LinkedIn is an enormously useful tool for authors to connect, on many levels. To explore why you should have a presence on Linked In and how to use it to your best advantage, let’s look at four key ways LinkedIn helps authors survive and thrive:
1. LinkedIn Helps Authors Improve Credibility
Google your name and chances are, if you have a LinkedIn profile, it’ll come up in the top five results. Therefore it’s one of the first places potential professional connections are likely to learn more about you. This is especially important if you plan to seek out places to present your work as a speaker or panelist.
It’s free to create an account if you haven’t already. If you have, and your profile is incomplete, go complete it NOW. The more complete your profile, the more value it will have to you. You’ll also want to make sure your profile links to your website and other relevant links (such as your Amazon author page).
NOTE: The additional resources we’ve provided at the bottom of this post can help you get started with your profile if you’re brand new to LinkedIn. If you have a specific question about your profile, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to help!
2. LinkedIn Helps Authors Connect With Decision Makers
While Facebook and Twitter are fabulous for connecting with individual readers, LinkedIn can more quickly get to the decision makers that can arrange thos readings, book signings, speaking appearances or panels.
There are several search options on LinkedIn, as you can see in the screenshot provided. Take the time to learn how each works and experiment with keywords. Keyword searches we’ve found helpful for author clients (especially for identifying affinity groups) have included:
- Subject Keywords: For example, if animals figure into your fiction or non-fiction work, search groups for animals. Gardening; yes there are groups for that. Horses? Pilots? You’ll be surprised by the results.
- Concepts and Issues: Politics, culture, arts, humanity, animal rights, caregiving… You get the idea. If there’s an issue you’re passionate about, you’ll find others who are as well and connecting with them will not only prove useful, but likely enrich and engage your passions even more.
- Genres: Yes, there’s a group for every genre as well, whether science fiction, biography, romance or mystery.
- Author Resources: Publishers, publicists, book marketing and PR groups, craft writing groups and more — with members eager to exchange ideas and useful resources.
In fact, we think groups are biggest resource on this robust platform, and under-utilized by authors. LinkedIn group members tend to be more invested in their groups (because they’re typically more often working professionals vs. casual social media users on Facebook for example). When you join a group, you’ll be able to see the conversations occurring and how the group behaves, as well as how active the members are within the group.
Fair warning: Similar to Goodreads, many LinkedIn groups have serious rules and diligent moderators. Get to know the group’s rules and etiquette before you post in threads. Some forbid including external links of any sort (not always practical, but the intent is to prevent spam). If you want someone within the group to connect with you, you can follow them or ask them to connect directly with you for links and private conversations.
3. LinkedIn Helps Authors Network With Authors & Readers
There are plenty of writer and author groups on LinkedIn – Again, search and you’ll no doubt find exactly the right group for you, whether that’s an author marketing group or a romance writers group. Below, just a few of groups we belong to.
You can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn so it’s easy to learn which are working for you. Try new groups and leave those that aren’t lining up with your goals or where you (or the other group members) have become inactive.
4. LinkedIn Helps Authors Learn More
Need a question answered? Chances are you can ask on LinkedIn and someone in your network will link you with someone who can give you the right answer. This has helped our authors get assistance with everything from finding a book store in a town where they may need exposure; research for a book’s content; people to interview for blogs and characters; resources for writing coaches and more!
The content that shows up on your newsfeed will also usually be more “useful” than the stuff you’re seeing on other social network feeds. Most entries offer links other articles, blog posts and well-thought-out resource articles. We’ve yet to scroll down through our feed and not see something of interest and value.
Now, show us yours! Please share your LinkedIn profile with your comment below, and tell us how you’ve used LinkedIn to assist in your own author career…
- How To Get The Most Out of LinkedIn’s New Features
- LinkedIn: An Under-Utilized but Critical Author Resource
- 4 Reasons Why Every Author Should Use LinkedIn
- How to Use Your LinkedIn for Business (pdf)
- LinkedIn Quick Start Guide (pdf)