When potential clients and partners search online for you, one of their first hits is likely to be your LinkedIn page. Don’t squander this opportunity to connect with clients. Kristina Jaramillo (@getlinkedinhelp), a LinkedIn marketing expert, shares eight tips for sprucing up your profile.

  1. AVOID HAVING A “CLOSE-TO-BARE” PROFILE.

    It’s better to not have a profile at all than to be on LinkedIn half-heartedly. To fill out a bare profile, “a lot of people copy and paste their resumé and then edit little by little,” says Jaramillo.

  2. USE LINKEDIN APPLICATIONS.

    One called SlideShare allows you to post a small PowerPoint presentation or video. You can also link your blog to your profile.

  3. With connections, QUALITY TRUMPS QUANTITY.

    “You have to entice people to connect with you,” says Jaramillo. Highlight areas of commonality and how a person can benefit from your expertise. Likewise, don’t accept invitations from people who aren’t a fit.

  4. CREATE YOUR OWN GROUP.

    “Post content and start discussions so people know what you have to offer,” says Jaramillo.

  5. DON’T JUST INTERACT WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES.

    Join groups where your target clients will be (based on personal interests, geography, etc). Be active in these groups by commenting on others’ posts and use that activity to explain why you’re inviting someone to connect if you see a prospect.

  6. DON’T DEVOTE MORE THAN FIVE HOURS A WEEK.

    Other members of your team can maintain your profile and start discussions based on articles you write, for example.

  7. YOU CAN GRAB AND DRAG PIECES OF YOUR PROFILE,

    so what you want people to see first appears at the top.

  8. CHANGE YOUR HEADLINE

    to something meaningful. “Bob Smith at Bob Smith Consulting tells me nothing,” laughs Jaramillo. Instead, try “An experienced fee-only financial advisor focused on protecting your wealth.”

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Originally published in Advisor's Edge