As an independent rapper or producer trying to promote your music and brand online, you probably have a pretty good idea on which social networks you need to be on – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
But did you know you might be missing out on some big opportunities by not being on LinkedIn?
Launched in 2003 by internet entrepreneur and venture capitalist Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn has become the biggest business-oriented social networking service in the world.
As of October 2015, the network has more than 400 million users in over 200 countries. Numbers-wise, LinkedIn isn’t as big as Twitter (500 million users) or Facebook (1.44 billion users) but I definitely think it provides independent artists with some great networking and branding opportunities.
While for many people the idea of using LinkedIn as a big solution for a rapper or producer seems a bit weird, the fact is that it works just as well as the rest out there to give you that boost in terms of followers, volume, exposure and general enjoyment.
LinkedIn has become really popular in recent years in that it has become the network for professionals so shouting and swearing on here will do you no favors.
Instead this has to be where you are professionally seen; it might be the place you use to build up your list of professionals that you know in the music game, but it can be used to build up that brand effectively.
LinkedIn’s useful features
Groups – LinkedIn currently supports close to 1 million interest groups where its users can discuss, share and post updates. Chances are, if you’re an independent rapper looking for a place to discuss topics such as promoting your music or branding tips, there will be a LinkedIn group for it.
Job listings – You might not be be as interested in job listings as an independent artist, but you could still use this feature to recruit people onto your team (provided you have your own company set up on the platform) and keep up-to-date with major labels like Def Jam and Atlantic who have a big presence on LinkedIn.
Publishing platform – LinkedIn’s most recent addition to its platform has been allowing all users to create, distribute and share content directly to their network.
This is a huge branding opportunity for any artists out there who want to position themselves as a thought leader in their industry – you can write articles on your area of expertise and share it to your network as a value piece.
Getting the most out of LinkedIn
First off, make sure you always choose your username very carefully. The first step is all about making that brand identity stand out, so make sure that you always run with the same tag if you can.
This builds up recognition and means that when someone sees you on Twitter, Facebook etc. they might try you on another social media site.
This is immensely powerful and will do you plenty of favors in the long-term. By making yourself stand out and to have a brand username tag that you go with, you will really up your chances of being seen and being a standout.
Always complete that profile – most people don’t bother and this can hurt your ratings and the way you are perceived. Get your logo on there, get your links out there and make sure you are seen a clearly as possible.
Always ensure that you have a full profile page as people are more likely to connect with a full page than half a page, and it makes it eaiser to spread your name out there.
Never think you should avoid looking for help – you always want to connect up with likeminded people who you can work with moving forward, and this is made easier by using the search functions.
Look for things that are related to hip-hop but also a bit more niche and specific; things that apply to your music and what you spit about.
Getting this right makes a massive difference in the long run as it ensures that you will be more likely to hit the right notes with your fans and that they are also more likely to understand what you are trying to establish and say. By doing this, you make it ten times easier for your profile to stand out.
Anyone that you meet in real life should be linked with you – the higher volume of connections, the better it looks.
We’ve written articles previously about how independent rappers can brand themselves on Facebook and use Twitter to promote your music – now you can get started on LinkedIn to continue pushing your brand.
Always ensure that you give people this professional side to you as it removes the idea that you are “just” an artist, and something much greater than that.