LinkedIn for Authors: How to Utilize it as an Asset.
When we think of LinkedIn, chances are we don’t think of writers. What mainly comes to our mind are professionals, employers, and soon to be graduates. It isn’t easy to imagine a writer getting something out of LinkedIn. This article is going to change that mindset for most of the writers. What matters the most is building connections and joining the correct groups. It might be challenging to make your presence felt on LinkedIn, but once you have started doing all the right things, there is no looking back!
How LinkedIn Differs From Other Social Media Sites?
Right now, everyone is using most of the social media websites. It is straightforward to get in touch with others and build a network. Few clicks and you are done. But are you reaching out to the right people? Will building connections with these people help grow professionally? For this, you would have to know and understand how LinkedIn stands out from other social media websites and how you, as an author, can use it to promote your book.
Before we understand how authors can use LinkedIn, it is imperative to know a little about LinkedIn. Whatever you do on LinkedIn, make sure you always keep it professional. The profile picture should be formal, not some image from a weekend trip. You can share links and statuses on your profile, just like you do on Facebook. Still, those should be professional and provide some knowledge/information; LinkedIn is not for entertainment.
Whether your purpose is to connect with potential readers, connect with publishers or fellow authors, or just get some writing advice, LinkedIn is the place for you!
How to create an Author’s profile on LinkedIn?
- The fundamental requirement is to ensure your profile is 100% complete. It means you have to add all the basic information like industry, location, education, skills, profile photo, have 50 connections, a summary, and two past positions. Once the profile is complete, you can share it on Facebook and Twitter.
- Add “Author” and the name of your book under the work experience section. Also, include a description of the book and the link to purchase in the work history. You can add the publication date as the “Start Date,” and the end date can be left blank. There is also an option to add photos or videos to each position. Use this section to put the cover of the book, and if you have a video (teaser) of the book, then you should upload the video. It is always better to have a sample chapter of the book, if you have, do provide a link to the sample chapter.
- Update your profile URL to have a vanity URL. System generated URL is difficult to remember and also does not look good when shared with someone.
- There is an option on LinkedIn to connect up to three websites to profile. Point one to your website or your blog, another to Amazon listing of your book, and third to some review page, which could be a Facebook page or third party review site.
- Write a background summary in a conversational style, which reflects readers that you’re accessible and easy to communicate with.
- It is essential to include keywords related to your topic of expertise in summary. Keywords for LinkedIn profiles can be sprinkled throughout the profile (in the headline, job descriptions, summary, etc.).
- Add your book titles to the publications section, as well as any guest posts you’ve written on some other website. You are not trying to sell your book but your work. Try to showcase your work beyond what they can find on your website.
Some reasons why writers should be on LinkedIn
- Credibility – LinkedIn is a site for business professionals, so if someone is giving reviews about your book or your work, it adds credibility to your work.
- Research– LinkedIn’s search functions enable you to identify editors and publishers. It also shows mutual connections, shared interests, and other common aspects. It allows you to craft an introductory message that breaks the ice instead of just another nameless face in the crowd.
- Connections – LinkedIn helps you connect with like-minded people; as a writer, you see what other writers are writing and sharing.
- Links – Links from LinkedIn to online content count in the Google search algorithm, whereas Facebook links don’t.
- Wider audience – As an author, you can republish your repurposed blog posts and reach a wider audience.
LinkedIn Groups and Pulse feature
Another feature that is ignored by most LinkedIn users including writers is ‘groups’. It is very similar to Facebook groups but LinkedIn groups are more focused. Groups related to books on LinkedIn have thousands of members. You may not get hundreds of likes and comments in these groups but you will definitely get genuine comments/feedback.
Industry influencers and top world companies share their content on LinkedIn Blog, which is then featured on LinkedIn Pulse. It gets circulated globally to professionals who have previously shown interest in that area. It means that when you write a blog, and the blog gets enough views, the blog gets featured on LinkedIn Pulse. An email sent out to all interested in the particular field of trade. As an author, try and make the most out of it.
Few popular LinkedIn Groups that you as an author should check out are:
- LinkedEds & Writers: This group is one of the most active groups consisting of proofreaders, editors, and writers. It has a huge following and several subgroups, each pertaining to a different purpose.
- Books and Writers: If you have written something that you would want to showcase to the world, to the publishers or market it, this is the perfect group to join.
- Creative Designers and Writers: Writer’s Block is very common and can happen to any established or best-seller author at any point during their professional journey. This group has been created with the aim to help their members deal with their Writer’s Block.
- Writer’s World: This group is a place where any writer can promote their work openly. Whether it is a best-selling author or a beginner, everyone is welcome to share their experience and tips!
- Ebooks, Ebook Readers, Digital Books, and Digital Content Publishing: This group pertains to everything related to digital publishing and is a great space if you want to network with other e-book writers.
How to Market Yourself & Why to Market on LinkedIn?
One common mistake most of the writers make when they get to LinkedIn is to focus too much on marketing their own book. Sharing content just about your book is not a great idea. LinkedIn is for networking and the idea is to look out for perceived literary authorities, bloggers, critics, and other community influencers to recommend your book.
Few Non-Fiction authors who have made their own space and marketed themselves very well on LinkedIn are:
- Alexander Groenendyk, the author of This Is Who We Hire
- Mike Evans, the author of Achieve With Accountability
- Heather R. Younger, the author of The 7 Intuitive Laws of Employee Loyalty at Customer Fanatix
- Linda Bernardi, the author of The Inversion Factor & ProVoke
What Audience To Reach on LinkedIn
The audience you reach out to, and the people you connect with will help you get sales and business. Here is the type of audience with whom you should connect as an author:
- Librarians and Booksellers
- Event Organizers
- Fellow Authors
- Potential Readers
Utilize LinkedIn’s Advance Search Feature to connect with the right people. For instance: as an author of a Non-Fiction book on depression, connect to psychiatrists and therapists.
It doesn’t matter where or who you are, you should be on LinkedIn. As an author, you must have a profile that showcases your work and provides information in such a manner that people who visit your profile want to know more about you and your work.
Remember, LinkedIn is where you can showcase your journey as an author and showcase the roadmap to your success. Your network makes your online presence more robust and, thus, works on your profile to attract business!