Guest expert Rebecca P Morgan shares all about Linkedin for children’s authors!
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Laurie: Hello Writers. It’s Laurie Wright at the Writer’s Way podcast back again this week with Linkedin expert Rebecca Morgan. Dr. Rebecca Morgan. Welcome!
Rebecca: Oh my gosh. Thank you so much, Laurie, and I am so excited to talk about LinkedIn and why I think every single author needs to be on LinkedIn.
Laurie : Yes, so that was brand new information for me. You are somebody, because we’re friends online Facebook groups together, but I never really expected to have you on the podcast because I didn’t think what you’d intersected at all with what I did. Until this week when you were like, hey, you should be on LinkedIn and it turns out I am on LinkedIn.
Rebecca: You are.
A Little Bit about Rebecca
Laurie : But I’m not really on LinkedIn. I’m so happy to have you on here and tell me what I should pay a little bit more attention to as well as all my writer friends. Tell us about you. I love the word awesome behind you. It’s glowing so I don’t know if you can see it, but the light is on it. I need something behind me that says awesome.
Rebecca: Yeah you do. You are awesome. And a bit about me. I live in Los Angeles California with my husband Todd and my ex-racing Greyhound Landon, also known as LL Cool Grey. That’s his street name. I have a coaching business called Choose Awesome Coaching. Imagine that.
Laurie: Awesome! Love it.
Rebecca: It’s a human skills development company and I work with individuals and businesses who care to do the work that matters, and that usually falls in three areas: career, leadership and business.
This is just the first time things get goofy…
Laurie: Okay, awesome. And then how did you get started? Awesome? I’m just going to say awesome all the time right now. One of my favorite words that I feel like I say too much and then it’s too generic now, but it still is my go-to.
Rebecca: Awesome. I know I feel like I date myself when I say awesome, like right like a valley girl here in the valley of California. Awesome.
Laurie: What is the new awesome? I don’t even know what.
Rebecca: That’s a good question. Maybe your people know, like maybe they’ll tell you.
Laurie: Yes, Laurie what the new word is – a comment if you are under 40 and you have the new cool word. I also say a lot of super cool and that’s…
Rebecca: Wait you’re 40? Anyway, okay.
Reading candidates’ resumes was a snore
Rebecca: So you were asking how I got into LinkedIn and resume writing and things like that. Prior to owning my company, I earned my ears at a really big entertainment company where I was a hiring manager and a recruiting partner. I have seen my fair share of resumes. Most resumes put me to sleep. I’ll be honest, you’re looking at these piles of résumés that people send over. You’re like [snore] they all look and sound the same.
Laurie: Okay, so computers read resumes people write?
Rebecca: Yes, right if you haven’t applied for a job in a while… Okay, I’m sure I haven’t. As authors you guys and ladies really don’t care about this. Because you’re like wait a minute, I don’t understand. But let me tell you how the world is working in business right now.
People are writing resumes to appeal to a computer. They’re freaking out that they need to keyword stuff their resume to get seen by a computer because then the computer spits out the resume and says, ‘hey, here’s a viable candidate. You should look at this, recruiter’ and then the recruiter looks at it and says, ‘yeah, this is someone good we need to bring him in for an interview’. The process, in my opinion, is completely broken.
Laurie: Ooh, that sounds so yucky to me.
Don’t Be Boring!
Rebecca: It’s horrible. It’s very inhumane, I’ll be honest. That’s why I don’t like it. I work with people to not do that, to be a human, and snow up at work because that’s who we want to work with. That’s who we want to connect with, and as authors we want to connect with people, with humans, without readers. So don’t be boring and let’s stand out.
Laurie: Okay. So what I hear you saying you’re likening to what you do. And the work that you do is help people stand out. I remember before computers read the resumes, you think of all the resumes on the white paper that look the same. And we were coached to make it look different, send it on the color paper, do a spritz of scent, write in an interesting manner, like the copywriting which I love, for books and on social media. Stuff like that – I love copywriting. You do that for people on a resume on LinkedIn. Is the resume on LinkedIn?
Rebecca A lot of times not. we don’t put it on LinkedIn. I don’t encourage it. So resumes is one piece. Linkedin is another piece, and cover letters is another piece, and then there’s the whole interview skills. That is the suite of things that I do.
Rebecca: I was just talking about that because a lot of times what people do is they cut and paste from their resume and put it on LinkedIn. And I’m sure, as an author, I don’t even have a resume or it’s been like a zillion years since I’ve had to update one.
Laurie: A zillion.
