social media how toIs LinkedIn working for you?

Do you want to generate more business from LinkedIn?

When used properly, LinkedIn can be a gold mine for your business.

Here are five steps to improve your efforts to generate more business from LinkedIn.

get more business from linkedin

Follow these steps to get more out of your LinkedIn efforts.

As a business, the foundation of your success on LinkedIn begins with your LinkedIn profile.

Do you know if your profile is showing up in search results? If it’s not, you may be losing valuable opportunities and ideal clients.

And after you’ve ensured that your profile is showing up in the right places, you’ll want to do what it takes to make the connections your business needs.

#1: Let Prospects Easily Find You

Before you can start generating business on LinkedIn, you need to optimize your profile so prospects can find you.

If you are not showing up at the top of the search results when potential prospects are searching for the product or service you offer, they won’t know to connect with you. While this might seem common sense, it’s often something people overlook when creating their LinkedIn profile.

So what does it take to be found on LinkedIn? First you need to figure out the keywords your ideal clients use when searching for what you offer. Just how do you decide what keywords your ideal clients are looking for?

Figuring out the keywords for your LinkedIn profile is a little different than the keywords you would use for your website. On Google, people often look for things by typing queries like, “How to write a great LinkedIn profile.” On LinkedIn, people are looking for a person and search for a title, such as “LinkedIn profile writer” or “LinkedIn expert.”

Business owners will often use the words “Owner” or “Founder” in their profile. While I am the owner and founder of my company, these are not the keywords that I use on my profile. I use keywords like “LinkedIn expert,” “social media speaker,” “social media consultant” or “social media trainer” because this is what people look for on LinkedIn.

use keywords in profile

Avoid using the words “Owner” or “Founder” in your profile. Instead, use keywords that your ideal clients will be searching for.

This is a key concept to understand before prospects can find you when they need what you offer. Use the words your ideal clients would use to search for you on LinkedIn.

#2: Give Prospects a Reason to Connect With You

It’s not enough to just show up in the search results. There are numerous other profiles that show up as well. So unless you give prospects a good reason to click on you, they are just as likely to click on someone else’s profile. You must have a compelling headline that grabs their attention and makes prospects want to click on your profile.

use compelling headline and image

Your headline and image must compel people to click on your profile from the search results.

To do this, you need to combine an attention-grabbing statement with one or two keywords (for search optimization). If you are a business that provides services in a local area, you may want to include your location in your headline with your keywords.

For example, this accountant and business advisor in Kelowna has a headline that reads “Kelowna accountant & business advisor helping businesses, start-ups & real estate investors experience growth & profits!” This is a great example of an attention-grabbing statement that includes the keywords “accountant” and “business advisor,” as well as a location.

a great headline

A great headline includes an attention-grabbing statement, one or two keywords and possibly your location.

Here’s another example of someone who makes great use of the headline to include the keywords she wants to be found for.

search results

Your headline needs to grab people’s attention from the search results and tell them what you do.

It’s also really important to have a professional headshot to complement your great headline. I see many people with no picture. This is a red flag for anyone wondering if the profile may belong to a spammer or someone who is not totally legitimate.

People want to see whom they are connecting with, so it is important for you to add a picture to your profile. Without it, they will be far less likely to click on your profile.

approachable and friendly

Appear approachable and friendly with a great smile in your headshot.

#3: Give Prospects a Reason to Take Action

Now that a prospect has landed on your profile, it must speak to their needs so that they will take the next action, whatever you choose that action to be. The first section that they see is your Summary section.

It’s important that you include your keywords in the Summary section to increase the number of people who find you. This section must be client-focused.

This may seem completely counterintuitive to what you might believe about LinkedIn, but LinkedIn is a business-building tool (this does not refer to job seekers). And if you are using it as a business-building tool, then skip the resume, curriculum vitae (CV) or professional bio. Nobody really cares about you. People only care about what you can do for them.

With this in mind, be sure your profile speaks directly to your ideal clients. Begin your Summary section with a paragraph about who you are, share some of your story and position your credibility. The rest must speak to your specific target market, who they are, what their problems are and of course what solutions you provide.

why are you credible

Tell potential connections why you are credible.

You should always end your Summary section with a call to action. So many people miss this important piece in their LinkedIn profile and lose opportunities by not telling those who land on their profile what to do next. Tell them exactly what to do and where to go, whether that is to your website for a free report, to email you, to call you, etc.

call to action

Make sure you include a call to action in your Summary.

#4: Grow Your Network So Prospects Can Find You

Even with a fully keyword-optimized and professionally written profile, you are limited to who can find you in the search results based on the number of people in your network.

If you have a small network, you dramatically limit the number of people who will ever see you in their search results. In order for more people to find you, you need to grow your LinkedIn network.

The only way someone can find you is if you are in his or her first-, second- or third-level network or are a member of the same group.


You will only show up in the search results of your first-, second- and third-level connections, as well as members of groups you belong to.

For best results, you’ll want to make a point of accepting most incoming connection requests (unless you suspect they are from a spammer or fake account). Set a regular schedule to reach out to people you know or would like to know and be sure to always send out a personalized message.

A personalized connection request should always include their first name at the top and your name at the bottom. If it is someone you know, remind him or her how you know each other. If you are both part of the same LinkedIn group, you might write a connection request like the one below.

personalize requests

Always personalize your connection requests.

#5: Follow Up With New Connections

Always follow up with new connections who have reached out to you and the ones you’ve reached out to and requested to connect with.

Send a welcome message after someone accepts your connection request or sends you a connection request. Thank them for connecting with you and then offer them something of value.

For example, when someone reaches out to me, I offer them a couple of free gifts including a LinkedIn checklist and a spot at my free webinar. From this gesture alone, many people have reached out and further connected with me, which sometimes was the beginning of a great relationship. This is the step where you’ll actually lay a solid foundation to generate business.

Stay connected to your network, reach out to them regularly, add value for them and move the relationship forward. This means whenever possible, move the relationship offline and have a telephone call or an email. You’d be surprised at how much business still happens the old-fashioned way!

Use These Steps to Create a Strong Business Network on LinkedIn

As you can see, there are a number of steps for using LinkedIn to generate business and ultimately build strong and lasting relationships.

What do you think? Have you had success finding new customers or strategic alliances on LinkedIn? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  • ZElahi

    Very helpful article!

  • Melonie, thanks for your tips.

    Another untapped area of LinkedIn for most people is Signal ( This is perhaps LinkedIn’s most powerful feature, allowing for unlimited searches of updates by companies, individuals (by titles or keywords), geography, connections (1st, 2nd or 3rd degree) and more. I’m surprised LinkedIn removed it from the navigation with their latest UI update, but it’s still there at the link!

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  • Kevin Fisher

    Thanks so much Melonie. I’ve already started putting this to use!

  • Great article,skills I think are good to use in the optimisation process and in the headline area if possible.Adding rich media with clear defined CTA’s alo is a good strategy for bew business generation.

  • Awesome read Melanie. I think it’s time for a Linkedin Profile re-do!

  • Great information on how to position yourself and stand out. I’m glad you ended it on follow-up because that’s what very few do and from my experience this earns you more T.O.P. than anything.

  • Santosh Singh

    Great article Melonie! These are simple tips that most of us ignore. Thanx again!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Glad you found it helpful!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Awesome Kevin, you are an action taker! Love it.

  • Melonie Dodaro

    You are absolutely correct, the headline needs to be the start of the optimization and then it should be followed through the entire profile.

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Ben here is an infographic you will find helpful if you want to re-do your profile:

  • Melonie Dodaro

    That’s the most important part if you want to actually generate business from it Patrick! Glad you agree with me!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    You are right, it’s often the most simplistic things that people ignore that make the biggest difference.

  • Awesome article!!!! For a linkedin lover like me it’s great! Thanks!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    My pleasure Denis, glad to meet another LinkedIn lover 🙂

  • 😉 Thank you!!! I’m going to try to improve my profile following your tips!!! Much appreciated!!! You’re very kind! 😉 Blessings!

  • Hi Melonie, I have made over 500+ connections on Linkedin but I haven’t really started to fully connect with them yet. I’m just to busy doing other things

  • Heather Beck

    Thanks Melonie – Great article with useful tips.

  • Lyn Cassan

    I always count on Social Media Examiner to give me ideas I hadn’t thought of yet!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    So glad you found the tips useful Heather!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    I agree with you Lyn, Social Media Examiner always puts out great content. I’m honored to be a contributor!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    I hear ya Paul, there’s so much to do and so few hours to do it in. I find the best results from LinkedIn so when I’m short on time I cut back on other things – but never on LinkedIn!

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  • Lisa Kovac

    Nice article, although I knew about a couple things from prior training, you added another couple that were great suggestions! I implemented them immediately! Thank you!

  • Great tips, Melonie! The details you’ve provided for optimizing your profile are very helpful. Do you have any quick insights you can share on the benefits of using LinkedIn Groups as a way to generate more business? When managed well, do you think groups work?

  • Thanks Melonie! Very helpful!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Way to go Lisa, that was speedy!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Yes groups work great – when you choose the right ones, and then of course when you actively engage, contribute to and start conversations.

  • Melonie Dodaro

    You are most welcome Ben!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    They did make some interesting changes to their navigation – I love the new user interface but I am not sure why they removed some pertinent things from the nav.

