Since it first launched in 2003, LinkedIn has gone from being an obscure and not particularly helpful professional networking site to what it is today: a publicly traded, household name with nearly 50 million monthly visitors worldwide.
That's great and all, but can LinkedIn help entertainers?
The answer is a resounding YES.
Today LinkedIn is much more than just another place to paste your resume. The site has become one of the web's top social media platforms and it has done it without Twitpics, pokes or any of that other silly stuff.
It might not be the best place to find gigs online (duh, that would be GigMasters!) but performers really can use LinkedIn to further their careers. Despite what you may have heard, LinkedIn is not just for nine-to-fivers.
So...how should entertainers be using LinkedIn?
Glad you asked. Here are a five LinkedIn tips for entertainers:
1. Join GigMasters' LinkedIn group! We use our own LinkedIn group to stay in touch with our performers and other entertainment professionals. Have a question about GigMasters or something else industry-related? Don't be shy. Ask the group!
2. Join other LinkedIn groups specific to your field. Groups are LinkedIn's secret weapon. They can be an amazing resource if used correctly.
Use the LinkedIn search feature to look for relevant and interesting groups. There are groups for musicians, comedians, variety performers and just about everyone else under the sun. Right now there is a conversation going on via LinkedIn that you should be a part of. You just need to find it!
3. Use LinkedIn to find management, publicists, accountants, etc. Entertainment industry folks are on LinkedIn in huuuge numbers. Next time you need a referral, give LinkedIn a try, even if it is just to get the ball rolling.
4. Land consulting offers. Again, LinkedIn is not just for nine-to-fivers! If interested, be sure to set your account to accept 'consulting offers,' 'new ventures' and 'expertise requests.' You never know when a member of the press might come calling or even a local nightclub that needs an industry insider to consult for them.
5. Get hired to give lessons. Need some extra income? Think you have what it takes to give lessons but don't know where to get hired? That's where LinkedIn can help out. People really do surf LinkedIn and it does well in search results.
Go ahead, give LinkedIn a try.
Any entertainers out there on LinkedIn? Any more useful tips? Leave a comment, let us know!