Many of us make the mistake of treating LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network, as simply an online Rolodex or a glorified CV, rather than an inbound marketing channel that can be optimized for sales inquiries.

That is a huge misstep. The social network is home to over 500 million users—500 million potential customers—many of whom are regularly searching for product or service providers.

Although not everyone has the time to spend their days publishing content, commenting on updates, and outbound prospecting via InMail to find potential customers, there is a way to make your buyers come to you.

By optimizing your LinkedIn profile using the process outlined in this article, you will make your profile an inbound sales asset that is more likely both to be found and to generate inquiries—whether you proactively use the network or not.

Getting Your Profile Seen

When a buyer uses a keyword to search on LinkedIn, its algorithm uses a variety of signals to decide whether your profile should rank higher or lower than other professionals' on the network who provide a similar service or product.

Although the greatest impact on where you show up in a search is Connections in Common (shared), Connections by Degree (1st Degree, then 2nd, then 3rd), and Groups in Common (shared), other (lesser-known) ways to improve your ranking include the following.

Repeat target keywords across your profile

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image of Jonny Rose

Jonny Rose is the founder of  Win At LinkedIn, a one-to-one coaching service that teaches B2B professionals how to use LinkedIn to generate leads, nurture prospects, and close deals.

LinkedIn: Jonny Rose