I get that question a lot.
Want to know what I get even more often? Looks of surprise, when I say the first place you should be on is LinkedIn.
As an author, entrepreneur, or marketer, you really need to be where your people are. Your fans and followers may be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and/or YouTube.
Your associates, peers, mentors, potential partners, and other resources are definitely on LinkedIn.
Since LinkedIn is a business-focused network, it's frequently the first place someone looks for you when you meet, whether it's through a referral or at a live or virtual event. It gives you validity, as you showcase your specialty or expertise. It's also your hub of contacts. If you want to target a new connection - whether it's an agent, a source, or a service-provider - you can look to your network and see who can introduce you.
Whatever the primary function of your LinkedIn profile, you want to put your best foot forward to your connections.
Your LinkedIn profile offers a snapshot of who you are. It should include:
- Your Profile Photo. This should be a professional (or at least professional-looking) picture, so others have a face to put with a name. This also helps when you meet someone online leading up to a conference. You've already developed a familiarity, so when you meet in person, the connection is even stronger.
- Your Background or Header Image. This visual branding should match your website/blog. In your header you may want to include images of your published books, your logo, your website, or perhaps a special offer.
- Your Headline. This is the first thing people read about you. It should reflect who you are, what you do, and how you help others. Even as a author of fiction author, you can find value to highlight, such as entertainment or education. If there's room, include a quirky or obscure detail about you. That makes you memorable.
- Featured Content. Under your summary section, as well as the work experiences, there's space to add links and multimedia documents. (There's also a section for Publications and another for Projects.) Any content you have that illustrates who you are, what you stand for, and some of the work you've done deserves to be highlighted. This is also an excellent place to feature your book trailer or any author readings.
- Work Experience. Highlight your job responsibilities and major accomplishments.
- Background and Accomplishments. This ranges from volunteering and education to language and certifications
- Skills. These keywords are what you want to be associated with. Find the best fit for what you are doing and what you want to be endorsed for.
- Updates. Post updates on a regular basis to stay top of mind. This can be general comments, replies, long-form, links, photo, or video. And some users already have the ability to go Live on LinkedIn.
You can post about:
- Your author journey
- Your favorite resources
- Upcoming events
Since LinkedIn is less cluttered that the other networks, there's a bonus reason to interact on the platform: your activity is more likely to be seen.
Beyond LinkedIn you should definitely have business personas on the primary social networks. That means a Facebook Page (and possibly Group), as well as Twitter and Instagram Profiles. If you are visually inclined, you may also want to try Pinterest. And for those into video, YouTube is a must!
The time and energy you put into those networks is an article for another time. What I will tell you is this: whether you're preparing to launch a new website, book, or article series, you need to have your branding on all the social platforms.
- Go to Namechk.com and search for profile names consistent with your company name or branding
- Create Pages/Profiles on each of the main networks.
- Choose one or two social networks to amp up; go into maintenance mode (weekly posting) on the others.
The aforementioned should be in tandem with your activities on Linkedn.
A social media plan helps readers know when to expect content and it helps you to put your best foot forward in the right place!
This is only the tip of the LinkedIn iceberg. Stay tuned for more articles on ways to make LinkedIn work for you as an author.
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How do you feel about LinkedIn? What tips do you have for making the most out of the network? Please share in the comments.
And connect with me on LinkedIn.
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Read last month's post on 5 networking goals you can pursue from home.
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Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChat Live on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.