Thursday, February 23, 2012

LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool

What am I getting out of LinkedIn? Free exposure! A professional friend of mine insisted that I sign up for LinkedIn a few months ago. I wasn't interested. I was still trying to figure out Twitter! To me, all social media was just another, more complicated, Facebook.

I was wrong. LinkedIn is the largest professional network on earth. It's not a "fan Page" or a personal page--it's a professional snapshot. It highlights my education and work experience. There are groups I can join to meet other authors and publishers. My profile is searchable on the net. It increases my presence on the web.

Here Are Seven Reasons Why I Use LinkedIn:

  1. Relationships--LinkedIn will link me to others in my field where I can build new connections outside of my own circle of friends.
  2. Marketing--I can market my blog and my book to targeted groups who may actually be interested!!
  3. Networking--I can safely connect, chat and share ideas with other authors
  4. Hiring--If I want to hire services in the future to help me with my books, I can find qualified help.(Or find a job if my book sales don't increase!)
  5. Showcasing--Highlighting my expertise may lead to paid gigs in the future as a speaker, writing teacher or guest poster. My blog and tweets are syndicated on LinkedIn, my book is featured and so are links to my websites. (To maximize this--make sure your public profile is set to Full View.) I also added a LinkedIn badge to my blogs! 
  6. SEO--it increases my Google page rank. I set a custom URL for my LinkedIn profile (anyone can do this). My custom URL is my full name. This makes it easier for search engines to index me. 
  7. It's Free!
I have the basic account with LinkedIn. There is a lot more you can do with LinkedIn than I've described. I may re-visit this post at another time. I know I haven't begun to maximize the benefits of LinkedIn and I can't wait to get started!

To Do: Create a LinkedIn profile page today, invite your friends and join a group! If you already have a LinkedIn profile, have you done the following--set a custom URL for your profile, added a LinkedIn badge to your website, set your profile to Full View, joined a group, invited friends (do it every three months to get the slackers), joined a discussion, updated your photo or added your blog? It works if you work it!

Check out my profile and connect with me!

View Jennifer Lynn Alvarez's profile on LinkedIn

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
Author of The Pet Washer
a novel for girls aged 9-12