At Fresh Leaf Creative, many of my clients are career-changers (like myself) who have realised it's time to step away from the Corporate world to build a business of their own, and who need support in establishing and growing their brand and online presence.
If your ideal clients are on LinkedIn and you're already familiar with the platform, then it makes sense to market your new business there. But I've noticed that there is often a bit of resistance to this idea.
And I completely get it - because I have this resistance too - and I'd much rather market my services on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest, even though I know LinkedIn would probably be a good match for me.
I've been thinking more and more about why this might be just recently.
Prompted by a comment in a connection call yesterday, I thought I'd explore why LinkedIn can feel a bit uncomfortable for us career changers.
What's really stopping us from marketing our businesses on LinkedIn...?
1. It can be hard to know how to meld together all the sides of us.
LinkedIn is a unique beast.
On Instagram / Facebook you can start afresh with new accounts which means you can completely reinvent yourself overnight.
Unless you want them to, no one has to know your career history...although you're probably missing a trick if you're not weaving your rich tapestry of experience into your brand story.
LinkedIn feels quite different though. YOU'RE YOU, and so we have to figure out how to create a story that weaves all of the sides of us together in an authentic way.
2. We worry that people won't understand.
If you've left behind a career paying a great salary to take a risk and do something you really love in life, then there are going to be those people who simply won't get it.
"Why on earth would you want to do that?! You're so successful"
Some people just don't understand and that's fine because it's not your job to justify your decision or try to convince them.
If you have something in else in side of you - an idea or a calling to do something more in life - then you have to trust that it’s there for a reason. It’s part of your purpose and you're driven to create more of a legacy in your life.
You don’t have to justify, rationalise or defend your actions to anyone else. Just knowing you’re supposed to do something is enough.
We all have different measures of success and as we get older and learn more about ourselves, we often realise that there's so much more to life than the traditional trappings of success.
If that's the case for you, own it without dimming your light. It may be time to chase a cause rather than a career.
"Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort" - Franklin D. Roosevelt
3. We worry people will will think we're not serious about the day job.
If you're building your business alongside your existing job, the temptation can be to keep your venture on the quiet because we don't want people to think that we're not serious about our existing work or that it's going to be a distraction from the day job.
But the experience, confidence and personal growth that comes from setting up in business for yourself shouldn't be underestimated. You'll be a happier at work knowing that you have a creative outlet and you're breathing life into your idea - I know I certainly was. My business supported my creativity whilst I was working for John Lewis.
People are more likely to get on board if you use your messaging to explain your greater purpose and the reason you're taking this new direction in life...but it can feel like a leap of faith to start to talk about it.
4. What if it doesn't work out and I have to admit I was wrong to follow my dreams ..?
Maybe one of our greatest fears of all. We're tribal beings - designed with a need for acceptance and to care about what other people think. We don't want to be judged or lose face and I think this is compounded by the nature of LinkedIn being a professional platform.
"Perhaps if I don't shout too loudly about my business on social media, maybe it won't be as embarrassing / painful if I need to admit I was wrong..."
It's a bit of a chicken and egg scenario here, because we need to lean into marketing with the right energy for it to be a success. So by holding back we're not helping ourselves in our primary aim - to turn our dreams into a successful business.
And you know what, if it doesn't work and you end up doing something different, does it really matter? The right doors tend to open at the right time and one experience will lead to the next.
Life is a series of experiments, and how boring would it be to never take a risk in life?
If you've already got a good base of connections and presence on LinkedIn, then it's an obvious place to start to market your new business.
It enables you to leverage the power of your existing personal brand and network.
LinkedIn has a lot of untapped potential for those of us who have been reluctant to dive in....this is something I will be exploring more over the coming year as part of my conscious marketing Experiment.
I hope you've found this an interesting read. I'd love to know if any of this resonates with you?
How do you find marketing your business on Linked In or do you recognise this creative calling to do something more?
I'm a brand designer, photographer and Wix website designer based in Dorset. I help female business owners and career changers build their brand and online presence through photography and web, brand & human design, so that they can turn their passions into the business they dream of.
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