If you’re looking to grow your small business’s connections, LinkedIn is the number one spot to do this. A networking tool, LinkedIn, is used to help you create an identity, make connections, and  learn about your field and the other businesses within it. It is, at its core, a professional tool, unlike Twitter and Facebookwhich are social sites first and foremost. Users log on to LinkedIn to find connections and services. Amping up your LinkedIn profile and using it to its full ability will grow your network and get your small business noticed.

The Magic Number          

Try to build your network up to 500 or more connections. This seems to be the magic amount of connections needed to really help your profile take off. From that point your network will expand. You’re profile will show up more frequently in search results and help you connect to more and more people.

Reach Out

LinkedIn is all about making connections; so try to make those links even stronger by sending personal notes.  Reach out to the people you already know, making the relationships you already have stronger. Maybe send a note to another local business, telling them how you’re both part of the same community. Send notes to industry leaders, and non-competitors within your field. It will help you gain invites and connections, and make them that much stronger.

The Key To It All:  Keep It Professional

Just like every other website, content is key. Making sure your content is constant and relevant brings your profile to the next level. Because LinkedIn is a professional site, try to share information and updates about your business. Talk about your small business’s core areas, or maybe what it is like to run a small business, tips and tricks or anecdotes. You could even provide inspiration to get people through the workweek. Content will always get you noticed, just make sure you’re posting relevant and interesting information.

No Spam!

Do not send people you have or want to connect with, emails about your business’s products. LinkedIn is not the place to make a sales pitch. Sending generic emails to people will feel cold and impersonal. Reach out to people, connect with their content in an honest manner, and if you truly believe they could benefit from your services then reach out. You don’t want to come off as a walking advertisement, especially to people who don’t necessarily want or need your services, but you still want to connect with. Be genuine and considerate, and get to know the people and businesses you are connecting with.

Basically, when it comes down to it, LinkedIn is a professional site made for connecting with other businesses and people. Spend time trying to build up your network, add to your profile, and finding and fostering connections. It can be a great tool to learn more about your industry and attract more clients and business partners. Take some time to know who you’re connecting with and help your small business seem personal and inviting, it can make all the difference.