Social media platforms have become astronomically popular over the past two decades. They have become a part of our daily lives, both personally and professionally.
As authors, we would like to maintain a special connection with our audience. But where should we start?
You’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed by all the social media platforms out there—Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIN, and more.
It has become increasingly difficult to decide what platform to use. Sometimes we end up signing up and not knowing what to do with our account.
Then you log in and you think, “I’m here… what now?”
You just opened another social media account destined for stagnation.
Keeping up with all the social media channels takes an enormous amount of time, energy, resources and effort, and most of us simply can’t afford it.
Why I Love LinkedIn
A few years ago, I discovered the power of LinkedIn and got serious with it. I realized its potential and found its real value lies in the business people who use LinkedIn and know the site’s culture.
LinkedIn is a site dedicated to the business community. It’s a way of growing connections and building relationships in the business world so you can succeed by growing your network.
That means it’s not for posting photos of what you ate for lunch, fighting about politics, or mindlessly swiping through a newsfeed looking for something interesting.
LinkedIn has 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories. They have over 133 million members in the United States alone, and professionals are joining them at a rate of two new members per second. Their fastest-growing demographic is students and recent college graduates (40 million).
A total of 106 million unique visitors go to LinkedIn every month and about 40% of its users check it daily. That level of engagement is massive!
But what I find even more interesting are these 3 facts:
- 13% of LinkedIn users do not have Facebook account
- 83% of LinkedIn users don’t use Pinterest
- 59% of LinkedIn users don’t use Twitter
This essentially means that by using LinkedIn, you are able to reach a significant amount of people that you cannot reach with other social media platforms.
It should become your number one most important career and marketing tool.
Why Start or Keep Your LinkedIn Account
Remember habit 2 from Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “begin with the end in mind.”
Just like with every endeavor that we engage in, we need to understand WHY we are doing it and what we hope to accomplish. What are you looking to achieve by opening a LinkedIn account?
You need to develop a purpose for opening a LinkedIn account so you can later on develop a strategy on how to best use your account.
- Do you want to promote your book?
- Do you want to build a network of collaborators?
- Do you want more audience for your book?
- Do you want to share insights and knowledge with like-minded individuals and maybe get an inspiration for your next book?
- Do you want to improve your online visibility and attract new opportunities effortlessly?
Let’s keep it simple and use your LinkedIn account to accomplish all of this and more.
How to Use LinkedIn
In four easy steps, you can have it all: promote your book, build a network, increase your audience, share insights and inspiration, and increase your online visibility.
1. Complete Your LinkedIn Profile
The very first thing you need to do when you sign up for LinkedIn is complete your profile. If you do not complete your profile and you view it, it will look like a white page with a name plate.
What kind of impression do you think this will give the viewers? Dull and unremarkable.
Take advantage of the elements of your profile. Your goal should be to not leave any part of it blank.
If you want to use it to promote your book, your profile is the page where you can pitch yourself and your book.
Your professional headline provides you with 120 characters at your disposal. You can use it to tell people your official title but that’s unexciting. Add something a bit more creative.
2. Write a Great LinkedIn Summary
There’s an entire summary section that you can use to showcase all the works you’ve done and all the books you’ve written.
Your LinkedIn summary should showcase the most important bits about you, your work/company, and your services.
You can include facts like how many bestselling books you’ve sold and how many awards that you received. But remember, everybody’s busy so keep it short, simple and enticing. You can also add a link to your Summary.
LinkedIn also features its own status update. Just released a new book? Broadcast and let people know what’s new about you.
And lastly, don’t forget the publication section on the profile to showcase your books as well.
3. Highlight Your Work Achievements
Whereas your summary should mostly focus on what you do, the Work Experience section is your chance to highlight the results.
Showcase your achievements with data or specific numbers, if possible. For example, it’s one thing to say that the marketing strategy you implemented boosted sales, but it’s another to say that you boosted sales by 23 percent.
