And here we are – with the exception of possibly one more post on My Travel from TripIt (which is still acting a bit wonky), we are at the end of our series on LinkedIn! I hope that you’ve gotten some useful tips, and you feel as though you’re starting to use LinkedIn to its full potential.

This morning, Cordell Parvin asked me to share with him what my top LinkedIn tips would be, and I think these would be a good starting point for our final how-to.  They are: 

  • Have a full and complete profile so that people can get to know you. 
  • Make LinkedIn one of the pages that automatically opens when you open your browser – then you don’t have to remember to check it.
  • Reach out to someone in some way every day – comment on a status, recommend an article, "like" someone’s post. 
  • Participate actively in groups – ask questions, post relevant articles (not just your own), engage with other participants.
  • Take the relationships offline – offer to meet someone in your network who is local for coffee or lunch and look to meet up with those in other cities when you’re traveling. 

As we’ve seen through the sheer number of posts I’ve written about using LinkedIn, there is so much to be done and learned from it.  And we haven’t touched on everything that’s in there.  To touch on some additional features that you might find useful: 

  • Jobs: In the Jobs section of LinkedIn, you can post open positions at your firm to recruit talent, or if you’re a job seeker, you can use their in depth search function to look for your perfect position. There are even upgrades for job seekers (paid of course) that can help you to get hired faster.
     
  • Advertising: We touched on this yesterday, but LinkedIn is now offering the opportunity to advertise through the site for as little as $10/day.  You can talk with their sales team to figure out what will get you to your objectives and also see customized solutions for brand marketers and agencies. 
     
  • Profile Organizer: This gives you the ability to save profiles of people you are connected to, in order to view them later.  This might be particularly useful if you want to save profiles for potential clients so you can remember to reach out to them periodically.  When you search for people and mouseover their profile information, one of the options that appears on the right hand side is "Save Profile" – when you do this, it will appear in your profile organizer, which is found under "Profile" in your top menu. The profile organizer allows you to further categorize your saved profiles into folders, and even supplies you with "Top Prospects" as a sample folder to start with. 
     
  • News: In order to be considered more useful as a news aggregate, LinkedIn has added a new "News" section, which is available through your main menu.  Clicking on "News" or "LinkedIn Today" (which is a subheader), will take you to the top articles that are being shared on LinkedIn by its members.  This can be a powerful tool, particularly since you can search among other subjects, including law.  This may give you some fodder for a blog post, a piece to share with your social media connections, or even with your top clients via email.  Through their news section, you can also save articles and follow either top news sources, like the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, or industries, like the legal industry or those that your clients are found in.  
     
  • Signal: Within news, there is a sub-heading called "Signal" – according to LinkedIn, this "casts a professional lens on LinkedIn and Twitter updates by letting you see what industries, companies and geographic locations are saying about any topic, showing you a quick survey of links that are trending around any topic, and narrow[ing] down your search to see only links shared by your immediate connections." This can have tremendous impact for legal bloggers, as well as those of you looking to research what others are saying about a topic. 

Additionally, LinkedIn is available as an app for smartphones, including BlackBerry, iPhone and Palm Pre. Recently, they came out with an update that gives users even MORE functionality, and helps to make the mobile experience much closer to the desktop experience (finally!). For a quick overview of features: 

  • BlackBerry: The app works on BlackBerrys with OS v4.3 or later and gives you six "modules," which include network updates (you can share your own and read those of your connections), search, connections (your full "address book" of LinkedIn connections), messages, and suggestions for new connections.  Some of their new features for BlackBerry include being able to integrate your LinkedIn connections with your BlackBerry address book and viewing the profile of any contact directly on your BlackBerry, having LinkedIn messages and invitations appearing in your BlackBerry inbox, like any other mail, and the ability to view the LinkedIn profile of someone attending a meeting that is on your BlackBerry calendar.  
     
  • iPhone: The iPhone app has a number of features, including the ability to "bump" with another LinkedIn iPhone user to connect on the spot (bumping is when you put the two phones together and they exchange information).  You can also search your connections and the LinkedIn network, invite people to connect, review updates from your network, browse your connections and download them to your iPhone address book, tag your favorite connections, access your inbox and invitations, see profiles that you’ve recently visited, and see suggestions for people to connect to.  In a strange addition, you can also apparently match your LinkedIn app to your tie, shoes or handbag – iPhone users are fun (can you tell I’m one of them), so that may be why LinkedIn included this fun little option!
     
  •  Palm Pre: The Palm Pre LinkedIn app allows you to search for profiles to connect with others, send messages to your connections, discover common contacts you have to make real life introductions easier, and inviting people to connect with you when you meet them. 

In addition, LinkedIn gives you a mobile page when  you view their website from a browser on your phone to make your experience of LinkedIn easier.  With all of these tools, there’s no excuse for not using LinkedIn on a regular basis!

So get out there and start using these tools and features, and making the most of your LinkedIn experience! Tomorrow, we begin talking about Facebook (don’t be scared – you’d be surprised how useful it might be for you!).