Optimize your profile
The first key for your LinkedIn profile starts with using a professional photo. LinkedIn is not the place for your family picture or a company logo. This is you as a business person.
Next, be intentional about your headline. Your name, photo, and headline are your “brand” presentation on LinkedIn! This should be concise, descriptive, and creative. As well, in the summary area, be sure and be thorough. The goal is to differentiate yourself in your summary from others. Be sure to write to showcase your uniqueness.
It’s similar to Facebook in one aspect, how you present yourself matters. People do business with people, so present your best personal points forward on your LinkedIn summary of qualifications and experience. This is your qualifier area for people seeking out your product or service and whether they will have interest in contacting you. This is where it’s different from Facebook. People are not on LinkedIn to see what their friends are doing. They are on LinkedIn to search for partners, suppliers, and vendors for their business needs.
Just like people use Google search, and results for related search queries are returned, so on LinkedIn the content in your profile is searchable, so be sure to help your profile be found by creating more data points in LinkedIn search. You can do this by listing all of your former employment places. Neal Schaffer takes his profile all the way back to high school. You never know what former classmate is now CEO of a large organization looking for the services your business provides!
Neal’s advice: Connect with everyone you know! Connect with friends, clients, and be sure to connect with people you meet at events. LinkedIn only grows in value as your network grows. This helps expand your audience and in particular your “visibility”, because when you post an update on LinkedIn your entire network has the opportunity to potentially see that update. This means that the more connections you have, the more visibility of what you are doing is available to a larger audience.