This Business insider pulls together a really good list of 19 things to do on LinkedIn to help grow your business.  However, I think that they have missed one very key thing: Sharing content.  And more importantly: Sharing content written by you.

Everyone in business is told these days "You need to use social media".  "Using social media" tends to translate into a busy professional joining LinkedIn, uploading their CV and connecting with their university friends and past and current work colleagues and that's it.  When it comes to Twitter things get really confusing.  They open their account, tweet a picture of the stale croissant they got in Starbucks, tweet a couple of articles from the BBC and then leave it at that because, what's the point?

The true power of the social networks (and especially LinkedIn) is in sharing your knowledge and expertise to your LinkedIn connections and especially to relevant LinkedIn groups.  If you write a blog or insight piece then you have something RELEVANT and INTERESTING to say and this is what will empower you to use LinkedIn more effectively.

When you have written and shared a piece of content/thought leadership then a number of things can happen:

  1. People read your content and associate you as being an expert in your niche
  2. Someone share that content to their network ensuring that it is seen by even more people
  3. Someone can comment on the article and then you can comment back and all of a sudden you have started a discussion.  This can be the start of a new sales lead
  4. Drives lots of new people to your website where they can then start to browse other pages on your site

All of the above are really strong steps towards driving new business, especially if you share thought leadership on a regular and consistent basis.  People will also start to associate you with being one of the experts in your field and that can only be a good thing.

The best bit about all of this is that to build your online profile and be seen as one of the experts in your industry might not be as difficult as you think.  The bar is currently set very low and the majority of people are pretty hopeless at maximising the power of LinkedIn.  This means that not much effort may lead to alot of reward.