Last week I shared 6 tips to Power Up your LinkedIn profile and get more ROI out of the investment of time and energy – but no money if you're on a free sub like me. Today I have 4 more tips for you to get even more out of LinkedIn.

1. Join Groups. If you've not joined any groups on LinkedIn yet, then you're missing out on a major part of the experience for three reasons:

a. Joining groups tells others what you're in to. It adds another dimension to your profile that your summary doesn't say.

b. It opens you up to new worlds on LinkedIn by joining active communities. It's a social network within a pretty straight business platform. Some groups have too many spammy posts while others are pretty helpful. You probably won't want to get every comment posted in a group sent to your email box or you'll get overloaded. For most groups I'm in I just get weekly digests or none allowing me to go explore the group as I see fit to do.

c. Joining a group allows you to invite someone to connect with you without needing an introduction or a past connection through a job. Get it? This is a little secret about LinkedIn that many people don't know. Let's say you want to connect with someone you don't know and don't have anyone in your network who's connected to them. Look at their public profile. If they're in a group you find interesting, then join that group. Once you're in a group you can invite any member of that group to connect with you. The flip side of this is to explore members of groups you're in to find interesting new people to connect with.

2. Get the LinkedIn Outlook Toolbar. This free download found here allows you to send connection invites directly from Outlook. You can also see if anyone that emails you is on LinkedIn, which is pretty cool. Having this plug-in has accelerated my connection rate with other LinkedIn users.

3. Recommend others in your network in an unsolicited fashion. Want to stand out among your connections? Recommend them unsolicited. I have done this a couple of times and received a very warm response (and a nice recommendation back). Who knows, you might help that person get their profile to 100% completed with your recommendation, which would really help them out.

4. Use keywords in your summary and descriptions of what you do. Did you know that your public LinikedIn profile can show up in Google search results for certain keywords? This happened to me recently while I was searching on an HR-related term. On the first page of search results was a woman's profile. That's powerful and it's pretty easy to do. Go back through your profile now and make sure you're using keywords you'd like to be known for.

5. Use the Polling feature. LinkedIn has a free Polling feature that you can use to query your network on anything that you'd like to know. You can get quick answers that can help you to refine product and service offerings. Here's an example of me answering a poll:

LinkedIn Polls Capture
You'll find the Polls under the More tab that I have highlighted with the red arrow. Create a Poll by clicking on the Yellow button that you'll see in the center area of the page. I've highlighted that button with a red arrow, too.

Tip 6. Share your comments on books you're reading or have read through the sponsored Reading List app. Doing this helps in a couple of ways. First, it tells people you read – not necessarily a given. If you're in a knowledge profession like I am this is an important message to send.

Next, it gives people some insight in to what you're digging in to lately. I'm all about inbound marketing right now, which is why I recently read Inbound Marketing and Purple Cow and am now reading Crush It.

Lastly, it gives recommendations to your network on what they might read. People appreciate good reading recommendations. This section makes your profile that much stickier, i.e., makes people stick around longer. Here's a screen shot of my book section on my profile:

LinkedIn Reading List Capture

There you have it, 6 more LinkedIn Power Tips to help you get more out of this social networking platform that really does rock when you use it properly. If you'd like to learn more about how LinkedIn can fit in to an Inbound Marketing strategy for your business, contact me, The Growth Coach of San Mateo County, to make an appointment.

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