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Connect Beat 101: 3 Quick Ways to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile to Attract New Clients

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Editor’s Note: Our Connect Beat 101 series provides tools, tips, and strategies for helping you connect with those you most want to reach, using social media, story, branding, and other tools.

LinkedIn is the largest professional social media network, and what that means is that it can be a great place to prospect for new clients and customers. But you can’t approach LinkedIn the way you do your other social networks, such as Facebook or Twitter. For instance, the light, frivolous fun-filled fare you post to Facebook just may not work on LinkedIn. People investing time there aren’t interested in how you spent your Friday night, your kid’s latest antics, or the epiphany you had about the difference between two cereals — unless those details can help them work better. So when posting status updates to LinkedIn, look to create updates that add value to your reader’s life or show what you can add to an organization. They can be updates related to your business or industry, if you are focusing on a particular area, or they can be updates of general career or business interest.

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Nobody Reading Your Work?

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For as connected as we are today, thanks to social media and the Internet, feeling isolated is not an uncommon state of mind. Many people collect hundreds or thousands of friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter or members of circles on Google +. Yet they feel a bit alone. Especially when it comes to sharing their work with others. They don’t think anyone is interested in their blog posts. They don’t think anyone notices their status updates or tweets about the new book. They wonder, honestly, if anyone at all is listening.

The answer, I believe, can be “yes.” People will listen to what you have to say — if you give them a reason to listen. Quality of life isn’t about the number of people you collect on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, or anywhere else. It’s about how you connect with those people. Put in a little extra effort to turn your contacts into connections and you will find a way to grow your writing career. You’ll find an audience who is interested in what you have to say.

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Show Yourself Some Love and Renew Your Desire for Your Career

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The funny thing about connecting online is that we think everyone else has it figured out.

And so that idea dampens our own enthusiasm for what we are doing. Kind of bums us out. Makes us scared to move forward. Messes with our heads.

But guess what: It’s an illusion. Nobody’s life is as perfect as you imagine it to be. Once you realize that, it frees you up to work through your muddled, confused, incomplete present to get to a better future. Your brilliant writing life.

Whether you are struggling to start your writing career or you’re deep in the midst of it, know that your own writing career can be amazing, successful, and triumphant. But only when you cut through the clutter, stop dreaming about everyone else’s career, and start focusing on your own.

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5 Social Media Mistakes That Doom Your Chances of Getting Hired

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Social media provides many opportunities to communicate with others, but if you make silly mistakes, you can send the wrong message that tanks your next deal, job, or promotion.

Does your social media profile say you are professional, know what you’re doing, or are just the person to work with on a particular matter? Or does it say you don’t pay attention to detail, have no clear idea of what you want to say, and are scattered and all over the place?

Whether you run a writing business or you’re looking to get hired as a staff writer for some company, your online reputation will speak for you. So make sure it has something nice to say. That’s because, in today’s marketplace, a potential client or employer is very likely to at least glance at your online profile. Don’t expect to just hand over a resume or clips file and be hired based on the work you intentionally share with your potential client or employer. This is the case whether you expect to meet the person for a face-to-face interview or you’ll never actually be in the same space because the work can be handled virtually.

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10 Essential Tips for Becoming An Effective Blogger

If you are a writer who doesn’t blog, then you need to start. Yeah, yeah, I know it feels like one more thing on your list. I get that. I resisted blogging for years. Who even reads blogs, I wondered? Turns out, lots of people.

This Writer’s Living blog is not even a year old, but already it has enhanced my brand in a major way. It’s an ever growing body of work. It publicly showcases my writing. It has helped us show up in some pretty cool places. And it brings in targeted readers for another side of my business. I wasn’t a big proponent of blogging, but now, I believe it is one of the most effective ways writers have for growing their brands and getting new opportunities. In fact, research shows that companies that blog get 55 percent more visitors to their sites than those that don’t.

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Social Networks Presence Is Good, But Owning Your Platform Is Better

Every writer now has the opportunity to gain an audience far beyond her family, friends, and coworkers. As a writer, you have the potential to have your work read all over the world. You can expand your reach. Social media has made that possible. A writer no longer has to hope for the gods of New York publishing or fancy magazines to smile down on her. She can churn out her best stuff directly to readers using her blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Ning, and a host of other social networks.

