Getting the most from LinkedInYou have a personal profile and have created your company LinkedIn page. Now what? With 200 million online Linkedin Professionals, how can you make the most of this social media platform?

LinkedIn is one of the more powerful social media platforms for small business owners. It allows you to create connections based on businesses, skills and professions that you want to have in your network, and for others to find your services and add you to their network. Connections are created with business networking in mind. So how can you make the best of this platform?

Here are a few tips to follow to get the most of this platform.

Your Profile Picture

Review your profile. Do you have a professional personal photo for your profile picture? As with any social media platform, people are expecting to be connecting with a person. Upload a professional image before you try to build your network.

Your Profile Bio

Make sure you have a profile bio that details your strengths using words that people identify with your position and industry. Optimize your profile for the skills that people search for by using those keywords in your profile summary and job descriptions.

Your Profile Strength

Make sure your profile is 100% completed. According to LinkedIn “Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn”.

So, how do you get to a 100% complete profile? You’ll need to have an up to date position with a description, complete your education and list at least 3 skills. You’ll also need to have at least 50 connections. Use the LinkedIn Profile strength on your profile sidebar and watch for their tips to improving your profile.

Grow Your Connections

Connect on LinkedIn with the people you meet while out networking. When collecting business cards and meeting new people and clients, make sure you add them to your LinkedIn network. Make it a point to continually look for people you know on LinkedIn.

Keep Your Profile Up-to-date

Periodically review your profile. By continually updating content on your profile, you’ll keep it fresh and timely – important when people are looking for your services. LinkedIn provides you a way to build an online portfolio of your most recent works within your LinkedIn profile. You can add documents, presentations, website links, video links. These can provide a glimpse into the skills and services you are promoting.

Showcase Your Accomplishments

If you’ve been continually growing your LinkedIn connections with the people you meet – clients, potential clients – imagine the impact of announcing your latest projects or accomplishments to your connections. Not only will your profile truly reflect your work and industry knowledge, but you’ll be reconnecting with potential clients with every announcement.

And don’t forget: Organizations, Certifications, Publications, Honors and Awards: all these are sections that you can complete to embellish your LinkedIn profile. This is how you set yourself apart from all others in your industry.

LinkedIn is a powerful network. Its benefits are many: from presenting yourself and your skills in the best way possible, to maintaining and keeping a record of all your business accomplishments in one place.

Put your best foot forward by reviewing your LinkedIn profile with your goals in mind: whether it be to look for a new job, present yourself and your business as a solution to potential clients, or just building an online network of professionals, there’s no better place to start than LinkedIn.