LinkedIn is a valuable tool for connecting with people you’ve worked with and for researching the people you want to get to know. But, like every social network, it’s important to use it correctly. Here are the 8 biggest mistakes I see actors making on LinkedIn everyday:
1. Not filling out your profile
Even if you’re not using LinkedIn regularly, fill out your profile! Your LinkedIn account ranks very high in Google Search results for your name. In fact, if someone Googles you to get your contact information, LinkedIn may be one of the first things that pops up in the results (especially if you don’t have a website).
2. Not Uploading a profile photo
The number of people, not just actors, that don’t have a picture on LinkedIn is astounding. Make it super simple for people to find you. Update LinkedIn with a current headshot that you use on all of your social networks.
3. Not optimizing your professional headline
You get 110 characters right under your name to tell us you who are. This is a great place to use keywords like Actor, Voice Actor, SAG, AEA or Dancer. This might not get you discovered, but it might help you get re-discovered by people you’ve known in the past.
4. Not being reachable
LinkedIn lets you list your website, twitter handle and email address in the “Advice for Contacting [Name]” section. If LinkedIn pops up in your Google Search make it easy for people to contact you, even if they’re a 3rd, 4th or 5th degree connection.
5. Sending connection requests to Industry professionals you want to work with.
Although you can meet new people in groups, LinkedIn’s biggest asset for actors is connecting with people you’ve already worked with. Connect with as many of them as possible. Re-connect with people from your arts high school, college, plays, classes, and industry professionals who know you.
Don’t send out connection requests to casting directors you don’t have relationships with. A casting director has a business and they’re on LinkedIn to network with people that can hire them, not to scout for talent. If you send out invitations and get too many “I Don’t Knows” LinkedIn may restrict or suspend your account. Consider why people use LinkedIn then act accordingly.
6. Randomly Asking for Endorsements
Asking for endorsements from casting directors and industry professionals you’ve barely had contact with (and even worse never been hired by) is a huge no-no. On the flip side, endorsing fellow actors, your agent, manager and people you do have a relationship with is good karma, will keep you top of mind, and they may just give you an endorsement in return.
7. Not Using Media
When you think of LinkedIn profiles you don’t usually think photos and videos. But you should! You are a creative and using media will show us who you are and help you stand out from the sea of text on LinkedIn. You can upload your reel, media clips, scenes from your latest webseries. You can create a visual resume with stills from your latest performances, red carpet premieres, trailers, interviews, and press.
8. Not Utilizing LinkedIn for Networking and Research.
Although LinkedIn is best for connecting with people you already know, you can expand your network within LinkedIn Groups. Use groups to connect with people who you have a lot in common with and are appropriate to your acting career like, alumni associations, SAG/AFTRA or AEA-related groups.
You can use LinkedIn to research people you want to know. Find out what shows a casting director casts, where they went to school (maybe it’s your alma mater), what interests they have, if you have any mutual connections and what groups they’re members of. This may be an opportunity for you to join a group, see what they’re talking about and what’s important to them. Then, if and when appropriate, you can connect with them about a topic you’re both passionate about instead of your reel or your latest project.
So give your LinkedIn Profile a complete makeover, optimize your bio, photos and start connecting with the people you know and used to know.
To help you rock your social media even more I created an ebook The Ultimate Social Media Checklist for Actors just for you! It’s free and you can grab your copy here.
See you on Social!