When it comes to social networking, LinkedIN.com is the King.  But just being a member of his Court doesn’t make you stand out above the crowd.  Here are my top five tips to help you move to the top of the pile.

1) 100% Complete.  That is what you want to see to the right of your profile.  Make sure that you fill out all of your information, so that the little LinkedIN bar says that your profile is 100% complete.  The more information that you have in your profile, the easier it will be for people to find you.

2) Add a photo.  I know that this sounds narcissistic, but put up a decent photo of yourself.  You may have met someone at a networking event, or one of your kids school functions, or at the karaoke competition last week that could be looking for you, but they are not sure which Bob Smith is the right one.  So put up a photo and let the rest of the world see your smiling face.

3) My Website, My Blog.  When you add links to your profile, make sure that you change the default settings in LinkedIN that automatically set your web site name to “My Website”.  You will want to select the drop down box that says “My Website” and click “Other”.  This will open up another text entry box where you can type in the name of your website or blog.  (Ex. Amped Up Digital Site, or Amped Up Digital Blog)  This might not sound like a very big deal, but behind the scenes, in a dark room that no one speaks of, there is a sorted relationship going on between LinkedIN and Google.  By adding the names to your links, this gives your LinkedIN profile, as well as the links listed, more “Google Juice” and helps you rank higher in search results.

4) Join Groups.  You will find that LinkedIN has a ton of groups on a million different topics.  Look around and find a few that fit you, your personality, and your business.  Then join them and interact.  Ask questions, answer questions, make comments, etc.  This is a great way to virtually network with others in your industry or that share the same interests as you.  Just remember, don’t start selling right off the bat.  LinkedIN maybe business focused, but it is still about building relationships.  People will let you know when they are in the buying mode and want more information from you.  Just focus on building the relationships first, and sales will follow.

5) Q&A.  Much like “Groups”, LinkedIN’s Questions and Answers lets you interact with your fellow LinkedIN members.  So ask all the questions you want.  Remember, the only stupid question is the one that you don’t ask.  They won’t bite, so ask away.  Also, look for questions that you can answer and share your expertise.  This is another way to build credibility and good will.

BONUS:  This one is a little known fact, until now, but I have found that it works every time.  When filling out your profile, make sure that you use the keywords that you want to be known for in your job title, description, summary, and experience descriptions.  The rule seems to be, “the one with the most keywords ranks the highest”.  But don’t go overboard.  I am sure that the LinkedIN Cops watch for keyword stuffed profiles.  So add them in where they fit and make them look natural.  To see what I mean, go to www.linkedin.com and search for “Digital Media Producer” or “Digital Catalyst”, who comes up first?

So there you have it and there you are.  Ways to help boost your LinkedIN profile to the top of the heap.  Also, make sure that if we are not connected on LinkedIN that you send me a connection request.  Just search for “Kelly Ross Kerr” or “Amped Up Digital”.  I’ll make sure that I add you to my network.

As always, I welcome any thoughts, comments, or questions. Just post them in the space provided by clicking “Comments” below.