…baby, I don’t want to be right.
Just about every source I’ve come across in my research for becoming a freelance writer has made it a point to mention how valuable social media, particularly LinkedIn, is as a marketing and outreach tool.
So, I decided to update my LinkedIn profile today.
I’m not a big social media fan, to begin with. I begrudgingly have a Facebook account. Its primary use is to share happy-tear-jerker videos from The Dodo. I really kind of like Instagram, but my account mainly documents recently-achieved yoga poses or motorcycle rides I take with my husband. Neither goats and ducks becoming best friends, dancer’s pose nor Harley-Davidson has much to do with marketing myself as a freelance writer.
I figured I could start with LinkedIn since it is a career site.
One of my aforementioned freelance writing research sources is the podcast “High Income Business Writing with Ed Gandia.” Ed recently released an episode detailing a process that highly successful freelance marketers use to get their LinkedIn accounts to grab the attention of potential clients. I gave the podcast a listen and it made a lot of sense. The process Ed discussed with his guest seemed kind of obvious once the information was all laid out. So I thought, How hard can it be? I’ll log onto the old LinkedIn account my sister set up for me, blow the dust off the profile and see what I can do.
Very little, it turns out.
Part of maintaining consistency to achieve my freelance writing goals is taking at least one small step each day that develops my freelance writing skills. I may work on an article for a potential client (only one so far, but gotta start somewhere), fine-tune a chapter in my upcoming health and wellness ebook, or check something off my to-do list, like create an author bio. LinkedIn has been on my to-do list for a couple weeks, but since I’ve never really used it, I kept forgetting about it until Ed’s podcast got me motivated again.
Turns out, I really don’t like LinkedIn. Like, at all.
So, back to logging in to my LinkedIn profile and thinking, how hard can it be? Hard. I hate it. LinkedIn profiles don’t read easily for me, the navigation feels clunky and editing my existing information was a nightmare. The whole point of signing in was to add pertinent, engaging information to the summary and headline sections. I stared at those two empty boxes for what felt like hours (Side note: it was not hours.) and when I was done updating what I felt capable of updating, it was pathetic! A monkey with a typewriter could have done a better job.
I’m a determined person when I make up my mind to do something. Four years ago, I decided I was sick of feeling tired and sluggish and fat. I completely changed what I was eating, lost 20lbs, created my own exercise routine and became physically fit for the first time in my adult life. There were times it was hard and I cried and felt like a loser that couldn’t get my body do anything right. But I found my own way through, and just kept going the best way I knew how. Four years later, I’m now going stronger than ever and in better shape, mentally and physically, than when the weight first came off. I am clinging to the hope that my freelance writing business can go the same way.
That just being myself, and playing to my own strengths, will get me where I want to go.
For now, I’m leaving LinkedIn for the birds. I still have an amazing online course to complete and tasks to check off within that course. I have this blog, which I am already finding myself grateful for if only to talk myself through these obstacles.
Maybe I’ll find a way to be successful without LinkedIn.
I don’t know how it will affect my future freelance writing business not to have a well-maintained LinkedIn account. That’s how little I really know about the freelance writing world right now. There’s a lot still to be learned. Maybe one day the LinkedIn formula will click for me like they always said algebra would. Although on second thought, algebra never did, so maybe that’s not a great analogy… or perhaps the perfect analogy. Guess we’ll see!