Many authors don't think of LinkedIn as some place that they can sell books. While it's true that this is more a social media tool for those who are professionals, if you write whether it be fiction or non-fiction then you're a professional writer and can use LinkedIn to help build your author brand.
If you're thinking, "But I already have an account on LinkedIn, what else can I do there to help build my author brand, other than have the account, offer my own services if I have them, and make connections?" Believe it or not, you can do more. Now, you should also continue to make connections on LinkedIn, but you can take it one-step further. You can now post content on LinkedIn! Actually, this has been available for a while now, and participating can definitely help you build your author brand, particularly if you offer content that is readable and interesting.
So, how do you go about publishing on LinkedIn?
It's very easy really. You just sign into your LinkedIn account, and you'll notice a small box that says, "Share an update". To the far right of that box is a pencil icon. All you have to do is click it and that will open a window where you can paste an article or write your article directly into the box.
So, now that you know where to add your article and publish to LinkedIn, what should you share and how does that help build your author brand?
What I suggest sharing are well-written articles that are sponsored ads. This means you want to be low key as far as advertising or marketing lingo go. This means you don't add a blurb from your latest book or anything like this. Otherwise, it's considered straight advertising and may not make it anywhere other than shared with your followers only. The main key is to offer a piece of content that other people other than your followers might also be interested in. The more likes and shares you get from your followers, and the more followers you have the better the chances LinkedIn noticing your article and sharing it with all of LinkedIn. Now as of a few months ago, this was 270 million plus users! Imagine reaching even a fraction of those users in LinkedIn and what it could do for your author brand!
Tip #1: Share original content only. Do not share content that is already on your blog or elsewhere because then you run the risk of duplicate content issues that Google penalizes in search engine results.
Tip #2: If you do want to share the same information consider finding a subtopic and writing another article and sharing that along with a subtle link to the first article on your blog somewhere within the article.
There you have it! It's not hard at all, in fact anyone, not just authors can use LinkedIn to build their brand. It's a great tool, and I believe will become even more valuable in 2015 for authors.