I started using LinkedIn a lot more lately. I have really really tried to be a regular Facebook user, but alas, after the 10th cute kitten picture, I get frustrated and log off and I LOVE kittens. I realized I was missing so many important posts because they were buried under 10 pages of kittens and deep thought quotes. And if I’m missing other people’s posts, then people were missing mine. If you post something on Wednesday and someone doesn’t look at their wall until Friday, they’ll miss your post. I was getting lost. So I began exploring LinkedIn and already I feel like I’m getting some response.
I’m still learning how to finesse LinkedIn. Just like Facebook, there are strategies, do’s and don’ts, and you have to keep it updated. LinkedIn is geared more for business connections, and not social. They have groups (like forums) you can join in your areas of interest and expertise. The idea is to interact with people and learn from each other.
First I made sure my profile was complete and as good as I could get it. This can take a little time, but is REALLY important to do this BEFORE you start inviting connections. Plus it creates some starting links to people who went to the same school, same industries and region. Then I started inviting people who I know or who know people I know to connect with me. This is really easy using their “People you may know” tab. You can send a direct request to connect with anyone who is 2 generations from you (a friend of a friend).
You can also connect with someone who is in a group that you are in. This is the real power – join the larger industry groups and you will gain access to thousands of people with whom you now have a connection you wouldn’t otherwise have through your circle of colleagues. I’ve tried to be selective – you’re not supposed to try to connect with everyone – I’m inviting mostly people in the music and film industry in my region who might be interested in my services and expertise. I have over 300 connections already and I’ve actually had a few people contact me for quotes and inquiries. And I love hearing from people I’ve known for a while who see my profile and call to say “I didn’t know you did that!” Pretty cool.
As you add connections, you start seeing what you have in common with people you didn’t even know existed. It’s the original social networking site based on the Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon principle. So, for each person in your network, it tells you all the other connections you have in common (like Facebook does), and then you can invite them into your network, and so on and so forth. And, of course, the world often revolves around who you know. Sometimes having gone to the same school opens doors. I had one connection who didn’t even know me ask for a quote on a CD project because we both went to Texas A&M.
Are you a LinkedIn Member? If not, I recommend you at least try it. It’s free. And then please connect with me. I’d love to add you to my professional network. I’ll keep using Facebook. Facebook has its uses, especially when it comes to connecting to your fans. But for business, LinkedIn seems to be the place to be. I see a lot of musicians and filmmakers on there and tons of musician/film oriented groups where people share ideas, and even post requests for songs for licensing deals, films, TV, etc.
Please visit my LinkedIn profile and Connect with me: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dianathornton. Just indicate you are a colleague.
I’d still also love to be your Friend on Facebook. “Like” my Crescent Music Services page and my personal page. Subscribe to my email list to receive the occasional emails I send out. (I still refuse to get a Twitter account.)
Just Google search “how to use LinkedIn for musicians” and you’ll find a ton of videos and how-to’s to help you get started.