I’m a Facebook junkie. But even with my love of Facebook and its Business Groups, I have recently become aware of just how incredible LinkedIn is.

Even as job seekers or professionals looking for referrals and connections, LinkedIn is for many not the first place that jumps to mind. That seems to be due to lack of training (or a lack of pursued training) about this powerful platform. Allow me to point out a few ways in which you can increase your “footprint” and your actual person-to-person connections on LinkedIn.

(1) Requesting a Connection
(a)When you request a connection with someone else, at the very least take the time to write a short, personal note. Clicking the “Connect” button does nothing to introduce yourself to the person you would like to link with.
(b) When you connect, don’t “sell” yourself – just make a connectionl It may be difficult to be patient, but it will pay off in the long run, and it can net you an actual friend.

(2) Join a Group
(a) Again, you will want to take the long view here, and show up and respond to others’ needs as well as sharing your own. But as your network grows – and by “network” I mean those people you actually create some kind of relationship with – and you (i) stay in touch over time, and (ii) maintain a genuine and relaxed tone that reflects who and what you truly are, you will become the kind of person that people refer others to.

This is the merest glimpse of what LinkedIn is useful for, and how to use it better than you may have already been using it. I hope this information gives you some new thoughts about how to use LinkedIn more to your needs, and more to your style.