  • I agree…it’s cleaner. But it is disconcerting when they hide key functionality like that…makes me wonder if they will discontinue Signal–I hope not!

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  • Zelma

    These are some great ideas. I’m new to LinkedIn, so they are going to help me a lot. Thanks.

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  • Kundan

    Hi Melonie , This Article is very helpful thanks for the Tips

  • Melonie Dodaro

    That’s great Zelma, I’m glad you found them helpful.

  • tushnaa

    Helpful article indeed. And with the info graphics it is more clear to inculcate these tips into practice.

  • Sunny

    Really Helpful article ! Can you please suggest how can we generate B2B leads from Linkedin?

  • Melonie Dodaro

    LinkedIn is most effective for B2B, you can find your target market through advanced search and relevant LinkedIn groups. Follow steps 4 & 5 above once you have found target prospects.

  • Great content Melonie, LinkedIn is a powerful site and a great place to make professional connections. When I type in my first and last name into google my LinkedIn profile shows up at the #3 spot. Powerful site indeed!

  • Catherine O’Brien

    Great tips Melonie, I am going to give my Linkedin profile a big overhaul using your tips, thank you…

  • Bill Layton

    Great article Melonie, thanks!

  • bilel

    Great & helpful ideas , thanks 😀

  • Melonie Dodaro

    That’s awesome Catherine!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Very powerful Tyronne and a great example of why investing some time into having a good LinkedIn profile is so important!

  • Giovanni Sepulveda

    Thanks for the info!


    Good summery that touches more then the basic things. As a designer I get the most benifit from the interior-garden-architect groups and I have found many inspiring ‘links’ this way! It makes it easier to connect around the world…!!

  • Nitter Natter

    Some great tips here Melonie!
    I think out of all of our social media profiles, LinkedIn often gets ignored but is really vital for business to business communication and building relationships!
    Off to give it a revamp now..


    Nitter Natter.

  • Murshed

    This article was really helpful. I’ve updated my profile and feeling much better now. Thanks much Melonie!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    I completely agree Nadia, it has been ignored by many, however if they realized how powerful it was they’d wish they paid attention sooner! Good luck with the revamp!

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Awesome! Glad you took the time to implement some changed to your profile Murched!

  • H

    Unfortunately, point #1 in your article is not valid. You don’t have any visibility whatsoever on your keywords since LinkedIn changed its algorithm back in March 2013. You can test this by asking someone who is not connected to you to search for any of your keywords. Also, you might have seen a steep drop in your profile search views since then.

  • Caleb

    Loved reading this thank you

  • Aleksandra

    Great article, very helpful. I love LinkedIn, but here in Serbia ( where I’m from) people don’t use it so much. They just make short profile, put their picture and think that’s it, they are now on LinkedIn. I don’t know why is that, like they don’t understant how powerfull network Linkedin is.

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  • Melonie Dodaro

    Sometimes it takes a while Aleksandra to catch on in all countries. I’m sure in 2-5 years that will be very different.

  • Melonie Dodaro

    Keywords are still highly relevant. It is the primary thing people use when do searches through Advance Search.

  • Oh yeah.. I’ve done mine. You guys should too!

  • Andre

    Considering that the business I work for and post for has their own Linkedin page and group, should I still be doing these essential pieces being that I hold a marketing position? Or is this a bit more irrelevant in that sense?

  • Dana Wells

    Thank you for the article. I have had a Linkedin account for over a year, but have not been using it to its potential. This was very helpful for making changes and creating more activity for my business.

  • Scott Nachatilo

    Great article. I have definitely underestimated the utility of linkedin.

  • Dave Korinek

    Great Article! Thanks for the insight, lots of great nuggets in here 🙂

  • Virtual Virtuoso

    Great article; when I first looked at your graphic, I thought ‘wait a minute, that guy has no head!’ Then I realized the “G” in Generate is meant to be his head; it didn’t stand out at first.

    Thank you for the helpful tips; I had my profile up in front of me as I was reading your article, and I made a few suggested changes.

  • fourj_4

    @meloniedodaro:disqus I am struggling with the Welcome message I guess as I do send out messages and try to connect with people. Sometimes I wonder if I should put anything about myself at all till they ask and make it more about them, how I can help or connect them. Then when they ask or we have traded a few messages say something about myself and who or what I am looking for….I am trying to use it for hiring as well as customers I might come across…be great to get some feed back. This article is great!

  • Edwin Raju

    Wow, great tips for using LinkedIn and its features in a great way!
    Thanks Melonie for the best Article ever read!

  • Pavan

    I am connecting to with many social media specialists for more insights about social selling. Thus far your tips are the best ones I have got. I love the fact that you stress on attention to detail in your linkedin profile tips. Thank you again Melonie, your tips helps a lot.