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How Do Quilters & Creative Entrepreneurs Use LinkedIn?

During an open call I hosted yesterday on social media, someone asked me about LinkedIn and quilters. I said that quilters have been slower to use LinkedIn than other social media. It’s been primarily thought of as a more corporate platform where people can make connections for job searches.

I did a quick, albeit unscientific, survey – I asked on Facebook and Twitter – to see if quilters were using LinkedIn. The results confirmed my theory. I think it’s because most quilters’ customers are not on LinkedIn. If you think you’d like to learn more about LinkedIn, sign up and give it a try to see for yourself. Here are six ways that I and other professionals can use LinkedIn.

  1. Find a job. Last week I discussed a possible opening we plan on in our business with a potential candidate. I probably would not have found this person outside of LinkedIn, or definitely not as easily.
  2. Get an introduction to someone you think might further your career. For example, if you are a fiber artist and you see a friend of a friend is a gallery owner or art consultant, you could ask for a connection. Where that leads is up to you.
  3. Learn industry news. For example, I learned that FiberArts will no longer be publishing after its June/July issue. Then I learned that Fiber Art Now is a new magazine serving the fiber arts and textile community to start publishing in October.
  4. Connect, share and learn through the groups function. You are connecting with other professional fiber people who share their expertise willingly. You will make connections that you wouldn’t find other places. Discussions tend to be more business focused.
  5. Invite your connections to events. If you become active on LinkedIn, your circle of connections will grow and you can invite them to events you host.
  6. Post your blog for others to see who might not be in your circle otherwise. With a WordPress plug-in, your blog posts will automatically repost onto LinkedIn, letting a wider audience learn about you and your company.

As with any form of social media, you’ll get what you put into it. I think for many quilters, LinkedIn offers valuable discussion and connection. Please share how you use LinkedIn on our blog. If you want more help in the area of social media, please join me for our upcoming five-session Social Media Marketing seminar.

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2 Responses to “How Do Quilters & Creative Entrepreneurs Use LinkedIn?”

  1. Jean M. Judd said:

    I saw your post the other day, Morna, in your newsletter about LinkedIn and I wanted to share some details that I found after a brief search.

    On LinkedIn there are 228 Art Quilters and 1,262 quilters. There are also three groups that I belong to (and I’m sure there are more) including: Fiber Arts & Mixed Media, Aurifil Quilt Thread Fans, and Professional Quilters’ Alliance.

    I myself am more affiliated with the fine art groups (such as Art Business, Manhattan Arts International and Professional Fine Art Network (PFAN)) as that is the direction my work is taking. I am a member of 31 groups on LinkedIn and I get invaluable information from all of them. Being on LinkedIn has gotten me gallery representation in San Francisco as well as Scottsdale, Arizona (which is just being completed) and I also was found by a fine art lease and rental company in Oregon from being on LinkedIn.

    For my purposes, it is much better than Facebook — much more professional for the most part. There are many high end collectors on LinkedIn as well.

    LinkedIn also started to recently offer Company profiles as well where I can link my personal profile to it as an “employee” so I have set that up as well under my business name of Sisters in Stitches. This allows me to showcase my artwork under the “Products” tab.

    I would say that I normally spend about 1 1/2 hours a week at the most on LinkedIn. I get weekly digests from the groups I am a member of and I update by “STATUS” every week which takes less than 5 minutes.

    When I am juried into an art exhibition (which is about once a month or so), I post the exhibition information under the EVENTS function which would be great for those who are teaching, doing lectures, etc. I also post any exhibitions I am in under the PROMOTIONS tab in each group as well. I find this much better than adding to one of the Discussions already started where there are hundreds or thousands of comments already listed.

    For those looking for jobs, the JOBS function is good as long as you use the Advanced Search and really narrow your search down to a more refined search. I know of several people who have gotten good jobs through LinkedIn in the museum and gallery arena as well as several graphic designers who have found wonderful jobs.

  2. Morna said:

    Jean, I’m glad you’ve had good results. I think it’s because you are putting the effort. And obviously you’ve created a system for time that works for you. Thanks for sharing this with everyone.

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