OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
But in this post, I outline why I think you should consider Slideshare and how I'm using it for both my brands, J.F.Penn thriller author, and Joanna Penn, professional speaker and non-fiction author.
Why care about Slideshare?
Slideshare is basically a presentation sharing network.
It's a form of content marketing, but more visual, and if done well, it can be much more effective than writing a blog post on a topic, especially if you are unknown and your site has no ranking. Visual marketing is very much the big thing now. In an age of text overload, people are clicking more on visual content – whether that's Instagram, pics on Twitter or Facebook, infographics or SlideShares.
It's easily shareable and viewable on any social platform as well as on mobile devices. On the right, you can see a tweet that actually embeds the whole SlideShare so it can be read within Twitter. Awesome for twitterholics like me!
Slideshare is one of 120 most visited websites in the world, with 60 million monthly visitors. It ranks highly in Google for keywords, and you can use embedded hyperlinks to direct traffic to your site.
It's owned by LinkedIn and you can use your LinkedIn profile to log into SlideShare. You can also link it to your profile in order to embed content. If you are using LinkedIn at all in your marketing strategy, then you should definitely expand into SlideShare.
If you're nervous or shy about doing video or audio, then this gives you a visual option without the personal contact, and an additional method to share your content. Plus, it's a less technical solution so you don't have to learn so much.
It's free but you can also use a Pro version which includes video uploads, lead capture through forms, analytics, private sharing and professional branding. It starts at $19 per month.
To be honest, I'm incredulous that I haven't been using it up to now, since I spent 13 years as a business consultant doing Powerpoints, so I'm used to thinking in slides! Perhaps that business background is what instinctively put me off, but now I am embracing it wholeheartedly!
Example of a SlideShare for a non-fiction book
I'm a fan of outsourcing things like this, so I used PeoplePerHour.com to find someone to create this slide presentation for me based on How To Market A Book. You can see how easy it is to click through the slides when embedded on a page. It's also easily sharable.
How can authors use SlideShare?
There are a few ways to use SlideShare as an author.
- Create slide presentations around the topic of your books. This is easy enough for non-fiction authors and it's what I'm doing with my books as with the example above (and more to come). I also recommend you check out James Altucher's Choose Yourself teaser. And also the stats based presentation from Mitch Joel that accompanied Ctrl Alt Delete which has over 150,000 views. For Ryan Holiday's new book, The Obstacle Is the Way, he created a quote slideshare to turn obstacles to successes.
- For fiction authors, you can create SlideShares around the themes of your books BUT watch out if your topics include anything particularly contentious. I uploaded a presentation about ‘One Day In Budapest,' which is based on the rise of right wing Nationalism and anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe (embedded below). It is definitely political in the guise of a thriller, and my SlideShare account was temporarily “suspended as it was found violating SlideShare's Terms of Service and/or Community Guidelines.” Perhaps the automatic service thought I was one of the bad guys … regardless, be careful what you try and load! I did email them and got it rectified, and I will be doing more on my J.F.Penn fiction SlideShare account here for my other books. Sharing my research will be a key format for me.
- Fiction authors can also do a book trailer style presentation, as Bob Mayer's doing with Cool Gus. It's a similar story flow idea to a book trailer but with no music and people can click through at their own pace. I like this design as I prefer silence and the music on video book trailers often puts me off.
- Speakers can upload their presentations, as I have done with part of one of my talks on the pros and cons of being an indie author. There are a couple of other accounts you will find useful as authors:
- Mark Coker from Smashwords. Mark uploads slides from his many talks here, and includes some real gems. Definitely check out the secret to ebook publishing success and how to reach more readers at the Apple iBookstore
- Goodreads. Includes how to market your book at Goodreads, and building a platform on Goodreads
Example of a fiction SlideShare
This presentation goes into the historical background of Jews Budapest and the rise of right-wing nationalism in Hungary, the background to my thriller, One Day In Budapest.
Tips for using Slideshare effectively
Understanding clickable headlines, the fundamentals of copywriting and keyword optimization are critical skills for anyone involved in content marketing. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go do the Magnetic Headlines tutorial at Copyblogger. Basically, Slideshare is the same as any other online piece of content. You need a great headline which includes keywords your target market are interested in and you use metadata that will help you be found for that topic. You should be using the same principles in your blog posts, your social sharing and your non-fiction book titles, so it's a useful skill to master.
- Make it visually interesting. No death by powerpoint please! This Hubspot article on SlideShare tips covers font size, color psychology, awesome images, using animations, making your title slide amazing and more. You can also get ongoing articles on the SlideShare blog, like how to combine typography with photography.
- Embed your SlideShares in your LinkedIn profile if it's appropriate. In the Summary area of the Profile, add a link to the SlideShare and it will embed the presentation. You can check it out on my LinkedIn profile here (as pic above right).
- Once you've loaded your SlideShares, use your other social media to spread the word. I embedded one presentation into Facebook, and ended up on the SlideShare Homepage Hot On Facebook list. As noted on my overwhelm post, I barely use Facebook these days, but you don't even have to go there. You can just share directly from SlideShare. Awesome!
What do you think? Have you used SlideShare? Do you consume them? Do you have any tips? Please leave a comment below and join the conversation.