A Brief Introduction to LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an online network catering to business people. Each individual member builds a personal profile. There is no way to set up a profiles for your company, so this is for personal networking based on your past jobs, organization and friends.

Join LinkedIn

To have a LinkedIn profile, sign up using the simple online form at http://www.LinkedIn.com. Once you click “join now” it will take you to your new profile page. One of the first things you will want to do is to get a simplified URL with your name, if it is available. On your page, click “profile” in the left navigation bar, and then “edit my profile” on the top box in the center of the screen. Scroll down to “public profile” and click “edit”. Enter in the name you would like to use and if approved, note that name so you can use it as your LinkedIn URL.

Create your profile

When you open a LinkedIn account, the first thing you do is create your own profile. One of the parts of the profile is to create a “professional headline”. This headline shows up in search results and when you comment in Discussions or Answers, so consider it part of your personal brand. Consider using “Professional Author’s Assistant” or “Virtual and Extraordinary Author’s Assistant”, “Publishing Industry Expert”. You can use words that are keywords for the industry as well as words that attract the kind of attention you want.

Other important keys are to list past employment, important honors or organizations and make sure you use a professional-done photo.

You can link your blog, twitter and Facebook accounts to your LinkedIn profile.

Adding Connections

Once your profile is complete, it is time to build your network by importing contacts from your email program (like Outlook or Gmail) and connect with the people who are already a member of LinkedIn. LinkedIn will automatically search for those names to see which individuals are already part of the network.

Invite new people to link to you, and customize the standard LinkedIn invitation to say something personal. To find new people to invite, use the search feature to find people by company, industry and city.

You can find people in a company using advanced search using the “Search People” field. Sort the results by” Relationship.” Narrow your results by using the advanced search area on the right side. Find out how to reach a 2nd Degree contact by looking at the “Shared Connections” under their name.

Using LinkedIn

When you look at someone’s profile you will see several unique and interesting things. Each individual has the opportunity to connect with many others, and you will see some people have thousands of connections and others only a few. Some people are very active and join groups and interact in a number of ways. LinkedIn profiles can help you find work, make connections and attract author clients.

Joining Groups

Join LinkedIn groups that are where you are likely to find clients or people who will refer them. This includes groups around common interests (like writers, authors or publishing industry professionals) and alumni and other organization groups.

Being active in a Group helps to increase your visibility and credibility Check out the profiles of the people you are connected with to find out of which groups they are have chosen to join. Search other author’s assistant profiles so you can see how they are using LinkedIn as well.

Authors, Agents and Publishers

Many famous authors are on LinkedIn. You may not realize that someone you know very well is connected to an agent, author or publisher you wish to meet. By viewing your contacts’ connections, you’re able to ask your contacts for introductions to people who can help get a book published, provide a review or testimonial or even find an agent.

Posing Questions

LinkedIn has a feature where you get to ask questions, either of your network or of people in a particular industry. I am working on an e-book that will be a list of a particular group of sites. I asked the network where to find more of these sites and I got an amazing response that made this e-book my top priority. But you could also ask a question like “Do you know how I could find people to interview for my book who have a successful arranged marriage?”. Not only would you get suggestions on where to find people to interview, anyone with a successful arranged marriage would be likely to offer to be interviewed.

It’s also possible that people have already asked questions on your topic, so if you search the Answers section using appropriate keywords, you are likely to find some usable information as well.

Giving Answers

Speaking of the Answers section on LinkedIn, another way to use this is to post questions that you need answered; need to find a connection, or the answer to an obscure question? Post it in the Answers section of LinkedIn and you’ll have your own group of resources providing answers to help you out. Check out the answers to questions previously asked, as a great and unique source of information.

Get Quoted

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of editors on LinkedIn who are constantly seeking “experts” to quote for their next story. By positioning yourself as an expert on LinkedIn, you position yourself squarely in their sights the next time they need someone to fill out their story. Be sure to indicate that you are an “expert” on your subject in your profile, and go to the Answers section of LinkedIn and answer questions pertaining to your area of expertise to further bolster your reputation as “the source to go to” on your topic.

Getting Recommendations

Ask your connections to recommend you (after you have enough of a relationship so they know your work and honestly evaluate it) Make it easy by writing the recommendation for them, especially including any problem you solved for the client. If you draft a recommendation for the connection you can email it directly or message it through LinkedIn. Make sure they know they can either copy and paste the recommendation or that they are free to change it as they wish.

Keep Updated

Make sure you update your LinkedIn.com status often. You can do that by:
Sharing useful articles and resources that will be of interest to customers and prospects, including downloadable files.

LinkedIn Learning Center At the bottom of every page you’ll see lots of links. The first row of links has “LinkedIn Learning Center.” Click it. You’ll find tons of neat articles. Under “Training Resources,” you’ll find free e-learning modules and webinars.