Authors often disregard LinkedIn for marketing purposes, because it’s primarily a business social networking site. It’s important to remember that there are hundreds of other authors on there, as well as publishers, editors, copywriters…and of course, readers! There are readers all over the world, in all industries, and this is just another way to reach them.
There are a number of tools on LinkedIn that can help you promote your book in very unique ways, so here are a few tips to help you get started:
LinkedIn has a simple sign up procedure, that can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/. All you’ll need is the following few details; your name, your email and a password:
You will then be asked to fill in some details to complete your profile. This will include where you live, your job, among other essential information. This is needed to ensure that your LinkedIn contacts know enough about you to find you interested. You need to stand out, and holding back won’t help you do that.
After you’ve gone through all of the steps, you’ll be taken on to your homepage, where you can explore everything that LinkedIn has to offer and you can also improve your profile – filling in the details that you may have missed beforehand.
There are a lot of tutorials to help you get the most out of this social media site for yourself. After all, the more you know, the more you’ll be able to do. You can see words ‘Let’s Go!’ in the image below – that’s where you’ll learn the basics. It’s highly recommended that you do this, you don’t want to miss out on anything.
Your profile is extremely important because it’s where you’ll give the first impression of yourself to new people. You will need to sell yourself in the most impressive way possible. You’re an author, with something to offer the world, and you need to make that known. However, it’s important to remember that this is a professional networking site, so you’ll need to tailor your bio and information accordingly.
When you get to the segment titled ‘Experience’, this is where you can include all of the details about your books and your writing experience. You can make this more exciting by including the images of your book covers, samples of your work and video trailers to let readers know more about your storyline. All you’ll need to do is click on the relevant link to update all that you can – the more you do, the better your page will be.
You will also notice that you can include the links to your books here. This is possibly the most important marketing tool for you. If people can easily access your work after viewing it, then they’re more likely to buy it. If they have to search for your book, this gives them the opportunity to get distracted, or to simply forget. People like to use as little effort as possible – especially when shopping online – so make it as easy as you can for them.
Consider using Linkredirector when linking to your books. It provides smart links that takes your readers directly to the right book store, in the right country with one click.
As with all social media sites, the more contacts you have on it, the more people you will reach with your posts. By clicking on the ‘My Network’ tab on the top menu bar, you’ll be taken to a segment where you can add people you know via email or your other social media sites. From there, you will be able to link with other people.
The more people you connect with, the more people will be able to find you. Connecting with others opens numerous channels of communication – such as direct messaging. You can start conversations with all of your contacts, discussing your books – should you chose to do so.
As with other social networking sites, there is the ability to post status updates. The best thing about LinkedIn, is that you won’t be reading about what people ate for dinner. You’ll be getting real images about what people are doing professionally.
This is done via your Homepage, and you have the choice of posting a text update or a photograph. This is another great place to use a link from Linkredirector – it will allow you to post just one link to your book, rather than a bunch of messy ones with links for each country. Remember, all of your updates will show on the homepages of all your contacts, so looking polished and professional is key.
One of the most useful LinkedIn tools for authors is the groups. These are designed to connect people with similar interests and goals, to give them a place to discuss particular subjects. The groups that you’re a member of, are found by using the ‘Interests’ tab on the top toolbar, or try https://www.linkedin.com/groups/.
But if you’re looking for groups to join, then you’ll need to use the search bar, found at the top of your LinkedIn homepage:
There you can type in a word, or group of words, to find exactly what you’re looking for. Maybe this is author, books, or even a specific genre that relates to your work. Once you’ve typed in your search term, click on the word ‘Groups’, so that you’re only shown what you’re looking for. There you’ll be given a selection to choose from:
You can go through all of these groups, and see which ones suit you, and your needs best. Some of them might be very specific, whereas others more broad. When you click into each group, you will be given some information about what it does, along with a request to join button.
Once your request has been approved, you can join in conversations, or even start your own thread. It is always advisable to get involved with other people’s conversations, and to not only post about your books, because then people might be inclined to disregard you. You need to build meaningful relationships with people, before promoting.
After you become proficient in LinkedIn groups, you can even go on to create one of your own. That way, you’ll control the conversation, the topics of conversation, and you can make the rules! Of course, all you’ll need to do then is get people to join…
One of the other options provided by the Interests tab is SlideShare. The reason that this is important for authors, is because it’s a great way for you to share samples of your books – the more samples you share, the more interested people will become and the hungrier they’ll get for more.
If you click onto the SlideShare option, you will be taken to the website http://www.slideshare.net/. Here you will need to sign up and create an account. Taking the time to do this will be worth it for you, because you can share the slideshows of your writing in a new and exciting way, via all your social media sites. It doesn’t have to be just your LinkedIn account that benefits.
If you sign up using your LinkedIn account, it will take all of your details from there – saving you from entering it all again – and will automatically link the two.
You can then go on to upload exciting segments of your books for people to view. This will create slideshow type presentations, which are much more aesthetically pleasing that simply typing these into your update status box.
This can also be turned into full screen – almost making it feel like you’re reading an eBook. Once you’ve made your presentation, you can click on the share icon , and select LinkedIn (or whatever social media site you’re wishing to use) to post it there.
This will then give you another box, offering you the chance to give some more information on what you’re sharing. Use this carefully, to ensure you sell your book sample in the best possible light.
Connecting Other Social Media Sites
SlideShare isn’t the only social media site you can use to connect with your LinkedIn account. To look into this, you will want to use the dropdown menu found at the top right hand side of your LinkedIn Homepage. There you’ll see the option to Manage your Privacy and Settings:
There you will be presented with a selection of options, but for this example we will look at connecting your Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) account to your LinkedIn.
Click on ‘Manage Your Twitter Settings’ and you will be provided with a box that allows you to link the two. You will then be able to share all that you do on LinkedIn, on Twitter too. This will encourage your Twitter followers to view your LinkedIn content, and will give them the option to connect with you there too.
You will be able to connect your LinkedIn account with most of your other profiles. Some you can do via LinkedIn, but others (such as Facebook – http://www.facebook.com) need you to do it through that site. If you get stuck, a simple online search will provide you with step-by-step instructions.
An article by Forbes suggests that the biggest mistakes on LinkedIn are as follows. Being aware of these can prevent you from falling into the same trap, and will allow you to have the most successful profile that you can:
- Not having a picture. If people cannot see you, they will instantly disengage or assume that your account isn’t active. A survey showed that accounts with photographs as the profile picture get seven times the amount of views.
- Using the wrong image. Choose your author photo. It needs to show you, not some generic stock image or personal photograph. LinkedIn is all about professionalism.
- Not updating your status. LinkedIn is the perfect place for discussing your professional achievements. Be sure to do so every few days so your followers remain interested in you.
- Skipping the summary. You need to tell people all about you. They don’t want to have to ask. Make sure you give a few paragraphs summarising everything that you have to offer, but don’t be too wordy. Take a look at what other people have written if you need some help or inspiration.
- Connecting generically. People will be much more inclined to connect and speak with you, if you show some interest in them. Would you prefer to receive a message saying ‘To whom it may concern, I’d like to tell you about my business…’ or ‘Dear Sarah, I see that you’re an author. Your books look really interesting! What are you currently working on? Would it be possible to chat with you some time about a business opportunity?’? The one that’s more personalised, and shows that the person knows something about you, is much more appealing – and gives you more of an encouragement to reply.
So remember, LinkedIn can be an extremely useful marketing tool for authors – if you use it in the most effective way. Make your profile appealing and join in with group chats.
Do you have any other ideas for book marketing on LinkedIn? Leave a comment below!