They say first impressions are everything, which is why creating a quality LinkedIn profile should be one of your top priorities. Whether you are using LinkedIn to connect with other service professionals, scout out talent for your office, or promote your specialities to your connections, a professional profile can do wonders. LinkedIn is the largest network of professionals online, and if you’re not a part of it, you’re missing a crucial marketing opportunity. LinkedIn reaches more than 300 million users worldwide and 40% of its users check LinkedIn daily. We want to share some of our favorite tips on how to push your profile to the next level.

First and foremost, LinkedIn is a social networking site. To get the most out of LinkedIn, try to incorporate it into your content marketing strategy. We consider LinkedIn one of the “big three” that every service professional should be on, which is why we suggest posting useful, relevant content consistently. The more involved you are in the site, the more you’ll get out of it.

Once you complete your profile, you should take advantage of LinkedIn Mail, a direct correspondence between users. Their website describes it as a means “to reach anyone on LinkedIn, no introduction or contact info required. It’s professional, credible outreach – with your LinkedIn profile attached.” Focus on reaching out to specific people, do your research on who you are contacting and reach out at appropriate times.

Lastly, you should join LinkedIn Groups to connect with individuals in your industry. LinkedIn groups are essentially clubs within LinkedIn, centered around an industry or a topic. There are thousands of these groups, and the number of people in a group ranges from five to 50,000. Some of them are completely open to the public while others are relatively exclusive and require you to be accepted by the head of the group. The most frequent use of LinkedIn groups is as an opportunity to network with professionals and thought leaders in your industry, but you can also join groups to see what your prospective clients are talking about and offer your expertise.

Treat your presence on LinkedIn like you treat your office space. Make it clean, professional, and a place in which you are proud to host your clients. Once your profile is complete, it’s time to get to work. Just as you do with your physical office space, invite clients to join you on LinkedIn, get creative, and use the tools available to be successful while you are there. We have a chapter dedicated to LinkedIn in our book, The Art of Inbound Marketing if you are interested in learning more about this beneficial social network.