Why do we need to be on LinkedIn?
Rebecca: So it’s a cut-and-paste. It’s pretty boring to read. I want to encourage people to stand out on LinkedIn and do it differently and I can’t wait to talk about how authors can do that. And yes, every single author needs to be on LinkedIn.
Laurie: Okay. So why do we have to be on LinkedIn? Like what’s that going to give us that something else is not.
Rebecca: Well, I’m sure you are also on other social media, right? Like Facebook, Instagram, maybe Twitter, and the idea of adding another social media to your very busy life when really all you probably want to do is work on your craft, lock yourself in a room and do your writing that you’re like ‘no more’.
Well, here’s why there is no other social media out there where you can connect with bookstore owners and illustrators and Librarians and book reviewers and editors and Publishers and book agents and event organizers and aunties like me who buy books. Is on LinkedIn.
Laurie: Is on LinkedIn. Without all the fluffy cat videos.
Rebecca: LinkedIn, in my opinion, is not a place for the cat videos. Although you’re starting to see them creep in because more and more people are getting on LinkedIn and I’ll tell you why. I think it’s so important right now for authors to be on LinkedIn or anybody if you haven’t been on it.
LinkedIn is in it’s infancy stage
Rebecca: Okay LinkedIn… Get this… did you know that it is older than other social medias? It’s been around longer I guess is what I’m trying to say.
Laurie: I did not know that.
Rebecca: Yeah, it’s true. Okay, and you know how we lay in bed going ‘Oh my gosh’ when you think about your work and you’re like, ‘oh, I really wish I was on the ground floor of Facebook, of Instagram. I feel like now I’m trying to catch up and everyone’s way ahead and just have all these followers and I have like five right here’.
Laurie: Yep. I hear you.
Rebecca: LinkedIn and how it’s changing and what it’s going towards and trying to get more content and more people on it to use it. It is in that infancy, that early stage.
So if you get on now, you’re getting on the ground floor of a social platform.
Laurie: Even though it’s been around for longer than Facebook!
Rebecca: It has!
Laurie: It’s still the ground floor time. Does that mean there’s lots more people becoming aware and being interested?
Rebecca: It is. They are and it’s great.
So now is the time to get on there and get your profile up-to-date. That’s why I wanted to talk about it and share. I wanted to give you five tips on how authors can get started on LinkedIn. Just the basics because I don’t want to overwhelm people with here’s what the post and here’s the frequency and do this and do that.
LinkedIn Account Step #1: Sign up and remove the numbers from the URL
Rebecca: I just want to do those basics for you right now.
Laurie: Okay. Awesome. Thank you. Go ahead.
Rebecca: Okay. So the first thing is your url. So LinkedIn is super nice. And when you sign up for an account, they give you a free page. You have a free web address, basically, that leads people to LinkedIn. What it does is take your name and then adds a number at the end of it and I don’t know about you, but I cannot remember phone numbers.
Like seriously. I don’t even know.
Laurie: I know my own.
Rebecca: Good. I know my personal one but my business one I couldn’t tell you. But anyhow, so what I want you to do is get rid of those numbers after your name. Make it easy for a human to find you by your name. Because they’re not gonna remember your number.
Rebecca: Sing for me, sing for me.
Laurie: Not on Live. We sing to each other sometimes. But not on the podcast.
Rebecca: Okay, well we’ll have to do a Live.
Rebecca: So my number one tip is get rid of the numbers after your url. Look like you understand how digital media works. And that’s what we all want. We want to say, “Look. I’m kind of savvy. I know how digital works.” Even if you don’t, this is going to make you look like you do because so many people leave those numbers and you’re like ‘hmm. You really don’t know how it works’.
Laurie: That’s like having a professional Gmail account? You don’t just want Lauriewright Gmail 12345789. You want something a little bit more professional. That’s not those numbers. That make sense.
Step #2: Profile Photo
Rebecca: Okay, exactly. You got it. You got it. Okay. Number two is your profile photo. You can do a profile photo. I highly encourage it because I’ll be honest with you. Anyone who requests to connect with me and you don’t have a profile photo, I’m like ‘no you don’t understand’.
Again being media-savvy right? You don’t really understand how LinkedIn works. I’m not going to connect with you. If you can’t put a photo up – because we want to connect with humans. A photo should be a photo of you from the probably shoulders up looking at the camera smiling, looking approachable.
Laurie: Got it.
Rebecca: No sunglasses, no hat. And for authors you might be thinking ‘Oh, can I put my book up? It’s recently published and the stores are going to see it, they’re gonna know it’s me.’ Well I say no because you’re not your book. You’re the human you want to see and connect with the human behind this amazing work.
