Last week, the latest In 30 Minutes® guide was released, a LinkedIn book. It’s really aimed at career-minded people who are just getting started with LinkedIn. However, I was reminded by the author — Melanie Pinola — that another target audience includes those people who have created rudimentary LinkedIn profiles, but have never optimized them for effective networking or job searches.
One of the challenges that Melanie and I faced was limiting the scope of the guide. LinkedIn can be a complicated tool — beyond profiles, there are a lot of features and extra services that are available. In line with the “In 30 Minutes” concept and the fact that the book targets LinkedIn newbies who might not even know what LinkedIn is, we really scoped it down to the basics: How to register for LinkedIn; how to improve your LinkedIn profile with keywords, headlines and summaries; networking strategies; job searches and the “hidden job market,” etc.
Dealing with too many LinkedIn features
Before she got started, Melanie produced an outline and we discussed the contents and what not to include. For instance, I asked her not to spend too much time on integration with Twitter. Setting up a LinkedIn company page is also out of the scope of the guide. I tell authors to aim for between 10,000 and 15,000 words, but in this case the first draft of the book came in at 18,000 words. While I like giving readers more than they bargained for, I also want to make sure the book can be read in a sufficiently brief period of time. What to cut?
A few wordy examples were obvious candidates for removal, but there were some other more significant sections — such as one about researching companies on LinkedIn — that were harder to get rid of. In the end, we decided to re-use as much as possible — some of the examples will reappear as blog posts that Melanie authors, while the more substantive examples will be “extra content” for the book website. We’ve also begun to plan posts for other audiences, such as this one targeting LinkedIn recruiters. It’s good for our readers, and it is also good for attracting new readers to LinkedIn In 30 Minutes .