Too many people on LinkedIn just fill out their profile and expect the results to roll in. That’s like going to a huge networking event in a nice suit, but not talking to anyone! A good profile on LinkedIn takes a little more planning and preparation than that.

At the heart of LinkedIn is the information in your profile. If what you write is well thought out, attractive and helpful, then people are much more likely to not only connect with you, but actually want to do business with you. So what goes in to your profile will actually determine your success.

Your professional headline, summary, career history, skills and recommendations sections are the ones which will get you results. This means thinking about the words your ideal prospect uses. Think about how a client describes what they are looking for, what you do, and your specialisms. These can’t be just thrown into a profile without thought or care: they need to be carefully crafted. You may need to do a few drafts before uploading each section to LinkedIn.

There are also several things you can do to increase the chances of your profile coming up in searches or being regarded as “relevant”. Recommendations are a key example. The more recommendations you have, the more attractive your profile will be in comparison to competitors. These recommendations shouldn’t just be nice words from your colleagues (see my blog How to ruin your reputation with recommendations). They should be genuine recommendations from clients for whom you’ve previously made a difference.

Ultimately, if you are strategic about how you create and maintain your profile, that alone can have a massive impact on the results you get from LinkedIn and what people think when they look at you.

You can always try a free profile test here.