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4 Easy Tips on Using LinkedIn for Business Development

Want to do a better job of engaging with colleagues, clients and prospects on LinkedIn?

Here are a four simple tips that will ease you into new patterns to boost your social media productivity and potentially gain referrals.

Nail the Right Look

Before you ramp up your activity, you’ll want to make sure your house is in order. When it comes to connecting on LinkedIn, your smiling face is what others will see when choosing whether to connect with you or accept your invitation. A warm, friendly photo will go a long way in making people want to make that connection.

Additionally, whatever your profession, you definitely want to look the part. If you’re a Financial Advisor, you should clearly appear to have professional experience in managing wealth. That lends itself to a more corporate, business-like style. Yes, you had a great time on that cruise, but LinkedIn is not where we need to see you in Bermuda shorts with a cocktail!

If you meet someone at a networking event and they’re looking to connect with you, make sure your photo actually looks like you.  If your headshot is from 10 years ago or you have a drastically different hair-do than the last time you updated your photo, it’s time to retake that picture.

Getting the services of a professional photographer who specializes in corporate head shots will do wonders for the quality of your photo, and you’ll be surprised how affordable it can be. If you admire some of your local connections’ professional looking photos, request their photographer’s info.

Build a Solid Profile

Want to maximize all the potential points of connections to build your network? Update your profile!

• Is your full resume in place for all professional jobs?
• Are all awards, memberships and certifications noted?
• Have you listed all schools attended?
• Did you list volunteer work and causes?

Because profiles are indexed and searchable on LinkedIn, keeping your profile up to date will maximize how many people find and connect with you. Plus, these connection points will generate instant rapport. Wouldn’t it be easier to reach out to someone and introduce yourself if you already have something in common? For example, a fellow alumni of a school can share their experience at that institution and celebrate various traditions or milestones associated with the school.

Maximize Initial Connections

Rather than just clicking the “connect” button under “People you may know,” always be sure to customize the invitation to connect.

If you go to the user’s profile page and click “Connect” there, you’ll get a chance to personalize the connection with a message. Otherwise, they’ll just get the basic connection request with no personalized message or context.

Instead, include a personal message that mentions why you’re connecting (aka “hey old friend!” or “John Smith suggested we connect…” or “Great seeing you at Rotary this week, I hope your family is well…”)

This personalized greeting will provide context for the connection, warm up the interaction and help the recipient feel engaged.

Engage, Engage, Engage

Speaking of engagement, just logging in a couple of times a week and engaging with your connections’ posts will do wonders to keep you on their radar.

Engagement is a form of flattery, and not only will you be top of mind when you engage with their posts, you’ll find that they are more likely to engage with your posts as well. This will expose you to a wider audience when they like or share your insights!

An easy way to do this is to download the LinkedIn app to your smartphone. When you find yourself with a few moments at various points of the day or night, log in and purposefully engage with the posts that pique your interest.


These tips simply skim the surface of all you can do with LinkedIn, but every journey starts with a single step. Stay tuned for future posts that dive deeper into the platform’s functionality and ways you can utilize this network for lead generating opportunities & more!

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