Laurie: Okay, I like it. Got it. Agree.
Step #3: Background Photo
Rebecca: We’re up to number three. Number three is your background photo. LinkedIn gives you this really big space behind your profile photo where you can brand yourself. And this is the perfect spot to put a photo of your books. If you want to yes.
Laurie: Are the dimensions always changing like Facebook?
Rebecca: They totally are. I will be sure in the guide I put together for you for these tips. I’ll put the current one now, subject to change. You know the caveats.
Laurie: Okay, you’re gonna give that to everybody. Thank you.
Rebecca: Make that so if you have a picture of your book put it up there. If you have a picture of multiple books, make a collage in Canva.
I know you probably talked about Canva all the time because we love that resource. Right?
Laurie: Don’t worry. I just talked about it last week. I talked about free things that authors can use in their business because I’m all about not going into debt and actually making a profit. So Canva I love.
Rebecca: Definitely. So use Canva to make a collage. Make something to stand out because you’ve probably heard a picture is worth a thousand words – the cliche or the saying. It’s totally true because when you do that photo your brains like ‘oh author, books, get it. This person’s for me.’ So you’re branding yourself again.
You want to stand out!
Laurie: Okay, love it.
Rebecca: I love it, too. I love it. I love it. So many people do not use that. It’s amazing again.
Laurie: Wait, they leave it blank?
Rebecca: Yeah, they leave it blank. LinkedIn puts a generic photo up and it’s a great photo. It’s this blue photo and it has all these dots and has all these lines and what it’s saying is look at this awesome person, if it was you, Laurie.
She’s on LinkedIn and LinkedIn is all about what? People and connections. That kind of dots you got it, but…
Laurie: Oh I get it!
Rebecca: I know. I’m on video making dots right now.
Laurie: I just looked at LinkedIn and saw and I would have thought what a cool abstract background? So make a connection and then brand yourself.
So use every opportunity to promote yourself, promote your books, throw the pictures up where it’s appropriate and that background cover photo. Okay? Absolutely.
Step #4: Background Photo
Rebecca: We are now up to number four. All right, we’re getting into the headline. So you have your background photo, you have your profile photo, you have your name under that that you put when you registered your account, and then under that is this wonderful space for you to give yourself a headline. And LinkedIn again is super helpful. And what it does is if you do not change this it is going to pull from your first experience on your profile.
So I saw that you had a Tim Hortons cup there. So if you worked for Tim Hortons and you put that you were the manager at Tim Hortons… I love that.
The goofiness continues…
Laurie: Tim Hortons, I love the way you say it. That’s not how Canadians it, but that’s okay.
Rebecca: How do you say it as a Canadian?
Laurie: Tim Hortons.
Rebecca: Tim Hortons. I sound crazy. I know. I’m sorry
Laurie: You don’t sound crazy you just sound American.
Rebecca: About. About.
Rebecca: All right. So if you were the manager of Tim Hortons it would appear on …
Laurie: Ok so if you were…
Rebecca: You’re going to have to edit this now girl.
…And Back to the background photo, step 4
Rebecca: So if you were the manager of Tim Hortons, it would show up under your name ‘manager of Tim Hortons’.
Now, we don’t want that because who are you branding at that time?
Laurie: Yeah, that’s boring.
Rebecca: You’re branding Tim Hortons. I mean, it’s awesome that you work there. Or let me put it in context for an author. You could say author. Your first thing says author self-employed. OK again to your point.
What did you just say? That’s boring.
Rebecca: That’s for your experience, but it will pull that on your headline. We’re talking headline here. I want you to change your headline is all I’m trying to say.
How does Laurie’s account stand up to criticism?
Laurie: I wonder what I made because I did when I first started with all the social media, I sort of put a cover and a picture up everywhere and then I never ever went back.
In fact, I only just recently re-logged into Twitter after a long, long time. So I think I have something.
Rebecca: Ha ha ha, people are going to think we set this up and planned it with Laurie because I totally have your LinkedIn profile up right now in case you ask me any questions, and I was like, oh, let me give an example. Because I’m going to tell you your profile is great.
And I think you told me you haven’t updated this in a while, true?
Laurie: I haven’t in a long while, so it probably has old stuff and not all my books.
Rebecca: Yeah. We’ll talk about that. I promise we’ll talk again of how all your books could be on there and where to put it, but your profile is not bad.
Everyone needs to go and check out Laurie’s profile and go connect with her and be her connection.
