LinkedIn is the largest professional social networking site. It is a fantastic resource for networking, connecting with potential partners, investors and clients, and sharing your expertise.

There is no reason not to be on LinkedIn. It's safe and it's professional.

Here are nine steps to help you setup your LinkedIn profile successfully and use LinkedIn to strengthen your network.

Step 1: The Profile Box
Complete all this information.
1. Name
2. Professional Headline - Use Keywords! This is searchable.
3. Location
4. Professional Photo
5. Current and Past Positions - Use Keywords! Be Specific! This is searchable.
6. Education Information - Great way to connect!
7. Website Listings (Include Website Name) and Twitter Handle
8. Personalized LinkedIn URL
9. Professional Contact Information

Step 2: Summary
Be specific, be likable, use keywords and establish credibility. Introduce yourself in first person and set yourself apart from the competition. This should not be the same as your website bio.

Step 3: Skills
Remember - these are searchable keywords that will help you establish expertise and credibility.

Step 4: Complete the rest of your profile as fits your needs.
Honors, Interests, Awards, Photos, Media, etc.
You can have a lot of fun with the "extras" that really set your profile apart.

Step 5: Make Connections:
Email contacts, Colleagues, Classmates, Networking connections, etc.

Step 6: Join Groups and Follow Companies to Make More Connections

Step 7: Post Regular Updates
Post during the work day and share relevant information that will speak to your target market and connections in a unique way that sets you apart from others.

Step 8: Stay Up to Date
Follow channels that interest you on Pulse and stay in tune with what your network is interested in.

Step 9: Be EngagedĀ 
Participate in groups, answer questions, respond to connections/messages

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