Many LinkedIn users simply sign up, fill out their resume and never look at their page again. What they don’t realise is that they’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to get their name out there, reach potential networking contacts and ultimately, grow their business.

There are many simple ways to delve into the work of LinkedIn and make your space on the website an asset to your business.

1. Customize your LinkedIn URL name

Short, relevant and easy to remember are three facets of a good LinkedIn URL. Your name is first prize, but in the case of unavailability, ensure that your chosen name is something to-the-point and industry appropriate.

2. Make use of the InMail service within groups

If you want to avoid the fee that comes along with LinkedIn’s InMail service, you should know that you can private message someone for free on LinkedIn if you are part of the same group. Hence the importance of carefully selecting which groups to join.

3. Use your current clients to branch out

Regularly search mutual connections of happy clients who might also need your product. At this point you can ask for an introduction or send an InMail mentioning you have also done business with X.

4. Find common ground

Do some research before messaging a potential client. Take three full minutes to review their profile and find at least three aspects that you share with them. From here you incorporate this knowledge into your interactions with them, forming a better relationship than you would otherwise.

5. Don’t become a spammer

Trying too hard can be to your detriment. Overselling yourself or your product can make you look desperate or annoying and in turn cause the opposite of your intention.

6. Use Twitter simultaneously

Simply link the two accounts so that your posts have a wider audience and crossover – someone who sees you on Twitter might connect with you on LinkedIn.

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7. Let people know what you’re up to

Share and promote any industry events, seminars or talks you attend – this opens up the door for face-to-face interaction with potential clients.

8. Make use of LinkedIn Events

Some trade shows will have groups – join these. You’ll be able to plan meetings with people who are attending the same events ahead of time. It’s a great networking opportunity!

9. Give back

Take the time to recommend other connections on LinkedIn, as you hope other would do for you. It is a way to show thankfulness and build good relationships. You never know what collaboration opportunities may arise from it.

10. Be valuable

Share or create content that is interesting, relevant and educational, making your presence on LinkedIn a positive thing for your connections.