Six Tools for Getting More out of LinkedIn

LinkedIn has begun partnering with other Internet mavens to offer spiffy new apps, http://learn.linkedin.com/apps/, allowing you to punch up your profile and some interactivity. The apps are free, so you have nothing to lose by experimenting. These tools can make your LinkedIn page more dynamic, even when you’re ignoring it. Some cool things you can do now:

 

• Add a slide show of your jewelry using the Creative Portfolio Display, an online platform designed specifically “for creative professionals.” This is the most useful addition for artists because images of your work should be the first thing people see when they look you up online. Lack of visuals on LinkedIn has been a major drawback. This is obviously an effort to compete with Facebook and Flickr and shake off some of that stodgy-businessman persona.

 

• Link to your blog from your profile, allowing new posts to pop up as live links with headline and opening paragraph. Five posts are listed at a time. Great way to show people what you’re up to and drive traffic to your site without even logging in.

 

• Check job postings. This section of LinkedIn has really grown, yet many people don’t know it exists. I was surprised at the interesting gigs a search for “jewelry” turned up.

 

• Share what you’re reading. The Amazon Reading List application allows you to show the books you’re reading and post mini-reviews. You might spark some discussion of a new jewelry-making book, for example. Either way, it shows your tastes and interests in a way a resumé can’t.

 

• Tell people where to find you. If you travel a lot for craft shows, the TripIt app lets you share where you’ll be and when. Anyone who signs on for this app gets a reminder in their weekly LinkedIn updates of where their connections are heading that week. I’ve had people suggest meeting up after noticing on TripIt that I’ll be in town.

 

• Set up a connection with Twitter so your tweets appear as status updates. I don’t do this because a lot of what I post on Twitter would be inappropriate or confusing to someone checking out my profile on LinkedIn. But a lot of people I know do connect this way, and their LinkedIn profiles are more dynamic as a result.

 

CATHLEEN MCCARTHY is a freelance writer whose stories on design, travel and business have appeared in Town & Country, AmericanStyle, Art & Antiques, Washington Post, and her own site, http://TheJewelryLoupe.com.

 

NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling of special interest to those with a home-based jewelry business that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more in "Get Linked In," May/June 2011.

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