Whilst I have mixed feelings about Facebook, especially in light of the way they are now requiring Page’s to pay to promote their updates to all their ‘Fans’ (see this article for more info if you’re interested: posts-on-facebook-pages-not-showing-to-everyone-that-likes-you) it is still a force to be reckoned with and provides some great benefits to people who become active on it to support their business.
UPDATE: This post has now been superceded by a post about the use of Rich Media in profiles. LinkedIn removed all applications from it’s platform in December 2012.
This is the second of my mini series that aims to give writers and authors a better understanding of how they can use LinkedIn more effectively to promote themselves and their work. Last week we looked at how to create a killer profile that contains everything you need to stand out. This week I was to focus on two other areas: Apps for your profile and one of the two real powerhouses of the LinkedIn platform, Groups.
Of course, this article will give some great to tips to everyone who wants to use LinkedIn effectively, but it is specifically directed towards authors and writers.
I’m going to make a huge assumption here and that is that you are hoping that your writing will eventually pay off in some way and that you aren’t doing this just for the love of writing. I could be wrong but writing for the sake of writing, without any sort of recognition of ‘success’ (whatever that may mean to you) will eventually pale alongside the need to do other things that are considered more important.
I’m a big fan of LinkedIn, so much so that I even wrote a book about it called LinkedIn Made Easy, but that’s another story 🙂 In that book I have a range of ‘recipes for success‘ which explains what people can do to achieve specific objectives on this most professional of networks. However, it seems I have been remiss in not providing a recipe for Authors and Writers who want to make the most of LinkedIn too.
Here’s a simple story of how social media works in practice and how I found a new supplier on Facebook quite by accident.
If you’re a writer you will almost certainly have a blog and a Twitter account because let’s face it, Twitter and blogging were built with writers and authors in mind. Sometimes though it may seem as if you are writing into the wind, with your words drifting off into the distance without catching on anything or anyone at all. However, there is always something you can do about things like this and I thought I might start with a run down of the top ten writers lists to follow on Twitter.
You may well be asking why writers lists and not writers themselves?
The majority of businesses say that their business growth comes as a result of word of mouth, they rely on referral marketing to get new clients, but few of those businesses have a strategy. Many businesses also have a Facebook presence of some description but once again they simply sit back and wait for it to happen. These activities apply not only to businesses, but to any one who is looking to engage with people they do not already know on the medium that is Facebook – so this is as much for all you Authors out there as it is for everyone else too.
In the past I’ve posted a number of links to various things in relevant LinkedIn groups that I’m a member of and it occurred to me as I was doing this that it may be possible, in some really off the wall way, be construed as spamming the group. As a result I now face a dilemma as there is always more than one way to skin a cat as they say, when it comes to working with the network of people you have on LinkedIn.
When I was a child I looked forward to Christmas and birthdays with much anticipation because I knew that I would be showered with gifts from family and friends. However, one of the small inconveniences that my mother insisted on was that we neatly noted down who had sent the gift so that we could then spend a day following up with thank you letters. At first those thank you letters were written by my mother with a drawing (actually, more a scribble) from my siblings and I, later we progressed to writing our name, in large red crayon normally and finally we were tasked with the responsibility of managing our thank-you notes ourselves, choosing the day we wrote and then posted them.
It’s not the numbers that count on LinkedIn but the relationship and being connected for the ‘right’ reasons. I get lots of canned ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network‘ messages that almost everyone sends. My immediate thought is always, ‘No you wouldn’t, if it were professional, you’d approach this in a professional manner’! Then I relent, a little, after all LinkedIn makes it so easy to do ‘happy clicking’ to a list of people it thinks you might know, just because they are connected to someone you are already linked to.