This week The Author CEO Naomi Blackburn talks about the importance of expanding your social reach as widely as possible, including using LinkedIn, which she calls the ‘Facebook for Professionals.’

Naomi is founder of the Goodreads group Sisterhood of the Traveling Books, as well as the Nordic Noir group, dedicated to discussing Scandinavian mysteries. This year, Goodreads ranked her at # 11 on their top reviewer list, in both the U.S. and in the world (2011 rankings). As a reviewer, Naomi is brilliant, insightful, and, as she puts it, “brutally honest.”

Please feel free to leave questions for Naomi, as well as any suggestions you may have for future posts. I hope you enjoy the column!


The Author CEO: Are You Linked In?

by Naomi Blackburn

If you’ve followed discussions in previous posts, you know I firmly believe that you can NEVER have too big a professional network. This week it is time to focus on LinkedIn. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with the site, Linked In is a professional networking social media site. I call it the Facebook for Professionals.

Among their offerings, Linked in provides the following:

1) Professional profiles

2) Networking groups in which members can bounce ideas or seek information from each other.

3) Professional publications

According to Rachel Thompson, founder of BadRedhead Media, “a LinkedIn profile increases your SEO/SMO on Google: thus giving [you] another channel for marketing and increasing your footprint.” For authors, a broad platform and wide reach increases the potential market for your books-reason enough to join LinkedIn.

Rachel offers excellent advice for using the site. To avoid confusion, I have copied her points verbatim:

Connections1) Name: I’m RachelintheOC basically everywhere. Be as consistent with your user name on LI as you are everywhere else.

2) Keywords: just like everywhere else, use your keywords right after your name on LinkedIn — then what you do (i.e., published author, social media specialist) shows up in searches, not just your name.

3) 3rd Party Apps: I use Hootsuite, primarily; Pluggio and BufferApp also. All three connect to your LinkedIn account/accounts. Hootsuite and BufferApp even allow you to add groups, so you can schedule in your posts to any social media site, which is helpful from a time-management standpoint.

4) Followers: There’s no limit to how many people you can connect with. I like the freedom of maneuvering around the site and following potential clients/readers, etc.

5) Networking: Many professionals are not on Twitter or Facebook, and yet they are still targets as readers. Connect with like-minded individuals; see who they follow, etc. The opportunities for growth are limitless.

6) Groups: I’ve had some luck connecting with folks via the Groups function. It reminds me a bit of using Twitter lists: connect only with those particular people who are potential readers (or clients if you’re freelance).

Phyllis Zimbler Miller, a Wharton MBA who has 30 years’ experience with several Fortune 500 companies, is co-founder of Miller Mosaic LLC, a marketing consultation firm, author of several self-published novels, as well as founder of the Linked-in group, Book Marketing. Ms. Miller identifies two key ways that indie authors benefit from LinkedIn:

1. Joining gives you the opportunity to create an optimized bio of you, your books and your business with links, along with a customized URL to your LinkedIn profile.

2. Participating on groups gives you the opportunity to learn from others and to share your own knowledge. This helps to create the all-important social media relationships.


“Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, as an author you want to get exposure to prospective readers as well as be perceived as professional,” Miller says. “As LinkedIn is the top professional social media site, you want to be there and be visible with frequent status updates and frequent participation in appropriate group discussions.”

If you’re not already a member of LinkedIn, the Facebook for Professionals, isn’t it time to join?

Want to connect with me on Linked in? Here is my profile.

Want to connect with Terri? Her profile can be found here.


Useful LinkedIn Groups

So, what are some of the groups Indie authors can join on LinkedIn?

Book Marketing on a Shoestring Budget

Book Writing, Self-publishing Marketing

Book Marketing


Coming up November 21: What is your “price” point?


About Naomi Blackburn

Naomi Blackburn

Naomi Blackburn, owner of The Author CEO, a consultation firm dedicated to helping independent authors navigate the development of strategic business plans and the marketing world, holds an MBA and has worked in the field of business development, sales and consulting for 12 years. A former social worker, she has helped hundreds of clients meet their life goals. An avid reader and top Goodreads reviewer, she comes to the world of books from a reader/reviewer’s perspective. She strives to help authors achieve their goals by teaching them to think of themselves as CEO/entrepreneur of a small business and helping them negotiate the business side of selling books.

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