It’s been suggested to me three times over the last few weeks (by word of mouth, from my online writing course and when listening to an audio book) that creating a LinkedIn Account could benefit me as a writer. So, taking that as a sign I have set up an account today and although I am very excited about it, I am also a little confused.
Creating my account was quick and easy and I was surprised that it didn’t even ask me to think of a user name. The tricky part, however, was deciding how to display my main job as well as my freelance writing job (any tips welcome!).
I think that setting up the profile correctly and getting in the right description and key words is going to take longer that the hour or so I have tonight. So, for the purpose of this blog I’ll pass on any tips that I learn tonight and then blog again with more tips once I am up and running. Here are five reasons why LinkedIn can be great for writers:
- What is LinkedIn? – According to the LinkedIn Learning Centre, “LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 120 million members and growing rapidly”. Wow – I definitely want to be part of that. I envisage there being hundreds if not thousands of freelance writer jobs out there.
- You need to create a good impression – This is important as your profile will be the first thing potential employers see when they search for your name (apparently LinkedIn profiles tend to rise to the top when Googled – according to the tips on the LinkedIn Learning Centre). Make sure you spend lots of time on your profile and what you have to offer.
- You need to think of great key words to describe yourself – Think about what words that potential employers will be typing in when they search for you e.g. freelance writer, travel blogger and so on, and then include these words in your profile.
- You have many experts close at hand – You never need to worry if you don’t know the answer to something. LinkedIn has a tool called Answers which enables you to put a question out there which LinkedIn member can respond to, for example, you could ask if anyone is looking for a writer in your local area.
- It’s wise to join some groups – This is something that has really interested me and I will definitely be joining a few of the freelance writer ones. It can be a useful place to find new writing jobs, exchange ideas, obtain answers to questions, as well as many other things that I don’t even know about yet. Their newest feature (only launched last week – 10 Nov 2011) is a ‘Group statistics dashboard’ (focusing on demographics, growth and activity) and is available to all groups on LinkedIn.
I’ll finish up with a fantasic website that I just found by Carol Tice called Making A Living. Her article that she wrote back in May 2011 called 10 Ways Writers Can Use LinkedIn to Find Freelance Gigs is well worth a read. It sums it all up nicely and has given me so much encouragement that I just want to set it all up tonight and get connecting on LinkedIn! But unfortunately it’s late and I have to get up early for work tomorrow!
My thoughts: I should have joined a long time ago as LinkedIn is all about careers. Being a freelance writer by night and a project manager by day this could help me loads!
If you are a member of LinkedIn I would be interested to hear how you find it. Does it help you as a writer?
Please visit www.sandramadeira.com for more information on my services as a freelance writer as well as details of my book and other blogs.
This blog post forms part of My Writing Challenge. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to receive my daily blogs by email so that you don’t miss any. Just click ‘sign me up’ on the home page. Alternatively you can follow my blogs on Twitter @madeirasandra or my ‘Tips and Luxuries‘ Facebook page. Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome.
LinkedIn was good when it was first around. I don’t know if it was sold or they just changed their way of thinking but now the site just takes your email address and uses it to spam everyone to join LinkedIn. I deleted my account there and I am still getting notices to join from random people. My Mother has an account there and has not sent me any request to join. Yet I get them from her as well.
Hi Laura – I didn’t realise that. Thanks for the tip and thanks for taking the time to comment. Sandra