In my years of educating business leaders, influencers and CEOs about LinkedIn, two issues have continued to circle back to my attention – content and connections.

Other aspects of LinkedIn, such as profile aesthetic and having an impressive summary are important too, but should not overpower the necessity of sharing content and building an open-ended network of powerful connections by using simple social media tactics.

Active and mindful usage of these two elements of LinkedIn can hold the potential to associate credibility and trust with your name. By consistently producing and sharing content on your profile there is a better chance of distinguishing yourself to connections who are exposed to your online activity.

Sharing content

There are two places I think are best for content sharing on LinkedIn – the ‘share an update’ section on your LinkedIn homepage and on LinkedIn Pulse.

Every time you ‘share an update’ on LinkedIn it goes into the news feed of your LinkedIn connections. Regular updates related to your field of expertise increases your visibility and positions you as a leader.

LinkedIn Pulse is an online news aggregation feed within LinkedIn designed for members to share self-published content with audiences. Those audiences can be anyone on LinkedIn, so it’s a great way to amplify your content.

Before you start freaking out about how much content you need to start producing, remember you can use your existing articles and blog posts to upload to LinkedIn Pulse. (However, they do need to be your content, not curated).

Building connections

You should actively build your connections – the more you have the better.

Having only a few connections suggests that other people aren’t willing to connect with you, or you’re not willing to connect with them, which may give the wrong impression. You should aim to get at least 500 connections (below that number, LinkedIn shows the exact number of connections you have on your profile).

There are first-, second- and third-degree connections. The more first-degree connections you have, the more second- and third-degree connections you will have, and the bigger your network. You can link freely only with first- and second-degree connections so the more you have of these, the better.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to accept most people as long as they don’t look dodgy, i.e. they have no photo and no connections.

On that note, don’t forget to connect with me on LinkedIn.