6 Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile as an Aspiring Author
So, you want to be a millionaire author? Well, the heartbreaking truth is that it doesn’t happen overnight. Sure, you can write a book (or have a scribe help you get it written), and BAM! you’re considered an author, but a myriad of outside forces play into the actual success of authorship, LinkedIn being a top contender.
Take a moment and consider any larger objectives you may have. Now, trust us when we tell you that an optimized LinkedIn profile will be your secret weapon in achieving those goals. Remember, your primary goal isn’t to make money by selling the book you write. The goal is to utilize your book to generate revenue in other ways.
A Book Will:
1. Attract attention from the right people
2. Help you to discover new clients through your LinkedIn network
3. Open doors (or maybe windows) for new opportunities
But aspiring writers and published authors alike need to build their brand and increase their social influence online. But today, we give you 6 ways you can make the most of your status as an aspiring author on LinkedIn.
1. Focus on Your Brand
Stop where you are and make sure you aren’t putting the cart before the horse. Step #1 is to shift the focus to your author brand. No, this isn’t about how good your book is. It’s about the problems you help your readers or potential readers solve.
Your author brand is your shot at a great first impression, informing readers why they should be interested in what you have to say. It also indicates why they should choose you over other thought leaders in your field.
To build up your author brand:
2. Customize Your LinkedIn URL
Quick question— Which is easier to remember: /PriscillaMckinney or /Priscilla-McKinney-kw123vv92? It’s simple. Personalized LinkedIn URLs make it much easier for people to find and remember you.
Creating a custom profile URL is quick and easy — we’ll walk you through it.
Go to your LinkedIn profile. In the upper right-hand corner, you’ll find a link that says “Edit public profile and URL.” LinkedIn will take you to a new page to edit your profile settings, and in the upper right-hand corner, you’ll find a section to “Edit your custom URL.”
The options here are nearly endless, though most commonly, people use their name. If your name is taken, try adding a hyphen between your first and last name, or try incorporating a middle or nickname. As an upcoming author, it may be ideal to have this be your name, but you may consider the topic of your book and your area of expertise in this option.
With a new book on the way entitled, Collaboration is the New Competition, I might consider “Collaboration”. Just know that if you’ve got one book in you, you might just have two, so branding based on your name may help you play the long game.
Ultimately, it’s best to create something short, memorable, and personal. Remember you may be giving this out a lot to crowds of people and you want them to find you (even if they can’t remember how to spell your name!).
3. Customize Your LinkedIn Banner
By default, LinkedIn provides a generic banner at the top of your profile.
A personalized banner that profiles your book is one of the best ways to build credibility, stand out from the noise and just let the profile viewer know they are in the right place. After all, there are probably hundreds of Priscilla McKinneys out there. There is only one with a very good-looking husband and a funny family:
4. Write an Engaging Tagline
Your LinkedIn headline is displayed each time your LinkedIn profile pops up in someone’s search result. Consider it valuable real estate to be used wisely. Keep it simple, unique, and clear. You don’t want to leave people wondering what you have to offer.
You can consider including things like your job title, area of expertise, or any special hobby that speaks to who you are. Here are some good examples from a few of my friends:
Should have Played Quiddich for England” – Tim Hughes
Bossy people are my favorite people to collaborate with.
Let’s make it happen! – Sarah Kotva
Business and brand builder with a constant fear of running out of salad dressing – Stephanie Douglass
Over time, I’ve been “a slightly annoying truth teller powered by my husband’s homemade bread,” and “aspiring lunch eater”. Don’t you want to meet these poeple? Don’t you feel there is an approachability level not many people have accomplished on LinkedIn yet? Part of building a great brand and following as an author is getting people to WANT to meet you – for reals! Don’t bore me to tears with your introduction that is a total snooze fest!
5. Curate Your “About” Section
The “about” section is basically your own personal landing page. It’s one of the first things someone sees when they click on your profile. So, use this space to elaborate on WHO you are, HOW you can help them, and WHAT they can do to get in contact with you. Do you want them to visit your website?
Contact you by email?
Send a connection request?
Whatever your CTA (call to action), provide them with the most relevant contact information and be specific. Being vague gets you nowhere!
The “peeps” at Little Bird Marketing have a habit of giving away our expertise for free. We’ve created pages and pages of guides, quizzes, checklists, and worksheets. As an author, you might think of giving away a free chapter of your book or a relevant assessment on the subject matter. These can be a great opportunity for a branded tie-in – that’s impressive!
6. Add Featured Items
A LinkedIn feature often overlooked by users is the ability to add items like articles, links, videos, and more to the “Featured” section of your profile. This pins the items to your profile, ensuring your profile visitors see them. You can add as many links as you want, but only 2 will display on your front page. Viewers will have to scroll to see the others, so make those first two assets the most important!
Here’s what we hope you gathered from these tips—
Don’t overcomplicate things! In fact, make an effort to simplify them. Short and engaging will win the race.
The cliché, “Be Unique!” rings true for every aspect of your profile. Don’t break the cardinal rule of the interwebs by being boring!
And don’t lose focus on YOUR brand! As we said, your author brand is your first impression. Make it a good one!
Can’t seem to get lift off on your book, but you know you have one in you? Maybe it’s time you talk to our lovely friends who scribe some seriously good non-fiction writing.