LinkedIn is not just a platform for jobseekers; it is a powerful networking and marketing channel for entrepreneurs, such as photographers. If you ever serve other businesses with your photography, then LinkedIn is a great place online to find and connect with the right people in your niche. As they say, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Are you aware that Linkedin is older than Facebook and is turning 20 this year? It has over 900 million members and, according to the company’s statistics, three new members sign up every second. Even actors like Ryan Renolds are on there! Sure, it has fewer members compared to Facebook or Instagram, but they could be the right members for your business.
In case you’re completely new to it or hardly ever log in, here is a breakdown of what LinkedIn offers in 2023:
- A free profile with a banner and a profile image
- A showcase for your experience, skills, and education
- List which professional services you offer and a link to your website
- Post images, videos, and text, create polls, organize events, and write newsletters
- Option to have a “creator" profile
- Courses on the paid subscription
Here are a few networking strategies:
- Adding relevant people such as creative directors, producers, or photography managers to your network.
- Comment, like, and repost in and outside of your network.
- Join and post in groups and get seen outside of your usual circles.
- Talk to your connections in private messages.
- Get to know people and become a familiar face in their feeds.
- Join groups to reach people outside of your network.
Social Media Marketing
Did you know that Linkedin has influencers just like TikTok or Instagram? Every time you connect with a new person, they automatically become your follower. Unlike Instagram, LinkedIn is not over-saturated with creators, and in my opinion, it is fairly easy to gain new followers.
Every time you like or comment on someone’s post, it also shows the original post in your followers’ feeds. This works the opposite way too, and when other people like your posts, you can reach your followers’ followers and cast a wider net. In my own experience as a photographer, posts with images are the most popular, but I have also experimented with text-only posts. With text posts, my goal is to reveal more about my personality, and what makes me the photographer I am and hopefully my audience gets to know me a little better.
Anyone can change their profile into a “creator profile.” This setting lets you access additional tools and features such as displaying hashtags on the topics that you talk about, your follower count is shown, and LinkedIn will suggest you to new people. For creators with 150 followers and/or connections, other tools like audio events, LinkedIn live, and publishing your own newsletters will come available.
The aim of your posts should be to get the right people to stop and view your profile, and of course, direct them to your photography website. Regular updates of photography work are a must, and creating text content can help you to connect with your audience on a deeper level. If you write a blog on your website, LinkedIn is the perfect place to get traffic and eyeballs to your content on your homepage.
Photographers need jobs, and LinkedIn is naturally great both for seeking full-time opportunities and also freelance jobs. My advice would be to follow recruiters that have posted photography jobs in the past. The same goes for any relevant LinkedIn member that might need a photographer. These jobs often need to be filled straight away, so checking your feed often will better your chances.
You can display on your profile that you offer services. Currently, you can choose from the likes of “commercial photography,” “food photography,” and “event photography.” You can also tell potential customers about your pricing and where you operate. Completing this section of the profile can help to get you discovered, as the search function on the website lets members search for specific services.
Depending on which type of membership you have, there are three ways to directly message people on the platform. The first way is to send them a connection request with a message introducing yourself. The second way is to ask to connect, and after your request has been accepted, message them. The third way is to pay for a premium service, which comes with several InMail messages that you can send to anyone. I tend to stay away from pitching my services to someone as soon as I’ve connected with them, as it rarely works. The better way is to build a rapport and then sell in a much softer way.
I use the platform to help with my email marketing. The search function lets me find the right people and their full names. Sometimes, if you don’t hear back from someone, it could be that they have changed jobs. LinkedIn is an easy way to check if this is the case. Even people who hardly check their feed or messages will still log in to update any work promotions or changes to their employer.
Learning and Courses
There are a couple of different ways to learn on the platform. The premium subscription lets you access their courses. I have used premium in the past and found the courses to be good value, especially if you also use it to contact people outside of your network and for the more generous search function.
The free way to learn is from popular creators. Part of many creators' marketing strategies is to offer free advice, and I find this a great way to learn. You would not believe how many creators are making money by training others how to use LinkedIn!
What’s the Catch?
By far, the biggest problem with the platform is the lack of active users: those who check their feeds regularly. It is growing in popularity, though, and now is a great time to get a footing and start dominating on LinkedIn. In case you wanted to check out my profile, it can be found here.
I use LinkedIn only for job hunting or job search networking, and immediately block anyone that tries to sell me goods or services not related to job-seeking. There's enough options for marketing on other platforms without polluting LinkedIn.
I don't disagree that it may be an excellent place to market; I just don't want people to misuse a space not intended for marketing. That activity clutters the space and diminishes the value of LinkedIn.
The key isn't to market on LinkedIn. Instead, just make connections there and make them all aware that you are a photographer. Then when they are in need of a photographer, you will be the person they think of. It's a long game, with minimal payoff, but it can work.
Yes, being front of mind with the right crowd is where it’s very useful!