For many years, I did not make the platform LinkedIn a priority. In fact, my friends and family would probably tell you that I’m not a good participant on social media in general, because I don’t engage or post much on Facebook. I’m really more of a private person when it comes to the internet.
Since I launched my first book last year, however, I’ve been challenging myself to “get out there” more on social media. Fortunately I’ve had success growing my following on my public Facebook page and Twitter page for my coaching/consulting/book marketing, but I truthfully continued to neglect LinkedIn until recently.
One of the reasons I neglected LinkedIn was because I wasn’t that familiar with how to use it. I noticed it had changed a bit since I first joined ten years ago. Another reason I avoided LinkedIn was because of the attention I was drawing in my network (you would be surprised how many profile views I get from people I used to work with…and especially how many “private profile views” I have also been getting!)
Truthfully, all this activity makes me feel awkward, especially all the attention from old colleagues. Some people have talked with me and don’t understand why I’m not pursuing traditional paths in industry or academia for chemical engineering at the present time. But I’ve deviated from those paths for important reasons, especially so that I can have more flexibility to spend time with my son. Further, I feel that skill development is important, and I’ve been learning so much the past year business-wise. I also don’t believe careers are so linear anymore, as Sallie Krawcheck explained in her recent article “This is the Future of Work…and What it Means for Your Career.” And in the end, it’s my life — and my choice on how I want to live it 😉
I now realize how important LinkedIn is, especially since people participate on it from a career/professional standpoint. I’ve committed to learn it better over the next year (especially after my book launch — given how tight my time is!). Currently I’m learning more in a program called “LinkedUniversity” by Josh Turner of LinkedSelling. I have also read his books Connect and Booked. Additionally, I also came across another LinkedIn expert, Stephanie Sammons, and recently downloaded a book she wrote, Linked to Influence.
I’m bringing LinkedIn up in today’s post because networking is not something I typically discuss on the blog, yet it is another area of our lives we can seek to optimize; by adding value to the people in our network, and the people we’re adding in our network, we can forge better relationships and eventually open up new opportunities for growth or even employment. Therefore, many of us should probably leverage LinkedIn more. Since I’m not at the point of being able to share too much from my own experience, I thought it best to share who I’m learning from, and also share this presentation that Stephanie Sammons did on Slideshare (embedded below):
Perhaps LinkedIn may be helpful to you in the future. Feel free to share and comment below!
PS You are welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisakardos
Lisa Kardos, Ph.D. blogs about how we can optimize our lives for the better! (achieve happiness, success, and what we hold in our hearts!) She enjoys helping people overcome challenges to achieve their dreams.
Dr. Lisa Kardos has experience in chemical engineering, management, higher education, public speaking, and career development. She is the Founder of the Lisa Kardos School of Excellence and the Amazon Bestselling Author of Optimize for Victory: A Simple Approach to Overcome Challenges and Achieve Your Dreams.
**Note 5/5/2016– This is a side project that I work on to help authors, outside of my Optimize work!**
In the interest of being transparent with you, I would like to share that I started an online business recently. Following the publication of my book, I realized that I hardly knew anything about social media, how to be an “authorpreneur” or even how to get my book marketed (though I read countless books on the topics, it didn’t feel like enough).
Initially, I started to take note of what I could observe. After noticing some spikes in sales after my book ran on a few bookpromo sites, I got more interested in how those sites could help my exposure. Further, I became particularly inspired when my book was rejected from a few bookpromo sites! I thought “Wow, I worked really hard on my book. If my book is getting rejected, what is happening to other new authors who are in the same boat?”
I began to study book promotion sites/book marketing even more deeply and realized there were three main problems with a few of the big promo sites:
1. Some sites ask for very exorbitant prices to list your book ($75 – $400!)
2. Some sites reject your book based on number of reviews, which is a “Catch-22.” If you are a new author and don’t have a following yet, how are you supposed to get reviews if your book can’t be listed?
3. Some sites are very “picky.” If they don’t believe they will make enough in affiliate commissions, they won’t bother featuring your book (if their business model is mostly based on commissions).
Then I thought, “I should start my own site…maybe I could help others who are in the same boat as well!”
So, to the surprise of some people, I set out on my journey to create a site called: BookWerm.com! Note that I also had two friends who passed away (friends who adored books); part of pursuing this project included the idea that I could honor those friends in a way, too, since they loved to share information on great new books/authors.
Building this site consisted of several main phases:
1. Learning how to build a website (this was another reason I was interested in this business; to become adept at hosting websites)
2. Learning how to build a Twitter following
3. Collecting email subscribers for the business
4. Establishing relationships with authors and featuring their books
5. Getting over my own fears and doubts, as well as negative comments by other people. Many people said “You have a Ph.D. in chemical engineering…what are you doing?” But I felt strongly about the need. There is a surge of new authors that need help, and this can be my way of helping them. Also, challenging myself this way helps me grow and expands my skillset in the online area (something I did not have before).
Initially I assumed my business model would be similar to others, where the primary focus is email subscribers. Though I gain more subscribers everyday, where my business really took off was my twitter following (as of this minute I have over 13,500 twitter followers! @TheBookWerm) Therefore, I realized I should focus on where I have been successful. I list a featured book on the website and email; however, the strength of my business is in the “book tweeting” area (tweeting people’s books or products has become very popular lately if you have a good following!)
At first it felt scary to take on something new. But after experimenting with the website design, daily email, and tweet format, I am happy with where it is. It is now taking off a bit and I have found that I have a new focus: I am more interested in helping other authors with high-quality ebooks get more exposure!
So if you are an author or reader, feel free to check out the site! I am currently giving away a $100 Amazon gift card. You can enter the giveaway by registering here: BookWerm (no purchase necessary).
In terms of other things — there are other areas I am exploring right now in the area of writing/teaching. On that topic — I was wondering if any of you have anything in particular that you are struggling with? For instance — some people struggle things like: feeling overwhelmed, time management, job change, interviews, mindset, habits, focus, discipline, etc. Getting your feedback would help me concentrate my efforts in the right area! Feel free to comment below or send me an email through the contact form!