12 Ways to Leverage LinkedIn for Book Promotion
by Stephanie Chandler
Of all the social media networks, LinkedIn is the most business-oriented. The vast majority of LinkedIn users are involved in business of some kind, and therefore can be great connections for publishers and authors who want to sell books in bulk to companies, arrange speaking dates at events, or otherwise connect with influential business leaders.
Here are a dozen ways you can make the most out of your activity on LinkedIn.
1. Choose a descriptive title. One of the first items in your LinkedIn profile is your title, which appears alongside comments that you post in LinkedIn groups, and easily helps others understand what it is that you do. Take full advantage of this by providing a descriptive title, which can include your book title and even your Website link. Mine reads: Author, Speaker, Forbes Blogger, Publisher, Social Media Strategist | New book: Own Your Niche, AuthorityPublishing.com.
2. Complete your profile. LinkedIn users often use the search feature to find resources, and in order to get found, your profile should be loaded with keyword-rich content. Fill in as much information as possible, including your current and past work history, honors and awards, and projects.
3. Feature your book(s). In the “Publications” section, you can list details about books you’ve published, written, or contributed to, including a synopsis of each and a link to learn more about the book. Note that you can link to a book’s page on Amazon or another online retailer’s site, though I personally prefer to link to book pages on my own Website.
4. Import your contacts. LinkedIn makes it easy to connect with the people you already know by allowing you to import your contacts into the system. You can rest assured that your entire contact list will not be spammed by LinkedIn. Instead, you will see your contact list, and it will show you which of the people on it already have LinkedIn accounts. You can then choose to send those people a LinkedIn connection request.
Note that if you have trouble following the automated email connection options on LinkedIn, you can also choose to export your contacts into a spreadsheet and then import them manually. You’ll find this option under Contacts > Add Connections > Any Email.
5. Participate in groups. Groups on LinkedIn are typically quite active. You can find all kinds of business-related topics here, and you can choose to join many groups if you like. Realistically, you will be able to dedicate time to only one or two groups, so choose wisely.
Get involved by answering and asking questions and engaging with members. Top contributors in a group receive extra exposure. Over time, members of the group can get to know what you’re about based on your contributions, so be sure to deliver value.
You can also subscribe to daily or weekly email digests from the groups that you belong to, which makes it easy to quickly scan new discussion topics and decide if you want to click through to contribute.
6. Start a group. Consider starting your own group on LinkedIn. That’s free and can provide excellent visibility. The best way to begin is by choosing a niche topic that isn’t yet being covered. If you launch a group on a topic already covered, make sure you present it in terms of a unique perspective on the topic. I launched the Nonfiction Authors Network on LinkedIn, which grew very quickly.
7. Use advanced search. The advanced search feature on LinkedIn makes it easy to locate key contacts. For example, if you wanted to find the person in charge of the Back to School campaign at one of the large office supply companies, you could type in the company name, the campaign name as a keyword phrase, and even the job title. You might be surprised by how it easy it is to locate the people you want to reach.
Note that you cannot send LinkedIn email to someone you aren’t connected to unless you pay to subscribe to LinkedIn premium access. However, you can use your favorite search engine to do further research and dig up an email address for the person you want to reach.
8. Get recommendations. The recommendations feature on LinkedIn is meant to help users with the job search process (LinkedIn’s original purpose). However, you can solicit recommendations for a book, for your business, and for yourself or an author as a speaker. When you get them, they will be prominently displayed on your profile and add an element of credibility.
Reach out to your contacts and ask for recommendations. In return, you should plan to give some recommendations.
9. Use endorsements. Recently LinkedIn added a feature called Endorsements, which allows people to “endorse” a connection’s skills and expertise by simply clicking a button. You can indicate the skills that you want to be known for by adding them in your profile. LinkedIn will automatically begin to ask your connections to endorse you.
In return, take time to endorse those in your network. This takes very little effort, and as these endorsements add up they can help demonstrate your authority in your area.
10. Share content. Though the newsfeed on LinkedIn isn’t nearly as active as the newsfeed on Facebook, people do pay attention. Many LinkedIn users subscribe to daily emails that summarize the activities of people in their networks. With this in mind, be sure to share content on LinkedIn several times each week, or even daily. What you share can include new blog posts, event announcements, quick tips, and anything else that your connections would find valuable.
11. Accept new connection requests. Check your LinkedIn invitations at least once each week to accept new requests from people who want to connect with you. Use your best judgment, but also be willing to accept new people into your network. Often you will receive requests from readers, people who attended a presentation you gave, or people who are fellow members of a group you belong to. LinkedIn is a business network, so be willing to expand your horizons and accept most invitations readily.
12. Participate. For the best results on LinkedIn, and all the other social media networks, commit to participating on a regular basis. If you log in to LinkedIn only once a month, you will miss out on building your networks. If you are frequently and intelligently active, LinkedIn is a great place for investing time and energy to reach a business-minded audience.
Stephanie Chandler’s books include Own Your Niche: Hype-Free Internet Marketing Tactics to Establish Authority in Your Field and Promote Your Service-Based Business. She is CEO of AuthorityPublishing.com, specializing in custom publishing for nonfiction books and social media marketing services, and of the new Nonfiction Authors Association (NonfictionAuthorsAssociation.com). A frequent speaker at business events and on the radio, she has been featured in Entrepreneur, BusinessWeek, and Wired, and she is a blogger for Forbes.