So you’ve managed to imbue your articles and posts with wit and creativity. Check. You’ve developed an audience. Check. You’ve embraced the twitterverse and gotten positive response but you’re still not getting paid. Wait, what? Every day I meet new people who are in the various stages of monetizing their website through online advertising.

From seasoned veterans to the novice looking for a turnkey solution, one aspect of connecting with your prospective income conduit is often overlooked: the personal branding found on LinkedIn.

Many publishers embrace the anonymity that is afforded them through their work by posting in a pen name or simply staying under the radar. When it comes to digging up information about potential advertisers it’s a cold case with no leads. If you want to make money with your content, and you should, let it be known who you are and why the world should do business with you. There are literally hundreds of options out there waiting at your beck and call to put a dollar sign in front of that talent if they could just find you.

LinkedIn is a cookie cutter way to put you and your site on the market that allows you to save time and focus on what you do best: continuing to be your creative self. There are a few simple things to keep in mind when utilizing LinkedIn that will jumpstart your professional networking…hopefully opening the door to new connections and streams of revenue you’d not thought possible.

Fill out Your Profile Fully

Simple as it may seem, often times social networking 101 is overlooked. Fill out your profile in its entirety. Fill it out in detail. Put up a picture. People do business with who they know, like, and trust. LinkedIn has been generous enough to provide you with a robust medium to, relatively painlessly, make yourself much more approachable. Just fill in the blanks!

For you SEO folks out there, ever notice how quickly LinkedIn is bubbled to the top when you Google your own name? Free advertising!

Pro-tip: if you’re not using Google alerts for your own name it is a good time to start. Use ALL the space you’re provided in LinkedIn and you’ll be kindly rewarded with people taking interest in who you are.

Connect with People in Your Industry

LinkedIn is a SOCIAL network. It isn’t meant to be fenced off or only kept for special clients. Connect with people! Don’t be shy to reach out and make acquaintances with people you don’t know on LinkedIn. It is a proactive tool meant to be there for you to research and prospect more than it is to keep track of what everyone else is up to (like Facebook). When you reach out to a new connection, you’re doing them a favor. By connecting with you and your budding list of connections your new friend now has access to a broader network of people to reach out to. Win, win.

Recommend Others on LinkedIn

Don’t forget to pay it forward. You can deepen relationships and open doors to new people, but most importantly you have a very public and painless medium for recognizing someone who has done great things for you. A recommendation on LinkedIn speaks volumes about who you’re doing business with. What better way to show your appreciation for a client and stay top of mind by thanking them with a well-placed recommendation that anyone who browses their profile will see? This is the social media equivalent of the unprovoked flowers to the spouse at work, everyone sees it and makes a big fuss over the kind gesture.

Like any tool, LinkedIn takes a short amount of time to learn and a whole lot of time to master. Take a few baby steps and watch how your interactions grow. Feel free to email me with any questions.

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