LinkedIn has a reputation as being a platform for job seekers, but that’s only one application for the professional network. Another application is for expanding your business’s network and increasing visibility. Are you doing everything that you can to accomplish this through LI? It’s an excellent platform for networking, especially if you are in a B2B field.
Here are four steps to increasing your visibility on LinkedIn. They are basic, but are you doing them?
Fill Out Your Profile Completely—This should go without saying. The best way to attract attention from serious potential clients or customers is to allow them to get to know you. This means giving them the information that they’re looking for in an easy to read way. Ask your connections that you’ve done business with for recommendations. Fill out your job history. Oh, and throw up a professional head shot. It can make or break the business you do.
Answers—If you’re in business for yourself, chances are you know a lot about the industry and subject. LinkedIn has an answers section that allows members to ask, and answer questions. If you know the answer, contribute to the conversation. A word of caution: be nice in how you answer questions. Some people tend to become know it alls, or scoff at the question. Interacting this way won’t win you future business. You can also add a link to your answer. If there is more information on this question on your website, you can link back to it. People will sniff you out if you link every answer back to your site however, so it’s best to do this sparingly.
Groups—Groups are another great way to interact with other professionals, and potential customers on LinkedIn. There are many groups for different industries and subject matters, and participating in the discussions can be a great way to talk shop. Just remember to talk with people the way you would if you met them at a networking event—kind and professionally.
Update Your Status—Like Facebook, LinkedIn allows you to update your status. And also like Facebook, the more quality information you post, the more other professionals will be interested. If you give the hard sell with every post, people will tune you out.  
 Matt Brennan is a Chicago-area marketing writer and copy editor. He is also the author of Write Right-Sell Now.

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