Having a LinkedIn profile provides you with countless job opportunities at your disposal and the ability to keep in touch with the industry leaders. Having a LinkedIn profile is like having a website that has your resume integrated with it. Your LinkedIn profile is how you keep track of yourself and enables you to decide how people you want the industry professionals to have their first impression of you.

Many individual users and companies are using LinkedIn to the best of their benefit today. But there is a structure you need to follow, a strategy you need to carve out to make the most of it.

Here are – things you need to remember while using LinkedIn as a platform for Lead Generation shared by Ron Yi at LinkedIn in a post shared by Corey Mull in The Sales Challenger:

1. Manage your profile:

It starts with you. Make sure your profile is complete and up to date.  Whenever you reach out to a lead you can be sure they’ll be checking out your profile.  So making sure you’ve designed your profile how you want your lead to picture you and adding your professional details is important. Adding a professional photograph of you helps improve it.

2. Grow your network:

Increasing your number of connections improves your chances of finding sales leads on LinkedIn because it drastically increases your number of 2nd and 3rd degree connections. Identifying that a potential lead is a 2nd or 3rd degree connection allows you to utilize your own network to secure warm introductions, and it also ensures you’re seeing full profiles of more of your leads.  The quickest way to grow your network is to import contacts from your email account, or to check out People You May Know.

3. Use Company Pages:

Company Pages on LinkedIn is a great resource for getting information on your target companies.  Along with vital company information, you’ll also be able to see which of your connections are already at a company that you can use to secure warm introductions.

4. Visit Who’s Viewed My Profile:

Who’s Viewed My Profile is a great way to generate sales leads. Keeping a check on who viewed you is a great way to measure interest in what you have to offer.  With your updated profile you’ll attract more and more people, and from there you can create leads from the people that are actively seeking you out.

5. Upgrade to LinkedIn Premium:

LinkedIn Premium account enables you to quickly find and contact leads with tools like Premium Search and InMail.  You’ll also get access to full profiles of people out of your network, along with a ton of other features that give you an edge over your competition. While you’re using LinkedIn to increase your sales effectiveness, it’s important to keep in mind 2 best practices:

6. Respect the community:

Let’s face it; some people don’t want to receive sales communications.  It is advisable to respect the community by ensuring you’re only reaching out to leads that are perfect matches for what you have to offer. And if you don’t receive a response, move on to the next lead.

7. Only connect with people you know:

Your professional network should be just that – a professional way to connect with people you know or have an established professional relationship with. We hear from customers all the time that receive Invitations to ‘Connect’ that are really sales solicitations, and they hate it!  So doing that will do more harm than good for your lead generation efforts.