These are my personal start-up tips when creating your LinkedIn for your online or offline marketing. Many marketers already uses some of them, but the key is to work on all platforms in order to strengthen your personal branding.

  1. Your Profile – This is so obvious, but so many times just done halfheartedly. Remember to create your LinkedIn profile all the way out. Focus on having a really professional profile with your business experience, your resume and what you are currently working with. Another good idea is to use a professional headshot and not the party shots sometimes found on Facebook. And if you have a professional blog, make sure you connect the feed from it. Ask a good friend to check your profile and get feedback.
  2. Contacts – Remember, this is not Facebook! More is not always the better! Start with inviting your closest business contacts, and continue to search for people you think can be interested in you and your business. You will be looking for colleagues and a target market, so be selective.
  3. Recommendations – LinkedIn is a great way to obtain certified testimonials. Look at you contact list. How many of them have you worked with, met, or made business with? Get started and recommend them. They sure will appreciate that and probably send you a recommendation back. But don’t forget to ask for recommendations too. But don’t just go out and ask all in your contact list. That will not look very professional if you have a large contact list with people you have not yet connected with.
  4. Groups — Look for groups related to your target market. Be active in that group and join conversations in a way that adds to your reputation. You should also join groups of individuals that are in your business area. LinkedIn is the home of professionals, and we can all learn from each other.
  5. Create a Group – Another great idea is to create your own group. Make sure you name that group with something related to your niche. Invite all your contacts to join, and market your group on all your regular social media as Twitter, Facebook and others. Try to grow the group as large as possible and keep the group active at all times. Use questions, discussions and status updates to keep it alive.
  6. Questions — At LinkedIn you will find an area called Answers. Be active and answer questions related to your niche. Act as a professional and not like a salesman. You can find related questions by using the search bar and search for your related keywords. Answer as the expert on questions you really know the answer to.
Kudos to Adriano Gasparri for the great picture!