So, you understand why you should take the time away from your writing to take part in Social Networking on Facebook.com. You’ve got the hang of Twitter.com (or have you?). But, what can a bunch of high powered “suits” do for you?
Right! However, you are the CEO of your own freelance writing enterprise. You are invited, and entry into the club is free…. Although, like many sites, there is a higher level of membership, if you wish to subscribe.
Those who do pay for premium membership have the little “in” icon displayed on their homepage, they are entitled to more “introductions” to execs they’d like to meet, and they get better information on who has checked out their profiles.
Here’s what LinkedIn says about its own importance:
“LinkedIn has over 40 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world. A new member joins LinkedIn approximately every second, and about half of our members are outside the U.S. Executives from all Fortune 500 companies are LinkedIn members.”
LinkedIn.com is a site for professionals and professional behavior. I don’t expect to sell books one copy at a time there. I don’t try.
If I can’t handsell my book, what use is it?
You may pitch your book, but only on your home page and through your discussions within appropriate groups of which you are a member (or a group you start and moderate).
How do I make conquests and expand my network if I can only connect with people I already know?
You invite people whom you know to connect. However, under no circumstances take advantage of the system that will access your aol/gmail/yahoo address book and invite everyone who has ever emailed you! Be certain to remind those you invite how they know you, even if they are your publicist or your agent. An accidental “Do Not Know” rating cannot be withdrawn, and is a permanent Spammer flag on your reputation.
By the way, never “DNK” someone who asks to connect to you. Why burn bridges? If you don’t know them, archive the invitation.
Next, you ride coat-tails; you join the groups that your friends and mentors have joined.
For instance, these are some of the groups I’m in.
TWITTER – Follow the twitterers.
EPIC – Electronically Published Internet Connection
Published Authors Network
Science Fiction readers, writers, and collectors
Book Publishing Professionals
Authors of Romance helping Authors of Romance
Novelists Networking Group
Social Media Marketing
Media Professionals Worldwide
TopLinked.com (Open Networkers)
Media & Entertainment Professionals
M2Moms – Marketing To Moms
Book Sales and Marketing
Talking smak about SmakNews.com
Some Groups reflect membership on other Social Networking sites, or Professional associations such as RWA’s PAN, EPIC etc. This makes sense. When you ask an acquaintance to “connect”, you don’t have to know their private email address if you both belong to the same group, or work for the same company (even if that company is “Freelance Writer”).
Having joined a few groups, you comment on the discussion posts that interest you. Often, a “Discussion” will be veiled self-promo, but that’s OK. If you follow the links, you may find an excuse to comment on a high powered blog or site that you’d never have found otherwise, and you can almost always link your comment to your own website.
Moreover, entrepreneurs tend to announce their new ventures and their (free-for-now) Beta services on LinkedIn. You can be a highly visible fish in a small but growing pond… such as SmakNews.com
There’s a lot more you can do on LinkedIn. You can even microblog via the “Status Update.” I don’t have space to mention everything here, but I ought to mention the
When you sign up, you will be offered the option to request a recommendation. I’d skip that, but it’s your call. However it is tacky to ask someone you don’t know to recommend you.
Your professional network of trusted contacts gives you an advantage in your career, and is one of your most valuable assets.”
In other words, for me, LinkedIn is a place for big picture stuff: to Network to find an expert for my research, an editor, an agent, an intellectual properties attorney.
I think of it as my Golden Rolodex.
Award winning author and talk show host, and outspoken copyrights advocate, Rowena Cherry has played chess with a Grand Master and former President of the World Chess Federation (hence the chess-pun titles of her alien romances).
She has spent folly filled summers in a Spanish castle; dined on a sheikh's yacht with royalty; been serenaded (on a birthday) by a rockstar and an English nobleman; ridden in a pace car at the 1993 Indy 500; received the gold level of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award; and generally lived on the edge of the sort of life that inspires her romances about high-living alien gods. Find out more about Rowena at the following: