Wednesday, July 9, 2014

You Want Me to Use Linkedin? Seriously?

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Photo courtesy
Seriously, you want me to start a Linkedin account? 

Maybe.

After researching Linkedin and the benefits to writers for literally hours, I felt like a ping pong ball smacked from those singing the praises of this social media to the naysayers. 

The benefit of my experience to you is a totally middle of the road presentation. I won't garner my marketing skills to persuade you one way or the other. The decision is yours.

What is Linkedin?
Linkedin is a place for professionals to find you and for you to find professionals. Okay that works, writers are professionals. We learn our craft and sell a product.

Why would a writer want to develop a Linkedin account?
1. Writers and authors can find individuals and groups with similar interests. Since this social network is designed to link like-minded professionals, expanding your tribe is much easier than searching for these individuals on Facebook, unless you happen to know the person's name.

2. Linkedin has a group feature that allows the member to join up to fifty groups. In these groups you can meet others with interests that match a tribe you are building then leap to friends of friends. 

3. By setting up an account, focus on a professional presentation. This is not a casual site. Treat it like a nice restaurant. Make sure your conversation is dressed up and smile. You could be offered a writing opportunity. This is a great way to build your credibility as a writer

4. Writers who would like to earn money doing articles, technical writing, curriculums, etc, could benefit from Linkedin. Even authors who prefer to only write books might want to set up this account to do freelance writing on the side. Conferences can get expensive. Why not earn a few writing dollars on the side?

5. The google search algorithm will count links from your Linkedin account to your online content. Facebook links don't count.

6. Linkedin is designed to help professionals who are looking for employees like you. In my research, I visited one site where the writer had forgotten she'd set up a Linkedin account until one day when she received an email from a newspaper wanting to hire her to write a regular column. She didn't have to advertise or do anything to promote her work other than to set up her account. Of course, had she posted or interacted more with her Linkedin account, she might have found work sooner.

7. According to a 7/17/13 article on writerswin.com: 

LinkedIn is a social media marketing tool too often overlooked by authors as “that’s for business” or “it’s just about finding a job.” Nothing could be further from the truth. LinkedIn packs a serious marketing punch, primarily through its groups, which are nothing less than social networking on steroids.
Linkedin groups can help you:
* Reach groups with similar interests.
* Ask writing/technical and other questions and get answers. You can also answer other people's questions.
* Some groups allow you to promote your writing and website.
* Build a tribe 

On the other hand, writing is your number one focus

To have more than, say three social media groups, I'm thinking of Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads (other choices might be Pinterest, Instagram, Google+) would be to tip the beneficial scale. 

We are expected to market out books. We need to participate in social media to promote our writing. But remember, all things in moderation. If your time is sucked up in marketing you won't have a product to market. 

So the choice is yours. In my opinion, I took one afternoon and set mine up. Every blue moon or two I take a peak at what is going on. What does it hurt?

Do you have questions about Linkedin?  I will answer all those I know right away and research those I don't. But I will work to find an answer for you.

Or if you don't have a question--say howdie. I hate spending the day alone.


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This blog post is by Mary Vee

Mary has moved to Michigan with her husband, closer to her three college kids. She misses the mountains of Montana, but loves seeing family more often. She writes contemporary and romance Christian fiction, is honing marketing and writing skills, and loves to pen missionary and Bible adventure stories on her ministry blog, God Loves Kids.

Visit Mary at her website and her ministry blog to families: God Loves Kids. Or chat on Facebook or Twitter

19 comments:

Jeanne Takenaka said...

Mary, you opened my eyes to possibilities for LinkedIn. I've got an account there, but I'm on infrequently. When I've got time, I'm going to check it out more thoroughly.

Thanks for sharing this!!!

Mary Vee said...

You're welcome, Jeanne.

Southpaw said...

Well Howdie.

No LinkedIn for me.

Ashley Clark said...

Great post, Mary! Like Jeanne, I have an account but never use it, so I didn't know much about what LinkedIn offers.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Great Linkedin info, Mary! Seriously good stuff. I have an account but don't use it. It just sits there. :)

Mary Vee said...

There you, go, Sherrinda. You didn't think there could be something good said about Linkedin. It took quite a bit of reserch, but I found it! :)

Mary Vee said...

Southpaw,
You made my day.
Howdie back at cha.
Thanks :)

Mary Vee said...

Well, Ash,
Hopefully the information helped you decide whether to continue ignoring the Linkedin account or spruce it up.

Edie Melson said...

Mary, good stuff about LinkedIn! One word of warning, research the group before you join. Some of the most vicious, gossipy, time-wasting groups I've ever found are lurking on LinkedIn. There are also some top-notch groups. Just take time to check out the group and don't hesitate to leave it if it's not for you!

Mary Vee said...

Wow, Edie. Thanks for the warning!

Keli Gwyn said...

Great post, Mary. I've had a LinkedIn account for years, but it wasn't until recently that I began to take it more seriously. It's a great place to make professional connections. My editor isn't on Facebook (at least not publicly), but she has a LinkedIn page. Men who won't go anywhere near Facebook, will often have a LinkedIn account. You can make connections there--as well as reconnect. My male cousin, whom I haven't heard from in years, located me via LinkedIn.

Michelle said...

Mary, great information. It is so easy to get sucked in by social media and yet it is so important to our platform. I'm on Linked In right now and have finally started using it more. But you are so right pick 3 to really focus on, or it is overwhelming.

Mary Vee said...

Keli,
You've added to the list of why we should not only have a Linkedin account, but also make it shine. Thanks:)

Mary Vee said...

Michelle,
What have you recently found beneficial about your Linkedin account?

Deb Garland said...

Mary, I've been wanting to know more about Linkedin for use by authors. Thank you for taking the time to share what you learned! Deb

Mary Vee said...

Your welcome, Deb. So glad you could join us today!

Janice said...

I have only been to one conference for writers, and two of the agents I met both later sent requests to connect through Linkedin. Considering that is what they use, I have been trying to build up connections there.

Mary Vee said...

Wow, Janice. You definitely tipped the scale in favor of a Linkedin account!

shamsher khan said...

This was a useful post and I think it's fairly easy to see in the other reviews, so this post is well written and useful. Keep up the good work.

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