With 562 million members, LinkedIn, when used strategically, offers authors unprecedented opportunities to promote their work, especially when using LinkedIn in conjunction with other social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.
Dr. John Danley, an author, lecturer, and leader in the aerospace and defense industry, has built a career revitalizing operations through lean manufacturing techniques at companies including Schneider Electric, Rockwell Collins, and Esterline Power Systems.
John’s deep interest in what it takes to be an excellent leader led him to earn a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership four years ago. Over the past two years, he has written a book, Dimensions of Leadership, to enable other leaders to navigate through inevitable challenges by optimizing their strengths. He is a certified executive coach and believes the job of a leader is to have integrity, engender trust, and communicate well.
For several years, John has enjoyed social media as a rich source for new information about companies and developments, as well as a way to network and a channel to market. With the forthcoming publication of his book, he is building upon these foundations in personal branding to develop a comprehensive integrated marketing strategy.
“You need to be deliberate and have a strategy,” he said, as we talked about LinkedIn and other social media applications. “My goal with my LinkedIn profile is to connect with those I can mentor, as well as align myself with speakers, change agents, and organizations that I can collaborate with to build stronger relationships in the community.”
When considering your audience, John stresses the importance of speaking both to those already in your network as well as potential new connections and customers. “The connections you make should not only be relevant to where you currently are with your career, but also to where you are aiming to be in the future,” John explained.
For John, social media offers much more than a promotional tool. “LinkedIn enables us to look through the lens of others,” he said. “People’s profiles are very interesting, and something we can learn from. LinkedIn is also good for contacting individuals to find resources. I have 1,700 people in my network. When they post an article, I read it, others read and respond, and I get an opportunity to learn from others across all industries.”
How often does John check his LinkedIn newsfeed? “About five times a day. I catch up on links to people, update things. I take time after work to review LinkedIn, see what’s happening in the world. A lot of other things happening can influence what you’re doing, so I follow companies to see what’s going on.”
John plans to leverage multiple platforms and activities to brand and promote his book, linking from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to his LinkedIn profile. “The social media platforms of today, if utilized correctly, will bring you the people you need to build your business,” he said.
John’s strategies to promote his book include the use of video and posting excerpts from the book. “Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have really upped the game for many speakers and authors like me with their options to post videos,” he said. “Will Smith is a great example of a person who uses Instagram effectively. He speaks freely and draws you in, whether he is just being silly or speaking knowledge.”
His advice to others? “Be authentic – be who you are and comfortable in your own skin. Highlight your achievements as well as those of your company. Make your profile interesting and something people would want to engage with. You don’t have to reveal all your life information – just be honest and truthful, and have conversations based on who you are.”
Taly Walsh is writing a series of blog posts for ProResource that look at how executives are using LinkedIn to build a strong personal brand. If you’d like to be interviewed, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.