LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. Establishing filmmakers need it to market themselves, connect with peers and to network. If you are not on there, join now. If you are already on there, make it work for you.
Just being on it isn’t good enough. Understand how LinkedIn works and how to maximise what it has to offer.
The professional headline: Let’s start by getting this right. This is the first thing that everyone else reads about you. As filmmakers, you want the headline to say everything about you – without being boring. Think impactful.
Also use relevant keywords in your headline so others can find you quickly by searching on LinkedIn. For example, if you put independent film producer in your headline, when others type in ‘independent film producer’ into the LinkedIn search tool, you want to come up on the first page of LinkedIn’s search results for that term.
The profile photo: It’s very important to get a photo up that sums you up professionally. It should also show a hint of your personality. People always want to connect and do business with people they like. A likeable profile photo helps. A lot!
Contact info: Never ignore this bit. Be social and always add your email and maybe even your phone number. Don’t forget to add your Twitter account – this way your LinkedIn connections can stay updated with you and what you have to say on there.
In the contact info section you also have the option to link up to three websites or URLs. Utilise them all to link to your wesbite, film website and IMDb page as a minimum. Write interesting descriptions for each link that are keyword rich. Ask me if you don’t know how to do it.
Note: If you currently have a film crowdfunding campaign running, it would be a mistake not linking to it in your LinkedIn contact section.
LinkedIn whoring: This is my pet peeve with inexperienced filmmakers who are on LinkedIn. Don’t be the filmmaker who solicits connections from anyone to look like you have a high number of connections. This is not the purpose of LinkedIn.
Use it correctly to connect with qualified people who you know, would like to know or who you consider influencers and thought leaders in filmmaking.
The three Ps: When deciding on whom to connect with and before sending a connection invitation, use the 3 Ps to help you qualify them.
1. Peers: These are other filmmakers or people at the same professional level as you.
2. Pros: These are experts or thought leaders or the people at a level you’d like to reach in filmmaking.
3. Patrons: People who are already fans, financial backers, people you’ve deemed likely to buy, donate, volunteer.
Inviting connections: When you find people on LinkedIn who you think qualify, don’t just send the default LinkedIn invitation. Personalise the message, explain how you know them/why you want to connect and how connecting with you is beneficial for them. This is the professional way to do it.
In the following series of articles, I’ll talk more about how filmmakers can maximise the other LinkedIn sections and advanced features. In the meantime, if you are on LinkedIn, connect with me and also take a look at my LinkedIn profile for helpful hints and tips. I’m always updating it with cool ideas I’m learning.
Get started today and make the most of your LinkedIn profile before your filmmaking competition does.
Do feel free to ask questions, offer suggestions or comment in the comments section below.