Top Tips To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile For Side Hustles
Calling all my side hustlers!
Whether you’re turning a hobby into a passion project, seeking a creative outlet from your corporate 9-5, or you’re not ready to launch into entrepreneurial life—this blog post is for you.
I’m going to let you in on a secret: LinkedIn is the most powerful platform to build your personal brand.
Today’s post will cover the steps you need to take to optimize your LinkedIn for your side hustle.
What will my current employer say?
If you’re worried about what your employer will think, just ask. The worst someone can ever tell you is no. But without ever trying and taking that step forward to pose the question, you’ll never know!
Transparency is the best policy, in my opinion. I’d suggest first check your company handbooks to see if there’s any verbiage there before you ask. If you find nada, go to your supervisor and just have an honest conversation.
Chances are, employers will be perfectly ok with you pursuing whatever you want outside of work (cause who are they to really prohibit you?). The unusual cases of them being apprehensive about it is if your side hustle impacts your job or creates competition to the work your company is doing.
Want a simple way to approach your boss? Casually have a coffee with your manager and use this script:
“Hey [Manager], as you may know, I have long been passionate about XYZ for a long time. I want to share with you that I just launched a side hustle doing XYZ. This will boost my confidence, improve my communication skills, and make me feel more fulfilled—leading me to higher productivity at [Company]. I plan to put this on my LinkedIn Profile to help many others solve XYZ problems. I will assure you that this will have no impact on my work as a [job title] and I’m 100% committed to my job. What do you think?”
While communicating with your boss is a good idea, here are 5 questions to ask yourself before bringing it up:
1. Is your side hustle something you can get paid for?
2. Is your side-hustle already public, or likely to become so soon?
3. Does your side-hustle conflict with your full-time job?
4. Could your side-hustle ever cause your employer embarrassment?
5. Are you prepared to either drop your side-hustle or quit your current job if your boss demands it?
Depending on your answers, it will determine what next steps you should take.
Your side hustle conflicts or you want to keep it hush-hush
In this scenario, you either find that your side hustle may conflict with your job or you just would prefer your company not keeping tabs on what you’re doing. You can still utilize LinkedIn to promote your business! (Note: please ensure that your side hustle does not conflict with your current job or company. If you signed a non-compete upon employment, I would highly advise seeking legal advice before doing anything further.)
Creating a LinkedIn Company Page allows you to promote your business without needing to directly tie it to your personal profile.
Your company is supportive or you want to promote your side hustle regardless
At this stage, you’ve either talked to your boss about announcing your side hustle or you just don’t care if they find out. Either way, you’re ready to optimize the heck out of your LinkedIn profile!
Hurray! Create a LinkedIn Company Page and link it as a new work experience. You can choose whether you want to update your feed or not.
Next, here are 5 ways to promote your side gig:
- Include your side gig information on your LinkedIn Cover Photo. This can range from your business logo, email, mission statement, and contact information.
- Update your LinkedIn headline to include your side gig. You can either call attention to your business name + title, USP, or anything related to your hustle.
- Shout out your side hustle in your LinkedIn Summary! Here you can highlight your business and share more details on it!
- Mix up your content ratio. Aside from hyping up your employer content and highlights, you can throw in curated content surrounding your side hustle. Share your stories, tips, and expertise. Sprinkle in a little bit of promotional content, too! Here are 7 content posting ideas.
- Skill endorsements and recommendations go a long way. Utilizing LinkedIn to showcase these related to your side biz will establish credibility.
It’s important to build a strong personal brand for your side hustle! By doing so, you create an online presence that builds authority, credibility, and connection with your audience. It creates the perfect stepping stone for you if and when you decide to transition to that business full time.
Cheering you on, always! Save this post for later.
Guest blog post by Salina Yeung, LinkedIn Expert + CEO of the[in]academy. Book a FREE LinkedIn Strategy call with her here.