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Harness the Power of LinkedIn

More and more business people are using LinkedIn as part of their networking strategy. Whether it's to keep contacts up to date, meet potential new clients or get up to date information from industry groups, LinkedIn is a powerful business tool. Here are some tips to help you get the most from LinkedIn.

Update Your Profile Summary
Read your profile summary from a client's viewpoint. Consider what you are saying and how compelling your message is. Try to keep your profile consistent ? for example, if you write it in the first person then make sure the entire profile is written this way throughout. Make sure you add in any significant recent developments such as a promotion and give a little detail about your firm ? i.e. where you work and what the company does.

Set Goals
Set written goals for what you want to achieve from LinkedIn. Whether its lead generation, expanding your contact base or keeping up to date with relevant trends ? write out your goals and stick to them. Review those goals on a regular basis and track your progress.

Identify Relevant Industry Leaders
Create a list of leaders in your industry that you would like to meet. If you're in sales, these could be prospects. If you're looking for a job, it could be employers. Search for them on LinkedIn and develop a plan to make them become a connection. Remember not to send an unsolicited request to link ? if they don't know you they could report your request as spam.

Download Your Connections
Export your LinkedIn connections and save them to your computer. Your connections are a valuable business asset ? they could be an important part of your sales pipeline now or in the future. To do this, simply go to your LinkedIn contacts list and at the bottom of the page, you'll see "Export Connections". Export to outlook and save as a .CSV file. It can be opened in Excel. Do this on a regular basis so that you have a backup copy of your contacts.

Back Up Your Entire LinkedIn Profile
It takes time to write a decent profile for LinkedIn. So spend a few moments to download a copy of your profile. As above this is useful in case of disaster ? you will have a copy of your content to use again in the future if required. To do this, log into LinkedIn and go to your profile view. On the bottom right side of your profile photo is an edit drop down menu. Look for the 'export to PDF' choice. Click on it and it will save to your computer.