How many of you read my May 3rd blog about LinkedIn?
Did you go a step further and either set up a profile or begin using the one you had more fully? I promise you, THIS blog is going to add even more to your LinkedIn bag of tricks!
If you still need to get set up, here is a link that gives great step-by-step instructions on getting started. What’s the big deal about LinkedIn, you ask?
- A TON of professional contacts
As Kristen Lamb said in her breakout book, “We Are Not Alone – The Writer’s Guide To Social Media,” you want to go where your people are. I was active on LinkedIn long before I was on Twitter or blogging; most of my professional life resides there and the application has served me well (which is why I’m pimping it out to you).
So, back to the jobs, information and professional contacts…(and who DOESN’T need those in today’s economic climate??) What would it feel like to have a captive audience, either to share YOUR expertise with, or to get answers to questions that have been plaguing you? Pretty sweet, huh?
Hurry, scurry, open up a new browser window. I’ll wait. (Whistling…refilling the coffee cup.) I’ve included screen sots for EVERYTHING, even though it made this kind of a long blog, so you can do this yourself.
OK, onward to one of the shiniest nuggets of information about LinkedIn:
LinkedIn Answers is the gathering place for experts and you can become one too. This is the area of the application where it is fairly quick and easy to establish yourself as an expert. All you have to do is just answer questions in your area of expertise!
- To get to LinkedIn Answers, either click the link above and sign in or open the application and go to the right side of your LinkedIn toolbar (as shown below – sorry it’s a bit grainy). Note: You can browse LinkedIn Answers whether you’re logged in or not.
- The Search button on the right side (to the left of the word “Advanced”) will probably say “People” until you click the drop-down arrow and choose “Answers.”
You don’t even need to type anything in. if you hit the enter key on your keyboard, you will go to the Home page for LinkedIn Answers (click the Answers Home tab if you need to).
Once you get to the home screen (called Answers Home), you’ll see a dialog box that has “Ask a Question” on one side and “Answer Questions” on the other (look for the brown font). If you are signed in to LinkedIn, the “Answer Questions” side might recommend some categories where you have expertise.
What happens if I click my recommended category, Writing and Editing, as shown above? Yep, you guessed it…you will see all the Open and Closed questions. I KNOW you’re rubbing your hands together with glee now.
What about the other tabs/links at the top? They’re pretty self-explanatory but here’s what they look like.
- Advanced Answers Search tab
Type in a keyword at the top or click on one of the category words in the left column and you’re in business.
- My Q&A tab will summarize YOUR Questions asked and any answers you provided.
- Ask a Question tab
There is a caveat to this Ask Questions screen, which shows up to the right side of the screen.
In other words, you wouldn’t come here and say, “who is interested in buying my 100,000 word Western Historical?” Instead you might ask something like, “Does anyone know the submission guidelines for St. Martin’s Press and what genres they’re acquiring right now?
Better yet, ask the previous want-to-know item as TWO questions, one about guidelines and one about acquiring, so that you can be sure to get an Expert Answer for each question, rather than having someone take a stab at it because they know part of the answer.
I’m gonna burst your bubble now and let you know that some people who aren’t experts chime in because they want to be “experts” (with no knowledge). The person who asks the question gets to vote on the answers and choose the best one. This is the key factor that keeps LinkedIn Answers fairly pure.
This Answer Questions window has several other tabs that I encourage you to explore as all three are worthwhile. This is a great place to browse other peoples’ questions and to see who the LinkedIn Experts might be in your category of expertise.
The moral of this post: Whether you wish to ask a question or leave an answer to build your status as an expert, LinkedIn Answers can help.
What are some of the resources you use to find answers? Please share your favorite info sources with the rest of us!
Till next time,