Many writers are turning to social networks as a way to grow their brands and reach. But they are making one mistake. They are investing tremendous amounts of time in driving people to their social networks of choice — Twitter, Facebook, etc., but they don’t own anything. They need to make sure they have a primary spot that they own — their own Website or blog, their own mailing list. You must own the primary location in your platform.

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What Kind of Social Media User Are You?

There are three distinct groups when it comes to social media:

1. All-ins. Those who are all ready for it and absolutely love it. They get it. They embrace it. They have turned their businesses upside or around to fully engage in social media.

2. Eh, one other thing. The eh, one other thing crew begrudgingly gives social media a half hug — not a full embrace, but the kind of hug you give when you must give one but aren’t thrilled about it. These are the people who roll their eyes a bit at the arrival of yet another social network. Pinterest met with cheers by the All-ins? Well, the eh, one other thing crew just sighed. These users know they need to get on board, but they kind of wish social media would just roll up and die.But since it won’t, they’ll try to fit it in. Amongst everything else. Eh.

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6 Ways to Manage Your Social Media Presence As A Writer

We recently discussed ways to market your work using social networks. Today, we’ll talk about how to actually manage your social media presence. You can spend so much time marketing your work, that you have no time left for anything else. So managing your social media presence is critical.

Six ways to manage your social media presence as a writer

1. Use it as a tool. The point isn’t to have a presence on every single social network out there. The list is constantly changing. Experiment with several networks to see which best meet your business needs, fit your temperament, and are most comfortable for you to use. Settle on two, three, or four that you dedicate most of your social media attention to and grow your presence there.

2. Monitor your time. It’s easy for social media to become a time-suck. You can spend the entire workday blogging, posting Facebook statuses, tweeting, uploading YouTube videos, and more. But if you are using these tools to gain new business or grow your brand, then limit the amount of time you spend on these. Because you can spend so much time on social media that you don’t have any time to do the main thing: Service client projects, write your books and articles, etc. So pick a time of day to do your social media. Or, if you have an international audience, then maybe you pick two times a day when you do your Facebooking, Tweeting, and Google Plus posting. But don’t let hours roll one into the other with you sitting on your networks, constantly posting.

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7 Tips for Marketing Your Books and Writing Using Social Networks

So you’ve gotten your book published and you’re ready to hop onto your social networks to tell everyone to buy it. Right?

Wrong.

Social networks have to be a part of the arsenal of any writer who wants to get the word out today. But social networking can be confusing, daunting, and overwhelming. And if you do it wrong, you could end up frustrated because you’re not getting the attention, interaction, or sales you want. It’s important to learn the culture of each network so you can participate successfully. But once you’ve figured out how to use your chosen network, you need to have some ideas for what to post and how to market your work.

Before discussing what to post and how to market your work, let’s get your thinking straight. One of the biggest misconceptions many authors and writers have about popular social networks is that they should hop onto these sites and simply start selling. You can use these social networks to get sales, but it’s wrong thinking to go in with the sole desire of peppering your networks with your sales message and buy links. That’s a sure recipe for being ignored.  The social side of these networks is largely that. It’s social. Readers go to be entertained, have fun, and talk with others. They aren’t going in to be sold to. Now, in the course of being entertained and having fun, they may decide to buy from you. That means you must seek first to be entertaining and informative, then sell. Rather than seek first to sell.

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19 Reasons Writers Need An Email Marketing System

Writers sometimes don’t like to deal with technology and can be slow to change the way they operate. But if you’re a writer or author with serious aspirations of sharing your work with a lot of people through a mailing list, then you really have to change at least one thing: Get a professional email marketing system.

Before your eyes glaze over, let me just tell you that getting a good email marketing  system is critical. You can’t continue to send out your newsletters and email blasts from your own email account. You need a system that helps you efficiently and effectively manage your email marketing, so you can become more productive. Systems include MailChimp, GetResponse, Campaign Monitor, iContact, Constant Contact, AWeber, and others.

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