LinkedIn has positioned itself as a compelling force to be reckoned with in the social business domain. As the #1 social network for business, a great LinkedIn profile should be a part of every business owner’s marketing arsenal. With many companies no longer accepting resumes, a sure sign of the times ahead has presented itself with companies requesting links to your social sites instead.

If employers are starting to check out your LinkedIn profile, what do you think your prospective customers are doing before they decide if they want to do business with you?

Related: 3 Reasons Why Your LinkedIn Profile Should Have Been Updated Yesterday

5 Things You Must Not Forget With LinkedIn

1. Your Prospects Are Already Looking You Up

That’s right. They’re Googling you and one of the very first things that show up is your LinkedIn profile! Is it conveying exactly what you want people to know about you and why they should do business with you? Does it make people want to take the next step and reach out to you? It’s crucial that you have a professional presence that shows your credibility and professionalism before they find you. This is YOUR chance for them to see you exactly as you want them to!

2. Your LinkedIn Profile Needs SEO Just Like Your Website Does

With your website, you want to be optimized so you show up as close to the top of the first page of Google as possible when someone searches keywords related to your business. Once you achieve that goal, your exposure increases to a much wider audience.

On LinkedIn, you want your profile to be optimized so that you have a strong, professional presence and you show up the top of the search results when someone searches for what you offer. On LinkedIn, the difference is that all of the people finding you through search results are going to be professional prospects that can turn into valuable clients. Can you afford to have your competition show up first? Use LinkedIn profile optimization to gain leverage in the search results!

3. Being #1 Isn’t Everything

Showing up as the first result when somebody searches for your particular keyword or profession on LinkedIn, simply isn’t enough. Your profile needs to be bold, dynamic, engaging and pull readers in while speaking directly to your target market.

4. Your LinkedIn Profile Isn’t About You

It’s all about your target market and how you can help them achieve their goals. This should always be your number one focus when communicating your business to others. Always speak in terms that express how what you do benefits them. If you don’t have the writing skills to create a really great LinkedIn profile, hire a professional to do it. It will be one of the best investments you make in social media.

5. Time Is Running Out

With LinkedIn quickly becoming a new standard in the professional domain, you could already be missing out on opportunities by not having a profile. If you have a profile and it is not optimized, you could be jeopardizing opportunities with prospects that are already checking you out.

Grab a Free Downloadable Checklist: 21 Steps To Have a Killer LinkedIn Profile

Author's Bio: 

Melonie Dodaro, of Top Dog Social Media, is passionate about social media and helps business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals to use social media marketing to boost their visibility, attract new customers and increase their revenue. Dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist, she’s also a regular contributor to several social media and business magazines and is a highly sought after speaker and trainer. To learn more about Melonie visit her web site at