Go ahead, get LinkedIn

LinkedIn does so much more than keep tabs on old colleagues. Dust off the password to your lonely, neglected account, and use it to build your business. Here are a few tips to get it done.

1: Fill out your profile—all of it. (Really.)

Make sure you fill out your profile completely. A profile with all the parts filled in automatically wins cred and earns trust. Now’s not the time for modesty— impress people with all your experience.

2: Build your network.

Finding all your old friends and current colleagues isn’t that hard— LinkedIn makes it easy when you upload your email contacts. Once you get your network established, get your friends to introduce you to their friends.

3: Who do you want to rub shoulders with?

LinkedIn lets you search for important peeps in your business or industry. You should also invite potential clients (in a friendly, no-pressure kind of way) to join your network. You can get the dish on your prospective clients before meeting or contacting them.

4: Let search engines find you.

Every search engine (especially mighty Google) loves LinkedIn profiles. Make sure to adjust your security settings so your basic info (including links to your websites) is public to search engines. LinkedIn is  yet another opportunity for searchers to find you.

5: Answer questions (no hand-raising necessary).

LinkedIn has a question and answer section that contains all the answers to life’s great questions. Go see if there are any questions you can answer. Answer them in a non-self promoting way and everyone will see you as an expert in your industry. You’ll get tons of profile views.

6: Bring all your social media together.

Yes, it’s another social networking site. Thankfully, there are widgets and other tools available that allow you to show your twitter posts, Facebook actions, and other social media content. Use them to connect all your social media together.

7: Recommendations = happiness

Recommendations equal instant trust. Request them from happy clients or people in your network. Offer to give recommendations to other people you’ve worked with.

8: Use more than just a resume.

Want to find some qualified talent? Now you can look at something more than just another resume. Post a job listing if you are looking to hire, and you may even be able to hire someone in your network.

9: Big Dog, meet Other Big Dog.

Find experts in your field and invite them to be a guest blogger on your blog or a speaker at your event. Keep your employees in-the-know with the latest and greatest in your industry, and let your customers know you’re on the leading edge.

10: “I’m a real boy!”

Everyone loves a genuine personality. Don’t turn off your clients or potential partners by using hard-sell or spammy tactics. Treat people with respect, and be the expert— the clambering fans and roaring applause will follow.