small changes.
8-The final recommendation I have is to invest in the premium account. If you are a job seeker, or just very serious about your career, the premium account is the way to go. It allows you to send in-mails and contact decision makers directly. Its not expensive and the upside can be huge.
If you an artist or involved in the arts, you need to get active on social media. Don’t think so? Ever hear of a guy named Jerry Saltz? If your in the arts you probably have. If not, then just Google his name. Im not going to go into a huge thing about him here, I’ll save that for another post. Lets just say he is a Facebook mega-god. I have nothing but admiration for him. If I were a woman I would have his baby. Check out his page here