LinkedInIf you’re the author of a business book, you may have already discovered that you are elbow-to-elbow in a crowded subject area! It’s important to use whatever contacts and leads you can—and to do so wisely—to make your book stand out.

For any author in the business arena, LinkedIn is an important place to maintain a social media presence. Though it’s substantially smaller than Facebook, the audience on LinkedIn consists primarily of business professionals. Here are some ways to leverage LinkedIn:

Create a Content-Rich Profile – LinkedIn gives its users a lot of space to add content to a profile, and you should take advantage of all of it. Fill out a thorough job history, and feature your current author endeavors under your most current employment. Add links to your website and other social media profiles, and upload a professional head shot.

Import Your Contacts – You can export your contacts from your email system, and easily import them into LinkedIn. And don’t worry about spamming your contacts. LinkedIn will display your contacts in a list and show you who is already using LinkedIn so that you can send connection requests only to those who already have a presence there.

Update Your Activity – Similar to your Facebook wall, you can share announcements on LinkedIn. Start by sharing each new blog post (title and link). Though LinkedIn users aren’t as active with reading news updates from their networks as people are on Facebook, many users subscribe to a daily email with network updates, and your new posts will show up there. This is great for building brand recognition.

Request Recommendations – You can reach out to people within your LinkedIn network to request recommendations, which will appear on your profile. This is a fantastic way to get reviews for your books, as well as for speaking engagements and your work. You can also give recommendations for others, which can in turn lead them to give you a recommendation.

Use Advanced Search – This is one of my favorite features on LinkedIn. With advanced search, you can locate people based on keywords. For example, if you want to reach the person in charge of the Back-to-School contest at Staples, you could search by company name of Staples and keyword “Back to School.” It’s amazing how much information is available on LinkedIn profiles. This can be useful if you want to pitch the person who is in charge of running a particular industry event. LinkedIn won’t let you email people you aren’t directly connected to; however, for a nominal fee, you can become a LinkedIn advanced user and will be granted a certain number of LinkedIn mail messages per month.

Participate in Groups – One of the best places to interact on LinkedIn is within its very active groups. Here you can find all kinds of professional groups, some with just a few hundred members, and some with tens of thousands.

If you like this blog post, you’ll love our Author Toolkit covering websites, blogging and social media for authors. Check it out!