"I swear, next year I am finally going to get my LinkedIn profile 100% complete."
Baby steps, for sure, but career expert and author Lindsey Pollak tells Forbes that's exactly what will do the trick if you want to improve your online networking presence in the new year.
"Schedule 10 to 15 minutes three times a week (or whatever consistent schedule works for you) to set up a great profile, connect with colleagues and former colleagues and surf around LinkedIn to see where you can add value and what features of the site will be most helpful to you," she notes.
Like in most projects, consistency is key. Actually carve out those 10- to 15-minute blocks in your calendar and honor them as if they were a meeting with peers. Whether it's LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter or online forums, a few regular, consistent interactions a week will be far more valuable than a monthly or quarterly dump of links, requests, questions and answers.
Shawnice Meador, director of career management and leadership development at MBA@UNC, says it's also imperative you shift your perspective in order to forge the strongest connections and develop the most opportunities.
"As you embark on professional networking, you need to drop the 'me' perspective and go into your interactions with other professionals with a partnership perspective," she says. "You and others will get more out of this type of 'give and take' relationship than the single-sided approach."
Think about it: Whom would you rather interact with professionally? Those who are only out to receive or those who seek to help others as much as themselves?