LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Individuals are able to link in to other professionals in their career area and, in turn, are linked in to their business-networking world as well.

The power of LinkedIn is in the sheer number of professionals and even professional associations that have a page. Interested in becoming a green entrepreneur, a lawyer, or even an exterminator of roaches? — LinkedIn can provide you with a means to network with individuals worldwide pursuing or involved in a countless number of business and personal ventures.

The following steps will help get you there.

Create a Full and Involved Profile

Every LinkedIn account requires that you setup your own profile page. One of the biggest mistakes one can make on LinkedIn is to have an incomplete profile. The more information you list the larger your social network will be. Add in every school you’ve attended, every job you’ve had, along with any professional or social associations you are a member of.

Connect with Everybody

When you first create your LinkedIn account you will be prompted to search all of your email address books to find individuals’ that are also on LinkedIn. Connect with everybody … friends, business associates, co-workers, even acquaintances.

When you go to a conference or a meeting make sure to get the LinkedIn address of any attendees. You can also search for individuals’ by their name and companies by theirs. Again, the more you connect the better your LinkedIn experience will be.

Recommend Others

Recommendations are one of the ways LinkedIn helps people to share their experiences with you as an employee, student, or business owner. A good way to cull recommendations is to freely give your own. Individuals can request recommendations from you and you can request recommendations from others. These are displayed on your profile page and are excellent marketing material for your business or for you if you are seeking employment.

Create and Interact with Groups

LinkedIn groups represent a variety of interests and backgrounds. No matter what you are looking to discover or even become a part of, a group related to it exists on linked in.

Joining groups is a great way to build your network. Be aware that some groups require an invitation, but securing one is usually as simple as sending a request to the group administrator.

If you really want to get involved begin your own group. You can invite like-minded individuals to become a part of it. Groups often share vital information with each other and it represents a better way to make a more personal connection with your LinkedIn associates.

LinkedIn is free site but they offer advanced options for a premium fee. The free version is sufficient for small businesses and individuals. However the premium features are best suited for larger companies.

After reading about how to take full advantage of all that LinkedIn offers (like the ability to start groups based on common interests, even roaches), you’re probably interested in learning more about Facebook. Guest post written by Shane.