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Archive for March 4th, 2013

Winter Author Blog Challenge #4: Nine ways authors can used Linked in for professional promotion

Woo-hoo! The Winter Author Blog Challenge is underway. This time around, the Challenge is just 15 days, and our focus is social media. The goal is for participants to post all 15 days, following the daily prompts provided, if they so choose. As with the inaugural Author Blog Challenge that took place last summer, I’ll be playing along with all of the posts, even though Marcie and I are the hosts!

Here we go with the FOURTH prompt:

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Launched in May 2003, it has undergone many metamorphoses – the most recent of which involved retiring two of its most popular features, LinkedIn Events and LinkedIn Answers. Are you using LinkedIn to promote yourself as an author? Does your professional profile include or feature your writing? What is the best connection you’ve made through your involvement on LinkedIn? Who would you still like to connect with? Might LinkedIn be a good vehicle for making such a connection? What is your biggest question, frustration, or suggestion regarding LinkedIn? IF YOU’RE NOT USING LinkedIn, why not? Here’s a good overview of LinkedIn’s features. After perusing it, how MIGHT you use LinkedIn to help build your author profile? Is it something you’re considering? Be sure to give us the link to your LinkedIn profile.

If participants in the Winter Author Blog Challenge are gnashing their teeth at all this social media mumbo-jumbo, it mayLinkedIn icon please them to know that their fair host is also struggling a bit – particularly since today’s topic, LinkedIn, is perhaps my most underutilized social media platform.

The thing is, LinkedIn has LOTS to offer authors – and non-author businesspeople. Here’s a quick list of ways you could be utilizing LinkedIn to promote yourself as an author. (Take note, I said promote yourself, NOT promote your book. This seems a good place for my regular reminder that the first word in social media is SOCIAL, so even on LinkedIn, that means keeping the selling to a minimum. Like any social platform, your goal should be to build connections.)

  • Change careers to become a writer? LinkedIn is a great way to reconnect with people you used to know way back when. Yes, Facebook can do that, too – but I’m talking less about your high school chums than a colleague, manager, or other professional you used to know who might be a great connection today.
  • If you fill out your profile completely, LinkedIn offers excellent SEO support. Depending on your industry/genre and your other SEO efforts, your LinkedIn profile could be one of the first two or three to come up when someone searches your name or other pertinent information about you.
  • More so than any other social network, LinkedIn offers you a place to demonstrate your expertise and let your credibility shine
  • With no fewer than 325 agents and editors on LinkedIn, it’s a great tool for getting connected to publishing industry professionals.
  • You’re not the only expert on LinkedIn, right? So why not utilize the mountain of expertise there for help/research/interviews for your book – even fiction!
  • It’s even possible to create connection with the superstars in your industry. Once you’ve done so – and I mean more than a passing, “Hi, I love your book” – you may be able to approach them for blurbs or testimonials for your book.
  • Looking for some publicity for your forthcoming title? Use LinkedIn to rub cybershoulders with TV, radio, and print media producers and editors.
  • LinkedIn has an app called “Amazon Reader” that allows you to give descriptions of the books you’re reading. Why not spend those 5,000 characters describing YOUR book? Then ask your LinkedIn connections that you know personally to include your book on their  Amazon Reader pages.
  • Are you looking to do more speaking? There are a number of speaker groups you can join which feature regular announcements about speaking opportunities. It seems that many of these are unpaid, but ask if you can sell your book at the back of the room! One author was unable to find contact info for the director of a conference at which he wanted to speak on the conference website. So he headed to LinkedIn, connected with the director personally, and was invited to join the conference faculty!

As with all social media, success at LinkedIn requires time and commitment. The energy on this platform is definitely more professional than Facebook and it offers a more substantial representation than Twitter. If you haven’t found either of those to your liking, perhaps LinkedIn is more your speed.

LinkedIn

You can find my LinkedIn profile here. And while you’re viewing, why not stop by and endorse me for Blogging, Social Media Marketing, and Marketing?

In the meantime, come Tweet with us!

Laura

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