Are you serious about business, and not on LinkedIn?  I don’t think that’s possible. Get on it!

Once you get on, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Upload your photo. Nothing better than a face to confirm you are the right “John Smith”.
  2. Set up a complete profile. When setting up your profile, in the section where you define your websites, always select “Other”, then name your websites with the search keywords. So, instead of “My Blog”, I use the keywords Social Media Blog to define the link. Instead of “My Website”, I use the keywords Canadian Website Design to define the link to our website design company. This adds search engine value, not to mention a more concise description for people.
  3. Set up a public profile. Click on “Profile” in the menu on the left, then look for “Public Profile” – it is in the second column. Click on “Edit”. Use something memorable, like your name, a common online handle, or your business name (remember, though, it is “permanent”, so if your business name is not “forever”, you should use your name). If you don’t have a personal blog, always use your LinkedIn address when posting comments on blogs and such. This will add search engine value to your LinkedIn page over time, thus raising your profile, and indirectly helping your business.
  4. Find people in your network, and connect with them. LinkedIn has tools to search your existing e-mails to discover people in your existing “real life” network. If you find serious businesspeople who are not on LinkedIn, invite them to join – it’s not spam, it’s a good business decision you are inviting them to enjoy! (Also, they may already be on LinkedIn under a different e-mail address.)
  5. Join Groups. Search through the groups and find some appropriate to your business. If you cannot find a quality group in your business area, make one, and invite people to join. People in Victoria, British Columbia should join the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Social Media Club – Victoria Chapter, and VIATeC groups.
  6. After you have connected with people on LinkedIn, look in their networks for their contacts. Chances are you have some mutual contacts you should also connect with.
  7. Recommend people. At least 3, and try to do at least one a month thereafter. The more people you recommend, the more they will recommend you.