Social Media

LinkedIn: A Surprisingly Useful & Oft Overlooked Tool for Writers & Editors

October 1, 2011

When I meet with other writers and editors, we often talk about the merits of Twitter and Facebook as tools to help our careers, but LinkedIn rarely (if ever) enters the conversation.

I have been using LinkedIn more and more for my freelance writing and editing business, so thought I’d share the three LinkedIn features that I have found particularly useful:

Groups:

LinkedIn has a plethora of writing and editing groups, where like-minded people discuss and debate everything from their favourite dictionaries to the ethics of the writing/editing profession. Groups are also a great way to meet other people; I like to think of them as virtual water coolers. One of my favourite parts about the Group feature on Linked In is that you can choose to have group updates emailed to you so you don’t have to remember to login to keep up with the latest discussions. Here are a few groups for writers/editors that I’ve found especially useful:

(Note: To see details for these groups you’ll need to login to LinkedIn)

Editors’ Association of Canada – Discussions about freelancing and the editing profession.

Word Nerds – Everything nerdy and wordy.

Freelance Editors Network – A place for editors from all over the world to connect and talk about their profession.

International Freelancers Academy – A great place to meet freelancers that you may want to partner with for web design, etc.

Books and Writers – Talk about everything and anything to do with writing and publishing.

Freelance Writer’s Connection – A community of freelance writers that share expertise and support.

Skills:

The value of my Linked In profile recently hit home when I was contacted by a future client who found me by doing a quick LinkedIn search. I suspect that this was the result of the Skills feature on LinkedIn. You can add up to 50 skills to your LinkedIn profile. Each skill is searchable in the LinkedIn skills database. For my profile I added skills like: ‘copy editing’, ‘blog writing’ and ‘social media’. To learn more about Skills, check out this LinkedIn blog post.

Companies:

LinkedIn allows companies to create profiles that you can follow. When you follow a company on LinkedIn you can see who works at that company (and how you’re connected to them) and get the company’s status updates in your news feed. My favourite part of this feature is that you’ll be notified of job opportunities at companies or organizations that you’re interested in (and get a sneak peek at who you know at the company so you can get in touch for details about the job if you need them). It also can’t hurt to follow a company that you’re interested in working with – it will show that you’ve gone out of your way to learn more about their business.

More Reasons for Writers & Editors to use LinkedIn:

There are several other features on LinkedIn that could be useful for writers and editors. This post on Mery Note’s Blog lists more than 40 ways LinkedIn can be useful for writers, and this post from Freelance Switch lists 5 reasons for freelancers to use LinkedIn.

Do you use LinkedIn? Have you found it useful for your writing/ editing/ freelance career?

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  • Sajib October 1, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Those groups might be helpful for me. Thanks for listing up.

    • carrie m October 3, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      My pleasure, Sajib! Let me know if you come across any other useful groups. I’m always on the hunt for new ones.

  • Rose October 1, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I’ve been wondering about what the mystery of LinkedIn could do for me but haven’t had the patience to learn more. Thank you!

    • carrie m October 3, 2011 at 8:23 pm

      You’re welcome Rose! Thanks for stopping by!

  • jacquelincangro October 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I have a LinkedIn account, but I’ve been a bit confused by it all. Your post was really helpful to get me started.

    • carrie m October 3, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      So glad the post was helpful! Let me know if you get stuck: I’ll try my best to help!

  • hawleywood40 October 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Not yet, but more and more I’m feeling like I should! This post pushed me even more in that direction : ).

    • carrie m October 3, 2011 at 8:22 pm

      It’s becoming a powerful little tool for me! With your freelance writing, Pam, I could see how it could be an asset in your social media arsenal!

  • Rona October 3, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Hi Carrie,
    This is cool. I’ve just recently signed on with LinkedIn but have done almost nothing with it. I was signed in because I was invited. Now I will take a closer look!

    • carrie m October 3, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      Hi Rona! I have just recently developed my love for LinkedIn. I’ve had an account for years, but updated my account a few months ago and have noticed a lot of action since. Let me know if you have any questions (not that I am an expert by any means, but I’ll try to help :)

  • Meryl K Evans October 4, 2011 at 6:43 am

    LinkedIn has a lot of features that it overwhelms many. This post helps breaks it down and get to the heart of it. Thanks, Carrie.

    • carrie m October 4, 2011 at 7:01 am

      Thanks, Meryl! I only focus on a few features personally, because as you mention, it can be overwhelming!

  • Gabriel Santos October 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Getting started with my Linked In account now!

    Thanks ;)

    • carrie m October 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      My pleasure! Let me know if I can help in any way :)

  • Blog Treasures 10-8 « Gene Lempp's Blog October 8, 2011 at 6:44 am

    […] LinkedIn: An oft overlooked tool for writers by Carrie Mumford. […]

  • Nina Badzin October 10, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Interesting . . . have never thought about using it as a writer. Something to consider (though not sure I can handle anything else.)

    • carrie m October 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm

      One thing that’s nice about Linked In is that it’s a bit more ‘set-it-and-forget’ than other social networks I participate in. You can create your profile, list your skills, and then wait for people to come to you. I’m sure (like other networks) you may gain more value by being active on Linked In, but I’ve had success there without posting updates or participating in forums very much.