My friend Paul Segreto thinks LinkedIn is the social media stepchild and that it has yet to hit its prime. I’ve been thinking about this since he said that to me, and I think he’s right.

When I first got on LinkedIn, I did it for the same reason most people do it…because I kept getting invitations and finally decided to see what the heck was the big deal. But I had the attitude that I own and run a business so why did I need a professional online resume?

Since then, I’ve changed my tune (as you can see if you visit my profile).  I’ve learned it’s a great talent recruitment tool. It’s a phenomenal networking tool. And, because I pay a little bit of money each month (and I mean a little bit), I get to see who visits my profile in a given day. You know what that means? Warm leads for people who are interested in either working for us or with us!

About a year ago, I spent some time figuring out LinkedIn and I joined a bunch of groups. The only thing I don’t like about it is you have no way to aggregate content to and from multiple groups. It’s kind of a pain. But if you can get past that, it will do you some good, even if you think you have no need for it.

If you don’t know how to get started on LinkedIn, please allow me to introduce you to my friend Jason Baer, who wrote the BEST blog post on using the tool I’ve ever seen.

22 Ways to Dominate LinkedIn

Here are my 22 tips for dominating LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Profile
1. Upload a Good Photo
2. Complete Your Entire Profile, Including Prior Jobs
3. Include Email Address In Your Last Name (easier to contact you) EDITOR’S NOTE: Since publishing, we’ve learned this is against LinkedIn terms and conditions. So don’t do it!  Or remove it if you have already done it!
4. Use Keywords Liberally in Your Profile (think of it as an SEO page)
5. Link to Web Sites Using Keywords, not “My Web Site”
6. Link to Your Blog’s RSS Feed
7. Update Your Profile Often (keeps you on your contacts’ news stream), but Not Egregiously
8. Create Status Updates (like Twitter and Facebook)

LinkedIn Applications
9. Activate LinkedIn Applications that Connect to Your Content
– WordPress & Bloglink
– SlideShare
– Company Buzz (Twitter search)

LinkedIn Connections
10. Invite Anyone You Meet in a Business Setting
11. Use Custom Invite Text
12. Find Connections Through LinkedIn Search (company search is especially good)
13. Browse Your Connections’ Connections to Find People You Forgot or Missed
14. Invite Your Contacts from Outlook, Gmail, et al

LinkedIn Recommendations
15. Liberally Provide and Request Recommendations
– Use Custom Request Text
– Provide Guidance to Reviewers on Themes and Keywords You’d Like Included

LinkedIn Messages
16. Send Messages to Your Connections About Job Openings, Events
– Breaks Through Clutter of Inbox

Build Your LinkedIn Reputation
17. Set up a Search and Answer Questions in the LinkedIn Answers Section
– Search can also be set as an RSS feed
18. Join Groups (only enough so that you can participate in each one)
– Great way to meet new connections through group discussions
19. Consider Creating Your Own Group

Using LinkedIn for Business Development
20. Connect with Clients, Former Clients, and Prospects
21. Use Search to Find Appropriate Contacts at Target Companies
22. Use Search to Find Background Information on Personnel at Target Companies

How do you use LinkedIn?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich