LinkedIn is an everyday go-to tool for most people in business. Ironically, even though we use it so often and have for years, most of us usually stick to the same patterns of searching for contacts, relying on the same profile picture we've used for years, and waiting to get messages from other people. To get more out of the social network, here are a few power user tips to create some new momentum.

1. Sign up for the ProFinder

Ed Brancheau, an SEO Expert at Goozleology, says an easy way for freelancers and consultants to find gigs is to offer services through the new LinkedIn Pro Finder tool. It's a quick way to pitch services to new clients.

2. Use the correct image size for sponsored content

Zaki Usman, the CEO at InterQ, told me about a useful tip for sponsored content. When you format this content, you have to insert an image. LinkedIn recommends an image size of 1200 x 627 with an aspect ratio of 1.91:1. If you don't follow this guideline, Usman says the content won't look right on a mobile device and people will ignore it.

3. Trigger automated posts from your blog

Paul Dzielinski, the Senior Vice President at Beach Re, told me about a trick he uses with LinkedIn. If you use the site If This, Then That, you can trigger an automated post on LinkedIn whenever you post a new blog entry. He says this has led to people finding his content and also asking for a connection. Just look for the recipe that generates a LinkedIn post automatically.

4. Use Canva to create a professional background

Most social media experts stress the importance of visuals because of how they draw attention to your profile. Josh Rosenzweig, the Founder and CEO at WibniLabs, says he uses Canva to create these images because you can purchase a professional image for only $1, format it according to the 1400 x 425 size requirements, and save it.

5. Search for second connections

LinkedIn has a powerful search box, but some users forget about some of the advanced functions. Brandon Howard from All My Web Needs says you can search only for people who has a second connection to your current contacts, then add keywords like "marketing" to limit the results. He says, once you find good leads through the second connection, you can explain how you know the first connection.

6. Include contact info in your background

Brancheau from Goozleology says one power user tip is to create a custom background for LinkedIn that has your contact information. Even with a free account, you can catch people with a visual reminder on how to contact you. Just make sure the image is 1400 x 425 pixels. Otherwise, people won't see the text.

Published on: Jun 8, 2016