I learned a lot recently about LinkedIn from reading an online article by Lucy Jones on www.Hubspot.com (https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/fatal-linkedin-prospecting-errors-and-how-to-avoid-them#sm.0001shiksp16m8e91xasmjpt77n4a) titled “4 Fatal LinkedIn Prospecting Errors and How to Avoid Them.” (To follow Lucy Jones on Twitter: @LucyJones_SIC.)
Did you know that LinkedIn is a B2B prospecting resource? I didn’t have a clue what a B2B was, so I was lost from the start. Google is my new best friend. By going to that search engine I learned that B2B means business-to-business. “Prospecting” on LinkedIn apparently means looking for like-minded people or others in your field of interest. Most of the online information I found about prospecting on LinkedIn was geared to commerce. I’m interested in connecting with other historical fiction writers and fans of southern historical fiction.
Last week I had to identify my “ideal readers.” Now I find out that I must also identify my “ideal prospect” on LinkedIn. I think I’ll need two ideal prospects – one would be my ideal reader and the other would be my writing mentor.
I read that I need to start thinking of myself as an adviser on LinkedIn. I’m not supposed to “connect” with just anyone or everybody. I apparently need to solve someone’s “pain” or “buyer-pain” on LinkedIn. (I don’t know about you, but some of this LinkedIn lingo is becoming a pain for me!) From what I’ve read, I’m supposed to connect with people and tell them what “value” I can offer them from my expertise. Since I’m not an expert on anything, this is going to be a challenge!
Quoting from Lucy Jones’ article, “You’ve got to have a link with a prospect to have a successful ‘in’! There are multiple ways to leverage LinkedIn for introductions to prospective customers. But if you connect out of context, you’re doing more harm than good.”
Then there’s the LinkedIn etiquette to learn. It’s pretty much common sense or common courtesy if someone gives you a referral it’s only right to acknowledge the referrer.
Just when I thought things were beginning to make sense, Ms. Jones cautioned LinkedIn users (are users called Linkies?) as follows: “If a good fit prospect is all over your site, engaging with your non-gated content….” Whoa! The next thing I need to do is find out what non-gated content is, so I switch back to my Google window.
My Google search led me to a 2014 (It appears that I’m already three years behind!) article on www.LinkedIn.com (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140930153625-5817117-to-gate-or-not-to-gate-4-best-practices-for-using-content-for-lead-gen) titled, “To Gate or Not to Gate? 4 Best Practices for Using Content for Lead Gen,” by Shannon Rentner. As soon as I read the article title I was reminded that the more I learn, the more I have to learn. In other words, I don’t know enough to even know what I don’t know!
I was also reminded that trying to learn all the lingo of the various social media platforms at the age of 64 is probably not ideal, but here I am. Too bad I couldn’t learn all this 40 years ago! (Forty years ago I had mastered typing on an IBM Selectric typewriter and moved right along to struggle with how to write a rudimentary computer program and feed it into a keypunch machine in graduate school. When I walked out of the computer lab with my first stack of keypunch cards, I thought I’d attained the zenith of technology. Think chisel and stone tablet.)
I digress. Ms. Rentner gives the following definition of a gate: “It’s the form an online user fills out in order to access a piece of content. This is also called a “Landing Page.”
Terms such as gate, un-gate, lead capture, and organic search are sprinkled throughout Ms. Rentner’s second best practice recommendation. The takeaway for me was that I need to have a giveaway on my website’s home page and other platforms. This can be an e-book or a document I’ve written. This actually sounds doable. All I need to do is figure out the logistics.
Ms. Rentner’s third best practice was that I should have a presence for my “product” on several social media “channels” like www.JanetsWritingBlog.com. Or @janetmorrisonbk on Twitter.
The fourth best practice Ms. Rentner recommends is about landing page optimization. This includes getting my prospect to fill out the form I should have for them to fill out in order to enter my giveaway contest.
Getting back to Lucy Jones’ article, the third fatal error is not following up with a prospect at the right time. The fourth fatal flaw is, “Having a poorly optimized LinkedIn profile.” This involves sharing content via Pulse – which I know nothing about. It also involves tagging contact. Perhaps this will become clearer when I stop reading about LinkedIn and start using it.
My brain says
In light of all I’ve presented in today’s blog post after reading Lucy Jones and Shannon Rentner, my brain tells me to do the following: Revisit the LinkedIn account I created in 2013 and (1) improve my profile; (2) identify my ideal reader; (3) identify a writing mentor; and (4) write an article to post on LinkedIn. Also, (5) figure out how to give away a short story I’ve written.
My reasoning brain says
In a perfect world in which I would not have chronic fatigue syndrome and the energy and memory problems that are part and parcel to that illness, I might pursue the five tasks my brain is telling me I need to do in the immediate future. I don’t live in that perfect world, though. The reasoning part of my brain says, “Wait a minute. You know you aren’t able to commit the time and energy that would be necessary to accomplish those things.” I will add these five items to my to-do list but, at best, I will be able to tackle them slowly.
Hitting the reset button
Social media is not my forte. I’d rather be editing my novel manuscript, working on the sequel, and reading books I want to read. Social media demands have dominated my time and energy for the last several months. I’m doing social media because I want to get my name and brand out there as a writer. When the social media aspect of the writing process precludes me from writing fiction, though, I believe I’ve gotten my priorities out of whack.
I want feedback from writers!
As a writer, what is your experience with LinkedIn? Have you seen benefit from using LinkedIn? How much time do you devote to LinkedIn? Which social media platform have you found to be most beneficial to you and your readers?
I want feedback from historical fiction readers!
As a fan of historical fiction, do you connect with writers on LinkedIn? More importantly, what is your go-to social media platform for following your favorite writers?
I want feedback from librarians/media specialists, book editors, & book publishers!
What value have you found in LinkedIn for connecting with writers?
If you’re on LinkedIn
My account name is Janet Morrison – Freelance Writer, Aspiring Novelist.
Another way to contact me
I’m finally adding a contact form here. (I hope it works!)
Until my next blog post
I hope you have a good book to read. If you’re a writer, I hope you have productive writing time. I will still be finding my way!