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When the right people look at your profile, I like to call it a marketing event with someone in your target audience. iStock_000021848925_SmallAnd if you're like me, you want lots of these marketing events, because they can turn into real opportunities if you follow up appropriately.

There are lots of ways to improve the number of profile views you receive, but the easiest way is to look at other people's profiles, because a good percentage of the people will then check out your profile.
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What profiles should you look at?

To get a list of people in your target audience, use the Advanced People Search feature. You can search by using keywords, title, company, industry, school, location, etc.

View the profiles of the people on the list who look like they have the best potential, and send them a request to connect.

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Take note of who's looking at your profile

It's a good idea to check your Who's Viewed Your Profile list frequently to see who might be interested in you, and then you can decide whether you want to reach out to anyone on that list.

You can also use this list to see who may have looked at you in response to seeing that you looked at their profile.

When you see someone has looked back at you, click the Connect button and craft a well-written, 300-character invitation. For a full discussion of how to improve your chances of getting a positive response to your invitation, check out my blog post Are You Making This BIG LinkedIn Mistake? But you'll want to say something like:

Hi [insert first name]:

I noticed you viewed my profile. I looked at yours as well. I think we should connect and discuss how we might be able to help each other. If you agree, let me know. In the meantime, I would be honored to have you join my network.

Wayne

If the person agrees to connect, follow up in the next day or so with a thank-you note, and try to set up a time to chat or meet. Say something like:

Hello [insert first name]

Thanks for connecting on LinkedIn. As I mentioned in my request to connect, I look forward to chatting with you. I could call you this Thursday at 2:00 or 3:30pm or I will be near your office on Monday and would love to stop in and meet you in person [or any other option you’d like to propose]. Does either option work for you?

In preparation for our meeting, I've attached to this message [something of interest to his/her prospects; e.g., testimonial, case studies, checklist, articles] or I've included a link to [similar information] that will help you understand how we help companies like yours.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Wayne

You obviously won't get everyone to set up a meeting or even connect with you, but reaching out to people in your target market like this will certainly result in some quantifiable results.

So get busy and start using LinkedIn to instigate marketing events that will lead to business and career success.