Do you have a LinkedIn profile but don't think it's of any use? Do you think LinkedIn is an ineffective social media channel? Well, you might not be using it correctly or not using LinkedIn to its fullest potential and losing out on a potentially great place to meet and network with others virtually or reconnect with those you've met in person.

This article goes through 10 steps and tips on how to improve your online presence on LinkedIn and will give you a good base to start making those connections.

10 Easy Steps on Improving Your LinkedIn Profile

Complete Your Profile

First but foremost, LinkedIn has a step by step guide (wizard) as to how to complete your profile. Follow the steps and add in as much information as possible about yourself and your industry career so that others can read and learn more about what you do. The idea is to make yourself a pillar of the industry so that others will look at you as a thought leader or someone worth connecting with.

The more information you can place into building that professional profile the better.

Grab a Good URL for Your Profile

If you haven't already, make sure you grab a good profile URL, especially one with your full name in it, http://linkedin.com/in/peterbui1. Unfortunately I had to deal with the number 1 at the end of mine.

Having your full name in your profile does two things. It makes it easier to others to find you and makes your profile appear a little more professional.

Add More Careers

Where relevant, make sure you add in all the places that you've worked that are related to your chose industry. That is, add in all the related jobs that relate to the direction you want your LinkedIn profile to go.

I specifically didn't add in my few years at McDonalds because it has nothing to do with web design, development or online strategy although I do think the training there did impact on other aspects of my life.

Add in volunteering groups

If you don't have as many job positions listed as you may want then possibly enter in the places that you have volunteers and that you are passionate about. It shows that you care about causes and people can potentially engage you on that level. It can possibly lead to other avenues that you've never thought of.

I personally do web work and social media work as a volunteer for environment groups as I'm passionate about conservation and the environment.

(As I write this I just got a phone call from a environment group for paid work. Ask me next time you see me in person.)

Upload a professional photo

There is nothing worse than using an icon or strange image as your profile picture. Same goes with a blurry or zoomed out shot of yourself.

Choose a good image that clearly shows your face. You may have connected with someone at a networking session and they may have forgotten your name but they do remember your face.

Having a good profile picture will make it easier for others to track you down as well as making your profile more inviting for others.

Get Recommendations and Give Recommendations

Get as many written recommendations as possible from others. You may find it easier if you write recommendations for others first as it will make them feel obliged to write a good one for you.

Recommendations on your profile will help cement your trust worthiness of your profile for others to engage with you.

Give a Good Summary of Yourself

Make sure you give a good summary of yourself on your profile and also try giving out your email in your summary to allow others to connect with you. LinkedIn requires an email address in order for others that are beyond a 3rd degree of connection to add you to their networks. Giving them your email will open yourself up for more connections, but be warned, that also opens you up to more spam.

Connect Your Twitter Account

Connecting your Twitter account makes sure that whatever you are posting on LinkedIn also goes out to the Twitterverse. It covers both bases and makes it a little easier in terms of managing your social presence.

Now that you're connected with Twitter as well, make sure your post your updates on LinkedIn on Twitter as well! Don't forget to press that update tick box when posting.

Establish Your Skills (Keywords) in Order to Get Endorsements

Define your area of expertise and add all of those skills to your profile. Others within your network will be able to endorse your skills and in return make sure you endorse their skills.

One way to get others to look and view your profile is to endorse their skills to help get their attention.

Embed Your Profile on Your Blog or Website

It's really easy to embed your LinkedIn profile onto your website.

Simply log into LinkedIn and navigate to: https://developer.linkedin.com/plugins where you will be given a multitude of different linking options for your website. Choose a member profile option and allow others to connect with you.

As a start these quick and easy steps to improve your LinkedIn profile will get you on your way to creating better connections through the business social network.

Let us know your experiences and feedback on what has worked for you on LinkedIn