Roving Report: Common LinkedIn Mistakes

LinkedIn on a Corkboard

When LinkedIn started, way back in 2002, it was a place to find a job.

You could connect with companies you’d like to work for, find out about open positions, and submit a resume.

Today, it’s evolved into a platform for creative professionals to promote themselves, feature their services, and connect with the people who want those services.

That’s why, as a web writer, you shouldn’t ignore it.

Ilise Benun is a marketing mentor for creative professionals, and she’s instilled many writers with the confidence to build their businesses.

She spoke recently with Heather Robson, Wealthy Web Writer’s managing editor, about why and how to use LinkedIn to help build your web-writing business. You can see the entire webinar HERE.

Ilise likes to say, “Listen to the market.”

She’s been self-employed since 1988, and much of her success comes from doing just that.

“In 1988,” she told us, “there was no LinkedIn, so you had to go find the market. But now, LinkedIn is the marketplace.”

Put Your LinkedIn Profile Up Today

Heather explained that LinkedIn provides a way to remove the barriers to getting started in your new writing business. She’s talked to writers who plan to start marketing once they have their website up and are happy with it, but that’s a mistake.

Instead, they should put up a LinkedIn profile right away. “Then you have a link you can send people to,” she explained. “Keep working on your website, but start marketing today.”

The most common mistake Ilise sees is writers thinking their website is more important than their LinkedIn profile.

“I know this is Wealthy Web Writer,” she told us, “but I have to be radical and say more and more, copywriters don’t even need a website. Maybe LinkedIn is enough. You need an online presence, and eventually you’ll want to have your own hub for your work.”

Don’t worry about making it perfect, either. “I believe in perfecting,” Ilise said, “not perfection.”

For example, you should definitely include a headshot in your profile, but don’t worry about the cover image. “I still haven’t put my own cover image up there,” Heather said. “I update my profile, I share things I’m thinking about in my specialties, and I haven’t had a single person not want to work with me because I don’t have my own cover image up there.”

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna was dragged back, kicking and screaming, into freelancing after losing her job in the banking meltdown in March, '09. One 3-month stint in an appalling temp job persuaded her to get serious about establishing herself as web writer. In March, 2012, she moved to a small town in Panama with her husband and three small dogs. After enjoying the writer's life in the culture of "buenas" and "mañana" for 2-1/2 years, she's returned to the US. At least for now.

One Comment

  • I have found this post to be quite informative and helpful as I start my new writing journey. The key points offer small and simple techniques to gain visibility, connect you to your business clients, and get your business seen in understandable and non-expertise terms. I’m ready for this business challenge.

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