Welcome to the Author Marketing Toolkit, where you can learn from 20+ years of time-tested marketing and insights expertise, translated for authors. I’m Carol Van Den Hende, an MBA and strategist who’s known for bringing chocolate when I speak at conferences (surely, we’ll get back to in-person events one day!).
I’m thrilled to be joining you here at DIY MFA to share actionable insights.
In the last few articles, we discussed author brand, and how to spark great book cover design. This time, we’ll cover the ways that your writing life can complement your professional brand on LinkedIn, and three criteria for posts on LinkedIn.
Have you ever considered using LinkedIn to raise awareness for your book(s)?
As I was collaborating with my publisher, Koehler Books, to prepare my book for publication, we crafted marketing plans for the typical platforms: social media and Amazon. Yet, I hesitated when considering LinkedIn. My network on LinkedIn mostly consisted of coworkers I’d known over my decades as a marketer, strategist, and digital leader. I wondered whether posts about Goodbye, Orchid might seem inconsistent from my professional endeavors, or worse, like spam.
The good news is that colleagues have been receptive to my book posts, as long as they have continued to be appropriate for this platform. Specifically, they need to be relevant, provide value, and be professional.
LinkedIn Post MVP’s
Like any good marketer, I experimented to learn, and tweaked my content toward what worked. I started with a post asking for votes in my publisher’s cover design poll. Apropos to LinkedIn, I included an inspiring quote about design, using a palette consistent with my website colors. My first book-related post garnered 1500 views and engagement from people who would later self-select as great advocates for the book:
Based on that positive reception, I tried more tactics. Over this past year, I’ve discovered that LinkedIn posts work best when they are Most Relevant, provide Value, and are Professional. You can remember these criteria with the acronym MVP:
- Post when the content is MOST RELEVANT for your audience.
- Provide VALUE for readers. This can include content that’s newsworthy or illuminates an important topic.
- Aim for posts that are PROFESSIONAL, which helps build your credibility.
Here are examples of each type of post, and some can even fall into multiple categories:
Posts that are MOST RELEVANT might recognize a National or International holiday, support a specific cause, and/or be published by nationally-recognized media outlets.
For instance, I created this post about Goodbye, Orchid’s support for USA Cares, which helps military veterans. A portion of Goodbye, Orchid‘s profits is donated to this cause, in homage to the combat-wounded veterans that inspired the story. The timing was especially relevant, as the link was posted on the Navy’s birthday.
Here’s a post sharing that Goodbye, Orchid was featured in Glamour Magazine. Both of these examples also demonstrate the “P” in MVP by leveraging credible media sources to be Professional.
In the second category, here are posts that provide VALUE by highlighting useful insights.
This first example calls attention to the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In addition to providing value, this content is especially appropriate for Goodbye, Orchid, which has been awarded for disability awareness.
This post provides value to authors in my professional network because the podcast I’m sharing gives writerly tips about design, author brand, and other marketing topics.
In this example, I wrote an article for TrendHunter about the use of AI in identifying the right book awards to submit work to. AI is a valuable topic for many, and garnered good attention on LinkedIn:
LinkedIn is a professional networking site, so it’s critical that all content is PROFESSIONAL. Many people post when they’ve achieved a significant accomplishment, such as a Master’s degree, an education certificate, or other recognition. My network has been especially receptive to posts about the awards Goodbye, Orchid has received. This has provided more than a dozen reasons to post to-date! Here’s one example:
Notice how the posts are all consistent with my brand purpose, leverage my website color palette, and build engagement with my network.
LinkedIn Best Practices:
- Tag people mentioned
- Include a handful of the most fitting hashtags
- Engage in conversation on related topics, by resharing or commenting on others’ content
Importantly, make sure to respect your audience by being choiceful about what is shared. Don’t over-post. I posted about three times a month during my book launch, interspersed with posts about business topics. I have been able to drive tens of thousands of views and engagements through LinkedIn. As with all book marketing, you can use analytics to determine which posts perform best, and use those to grow momentum.
If you enjoyed this article, please share your own experiences using LinkedIn for book launches in the comments below!
Carol Van Den Hende is the award-winning author of Goodbye, Orchid, a public speaker, and MBA with 20+ years’ experience in marketing, strategy and insights. Carol is passionate about simplifying marketing concepts into actionable steps that authors need for publishing success. Please sign up for Carol’s newsletter at https://carolvandenhende.com/contact or linktr.ee/cvdh