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LinkedIn 101.1
LinkedIn With The Right Crowd
We all know social media is a marketing tool that we should utilize, but few of us understand just how, when, or what to post. Let us take a look at a recent teaching by @Jonna Thames of 40 Day Publishing in order to get a better understanding of how to use these valuable tools.

In a recent class on @Author Underground, @Jonna Thames presented a teaching on How to Grow Your Brand and Sell More Books with LinkedIn. She told us that LinkedIn is under utilized by most people but by authors in particular because we are unsure of what to post, when to post and how to do it. She said, “Authors need to use LinkedIn as one of our tools to achieve our goals, but we have to do so with purpose.” 

What's Your Purpose?
Ask yourself what your purpose is. Is it to sell books? Get speaking engagements? Obtain ghost writing contracts? Obtain teaching opportunities? Or is your purpose to connect with other authors as a community? Maybe your purpose is all of the above but you can rest assured that no one will understand your posts until you understand your purpose. 

Wow First Impression
Beginning with the beginning. It is important to optimize your LinkedIn profile so you can make a great first impression, which we all know is extremely valuable. In order to make that great impression you need to transport your LinkedIn profile from “Ho-Hum” to “WOW!” Doing this will land those personal conversations you are after. 

Exercise Caution with a Purpose
LinkedIn gives you more room for details than Facebook or Instagram. Your viewers can learn who you are, what you do and where you are located. This is important for building relationships as well as building your business. You are more likely to have a stronger connection with people in your geographic area than you are with people who are thousands of miles away. Close is nice and can be profitable, but you also have to use wisdom in posting contact information. For instance, do not put your home address on any social media, but using your general location such as city, state or region is a safe way to present your business.

Attractive Images
First impression No No’s are things that are simply fixed. LinkedIn tells us that people with a good profile photo are 21 times more likely to be viewed than those with bad, blurry, or distant profile photos. And you are 9 times more likely to get a connection request, which is the goal of posting on social media. You want a profile photo that is clear, not blurred, not lost in the backdrop. 
Be Professional
Now take a look at your profile photo. Is it clear and are you visibly up front and close with the camera? Do not use a photo that has been chopped. Not only will it not look professional but you run the risk of hurting the feelings of your family or friends that you chopped out. Instead, ask someone to take a photo of you. It does not have to be a professional, but it does need to look professional and friendly. Do not wear a silly costume unless you are a professional clown looking for gigs. Look professional. You might choose to go to the local library and have your friend take a photo of you in front of the rows of books. 

Another thing to watch out for is the background of your photo. You may be on a beautiful beach somewhere but the beach is not what you want people to see. You want them to see you so drop the idea of your coming up out of the water like Bo Derek in 10. Be reasonable in your backdrop. If you have a logo or a business logo, you could have that in the backdrop as long as it does not draw attention away from you. Sorry but selfies will not do.

Informative Videos
Another thing you can do to make a great statement is a thirty second introductory video that you post on LinkedIn. In order to do this, you have to download LinkedIn from the app store on your smartphone. Once you have the download you can make a video and post it to your LinkedIn page. In actuality, you are only allowed about 29 seconds video time so you might want to write out what you are going to say, practice it a couple of times, time it, and then video it. Be sure to view it more than once to verify that it presents the real you and says exactly what you want it to say. Sounds simple but sometimes we run ahead of ourselves so think it through and make an informative video of your smiling face. 

What should you say on the video? Talk about yourself. Tell why you are on LinkedIn and who you would like to connect with – your target audience. If your name is difficult to pronounce or unusual, you may want to add how to pronounce your name to the video. LinkedIn provides instruction on how to upload a video. 

Know Your Connection
Connect with those whom you have a reason to connect with. Some people want to make a wide swath and connect with everyone. If you do that, you may get swamped with messages so be selective. Remember, your purpose is growing your business. You want to connect with like minded people who are authors, teachers in the writing arena or other professions that are beneficial to you, as an author. It is okay to be selective here. If you want a wider range of people, start another social media page where you can connect with everyone.

Remember, "We are here to help and we make publishing easy."

This article is to be continued in LinkedIn 101.2

About the Authors: Daniel J. Mawhinney & Darlene Shortridge

Dan & Darlene have a passion and a heart for helping independent authors to successfully publish and market their stories worth telling and messages worth sharing.
40 Day Media LLC, PO Box 950794, Oklahoma City, OK 73195
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