Use LinkedIn to Build Your Author Platform

If you’re a writer wanting to build your author platform, you need to be on LinkedIn.

When asked which is my favorite social networking site I can’t choose. Facebook offers photo albums, videos viewable in the news feed, and connections to old friends and family. Twitter gives me short bursts of information from many different directions. LinkedIn links me to the business community. YouTube provides videos on just about anything you want to learn. If I had to make a choice, I’d say LinkedIn just because it supplies me with something very important – traffic to my website.

According to my Google Analytics last month my website got three referrals each from Facebook and Twitter. It got 25 referrals from LinkedIn. How did I make that happen? I learned how to use LinkedIn to my advantage. Here are some tips to help you use it to your benefit.

Add as much to your profile as you possible can. Look at other people’s profiles to get ideas and see what works best. While writing your Summary and Specialties remember to use keywords. I tried using my one sentence mission statement as my headline but found it to be too vague and changed my headline to words that describe what I do in my business.

List as many positions as you can, both paid and volunteer. In the Description, don’t just talk about the duties you had, discuss the goals you accomplished.

Be sure to include your website and other links. When they give you the dropdown menu to choose if it’s a “Company Website,” “Blog,” etc., select “Other” because then they let you write a title for the link which looks a lot cooler. If you only have one website, you can use the other two listings for your YouTube channel or whatever profiles you’d like.

They already provide a specific field for your Twitter name. LinkedIn and Twitter work excellent together. I don’t recommend linking your Twitter feed to your Facebook, but I do advice having your tweets go to your LinkedIn page.

LinkedIn has some other functions especially nice for writers. They have a place for you to note your Publications with the title, date, and website. If you have books for sale on Amazon, add the Reading List by Amazon application, then put your books on the list so people will see the cover images on your profile. Explore the Add Applications section for more tools. If you have a WordPress blog, you can have it feed directly into your LinkedIn profile.

Marcia Meier, author of Navigating the Rough Waters of Today’s Publishing World, talks about LinkedIn for Writers

One of the best reasons to be on LinkedIn is for the groups. Search for groups having to do with organizations you belong to, your local area, or your favorite activities. Or start your own group. As soon as I’m a member of a group, I go under the More tab and change my settings so the delivery frequency of email digests is weekly. Some groups don’t mind you posting self-promotional material, others do mind. That’s okay because you can still post other people’s links of value. Your name and photo will still be seen in the group activity feed. Don’t forget to respond to posts as well. Another good way to interact in groups is to post a question.

In the top LinkedIn menu, not the submenu in the groups, under More, is an option called Answers. This is an additional area where you can ask questions. By answering questions in this forum, you can demonstrate your expertise.

If you give your potential readers, publishers, agents, and fans something of value they will come. So no matter how much you enjoy hanging out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, don’t forget LinkedIn as an important leg on your author platform.