5 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn as a Creative Entrepreneur

The moment you be chose to identify as an entrepreneur the stigma began. You have to work twice as hard to be respected as a professional whether you have a degree or not. Entrepreneurs, you know like I know the rules are different for us.

LinkedIn has set the standard as a “profesional However, it hasA�alsoA�been known for its slightly stodgy, list-based, text-heavy format a�� a format that worked well for traditional employers, employees, and business owners, but wasna��t necessarily ideal for those of us who label ourselves as a�?freelancers,a�? a�?self-employeda�? or a�?entrepreneurs.a�?

Here are 5 Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn as a Creative Entrepreneur…

1 Rank up

LinkedIn is a professional site geared towards building connections and a professional network. Build up your personal profile (just like any social media site) and see how much faster your connections will grow. Unlike other sites, your profile will be ranked… so now you have to rank up! This will boost your searchability and create a great first impression.A�There are seven requirements to reach the All-star level (highest level) on LinkedIn:

  1. Profile Picture
  2. Experience
  3. Skills
  4. Summary
  5. Industry & Location
  6. Education
  7. Connections

Add these seven elements to your profile and get started on the right professional path!

2 You’re already a professional, be unique

On your journey in becoming an entrepreneur, you had to make the decision to travel the road less traveled. That means doing your own thing and going against the “normal”. The one thing to keep mind after creating your “professional” profile is… you’re already a professional, be unique!

Of course you have to create your summary and profile pic and ect. But who says your profile should look like the Finance major aiming for the corporate position? Well it shouldn’t! Being an entrepreneur is creating your own brand and image. Use the traditional platform to give your profile to let the world see you and your business’ creativity.A�

Take advantage of the visual platform you’ve been given… for free! You can add examples of your work, a visual copy of your resume’, or anything to else that might spruce up your profile.

3 Build your network

You know that he more you grow your connections, the more visibility you will earn. Everyone has to start somewhere… Start by connecting with 50 familiar faces from your University or previous business relationships. After building our profile’s connections past 50, the real fun begins. LinkedIn will alert you of the measure of compatibilityA�or help a connection will offer you with a degree level- 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.A�

The easiest way to begin your connections is to link your email addresses. From there your connections will start to almost grow themselves… that is if you’re being a creative entrepreneur of course!

4 Get active, stay active

Just because LinkedIn is a professionally driven social site, that doesn’t make the site any less a part of “social media”. So be social… get active and stay active with your profile. There are three main goals to keep when engaging on LinkedIn:

  • Make statuses.A�Like any other social site, you have to stay updated with your “friends”, in this case your connections. Keep it professional. Remember the real reason why you joined the site and where you want your profile to take you. That in mind, always be yourself.
  • Join groups.A�There are plenty of interest groups to join. This is a great way to meet people with the same goals as well as get peer help in your field.
  • Make real connections.A� Don’t just go adding anyone to your network. This site is to build healthy business relationships and connect like-minded individuals. If you know that you’ve never met someone and they don’t even have a profile picture… don’t take a chance! Your connections are very important and you know what they say… birds of a feather flock together.

Once you become an active part of the LinkedIn community, you will see your connections grow more rapidly than your wildest dreams.A�

5 Embrace your network

Once you’ve successfully built good connections and a few real relationships, you can embrace your network. It can be difficult to relate and communicate with a complete stranger. After finding common ground with your connections, communication becomes a natural occurrence. You’re at the point where you can become a leader via Internet in your field. It can all be done by embracing your network, let your connections build your reputation.

As an entrepreneur your connections may be previous clients, future clients, and possible business allies. Get recommendations and endorsements from your connections, by doing an amazing job with your business. Another great thing to try on LinkedIn is creating new groups. You’ve already joined up to 50 others, why not create your own?

Don’t try to oversale yourself, let your network do it for you!

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Amiya Thomas

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