Why I Wrote a LinkedIn Book

Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging and Maximizing LinkedIn - The LinkedIn Book

Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging and Maximizing LinkedIn now available on Amazon!

Before I could issue my official press release, and much to my surprise, Amazon this week suddenly started shipping my book on utilizing LinkedIn, “Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging and Maximizing LinkedIn.” So without any fanfare, thank you for your patience and I hope you enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it!

To help you gain further insight on the book and Windmill Networking, I wanted to give you some background as to why I decided to write a book about LinkedIn.  I am not an author by profession, and I began embracing LinkedIn back in February of 2008 as a job seeker.  I had unusual circumstances in that I had built up my network outside of my native United States and birthplace of Southern California.  You can imagine how difficult this made it for me when I was in transition for the first time ever in the US without a local network!  I utilized LinkedIn to help me build up a future network which would become my “Trusted Network of Advisors.”

As I became a power LinkedIn user, combined with my “newbie” approach to social networking, I soon became the go-to person in my expanding network for questions about LinkedIn.  But I also became very interested in creating relationships not just online but offline as well.  I started my first LinkedIn Groups, So Cal Sushi (Southern California) and The Izakaya Club (Japan), to try to bring people that I had met on LinkedIn together in a physical networking environment.  After finding a new job I used LinkedIn as my professional yellow pages.  I found the platform invaluable in helping me develop business, find partners, secure appointments, and source vendors.  And I continued expanding my network online while reaching out to more people offline.

As my networking activities continued to ramp up, combined with the fact that I found myself again in transition with the onset of the recession, I began having many conversations with various people about how best to use LinkedIn.  I went out of my way to try to help people, realizing that this is something that I could now contribute to others that would help in developing relationships of value.  I coached not only job seekers in my network, but also CEOs, small business owners, and sales and marketing executives.

And I started blogging.  There were many restrictions and confusing things that I had found about networking on LinkedIn that I wanted to tell others about; thus, my original Windmill Networking blog (“LinkedIn Questions”) was born.  I also realized that many people found my understanding of LinkedIn and social networking insightful, and thus I ramped up my blogging shortly thereafter to cover topics above and beyond LinkedIn.

It was one day in February of this year that I decided to write a book on LinkedIn.  Why?

  • Although other books about LinkedIn existed, I was confident that I could help bring our understanding of LinkedIn to a new level and provide my readers with unique value by viewing LinkedIn through the lens of Windmill Networking.  Without providing value there is obviously no reason in blogging or writing a book, so this was and continues to be my thought process on engaging with social media whether it be as an author, speaker, or consultant.
  • As a LinkedIn Open Networker, or LION, I thought that writing a book would be an ideal vehicle in which to network with more people than I could possibly meet online or offline.  I have blogged about how to grow your LinkedIn network: wouldn’t a book be an ideal way to attract LinkedIn invitations from relevant professionals to whom we could add mutual value to our networks?
  • As a Pay It Forward networker, I thought that a book was the ideal format in which to inform as many people as I could about my understanding of LinkedIn so that they could achieve more on the social networking site.  And the better my network networks, the more valuable all of our networks become!
  • I also believed that writing a book, regardless of my future career, would be a positive addition to my personal brand.  In fact, regardless of what happens to the economy or future jobs, a book is now part of a brand that cannot be affected by external circumstances.

But the most important reason why I decided to write the book was really an exercise in Windmill Networking.  I provide a concise definition of this new social networking concept in the book and plan to write a blog post giving more background on it in the near future.  To put it simply, I thought that by writing the book, and in combination with the other reasons listed above, it would provide me with a lot of good karma, that by helping others the best that I could, I would be helping myself in the long run.  That is why I decided to write the most thorough and comprehensive book about LinkedIn in as much detail as I could without holding anything back.  It is also why I include the Windmill Networking concept as a centerpiece of the book, to teach others to see LinkedIn (and any other social media) through this lens, and to hopefully provide others with the right attitude to help YOU achieve whatever your LinkedIn Objective is.

Writing the book has definitely changed my life, as now, in essence, I have two brands: 1) my traditional high tech sales & business development executive who is fluent in Japanese and Chinese, and 2) a social media strategist, speaker, and author.  Obviously, my background in sales as well as doing business in Asia has had profound impact on my understanding of social media, so I continue to discover how my new brand owes a lot to my previous work experience.

I plan to do some fun social media promotions for the book going forward, so stay tuned on the usual channels for the details.  But, in the meantime, publishing my first book, as you can tell from how I began this blog post, really changes nothing about me nor about this blog.  Our social media journey continues, and I appreciate that you have decided to spend time with me for the ride.  Let me know how I can help you, and I look forward to everyone providing me feedback on my book as well as sharing their Windmill Networking success stories on this blog!  Thank you!

About the Author:

Neal Schaffer, Founder and Editor-In-Chief

The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professional strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer

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  1. says

    Neal, Congratulations and best wishes on getting your book out! As a relative “newbie” to LinkedIn, you bring a fresh set of eyes and perspective on the ever-widening value and utility that LinkedIn offers for those that embrace it. I enjoy your blog and look forward to continued insight.


  2. says

    I would never have met Neal Schaffer if it wasn't for the concept of Windmill Networking. And this is the very reason that I think the concept is so powerful. How would I, in Hong Kong, would get to know and appreciate a writer of a yet to be published book in Southern California?

  3. says

    Miles, it is an honor to receive these words from you. I hope that the book lives up to its expectations in your eyes, and I am always hoping that there is a future collaboration between myself and your integrated Alliances organization. I will keep pushing out the content, so looking forward to your future comments!

  4. says

    Indeed, Tom, you are one of my true Windmill Networking friends! Your statement is an extremely powerful one, which proves the potential power of Windmill Networking to help professionals develop online relationships of value through social media. Thank you, as always, for your feedback, and looking forward to our future Twitter conversations!

  5. MitziB says

    Hi, Neal – Wondering if you have an ebook version of your book? Really enjoy reading your blog, by the way. Thanks -Mitzi

  6. says

    Thanks Mitzi. I have a free download of the first few chapters of my book on my website. In addition, there is a Kindle version of the book available on Amazon. Hope that this helps!


  7. says

    Thanks Mitzi. I have a free download of the first few chapters of my book on my website. In addition, there is a Kindle version of the book available on Amazon. Hope that this helps!



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