LinkedIn has long been established as both a professional networking website and a B2B marketing gold mine. In the following article, we’re going to dive into some simple and easy ways that you can enhance your LinkedIn profile and begin generating more meaningful relationships. Notice how I said meaningful relationships? Yeah, let’s put an emphasis on that.

LinkedIn is known for its ability to provide a Facebook-like atmosphere tailored to professionals. The issue is; however, that it often becomes more of a sales tool than a social media network. So what exactly is the difference between treating LinkedIn as a sales tool, compared to treating it as a social media network?

It’s simple – Effective marketing is based on RELATIONSHIPS and genuine, authentic connections. The wrong turn that many are taking when it comes to their LinkedIn strategy is investing ridiculous amounts of money and time trying to SELL on the network, rather than CONNECT on the network. This isn’t to say that spending money on advertisements via LinkedIn or utilizing the amazing power of “bots” to automate the process is wrong; in fact digital marketing is INSANELY effective almost everywhere on the internet. But treating LinkedIn as nothing more than another opportunity to spam connections with “Hi my name is Steve and this is why you should buy my product/service” is not only ludicrous, it’s just annoying.

There’s nothing wrong with using LinkedIn to increase sales and conversions; but as in all things, a sales-mentality doesn’t do you much good in actually making sales. Instead, focus on the genuine and authentic relationships while streamlining creative and informative content – This is what makes you stand out from the competition.

Now that we’ve gotten that rant out of the way, let’s jump into the actual point of this article! Here’s 5 ways that you can significantly improve your LinkedIn presence:

  1. Focus on the People – Create genuine and authentic relationships (Reference the rant above)
  2. Don’t be afraid to grow your network – You don’t have to “know” someone to get to know them! Add people who interest you, may be ideal clients or possible partners in future ventures.
  3. Actually CONNECT with your network – Whether it’s by personally typing out messages and introductions, inviting connections to your email newsletter or using a bot to generate conversation; Don’t let your connections sit stagnant.
  4. Generate Content – Take advantage of LinkedIn articles and newsfeed posts. You should be using LinkedIn to provide your ideal clientele with information about what you do and why you do it. As in all things social media, content is king.
  5. Stop being lazy. Most of us tend to pick our favorite social network and stick with it – We either decide to completely automate the other networks or we forget about them entirely. Each network has its own personality and profile that reflects its most active users – Take advantage of every major social media network in order to tell the story of your business and brand. Don’t be afraid, just do it.