Summary: Learning how to use LinkedIn to generate sales leads is simple as pie. So let's talk about how to leverage this professional networking site to create leads and expand your business.
If you have signed up to LinkedIn and wondering what it can do for your business, then keep reading. LinkedIn is like Facebook and Twitter, but much more powerful, it’s super relevant for growing your business, and less time consuming. Of course you actually need to have a system for using it properly or otherwise it will be of little use to you. is a website or social media outlet that allows businesses and individuals to post information and network for free. You can establish a LinkedIn profile for yourself as well as your company.

To maximize LinkedIn's advantages and generate sales leads, update your profile with information about your products and services on a regular basis. Connect with employees, friends, family members, and colleagues but avoid inviting people who you do not know.

Although there are many more ways to attract leads on LinkedIn, here are 9 things you can implement today to start seeing results:
Be Specific:
Specificity is a key ingredient to getting more leads on LinkedIn. If you don’t tell people who you are, who you help, and how you help them in the most basic of terms, then you will confuse those who land on your profile.
Be specific with the principle features first like:
• Your headline
• Current and past work experiences
• Summary
• Specialties
This will ensure others know exactly what you do and how you can help them.
Position Yourself as a Thought Leader:
People buy from they know and trust. Especially when it comes to important purchases, people also want to buy from experts that are ahead of the curve.
List What You Do In Your Profile:
You want to be able to be found by people who are interested in what you do. So make sure you list as many relevant keywords as possible that describe what you do. Here’s a tip – use the free Google keyword tool and just type in a list of keywords that describe what you do. Click the ‘go’ button and it will find a bunch of other related search phrases to your industry. Select the relevant ones with high traffic.
Use The Advanced Search Version:
Using advanced search you can find specific people, industries, professions, businesses, specific job titles, company names, schools, zip codes and more. For instance let’s say you were looking for people who have done project management work for IBM. Search “IBM” and “project management” and you will find results for people inside and outside of your network. Using the word “and” will provide even more specific results. Finally you can search ‘shared connections’ and this gives you a path of how to reach these people which is important if you want to get an introduction.
Join Appropriate Groups:
Join appropriate groups and associations to connect with other LinkedIn users. For instance, search for an alumni group for the university you attended. If one does not exist, then start a group on your own.

Use Polls to Engage People:
People like giving their opinion about issues that are relevant or important to them – and reading what others have to say about topics that matter to them. Hence, you should try to use LinkedIn polling feature to take a poll.
Moreover, your name will appear on their status updates, reminding your connections you are out there, and in so doing, keeping you top of mind. When combined with your other LinkedIn activities, it will increase the likelihood; they will remember you when they are ready to buy.
Build Buzz Around Your Interactions:
Once you have answered a question or taken part in an interesting conversation, then share this with your network automatically. Here’s how: after you answer a question, you will see a button on the far right of the screen that says “share this”. Also you can share the answer on delicious bookmarking service. Furthermore, you can add a link back to your own website or blog where you have written an article which answers a particular question for that person.
Recommend Others
When someone has a great product or service and you get a lot of results from it, make sure to write a nice recommendation. The more recommendations that a person has on his profile, the more likely others will be interested in buying from him as well.
This goes back to the reciprocity factor; the more recommendations you give, the more you will receive as well. By helping others get leads, you are helping yourself get more leads as well, and quality recommendations on your profile could be the decision someone makes to contact you or not.

Author's Bio: 

About the Author:
Linda Mentzer is a published author and senior marketing manager for an information management company that has helped sell thousands of software products on a global scale. With over 11 years of experience in electronic marketing techniques, Linda has authored articles for several leading business journals, worldwide.