Tuesday, February 3, 2015

LinkedIn is for Writers Too!

We all want to look professional to agents and editors when they search us online and if you don't have time to keep up your blog or website, you should at least have the time to have a shiny looking profile on LinkedIn. 

LinkedIn isn't just for people who work in an office anymore. If you're a writer, I recommend you start a profile. With over 332 million users, LinkedIn is a force to be reckoned with and if you look up most agents and editors via LinkedIn, guess what? They're on it! And what do you suppose they do when they're interested in a perspective client? They Google you of course, and what's one of the main websites that pops up for finding people? You guessed it, LinkedIn. 

Okay, all that said, you might now understand that it's not only vital for your profile to be found, but it's vital that your profile looks good. Don't phone in it. Look like a pro! Below are a few simple tips to really make your profile sparkle. 

1. Have a photo--and a good one!
I have my LinkedIn profile for both my work life and my writing life. I didn't want two profiles, so one serves both purposes. That said, I need a picture that works for both, something professional, yet fun and approachable. Some may disagree, but LinkedIn is not the place for cute avatars and profile pictures of your cat instead of you. Snap a decent photo of yourself with a real camera or your laptop, not your phone if possible (as the angle usually looks weird or I can see your darn arm) and please smile! Don't look like you want to hurt me or like you drive a white van with no windows. Look happy to be there! 

2. Connect with 3 new people every day!
I make it a point to reach out to people in my industry every week, be it in work or writing. Doing this builds your network and builds your chances of getting noticed by someone. It's that whole six degrees of separation idea. Here's a funny thing though, if you don't have a picture, I won't connect with you. It just bugs me, you seem so anonymous, I need a face! So again, get a picture and start connecting. You never know who your connections are connected to! 

3. Write a super-star headline.
Don't just write something to the effect of, 'Nurse at Smith Hospital'. We'll see that on your job title. Be daring! Write something like, 'Inspired care giver and formidable children's writer'. Yes, you may be daunted at first writing a headline like that, but headlines like that get you noticed, and wow, you are suddenly way more interesting to me! 

5. Take full advantage of your Professional Gallery. 
LinkedIn offers a Professional Gallery to all their users. This is a fantastic vehicle for getting your work out there. Whether it's a word document showcasing your latest teaser or a full-on book trailer, this is where you can show it proudly on your profile! You can give an agent or editor something they didn't yet ask for...more of you! 

6. Ask for recommendations.
Professional or even from-the-heart recommendations from those who have worked with you are an awesome way to spread the word that you're great to work with. I don't care if it's a work related recommendation or someone from your critique group who sings your praises. Recommendations mean people enjoy working with you. Editors and agents will be happy to see you’re not a grumpy curmudgeon who likes to tick people off if they're considering taking you on. 

7. Complete your profile!
LinkedIn is very good and recommending what you should fill out and why. Listen to them. The more you have filled out on your profile the more you'll get found. Take advantage of it. It's a great tool for showing yourself off and getting your message out there quickly for all the world of writing to see. Go one and shine, shine, shine. You deserve it!

Hope you learned a good tip or two for LinkedIn! What are some tips you might add? And yes, I will connect with you on LinkedIn if you reach out...as long as you have a picture...and even if it's of your cat. ;) 



  1. One confusing part of LinkedIn is that my day job is NOT related to children's books. I LOVE my weird mixed-up LinkedIn connections lists and suggestions, but it makes my profile odd...

  2. Thanks, Hilary! I'm just starting to actively use LinkedIn.

  3. On a funny note, I just closed out my LinkedIn account because it seemed to serve no purpose other than to fill my inbox with requests from people I've never heard of. Sounds like you have a much better sense of how LinkedIn works than I ever did.

  4. Hilary, I have to say I never use my LinkedIn account! I am connected with thousands but shamefully don't engage. I just go on every few months and click "accept invite." Does that make me a bad person?? Hmm... However, my husband utilizes it amazingly for business/career connections. This is the place to be to find a job and network it seems! But if folks connect there and it works for them - great. I am all for finding the 2-3 places that work for you in social media. I have my love for FB and Twitter. Is there truly a benefit for authors to be on there? Methinks you may convince me to go work it... Kudos to you for working it -and working it good!

  5. I just learned a lot here today! Definitely don't think that I use my account to its fullest potential. Thanks for all the advice! :)


Thanks for adding to the mayhem!