Laurie: Come and connect with me.
Rebecca: There we go. So your profile. I’ll tell you what it says since you asked. It says ‘Children’s author publishing strategist empowering people of all ages one book at a time’.
Laurie: Oh, that’s good. That is my line empowering people. Yep.
Rebecca: That’s branding you. That’s who you are and what you do? Okay, that’s good so much better than just author.
Laurie: Yeah, yeah and because I work specifically with children’s authors.
Rebecca: That’s what I love too. So many people just use a generic like author.
What kind? What’s your genre? Or what do you do? Don’t be afraid to put that there. And guess what? You can always change it, if you’re writing this now and then six months from now you want to get into another one, change it. You’re not locked in. This is your profile, is your page to brand yourself.
Laurie: I love it. So author of this book, author of this series, children’s author would be the most generic but go a little bit deeper everybody. Okay, love it. Great advice.
Step #5: Publications
Rebecca: Okay, and number five talking about publications, right? You said that yours might not be updated. A lot of people may not even have theirs on there.
Laurie: Oh, okay.
Rebecca: There is a spot that you can put your publications on.
It’s under accomplishments. And then there’s a button where you can click Publications and there you can list all of your Publications.
Laurie: Love it.
Rebecca: And let me tell you what’s amazing about this spot. Especially for authors, is in addition to being able to have all your work listed, here you’re allowed an outbound link for people to go check it out.
Laurie: Oh, that’s gold. I love out loud.
Rebecca: You can send it to your website if that’s where your books are. Or maybe you have one in the progress and you just want to link them there and let them know. You can also link it if you have them for sale somewhere like on Amazon.
Laurie: That is handy.
Rebecca: I love it. I love it too. Those were my five tips for how authors can get started on LinkedIn. I created you a guide with those very tips with some photos so they can see what I’m talking about.
Laurie: Oh, thank you. That’s so nice of you. That will be in the show notes everybody, or depending on where you’re watching, will put it in a blurb or the write up.
Bonus Step #1: Posting professional content
Laurie: Let’s say that I am adventurous and I set up my profile, but I want to go a little bit deeper. What is the first step as a children’s author? Like what should I do? Do I throw up a post? Do I go searching. Do I send people messages? What do I do?
Rebecca: Well before you do anything you need to do these five things.
Make sure you’ve done these five things and now you’re ready to post content. LinkedIn is really similar to other social media sites where you can post videos, you can post photos. You can post status updates and things like that. You can do all of that on LinkedIn. But keep in mind again, that the social media site LinkedIn is a little different than some of the other social media sites.
You mentioned cat videos and things like that. You may see some of those on there. But remember it is a professional Network. It’s about branding you as a professional author.
Keep that in mind when you use the profile. You’ll see other people doing other things because they’re just trying to figure it out. But that’s my advice. Keep that professional piece in mind and how you want to represent yourself as an author.
LinkedIn is Perfect for Introverts!
Laurie: I like that. I like to see the subtle difference because I work with a lot of authors and where we have the wall of impassibility is when they hit that social media thing because so many authors are actually introverts. They like to write and they like to put work out in the world, but they don’t really want to put themselves out in the world.
They don’t want to reveal their kids’ names, where they live. Not that I ever say that they have to. But they really wouldn’t like to share anything personal, so I feel like this platform of LinkedIn it’s not expected necessarily. And it might be even too much if you share. Don’t be an oversharer. Things about your work in progress or your just recently published book – really that’s enough.
Rebecca: Yes. Those types of people are going to love LinkedIn. They feel comfortable.
Laurie: Really comfortable and okay to go on there and post and do those things
Rebecca: And share about the great work they’re doing and what they’re excited about in the milestones that they’re hitting.
Bonus Step #2: Connection Requests
Laurie: Awesome, I like that. Okay, so I put a post up about my new book. I have all your five tips. I’ve put them all up. Then what do I do?
Rebecca: Well, it’s going and connecting with other authors or in your field. Go in and do a search and if you’re a children’s author, type children’s author, and go ahead and try to connect with other authors and reach out to them.
Laurie: Okay. Is that like sending a friend request?
Rebecca: Very similar sending of friend requests on other social media sites. You can put in their name. Look through your books, some of your favorite books, some of the authors you admire, go ahead and do a search for their name and see if they’re on LinkedIn. I’ll tell you there’s probably not a lot of authors on LinkedIn right now because you all are in on the ground floor, right?
I think you’ll see more and more.
