Following on from the post about how journalists can start using Twitter for work, this is part two of my presentation to the Guild of Health Writers - here we're looking at other forms of social media including LinkedIn and Facebook.
(It was at this point in the presentation that I realised I had far too much to say.)
Using LinkedIn to get work as a journalist
- Fill in your profile to get your name at the top in Google searches
LinkedIn ranks incredibly highly in search engines, so if somebody Googles your name (and editors will), your profile will pop up at the top. Particularly useful if you don't have a website for your journalism work (though frankly, you should).
- Link your profile to your Twitter feed
If you're using Twitter to circulate case study or other requests, link the two so both networks will see it.
- Ask for recommendations
Get people you've worked with to fill in a LinkedIn recommendation to add to your credibility.
- Include keywords in your profile relating to services you can offer
Recruiters are searching, so make it easier for them to find you. Nobody can offer you work if they don't know what you've got to offer.
- Join groups relevant to your specialism
There're thousands of professional groups on LinkedIn, so there's bound to be a special little haven for you.
- Check out potential clients
If you've got a meeting coming up with an editor, check out their LinkedIn profile to get the cut of their gib. *stalker alert*
These notes are extracted from a talk given to the Guild of Health Journalists on 14th September 2011. If you're interested in this subject then you might want to also have a read of the post about 10 things Twitter can do for journalists.
We started with some general points about using social media:
- It's a conversation, not a broadcast
Don't just pump out updates – talk to people, jump into conversations, retweet their messages and see it as a two way flow.
- Look for personal connections and work will find you
If you go in explicitly and solely looking for work, you'll probably be disappointed. See it as a source of new contacts and ideas and the opportunities will occur.
- Use your own name – that's your brand
As a journalist, your byline is your brand, so don't tweet as your dog or your porn star name. The exception to this would be if you have a blog with an established name, in which case you might want to create a specific Twitter account just for that.
- Keep your photo consistent
It's all about establishing you as a human being that other human beings will want to connect to and work with, so use the same photo across all social media and don't change it more than twice a year. Using the Hipstamatic App will produce the most flattering photo you've ever had.
- Klout.com will track your progress
If you like statistics, Klout will track how your social media network and influence is growing – useful if you're worried that you're wasting your time.
I had a spiffing time last night talking about social media for journalists with the Guild of Health Writers in the (frankly rather elegant) surroundings of The Medical Society of London.
The thing that struck me when talking to peole who don't use Twitter or other social media tools was that it's the myths that seem to put people off. Myths including:
- You have to be a tech-y gadget freak to make sense of it
- It uses up all your time
- Why would I be interested in what random strangers have for lunch?
I've been using my Amazon Kindle for about 10 days now. Here's what I've discovered:
- Set up and book buying couldn't be easier
You will be good to go in under a minute. Don't be scared of this device if you're a technophobe because it really is extremely easy to use. You do need an Amazon account to operate, but if you're buying a Kindle then you're probably no stranger to The Big A anyway.
- You could spend a frickin fortune if you're not careful
I had assumed that ebooks would be a lot cheaper than the print versions, since the production and delivery costs are so much less, but that's not the case. Many best sellers are a fairly similar price whatever version you choose. Somebody's making a lot of money out of Kindle books, and I suspect it's not the writers.
- But you'll still be seduced
It's the instant delivery to Kindle that's so seductive – you can think of a book, buy it with one click and be reading it in under a minute. So if you're in a field and you fancy reading some Rilke – away you go. You can see why it's caught on.
…is that you have to blog about BlogCamp.
My day didn't start well when I realised too late that I was wearing the same blue top/black cardie/typewriter necklace combination I've got on in that picture on the right.
Holy crap, I've come as my blog I thought I am a 24 carat loser for sure. But then somebody came over and did the Be Seeing You peepy eye/hand gesture (as also modelled to the right) and said Is that you? So I did it back at them and said Yes it is.
Brilliant. My day brightened considerably from there.
And here are some of the things I learned at BlogCamp for starters: