If you want to write fiction, you may feel LinkedIn isn’t for you.
There are a lot of writers out there who feel that LinkedIn isn’t for them. It’s confusing, there’s no point to it if you’re not career-orientated, Facebook is better, etc.
If you’re one of these writers, you’re thinking about things all wrong.
There are lots of benefits of LinkedIn for writers. Here’s some of them.
You can talk yourself up
LinkedIn isn’t the kind of site that needs to be checked daily (well, none are, but if you say you don’t check at least one site daily I’m not buying it). It is, however, exactly the tool that you need if you’re looking for a job.
LinkedIn is the ultimate professional tool for you to sell yourself pre-interview. Many companies search for candidates on LinkedIn, so if you’re not on there or your profile is unimpressive, they may put you in the rejection before they’ve even met you.
You can use your LinkedIn profile to go into more depth than you would in a traditional CV and cover letter. You can not just talk about that great presentation that you did, you can upload it and show it off, too! You can also upload imagery and link to your publications.
You can use LinkedIn to link to and brag about your publications; voluntary work; academic achievements; online persona (make sure it’s appropriate first) and many, MANY more things. People often underestimate the number of great things that they’ve done, or how that can impact their job search. LinkedIn encourages you to fill in these gaps and give as much detail as possible.
The more details in your profile, the better.
Networking for introverts
LinkedIn is a great place to find like-minded people. Whether you want to talk to them about job opportunities or just pick their brains, there’s no better online resource.
LinkedIn has expanded over recent years to include influential users that you can follow, and publishes articles on everything from career changes to women in the workplace. You don’t need to be a member of LinkedIn to read articles, but it does help you to find them. LinkedIn also shares some of its favourites on Facebook and Twitter
There is a paid version, but you don’t have to pay—many of its users don’t. You don’t miss out on any of its core features by not contributing financially, but having paid users does keep the site relatively advert-free.
Benefits of LinkedIn for writers
A site like LinkedIn is particularly important for writers and marketers because it shows that you’re media-savvy. If there’s anyone that needs to be media-savvy in the twenty first century, it’s writers and those working in marketing, PR and social media. You can also attach or link to samples of your writing. This could be the difference between you being offered an interview or being ignored. If you’re a freelancer, it cuts out a lot of back-and-forths between you and your potential client—they can already see the kinds of things that you write and can use that to work out if you’re the right fit for them. Likewise if you don’t do great in a task set for a job interview, if they like your sample pieces you may still be in with a chance.
Clients (and friends) can also endorse you for your skills. This means not only do you have the references on your CV backing you up, but you have a whole group of people agreeing too. Your network can endorse you for up to 50 skills, and you can choose the skills you want them to endorse you for and what order they appear in on your profile.
The best part of LinkedIn for writers is LinkedIn groups. These are the best way for you to meet people with similar goals and objectives to you. You can find out how they’ve achieved their goals, how they plan to achieve their future goals, and find inspiration. If you’re feeling demotivated in your writing, talking to someone who’s been there can help you to find your direction again.
How it Differs From Other Social Media Sites
The main rule of LinkedIn is to always keep it professional. Your profile photo should be a headshot, preferably where you’re looking at the camera. No photos of drunken nights out or you with your bestie. Your profile should be about you and no one else.
You can share statuses and links on your timeline just like you would on Facebook, but the links are likely to be either something someone has written and is promoting, a product they’re trying to sell, or an article they found interesting. You won’t find funny cat videos around here, sorry.
But I’ve Got a Job. Do I Still Need LinkedIn?
It depends. How happy are you in your job? Are you likely to change your job any time soon? If yes, start filling in you profile now. It’s possible to get head-hunted and offered a job based on your profile, but you won’t get offers if you’re not on the site.
Even if you’re not job seeking, you can gain knowledge from people in the same or similar roles across the world, trading tips and tricks that you or others may never have thought of. These could turn you into an authority in your field (if you’re not already), and get you more exposure. And possibly more money. You never know…
The benefits of LinkedIn, in summary:
- The majority of companies check it after they receive your CV, but before they interview you
- More depth than a CV or cover letter
- It’s easier to show what you can do through sharing images, presentations, and publications
- Interesting reads
The benefits of LinkedIn for writers:
- Writing-related groups. These can include discussions, prompts, competitions, submissions information, and information on Getting Published
- You can link to your website/blog, and talk in detail about what you and your site is all about (no fluff though)
- You can republish your repurposed blog posts and reach a wider audience
- Articles from industry experts on writing, productivity, blogging, freelancing…
It doesn’t matter where or who you are, if you’re job hunting, you should be on LinkedIn. The more information you provide a potential employer to prove how amazing you are, the better chance you have of getting the job.
You can post images showing past achievements (e.g. if you’re a web designer a screenshot of a site you created, or if you’ve had something published a link to the piece), link to relevant websites (your own, preferably), not worry about the word count as much as in a CV and organise it however you like.
- How to Write a Professional Bio for Linked In
- How to Build a Powerful Network Using LinkedIn
- How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile
- How to Network with LinkedIn Groups
- How to Benefit From the LinkedIn Publishing Platform
- How to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile with a Professional Portfolio
Over to You
Do you use LinkedIn? How do you use it? Do you use it for your writing, or for your day job? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!
Images courtesy of LinkedIn.