LinkedIn is a powerful tool in the world of B2B sales.

You can use Linkedin as a research tool when prospecting for new customers, and there are many ways you can capitalize on LinkedIn groups to drive sales. LinkedIn’s many methods of prospecting mean it can be easy to overlook what can be done to help draw prospects to you. After attending an online training session, hosted by LinkedIn’s very own Anita Windisman and Mark Lederer, I learned that one of the easiest ways on LinkedIn to attract inbound leads was to build a strong profile.

Here are 10 top tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile to generate inbound leads and boost B2B sales.

1. Upload a Professional Photo It’s recommended that the photo be a headshot where you are smiling and wearing business attire or semi-professional attire. Remember, your picture should set a professional tone for your professional profile.

2. Write a Compelling Headline Make it descriptive of who you are, what you do, and the value that you provide. As an example, my headline reads as follows, “Inside Sales at Venture Accelerator Partners Inc : Driving Revenue for growing technology organizations”. This is a good spot to add in key words to help you show up in searches and get you noticed in the activity stream.

3. Set Your Public Profile URL Claim your name and create your own custom URL. Having an attractive URL is important if you want to add it to your business cards or your email signature line.

4. Customize Links to Websites You have the option to add 3 websites to your profile and the ability to customize the text that appears. Use this to provide a call to action that directs customer to take an action on the destination page you have linked to, such as your company’s website or a personal website.

5. Tell Your “Story” in Your Summary Include your career background, information about your company and role, your passions, and a call to action. The summary section is an excellent location for the use of key words. Using key words helps you appear in searches and highlight how your experience applies to the interested viewer’s needs. Connect with a story and you’ll generate inbound leads.

6. Update Your Current and Past Positions Be sure to include key words and showcase your accomplishments and accolades. As a general rule, you should feature only your past four to five jobs. This helps to portray an up-to-date picture of your skills and career path.

7. Highlight Your Education Showcase what you studied and the level of education you have completed. Your education section also allows you to tap into your alumni connections, offering another method of being found.

8. Ask for Recommendations Recommendations are a great way to build credibility, especially when a recommendation is provided by a satisfied client. Recommendations will reassure potential prospects that you will be able to deliver quality results and deliver on your promises.

9. Add Skills to Showcase Your Expertise Your skills can help position you as a thought leader by indicating what you excel at. This section can not only help reassure potential prospects that you have the necessary skills for the job but will also improve how easily you are found through searches.

10. Strive for 100% Profile Completeness A complete profile can provide a wealth of valuable information for interested prospects and help you appear in searches. The easier you can be found and the more prospects can learn from your profile will help to maximize the number of inbound leads your profile can generate.

Use these 10 tips to maximize the number of inbound leads your Linkedin profile can generate.  For more information on how to use LinkedIn for sales be sure to download VA Partners free white paper.