We all know that social networking is one of the "in" things these days. I mean, just about everyone is doing it these days in one form or another. And there is definitely no shortage of social network sites out there.

However, the general consensus is that you should be signed up to what is referred to as the "big three" to make the most out of this trend. Those three are Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. The purpose of this article will focus on Linkedin.

Each one of the big three have their areas where they are stronger than the other two and Linkedin's big edge is in the business arena. Linkedin is chock-full of professionals from just about every field you can think of. Many business alliances, joint ventures, and whatnot have been formed on this site.

But first you must know how to get started, so let's begin.


Creating Your Profile

Once you go to Linkedin, you will presented with a login or register option, and obviously you will click on register. The first part is simple. Here you will enter your first name, last name, email address, and set up a password.

You will then go about completing your profile. Important note; this is not Facebook or Twitter. Linkedin is a very professional oriented site.

When entering your photo, you want it to be as official and professional looking as possible. In the summary area, list everything you think is relevant here, don't be shy. In the specialties area, list 'em all. It will also help you to be found on Google. At first, Linkedin will provide you with some gibberish as your URL. Change it to your name, and if that is not available, find something else, but make it relevant to you or what you do. If you have a blog or website, integrate it using the Apps tab. You can also incorporate your Twitter link. And another very important tip; the more you fill out your profile (hopefully 100%) the more likely it is you will easily be found on Google.


Get Connections

When you first join Linkedin, you will probably have 0 connections. Not good. Linkedin has a groups feature which can be a great help in securing connections. However, you don't want to go and join 50 groups and end up getting nothing done at all. Choose 3 to 5 groups. Preferably ones that have a few hundred members. You can be sure those ones are seeing activity. And make sure you drop in a few times a week too.

Make it a point to find the hottest topics of discussion on those groups and check them out. Study them and learn all you can from them. Feel free to add your own comment, and long as it is relevant to the topic and makes sense. And don't be shy about asking questions too. Remember, the only dumb question is the unasked one. These are just a few ways to get connections. The more you use Linkedin the well-versed you will become in this area. In other words, get active and join groups. Just don't overdo it on the group thing.


Become the Expert

I cannot emphasize this enough. Hammer this into your conscience and hammer it hard. If you can be branded as an expert on Linkedin, you may be well on your way to some lucrative dealings. As with a lot of social sites these days, Linkedin does have a question section. Don't be frustrated if you don't see something you have expertise in being asked about. Patience is key here. Check this section, everyday if possible, and as soon as you see something that you know you can provide a solution for, jump right on in.

So there you have it. A brief tutorial on Linkedin. There is much more available on the site than I can cover. Experience is the best teacher. So head on over there and get your link on.


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