Re:Fiction - The Fiction Writers' Magazine

Authors: How to Build a Following on LinkedIn

Whether you’re a traditionally-published, an independently-published, or a hybrid author -- you must know how to build a following (also known as a platform). If you want to be considered by a large publishing house, you need a good-sized platform; and if you publish independently, your platform is what keeps you afloat. 

Agents and publishers want you to be everywhere -- Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, YouTube, SnapChat -- everywhere. I mean, talk about overwhelming, right? My advice: focus on just one social media platform at a time, and build it up. 

This is the first in a series of articles about different social media platforms. The articles will describe how a writer can use each platform to build relationships, growing their own personal author platform and advancing their career.

In this article, I will explain how LinkedIn has been a huge game-changer for me. Everything really started to kick off when I joined LinkedIn. In fact, I wish I had joined sooner. Let me explain how I use LinkedIn to build my platform. 

Making Author-Worthy Connections

  • First, start by connecting with other authors, editors, content writers, CEOs of publishing companies, literary agents, librarians, and journalists. As you connect with people, you can message them and introduce yourself. Start up a conversation and be friendly.
  • After a little while, you can tell them you would love to give them a free copy of your novel if they’re interested. (If you don’t have a novel published, you can write a short story to give out.) Normally, people will say yes and thank you for the offer. 
  • Write them a short email thanking them for their interest in your work and asking them if they would like to be added to your mailing list.
    In regard to your mailing list, I recommend only sending out monthly or quarterly newsletters. Quarterly newsletters have worked well for me, as my time is often very limited, and this way my subscribers don’t feel like I’m spamming them.

Building Relationships to Advance Your Career

You can also use LinkedIn to build relationships with journalists and professionals in the publishing industry. I have had eight different publishing companies request to see my work after introducing myself to them on LinkedIn. It’s also great for publicity. I had connected with several radio show hosts, and within an hour got offers to appear on three different radio shows. 

There are so many possibilities with LinkedIn. So far, I’ve built a platform of 20,000 people across all of my social media, and almost every single one of those people works in the publishing or film industry. 

I’ve connected with talk show hosts, editors from major publishing houses, radio show hosts, librarians, well-respected journalists, and the list goes on. Whenever I recommend a social media platform to start with, I always recommend focusing on LinkedIn.  

In short, building relationships really is the key to growing your platform and advancing your career. In the publishing industry, talent and hard work are important, but who you know is very important as well. 

How to Build a Following on LinkedIn in Just Five Minutes a Day

I’ve mentioned before that my time is very limited, and sometimes I literally only have five minutes to spare. That’s okay. Five minutes a day add up to 35 minutes a week and 155 minutes every month. The important thing is that you start the process. So, grab some coffee, set a timer if you need to, take a deep breath, and get started! 

In my next article, I will talk about how to use Facebook to grow your platform and build relationships with others in the industry. 

Happy platform building, author friends! 

Brittany Nicole Lewis is the author of children’s books, Young Adult novels and books of poetry. She is a member of The America Associate of Authors and Writers, and the International Association for Writers and Editors. You can view Brittany’s website at www.brittanynicolelewis.com

Brittany has an Associate’s degree in Education, and prior to beginning her writing career, she worked as a preschool teacher, a Sunday School teacher, Vacation Bible School teacher, and as a private tutor for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Brittany has been featured on Business Minded Entertainment, BuzzFeed, New Hollywood and in Close My Lips Magazine, as well as many blogs.

She has 120 interviews and appearances currently booked for 2019 including an appearance on the Down East Today show, various radio shows and magazine features.

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