Credit: PsychoFish

Of all the social networks I participate in, Linkedin is perhaps one of the most versatile in returning a tangible benefit to its users. Like the old adage 'its know what you know, it's who you know', one's level of engagement as a Linkedin user is a clear indication of their networking skills.

In my humble opinion, every established and up and coming professional ought to have a Linkedin profile and actively try to build it up for establishing their own brand equity of sorts. What better way to form an impression on current or future employers than to show active engagement with industry mavens, participation in questions and answers, and endorsements from professionals from all walks of life?

One of my goals in 2008 is to unleash the true potential of Linkedin by being an active user and a true evangelist of the network. Here are three things I've done boost the number of connections I've formed over Linkedin in the recent past

  1. Brand Your Title – While the Linkedin search function is quite good, I've found that it is easier to connect with people when their designations or industry specifications are clearly visible in their name/title. Accordingly, I've changed my title to include my experience in the SEO/Social Media/SEM industry and voila, I've seen an increase in the number of people viewing my profile.
  2. Complete your Profile to a 100% – Think of Linkedin as your permanent professional portfolio on the web. Now isn't that something worth investing time in? Including appropriate descriptions of past and present job positions, along with associated skills can give industry peers or future employers a very good indicator of your talents.
  3. Participate in Linkedin Answers – I've been guilty of not having been as involved as I could have in answering questions, but this is perhaps the best way to expand your network. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a wrong answer and as such one should always attempt to answer a question posed by another professional.
  4. Be Proactive – Just like in any networking event, the onus is on you as an individual to be proactive in making connections and expanding your network. Linkedin is no different, and you will have to be proactive in requesting connections and recommendations in order to optimally leverage the power of the socio-professional web.

Leveraging these tips will certainly help you better your professional networking skills on Linkedin. You can start by connecting with me by checking out my linkedin profile.