With more than one third of professionals worldwide members of LinkedIn, opportunities have never been greater for finding future employers, generating business leads, making deals and generating revenue.

In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 Benchmark report, LinkedIn has witnessed the biggest jump in B2C platform usage: from 51 percent last year to 71 percent this year.

LinkedIn has chimed in with its most recent statistics and research stating that with over 300 million potential brand advocates, LinkedIn’s “ Pro-sumers” – Professional Consumers – are the most sought after audiences for brands. They carry more purchasing power than members active on other platforms, are 152% more likely to be active in online conversations and 80% more willing to pay more from a brand they trust.

Along with those numbers comes some fierce competition. Your professional experience needs to match your and groomed appearance and the quality of the content you are sharing needs to be on-target to grab the right eyes and generate leads.

So are you “doing it” all right?

LinkedIn offers various best practices from how to find a new employer to how to author winning content.  But when I took a look none of the below tips said “wow” to me. They screamed “business, and boring, as usual”:

Best practices found on LinkedIn:

•upload a professional image
•ensure your profile is complete
•share content your audience is looking for
•update your skills, get endorsements

•build a profile
•ask for recommendations
•inform your network you are looking for a job
•purchase Premium

•keep an authentic voice
•showcase your expertise
•include concrete advice you’d like to give someone new to the field.
•talk about what your industry will look like in 10 years
•address industry issues or problems, offer your thoughts

How to get ahead on LinkedIn

I don’t personally use LinkedIn for lead generation or heavy networking, but one thing I will be doing soon though is leveraging LinkedIn’s latest innovation — the Publisher Platform.

Will I be alone? I doubt it. Will all of the other LinkedIn member also begin publishing their own content and clutter opportunities? Will publishing long-form posts (in the short-form world) help highlight my professional achievements, expertise and know-how? So far the quality of content I read is outstanding. My bet is that this feature is a game-changer for members.

LinkedIn members, social marketers and influencers alike have begun publishing. Jeremy Waite, Ekaterina Walter, Mack Collier, Cendrine Marrouat, and Sarah Santacroce have all joined the ranks of LI publishers adding an entirely new dimension to the platform.

Alone the visibility of posts in terms of views and shares speak volumes and can’t be discounted as a player in building, or increasing, trust and opening doors to new opportunities. A new era of social influence has begun.

Where is this going? 

I believe that a lot of us, myself included, are short on time and see LinkedIn as a nice to have. We don’t truly appreciate the power for the platform or truly understand how to leverage it.

This week on #BizHeroes we have LinkedIn and Small Business Marketing advisor, Sarah Santacroce with us to discuss exactly what a business, brand or individual needs to do to shine.

I’ve seen Sarah in action and she’s quite impressive. In fact her Tweet (featured in the image) caught my eye I signed up for Sarah’s 2014 “21 Day LinkedIn Challenge: 21 tips to your inbox daily over 21 days”.  I know her tips drive results. I’ve seen her work magic for others. Now I want to experience it for myself.

If you’re interested in understanding how you can better leverage all LinkedIn has to offer join us and Tweet-Guest Sarah Santacroce for #BizHeroes Tuesday, May 27, 2pm ET.

A word to #BizHeroes: if you’re not familiar with #BizHeroes Chat, it’s our weekly Paper.li community Twitter Chat that takes place Tuesdays at 2pm ET.
We feature guests from the community, as well as industry experts, to discuss topics that are relative to our anyone who is involved in digital marketing.

Kelly Hungerford
Community Builder| Customer Experience & Care Strategist
Kelly's a Digital Operations Specialist and Social Brand Strategist. She helps Startups and SMBs build lean marketing operations leveraging Social Media to support business goals and connect with the people who matter most.

As former Head of Community and Communications for Paper.li, she was responsible for building community-centric operations to support Paper.li's rapidly growing user-base and founding #BizHeroes, Paper.li's Brand Twitter Chat that takes place Tuesdays at 2pm ET.

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