Tips for Leveraging LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of my favorite places and that's not... I think it's because it's the underdog. I think it's because a lot of people, a lot of photographers especially are like, "Why do I want to be on LinkedIn? What's the values to me?" Can I get a raise of hands, who here uses LinkedIn, at all? Okay. Do you guys... How many people of those that raised your hands actually have gotten value out of your time on LinkedIn? Only me? Oh, sad day. All right. So... Well, let's talk about a couple of things really quick. LinkedIn was created in December of 2002 by Reid Hoffman. It was purchased last year for $26.2 billion by Microsoft, mostly because they wanted the information for their enterprise staff, most likely. Four hundred and thirty-three million registered users, 106 million monthly unique visitors, so it's much less not unique visitors unless you're really saying it, "Active users." Forty percent of users check...take in Linkedin daily, 45 billion page views from LinkedIn members, a...
t least in Q1 of 2016. They, again, I mentioned before, they have long form content that you can now produce on LinkedIn, kind of like blogs, can be interesting. So, my thoughts on LinkedIn. So LinkedIn, again, is one of the most underrated networks out there and the reason that I think that it's underrated is because most people don't understand how to find value out of a network like LinkedIn. People think that it is a place you update your resume, and then you need to go find a real job to, you know, make some extra money. They don't think about it from the perspective of a social network built for business communication. It's not a place that I'm going to go to find a client or a customer to purchase a print to hung on their wall, directly, at least. It's not a place where I'm going to go, and I have tons of engagement that I'm going to post that I can sit there and then turn and try to pitch to a company and say, "Hey, hire me, so I can post some stuff about you on LinkedIn." It's not going to happen. But what it is, is a massive network of business professionals that help you find the right individuals to talk to when you guys want to have business to business communication, or work with other companies to pitch ideas from marketing campaigns or connect if you're a wedding photographer to find, you know, someone to do floral engagements or whatever it is. Any sort of that business to business relationship you want to develop, LinkedIn is huge. So, tips for leveraging LinkedIn. Fill out your profile completely. It's pretty self-explanatory. It should be the same across all networks. LinkedIn, you're putting across your, you know, your photo, there's information about you, talk about the stuff that you've done, if you have any accolades. I mean, fill it out kind of like a resume to be fair. Fill it out completely. Ask for endorsements from people that you've worked with and that you know. So, endorsements are people sitting there and will come in and say, "Hey, Colby Brown, you're great with digital photography. I endorse you for this." If you go to my page on LinkedIn, and it's like probably a couple of thousands people said that for most of the stuff that I've talked about on LinkedIn, travel, social media, photography, post-processing, whatever it is. Those things are just nice. Again, it's mostly superficial stuff but it's nice for your profile. This is the big one. This is the focus of the benefit of LinkedIn. Research the clients you wish to work with. Now, again, I blocked out the names and the faces of all the stuff, of this screenshot. This is a screenshot I took on my phone. But essentially, the idea behind that is, let's say, I've built up my following, which I have, and I want to pitch the idea of working with a company. Now, the value for me in terms of the assets side of things, is it can come down to my social media following and engagement. So, social media is that value to my company's currently, because I've worked hard for the last 10 years to get to where I am. So, I want to pitch an idea to a company. My value is social media. So, who do I want to talk to at a company that I wish to pitch an idea to? In this case, I did a search for the company name which we blocked out, they're probably legally, I'm not allowed to say it or talk about it, and then social media manager. Because, that's evaluation, that's where I'm trying to sit there... That's usually my end based on my company and my brand. And from there it's going to sit there and because we searched on the name of the people, and I can also go to the company's segment, sit there and say, you know, "Show me all the people that work for this company," if I'm not sure exactly who I need to talk to. And then, it's going to show me all the people. It's going to show me where they live, where they work, and it's going to show me their profiles that're on LinkedIn. You'll see people that are active there. And then, I can sit there and take that information and I can send them a cold email. It's called an InMail in LinkedIn. And InMails are stuff that generally you have to pay for. It's more of the premium services which can be anywhere from $30 to $50 a month, or something like that. I can't remember what it is. And that gives you a certain number of these InMails, these things to kind of reach out to people. And the benefit for me is that I have sidestepped all the work and effort to reach out to someone on like, this company's Twitter, and say, "Hey, I like the pitching idea. Who should I talk to?" And you're not going to hear anything. And the same thing is gong to be happening for almost any type of marketing campaign that you guys want to do. If you guys want to work and generate money, and say... Again, you want to work with, you know, you do portrait work or wedding work or travel work or publications, you can use LinkedIn to find editors for publications you want to reach out to. You can sit there and use LinkedIn to find art directors because you want to sell prints, so you're trying to find people that are, actually, have a purchasing power to order large prints for a hospital, say. You can use LinkedIn for all of your business to business needs, which most photographers never do. It is huge. I have probably generated more money from LinkedIn than any other social platform because of its ability to give me the opportunity to talk to the right people to pitch ideas to. That's its valuation. And because of that, that's why I love LinkedIn so much. That's why when people say... They're like, what's one of my favorite social networks? I enjoy my time on Instagram, probably the most, but LinkedIn is where I get the most benefit. It's where I can sit there and reach out to marketing firms or, you know, clients of whatever kind. I do a lot of work in tech and travel. So, who's the marketing manager for Bermuda Tourism? Any of you guys know? I don't, but I can find out. You guys have an unlimited wealth of information with LinkedIn, and it's just something that most people don't take advantage of. And most of the times, especially when you're talking about business to business connections and valuations from a brand standpoint, it's all about networking. It's all about who you know, or who you can get in contact with. So, that's why LinkedIn is so important. So last, the tips for leveraging LinkedIn, pay for premium accounts if you want to send a lot of cold emails. Essentially, how it works is LinkedIn is based in kind of like a "six degrees of separation of Kevin Bacon" kind of way, where how many people you're connected to someone, determines how you can reach out to them. So, if like say, you know, me and Drew were connected on LinkedIn, but then someone else here, CreativeLive, I wanted to pitch something to you, and I didn't think that Drew is the right person to talk to. There might be one degree of separation. So, I might be able to reach out to them. But if there was two or three because there was someone else down the line, then in LinkedIn it's going to charge you for that. So, they're going to charge you to have a premium account to essentially, send cold emails. And I deep-dive into this, into the monetizing for outdoor photography session on Friday, where I'm going to show you how to write a pitch. I'm going to show you kind of who to connect to, and who to look for, and all that type of stuff. But it's really important to understand its value to you guys as photographers, regardless, maybe you guys don't even want to make money with photography, this is going to allow you to connect with the right people to pitch ideas, and projects, and all sorts of fun stuff.