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How authors and writers can use LinkedIn effectively – your profile

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.

If you are a writer or an author then primarily you are creating a variety of written content all the time. You might be doing this in a book, an article, a blog post or in a simple tweet or status update. Typically they will be well crafted and thought out – perhaps with a well-turned quote or two to illustrate a point or ten.

It obviously won’t have escaped your notice either that social media thrives on the written word and you are, therefore as said writer or author, absolutely best placed to make the biggest impact. LinkedIn is no different from any other social media site or activity in this respect. So over a few posts, I’m going to explore how you can use it to the best effect to promote your writing and authoring activities.

Your profile is the first place to start and a well-rounded profile contains at least the following elements:

  1. A good head and shoulders shot of you looking as professional as is appropriate for your profession of writer – a logo or book cover won’t do to replace this essential element simply because people are networking on LinkedIn and you’d never go to a networking meeting with a bag over your head. Come to think of it, a good photo of you on your blog or website is a pretty good idea too 🙂
  2. A compelling headline is what can cause people to be interested enough to click on your name to find out more about you. Your photo and headline show up all over the network – next to any answers you give, your activity stream, in search results and lists of ‘people who viewed this profile’ …. Your headline should include the words writer and/or author (if that is going to be your primary use of LinkedIn), perhaps something talking about the style of writing or title of a book perhaps. It may include the word ‘blogger’.
  3. Don’t forget the links back to your website, blog or Facebook page perhaps. You can add three links altogether and you should use the ‘Other’ category as this allows you to create the search terms that act as the link.
  4. Add your Twitter account if you have one as this allows users who are nosy (like me) to find you easily on that network too 🙂
  5. When you write your summary you should remember that this is based in the present day and is not a record of your past. What is it that drives you now and what informs this present-day you?
  6. If you have a range of publications to your name then you can add these in one of the extra sections you will find just below the main details area. You can include a link back to where people can buy them or to the online version of an article too.
  7. Don’t forget to import your posts from your blog automatically and share them with your network. A link to each one will appear in your status updates box on your profile and activity list. As a writer, this is your chance to share your missives with a wider audience and you may well find a new fan or two as well.
  8. Finally, add some details about how people can contact you – an email at the very least and preferably a telephone number too. Never give anyone the opportunity not to give you money ……!

There are of course many other sections to the profile and these will need to be updated at your leisure, the elements listed above though are the least you should consider to get yourself started.

If you would like to get started on LinkedIn then you can do so by going here:

I’ll continue the LinkedIn for Authors and Writers journey next week and in the meantime why not leave me your LinkedIn Profile URL and let’s all get connected up 🙂

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  1. I’m in IT too Michael and I think LI rocks and I use it as a platform for all my work – including in Women’s Health. It would be the perfect place as an IT professional for you to establish an alternative side of yourself as it is not where you would normally be whopping it up. It’s a bit like business networking just online – go on give it a go I promise you won’t be disppointed as it could help you enormously. BTW what do you do in IT?

  2. See, this is all very good advice, but I can’t make use of any of it.

    My ‘day job’ is in IT, and it wouldn’t look very good if I am whoring myself out to people who want entertaining.

    Not fair.

  3. It went to the email address you use here to post – which is probably not the email address you use on LinkedIn – you can link the two together by adding this email address to your account on your settings page 🙂