LinkedIn is one of the most underutilized B2B marketing channels.

People often use it as a CV management tool, but they forget it can be so much more.

LinkedIn has the potential of becoming your #1 online marketing tool, but like with any other marketing channel, you need to have a strategy and implement it.

Step 1: Buff your profile
The heart of LinkedIn is the profiles of the professionals who use it. If you wish to be visible on LinkedIn it starts with buffing your profile until it shines like a star.

Attract them with a good cover pic.
The first thing people will see when they visit your profile is the cover image. Make sure it stands out. A LinkedIn profile cover image is like the cover of the book, people may not totally judge you by it, but a good cover image will make people want to learn more about you and your work.

With this in mind, you should make your cover image a clear reflection of your brand. If you’re working on a specific project or side gig, highlight the outcomes from this project or side gig. You want your cover image to be a teaser for what’s to come. Make sure the content is visually appealing, and the messaging is on target.

Showcase who you are, where you’re going, and why someone would want to come with you.

Match your profile pic to your promise.
The next thing people notice is your profile picture. It’s important to match your look to your promise. For many people, this means a professional profile picture, but if you’re a creative or an entrepreneur, twist the look to show what you stand for.

If you use a personal shot, one of you with your kids, out partying or a generic photo, you risk looking unprofessional to your followers.

Fill Out Your Profile in detail
Your profile page evidences the promises you made in your cover and profile pic. Start with what makes you unique or stand out, what you stand for and how you add value to the world, your employers and your community. Talk it up – this is your chance to make an impression through your past and present activities. If you don’t like boasting about yourself, swallow this deep and focus on communicating the value you really truly bring.

Below this list, your past roles – jobs, volunteering, and more, focusing on what you achieved, the impact you had, rather than just listing the tasks you performed. It’s all about the impact you had in these roles, not the day-to-day activities.

Step 2: Get active
LinkedIn is about giving, not taking. There’s nothing worse than someone who connects and instantly tries to sell you something. The trick is to give value and you’ll receive value (in respect, connections and opportunities) in return.

Found an interesting article related to your profession, business, or brand? Share it with your connections. Be active in conversations and respond to comments. Think of it as an office conversation; you don’t just ignore your colleges, do you?

Congratulate your connections when they list a new success, highlight what they are good at, and recommend them when warranted. You build your impact by delivering impact.

Step 3: Focus on where you can add value
LinkedIn Groups are a great way to connect with people and to establish thought leadership, but you must find the groups relevant to the value you bring.

Don’t join too many groups, but ensure those you join you are active in, adding value through relevant links and comments periodically. This doesn’t need to be daily but should be more active than monthly to ensure that you remain visible and your genius is seen.

Also, be active in posting content to your timeline. You don’t need to write this content, share great (and relevant articles) you find interesting. If you want to share at a deeper level, write articles that provide insights into key challenges you’ve solved relevant to your topic area.

Step 4: Maintain the rage
There’s no such thing as an instant expert, it takes time to build your reputation, connections, and attention.
So it’s critical that you remain active over time, visiting LinkedIn every week to add a few comments, recommend your colleagues, look for new connections and post content.

Make Linkedin a habit, a place you visit regularly to help people and share experiences and expertise. With time you’ll become known in your area and people will seek you out, bringing opportunities with them.

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The SimpleMarketing.AI Content Engine generated this post (with a little human editing).