LinkedIn has established itself as the premier professional community and networking tool. With well over 300 million users, in over 200 countries and territories, the site has become a massive marketplace for professional people and services.

How to Use LinkedIn

Studies have shown that LinkedIn has the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate when it comes to social media sites, at an incredible 2.74%. That’s 277% more effective than both Facebook, (.77%) and Twitter, (.69%)!

When starting with LinkedIn, there are a number of things that you can do to increase your chances of a good visitor-to-lead percentage.

In this article, we’re going to give you tips that will help you maximize your ability to build your business through LinkedIn and grow your customer-base. First, it is important for all staff members to create an in-depth profile for themselves. It is very important to list themselves as current employees of your current LinkedIn business page.

When setting up personal accounts on LinkedIn, please do the following: For those with existing profiles, please go through the entire list to see if you can add to your profile:

1.    Include your full name

People may well search for you in different ways, so make sure you include your full name, as opposed to initials. Having your full name can also come across as open and professional.

2.    Select a location that’s as big of an area as possible

If you have the option to select a town or county, always go with the latter – this way you are increasing the size of the net and will be easily reachable by a larger number of people.

3.    Make sure that the industry you select is correct

4.    Include your credentials in the relevant sections

It seems obvious, but it can be overlooked!

Make sure you list your qualifications in the relevant area. Again, many people overlook this and it can be essential when contacting prospective clients.

5.    Create a professional headline

Bear in mind that this headline is one of the first things that people will see when they look at your profile. You can also place your credentials here.

6.    Customize your URL

This will benefit you when sending a link to prospective clients/employers, as it is a lot easier to copy.

7.    Show yourself

When it comes to adding a photo, make sure you include your entire face. People love to know whom they’re talking to.

8.    Avoid group photographs

Not only does it lead to some confusion as to the owner of the account, it is also rather unprofessional.

9.    Don’t get TOO personal

Family or holiday shots are generally a no-no.

10.    Smile!

Never underestimate the power of a smile. No one wants to work with a miserable person and countless studies have shown that a smile is welcoming and assuring.

11.    Be creative with your accomplishments

Resist the urge to write your profile as if you were writing a resume. The beauty of LinkedIn is its conversational attitude, so remember this when you are putting together your experience and other important points.

12.    Use bullet points

They’re specific, easy to read… and straight to the point.

13.    Don’t worry about achievements before 2000

You don’t need to go too far back in time when it comes to listing the ins and outs. Unless they were specific to your career path, they are unnecessary.

14.    Be SMART

When it comes to content, keep in mind the following – Specific, Measureable, Achievement, Relevant, Timely. The SMART acronym doesn’t just apply to goal- setting!

15.    Consult

Doing volunteer work in your industry if you are not currently working will avoid career gaps.

16.    Keep everything up-to-date

Make sure your information all reflects your professional self currently. Delete old, irrelevant items and make sure anything you’ve recently completed is put on your profile as soon as possible. Go the extra mile

17.    Publications

Have you published anything? Been part of a publication or of a team that was published? Make sure you include it.