Laurie: But we can search by illustrators, Librarians, event planners, agents, if maybe somebody wants to try to get traditionally published, publishing companies, publishers, editors, all those kinds of people. And then am I like ‘hey, I’m Laurie?’ How do I friend request them?
What’s that called again, a connection request?
Making Professional Connections is possible with LinkedIn!
Rebecca: You’ll totally be able to connect with all those people which is exciting because again another social platform. Can you do that? Yeah, go on Facebook and your favorite author go try to Facebook friend them. Right? We don’t do that.
That’s socially weird. But on LinkedIn you can do it because it is that professional networking site. You said that absolutely right. LinkedIn will allow you to do a connection request where it will do pre-determined text and reach out for you.
I want you to be human. I want you to make a true connection with people so I don’t want you to let LinkedIn write the text for you. I want you to go ahead and say something. ‘Hey, I read your book, I loved it.’ ‘Congratulations on being published’, make it personal for that connection because that, again, is how you’re going to stand out.
Everyone else is just hitting connect, connect, connect, making all these connections. Be different, stand out, and show that you’re a human.
Laurie: Yeah, I like that. Here’s a funny story about me. I wasn’t human. I had a friend in common and I was reading her post on Facebook and Laura Numaroff commented and I had a little fangirl moment. Laura Numeroff writes ‘If You Give a Mouse A Muffin.’
Who’s the cookie? ‘If you give a moose a muffin’ ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie’, I think it is. And anyway, there’s a whole series and they’re classics. So I fangirl that I’m like, I’m gonna write her. She’s an author, I’m an author. I should have been more human and I should have at least sent a message to explain myself because on Facebook it’s more personal. It’s a little bit weird.
I really like how you’re talking about LinkedIn. That it would be more okay if I were to, not stalk her, of course. If I were to find her on LinkedIn and send a friend request would be more likely to be reciprocated because that’s more of a professional to professional type thing.
Rebecca: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that goes for all social medias. Show that human side, connect. Because think about it, social is in the phrase social media. It’s social. We want to be social. That’s what it’s about.
Laurie: Yes, I agree with you but there’s different levels of comfort and different levels of what’s going on out there in the world.
And so I’m liking the sounds of LinkedIn as far as what it offers and what expectations are to be on there. Yeah, because Facebook and Instagram are just weird sometimes.
It’s not a perfect platform, but it’s a whole lot better!
Rebecca: And I’m not going to say you’re not going to get some weirdness on LinkedIn. You may get connection requests, you may get those hard sales when you connect with someone.
They’re like, ‘oh if you want me to publish your book, you can pay me this much money, I’ll publish.’ You’re probably going to run into some of them because we all exist in this world together. I do think there’s less of that on LinkedIn.
Laurie: Fingers crossed. Okay, that’s nice. Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to go follow your five tips and fix up all my old janky stuff, except my headline because I think that looks good. But still what I do…
Rebecca: It looks good.
Laurie’s LinkedIn Action Plan!
Laurie: Why thank you and then I’m going to search children’s authors and see who’s out there.
And so anybody watching this when you get your LinkedIn up all up and running. So do a connection request with you at Choose Awesome. That’s what you’re under …
Rebecca: ‘Rebecca P Morgan’.
Laurie: Oh, okay, Rebecca P Morgan. Me – I’m assuming I’m ‘Laurie Wright’
Rebecca: You are.
Laurie: Connect with us to start with and then we’ll start seeing each other’s stuff in the feed. Absolutely.
Rebecca: Hey, maybe we put it in the show notes or something like that to make it easy. Okay, like a link.
Laurie: Yeah, that sounds awesome. Thank you so much. I really like the idea of this a little bit more professional networking. And of course, I always liked the idea of authors continuously working on their brand because, as authors, we do brand ourselves.
So it’s personal branding unless of course, you’re a publishing company, and then you’re branding that but I really I’m really excited to try this and to do it and thank you so much for coming on with me.
Rebecca: You’re most welcome. I’m so excited to see all the authors on here and I’d love to connect and support you in your work because the world needs it and I’m so excited.
Connect with Laurie and Rebecca on LinkedIn!
Laurie: That’s so true. I know so many fantastic authors and one of our huge issues is just visibility. Everything is really saturated. One more avenue where, for free, we can put our stuff out there, put our branding out there, talk about our books little bit and connect with people. And so I usually say where can people find you? But they can find you on LinkedIn, Rebecca P Morgan. Love it.
Thank you. Thank you Madame.
Rebecca: Oh you are most welcome.
Laurie: Okay, bye-bye.
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