LinkedIn is a powerful tool to be used for your personal branding endeavors. Erik and I talk about it a lot in the book Branding Yourself. Check it out. Add some if I am missing anything!

1. Take Full Advantage of Your Profile

It is extremely important to maximize the use of your profile on LinkedIN. When you are communicating with other individuals.. on the site.. your profile speaks for you.  Be very sure you upload a good photo and bring your profile to 100% completion. When I say upload a good photo… I do not mean an 80’s glamor shot or your company logo.

2. Uploading Your Initial Contacts

When you are first joining LinkedIN it is important to build your initial contact base. Check out this video by Chris Heiler about uploading your contacts. It is also important to connect to past/present colleagues and alumni from your college or university.

3. Recommendations

It is my opinion that recommendations are one of the more powerful tools within in LinkedIN. Why? People know recommendations are sincere and other individuals had to write them for you. It is extremely hard to fake recommendations on LinkedIN. Check out this post on writing better LinkedIN recommendations. You should always recommend first!

4. Using Groups

We discussed using groups in three different ways:

1. Lead Generation

2. Personal Development: Learning from others in your industry

3. Increase Your LinkedIN Profile development

5. Promotion of Events

Events can be used to help establish your brand within a certain industry. For example (when we first started Brandswag), we decided to run training and development courses to build our brand. You can do the same thing for personal branding.

6. Using Your Status Updates

The status updates on LinkedIN are underused but have been changing slowly with the integration of Twitter into your LinkedIN profile. I try to update my LinkedIN profile with relevant news, blog posts I am writing, or information about my Twitter Marketing for Dummies book and Branding Yourself.

7. Using Applications

Check out the LinkedIN Learning center about Apps: Click Here. Here are my top 4 applications to use on LinkedIN: BlogLink, Reading List byAmazon, Events, and Tweet.

8. Networking for a Job or for Lead Generation

LinkedIN is extremely powerful when using the tool to connect with individuals who are looking to hire individuals in the corporate community. If you are using LinkedIN the right way it is extremely easy to get connected through a 2nd degree individual. Honestly though… who better to tell you about using LinkedIN for job search than Dan Schwabel and Chad Levitt.

9. Search Functionality in LinkedIN

10. Using LinkedIN for Lead Generation

Have you heard of the six degrees from separation concept? This is fundamental to using LinkedIN for lead generation. It is possible to use LinkedIN to turn a cold lead into a warm lead by sending a request for an introduction. Search for individuals in the LinkedIn database and discover how connected you actually are!