With over 100 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and attracts users who are serious about business. The opportunities for networking and lead generation are boundless and according to Justine Smith, PR Director at KISS Public Relations there are great ways of improving your LinkedIn profile. Justine explains, “It’s interesting how many people set up a LinkedIn profile but often don’t complete it; missing out key areas such as experience, a web site address, or not uploading a picture. Asking for recommendations is another crucial area that many people leave blank. Getting third party endorsement for a good piece of work or project is fantastic at adding credibility to a profile.” She continued, “Aside from connecting with former colleagues and exploring new business opportunities, LinkedIn is also a great way of identifying new staff, researching ideas and also getting background information on a company or person prior to a new business meeting.” In order to maximise the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile, KISS Public Relations has compiled some top tips: 1. Decide on your connection strategy carefully. There are two different approaches to connecting on LinkedIn: connect with anyone and everyone, or operate on a trusted partner basis. Decide on your strategy and stick to it. 2. Optimise your profile, making sure it’s 100% complete. People often leave areas incomplete. 3. Customise your URL. Visit the ‘Edit Profile’ tab and click ‘Public Profile’ at the bottom on the left. Once you’re on this page you will see on the far right ‘Your current URL’. This is where you can customise your LinkedIn domain name. This will enable you to better brand your account. 4. Use the groups. Joining a group is easy and is a great way of getting involved in relevant business dialogue. If you’re unsure of which groups to join, simply click on ‘Groups You May Like’ for inspiration. 5. Once you’ve set up a LinkedIn account it needs to be constantly nurtured and new contacts added on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The more direct connections you have, the more opportunities you have to connect and hence the greater the benefit. 6. Use ‘Signal’ to keep up-to-date on relevant news and information. This tool lets you monitor updates within your network and also lets you filter information so you can also see what people in your extended network are posting. You can also filter by industry and location. 7. Ask for recommendations after you do great work. Once you’ve accepted a recommendation everyone in your network has access to this. 8. Post regular status updates. Your updates appear in the LinkedIn update stream of your connections, so regular posting will ensure you’re kept on their radar. 9. Consider upgrading your LinkedIn account. This can open up a whole host of new business opportunities, for example, an upgrade to ‘Business’ lets you email three contacts per month through inmail even if they are not in your network or ten contacts if you choose ‘Business Plus’. 10. Finally, if you need an answer to a question or are keen to get feedback on a particular issue or even new brand name, LinkedIn enables you to ask a question and get fast answers from your network. Click on the link to Answers which is under ‘More’ at the top of the LinkedIn site.