The LinkedIn New Starter Guide, followed by the e-learning modules should tell you everything that you need to know. Finally, if you would like to delve into a particular area in more detail, try the LinkedIn Learning Center, where you will find help on every aspect of LinkedIn.
Leveraging LinkedIn - essential LinkedIn tips
hone your profile - a professional looking photograph and include keywords in your summary / specialties (keep an eye on the Completeness bar)
ask to be endorsed seek recommendations - in the virtual world it is essential to establish credibility and trust. Use the Ask to be Endorsed button. And remember, sometimes you to have to give to receive ...
customize your URL - like this: http://www.linkedin.com/in/businessideas and customize the anchor text - watch this video to see how:
use status updates - this message is broadcast to all your connections (don't overdo it though!)
LinkedIn Status Update
make connections - you can import / export your contacts via .csv files. The premise of LinkedIn is to connect you with people that you know or have been recommended to you. Connecting to strangers is frowned upon and 5 'don't knows' will earn you a censure from LinkedIn. When contacting individuals that you are not directly connected with, there are 3 options:
introductions - send a message via other connections. This has the advantage of coming from a (hopefully) trusted person and the disadvantage of relying on someone else.
add to network - a message sent directly to the person with whom you would like to connect - you must select your previous relationship with the person
inmails - a mail delivered directly via the LinkedIn system to individuals that you find through search. But there are costs and tight restrictions - you will not build a large network quickly in this way.
LinkedIn Groupsjoin groups - groups allow you exchange ideas through discussions, add and read news articles and collaborate. As a member of a group, it is much easier to invite a connection (through the members tab). By contributing to the group you, of course, become more visible. Blatant self-promotion will work against you but useful or topical information, sponsored by a foot link should be okay. In any case, your mini-profile is attached to the contribution. You can receive updates from the group via digest emails. You can search for groups using the search function - type in keywords
use the News tab in the groups - links can be attached to send readers to another place
if you are seeking lots of connections, consider joining one of the LinkedIn Open Networking (LION) groups. Here anyone can connect with you and become automatically accepted. You can probably imagine the level of irrelevant and unwanted contacts that will result if you are not careful. Sometimes less is more. Search on LION if you are interested.
create groups and use the new templates feature to automate management tasks
LinkedIn Send Email:
communicate with your connections - you can send email via LinkedIn's built-in system to 50 people at a time - but don't spam; the more distant your connections, the more likely they will react badly to unsolicited messages
communicate via sharing - if you find an interesting article, you can share it with your connections via the share button that appears at the top of the browser
show your latest blog entries via the WordPress application [more on applications, including video, here]. You can even filter your posts with a special LinkedIn tag
add the SlideShare application to share presentations, showcasing your knowledge and expertise (Google Presentations accomplishes the same thing)
use LinkedIn Answers - asking and answering questions raises your profile. The Answer Questions tab lets you browse Open questions and in Advanced Search, you can select to only see Unanswered Questions. If you answer enough questions, you could become one of the weeks Top Experts - good for credibility and exposure.
LinkedIn Searchsearch (Search Help) on your keywords. Clicking the “save this search” option lets you save a search and run it again at a later time. You can also choose to receive reminders over email once new members in the network match your saved search criteria. You can communicate with people direct from the search.
create polls - ask one question and display up to five multiple choice answers for your audience to vote on. Your audience can be your 1st degree connections (free) or selected professionals in the US (fee, unless you have a premium subscription).
The sooner you get started on LinkedIn the better. Like all networking activities, it is better to give before you request (or promote).