The answer is yes!
LinkedIn has transformed massively over the past couple of years and is no longer just for people looking for a new role or promotion. It is now a great place for marketing your own business or side hustle, brand building and of course networking.
In the current economic climate many people now have more than one job. It has become totally acceptable to work a full-time role and have a secondary income, which could be your passion project, network marketing business or a new venture that you want to see if you can grow before you can quit your job.
However, you need to be really clear on a couple of things before you start changing things up as it could be detrimental to your current role or business if you are sending out mixed messages.
Firstly think and do your research to see if your side hustle audience is actually on LinkedIn. If you are selling makeup or crocheted hats then there may be other platforms where you are likely to have more success than on LinkedIn.
It is really important that as an employee you speak to your employer first out of courtesy before you start updating your profile to avoid any upset, misunderstanding or awkward conversations.
If you already are actively using LinkedIn as part of your current role then you need to be careful so not to confuse your audience. You will need to create a strategy for both your current role and side hustle as you may lose followers if your content is not relevant to your employed audience.
So now after doing your research and you’ve spoken to your employer, here are my 4 steps on how to get started on LinkedIn:
You will definitely want to add in some details about your side hustle to your personal profile. Add it to your headline (but keep your employed role in there too – there ar 220 characters available so you can play around with the wording)
Use rich keywords on your profile ‘About’ section so that you are found easily on Google. LinkedIn is great for SEO so make sure you are using the terminology that people would use to search for your product or service on your profile.
Add some content about your side hustle to your featured bar as this is highlighted on your profile. Plus I would be careful about calling your ‘side hustle’ just that, as it devalues it into a second place when you want those that are potential clients or customers to not think you are taking it seriously.
This is my top tip – the best way to give your side hustle a presence on LinkedIn is by creating a Company Page for it. It gives your business credibility and you can build a brand presence that is linked to your personal profile.
Again it is so good for SEO so add your logo, about section, hashtags and start creating content. You can also invite 250 potential clients to follow your page every month.
Note you can only have one personal profile on LinkedIn, but you can create many company pages.
You can put completely separate content on your company page from your personal page.
Post content 2 – 3 times a week as you grow your audience. Share relevant articles, send out newsletters from the company, go live there, and you can now also comment as your company page rather than using your personal profile.
My content recommendations are sharing tips and information about your industry or company, any relevant articles or behind the scenes content – this humainses the company page which will increase interest (as we do business with humans) and will help you to gain followers and engagement.
Your company page may not ever gain the same engagement as your personal profile but the more time you spend on your company page the more it will grow. It will gain credibility as a proper stand alone business and become more than just a side hustle.
LinkedIn is investing heavily in company pages and launching audio rooms for them soon, and you can also pay for ads from your company page so I imagine they will gain in importance over the coming year too.
Engagement is king on LinkedIn. Be a cheerleader to others on the platform, support their content and they will most likely start supporting yours. I recommend spending 15 minutes everyday just on engagement to build your brand on your company page (and pepper your personal profile too but not so you confuse people)
Having a clear strategy of growing your audience, creating content and engaging on LinkedIn along with your optimisied profile and company page will allow you to market your side hustle effectively on LinkedIn.
Laura is the founder of Social Flow Collective, a social media agency based in Liverpool, UK that specialises in LinkedIn marketing.
Laura lost her job due to the pandemic in 2020 and having 2 young children at home she decided to set up a VA business. After learning how to leverage LinkedIn and becoming fully booked in 5 months by using the platform alone without a website, Laura decided to pivot her business to focus on social media marketing. She saw a huge demand for social media marketing and wanted to help other small businesses build their brands online and generate leads online.
She loves dispelling the myth that LinkedIn is a corporate networking site and mentors others on how to use the platform. She is passionate about working with other business owners to create successful LinkedIn marketing campaigns so that they never have to return to corporate life and can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of family life.