You can also list any special awards or recognitions you’ve received, speaking engagements, and other high notes from your career.
Don’t be shy! Recruiters and hiring managers will be looking at your profile, so if you’ve got something to share, don’t be afraid to brag a little!
4. Show Your Skills
LinkedIn also offers a section for you to showcase your skills. But it’s important that you manage this section wisely and don’t get carried away—try to list only the skills that are relevant to your industry or the industry you’re trying to enter.
You might keep a few skills that aren’t directly related just to show that you’re a well-rounded and dynamic candidate, but generally speaking you should try to limit the total skills listed to 10–15.
Note that people within your network, such as current or former colleagues, can also “endorse” you for these skills, and vice versa.
If you have a colleague who’s particularly gifted at public speaking, show some love by endorsing them for that skill, and they might just do the same for you.
5. Build Your Network up to 3rd Degree
LinkedIn believes that you should only invite people that you know. It’s up to you to decide what “know” means.
If these are people you’ve met in person or online or people you think will be willing to open their connections to you, that’s all up to you. But hey, remember that you do this at your own risk.
If you add random people you might end up in a sea of meaningless connection. So, take caution and think deep.
Before sending those invites, create your own criteria for what will be a significant connection for you.
To start building your 1st-degree connections, all you have to do is invite the people that you “know.” Don’t just send them a generic LinkedIn message.
Give a little bit of background about you and tell them how you know them. This will not only ensure that they’ll recognize you but it will also tell your receiver that you are not a random stranger trying to get into their network.
Through your 1st-degree connection, you’ll be able to see mutual friends or colleagues in their network and you can connect with them too. They’ll be your 2nd-degree connections, and through your 2nd-degree connections you can connect to your 3rd-degree connections.
If you’re an author, you can use these connections to find other authors that you can partner up with to create even more demand for your books and what you do.
You may even use this to find a mutual connection to an author you haven’t formally met that you really want to work with.
Once you start building your network, you will see a lot more opportunities for collaboration and marketing.
6. Join LinkedIn Groups
You don’t have to limit yourself to your LinkedIn 1st, 2nd and 3rd-degree connections; you can expand your network further by joining a group. These fellow members of your LinkedIn Groups are considered part of your network and you can contact them.
There are over 2 million groups already launched on LinkedIn and you just have to find a few that interests you. My recommendation is that you join at least 10-25 groups to open more doors for you.
Once you’re in a group, invite discussion by phrasing your update as a question. This will compel other members to give their insights and contribute to your topic. You can share a topic that you want to write about and asked the members for input.
Find a group that’s relevant to your book and share a link or an article to it. Make sure you provide context on why it’s relevant to the group. Don’t just be self-promotional. You want to add as much value as you can to your network.
7. Write an Article on LinkedIn Pulse
LinkedIn profiles rank very well in Google, so by simply creating an account, you have already improved your online presence.
If you have a LinkedIn account and someone searched for your name, they’ll probably see your LinkedInprofile on the first 10 results.
If you search “Ron Sukenick” in Google, you’ll find my LinkedIn profile ranks #3 in the results. This will give your readers easy access to your LinkedIn page where they can get to know you better.
But a more recent feature is LinkedIn Pulse, where you can publish your own articles. It is compiled into an Author page so that it can be easily accessed and shared. Google often indexes popular LinkedIn posts higher than those from your own site.
So, if you have published an article on your site, you may want to consider posting it on Pulse as well. This will make your article appear twice on search results page and your visibility double.
Start Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Network
You can accomplish so much by simply using these simple LinkedIn features and tools. At the end of the day, it’s not what you know, but what you do with what you know that matters.
Start by spending 30 minutes a day on your LinkedIn account: update your status, interact with your groups, check your messages and keep up on conversations. Reach out and make 3-5 new connections and you will build a meaningful network.
If you’re reading this and want to take advantage of a FREE 30 minute strategy session regarding LinkedIn, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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