Most people think of LinkedIn as a professional social networking site. But for some, LinkedIn is the most powerful lead generation tool on the market--and it doesn't cost a dime. With a few easy steps, you can cultivate your network, extend your influence, and begin to extract consistent, tangible value from the LinkedIn platform. 

So what's the upside? 

After implementing the strategies below, my average LinkedIn post generates 25,000 to 75,000 views, resulting in several new qualified leads or partnerships weekly. I've had groups book me for once-in-a-lifetime speaking engagements--including a blockchain event at Harvard Business School--and I've had an investment bank comp my travel cross country to speak with executives at a trillion dollar asset management firm.

The best part: these opportunities come directly to me, in my LinkedIn Messaging inbox, every single week. Are you interested in turning LinkedIn into a lead generation machine? Follow these three easy steps to get started today.  

1. Accept All Connections 

An influencer is a person who has the power to influence many people--not just the people they know. Therefore, you should accept connection requests from everyone who asks. Sure, you may receive instant spam from some individuals, but you've been granted access to their network in exchange.

Each new connection becomes a force multiplier when they engage with your content. If you and I are first degree connections, for example, and you Like my LinkedIn post, a portion of your network will be exposed to my content. And that's where the magic happens. Your network may be vastly different than mine, which means that you've inadvertently marketed my profile, brand, products or services to individuals who could be my next client or partner.  

Some people only connect with others they know or have met in person. What these people may not realize is that they'll never build influence outside of their own network. If you're this person, I encourage you to change your approach, and accept all connections. (If a particular individual starts to bother or harass you, just block them.)   

2. Have a Strong Opinion--or Educate 

No one cares when you regurgitate news. But they sure pay attention when you voice your opinion or educate them. More than anything else, you should use LinkedIn as a platform to share your ideas and opinions, and communicate them in your most authentic voice.  

Oftentimes on LinkedIn, less is more. One of my recent posts was just two sentences, but with harsh perspective:

"If an 'ICO Advisor' can't provide three credible references, they are, by definition, a crappy Advisor. And if you are not asking your Advisors for references, then you, too, are a crappy ICO issuer."

This post generated 140 Likes and 70 Comments, and was viewed more than 30,000 times. 

Two other marketing strategies to consider are to use vulnerability (i.e., "My competitive advantage in the market is my sobriety.") or educational content to drive engagement.  Regardless of your background, industry, or experience, you have unique insights, and your insights are worth sharing. 

What is something you know or understand that others don't? What are some of the lessons you've learned in your job, industry, or career? Trust me: others want to know. 

3. Post Daily 

Consistency in content marketing is important. Although I also use Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, my core audience is on LinkedIn, which is precisely where I want it to be. I post daily to LinkedIn, and you should too, because engaging this audience pays dividends. 

As referenced above, you don't need to write a feature length article to generate engagement. I cycle between short posts, simple questions (i.e., "Survey: What's the most underrated [or under the radar] coin in crypto?") and longer, educational posts.

While it's fine to use images, videos, or link to articles (backed by strong opinions), some of my most viral posts were plain text. Prioritize consistency over perfection. While it's easy to obsess over art and copy, your ability to show up and post daily is much more important.

Lastly, have patience. Rome wasn't built in a day, and influence takes time to establish. But stick with it, and you'll be there before you know it.