As an author, your platform is everything. It is the sum total of your visibility and influence online, including all your earned media opportunities, and it is what will ultimately help you sell more books. So, how can you use LinkedIn to grow your author platform? Here are a few tips:
Create a professional profile
The first step is to create a professional profile that accurately reflects your experience as an author. Include information about your published works, your education and training, any awards or accolades you’ve received, and anything else that would be relevant for potential readers or business contacts to know. You should also include a professional headshot and cover photo. Remember, first impressions count!
Post interesting and engaging content on a regular basis
When it comes to LinkedIn, quality wins over quantity every time. That means you’re better off posting one interesting and engaging piece of content each week than posting five pieces of content that are meh. Take the time to curate or create content that will resonate with your audience, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your following grows.
Seek out relevant groups to join
There are LinkedIn groups for just about everything under the sun, so do a quick search for groups that would be relevant to your book’s topic or genre. For example, if you’ve written a business book, you might want to join groups like Entrepreneurship 101 or Startups & Small Businesses.
Take the time to participate in discussions
You should not only take the time to participate in discussions, but be sure and offer helpful advice to others whenever you can. Share your thoughts and insights on current industry trends, offer advice and support to other authors, and engage in thoughtful dialogue about the publishing industry as a whole. Not only will this help you build relationships with other authors, but it will also give you some great content to share on your own profile page, as well as building authority on LinkedIn.
Beware: If you found yourself saying, “I don’t have time for all of this. I only have time to do things that give an immediate ROI.” This is like saying you want to get married, but you simply do not have time to date. You wouldn’t expect to immediately marry the first person who came along, would you? You need to date, get to know them, build a relationship, and yes, these things do take some time. You can’t buy it. You have to build it.
Connect with your author friends and niche mates
Author friends are the best kind of friends, so make sure to connect with other authors in your genre on LinkedIn. Niche mates are those authors who share the same writing space or genre as you. We used to think of them as competition, but really you can wildly help one another. How many people only own one book on a certain topic? No, they often have many. Someone interested in your topic may buy from you and from your niche mates, so set yourself up for success with this.
Not only will author friends and niche mates understand the challenges and triumphs you’re experiencing as an author, but they can also provide valuable insights and advice when needed. Furthermore, connecting with other authors can lead to joint ventures down the road (think co-authored books or blog posts). So don’t be afraid to reach out and connect with some fellow scribes!
LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help you grow your author platform—you just have to know how to use it effectively. By posting interesting and engaging content on a regular basis, seeking out relevant groups to join, and connecting with other authors in your genre, you can quickly start building a solid presence on LinkedIn…and selling more books as a result!
To your success!
P.S. Last week we covered the importance of media training for authors. Well, I’m happy to announce that I am giving a 3-week course in media training for a fraction of what you would normally pay. It’s through the Nonfiction Authors Association and you can find out more about Media Training for Authors right here. I hope you’ll join me. It’s going to be very interactive and a lot of fun!
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