Before you market on LinkedIn there are some important information you need to know.
First of all, even though it is a social website, it is different from Facebook. LinkedIn compared to Facebook is more for business professionals and executives. So caution must be taken when marketing. If you visit both sites, one of the first things you will notice is the difference in the culture. You will not find LinkedIn members posting irrelevant content or offensive images on the site, neither will you see a flood of Ads popping out at you. Yet, despite the obvious differences, you can still get a decent amount of targeted traffic from just as well.
1) I suggest signing up for a free account to get your connections rolling. Connect with as many professionals in your niche as you can. These people may need your products and services. As mentioned earlier, many of them are professionals. They are the CEO's and decision makers of their respective companies. Some are actual entrepreneurs and owners of small to mid-size businesses. Connecting and building a relationship with them, may significantly contribute to the growth of your business. In some cases, they can become a loyal customer and may even recommend your products or services.
A word of caution though. When trying to market on LinkedIn, be very careful how you approach members, especially if you don't know them personally. DO NOT try to sell. For many LinkedIn professionals, that approach is a turn off. Build relationships FIRST. Most members will visit your website anyway. So there's no need to be a pushy salesman.
When the time is right after you would have built a relationship with them, you can then formally introduce your business. By then, they would have visited your page and looked at your profile anyway. But at least, your approach would be seen as professional.
After you've established your connections, you can upgrade for additional benefits and exposure. Upgrading will give you an added advantage. It reaches more audience and even help you in the search engine rankings.
2) Create a complete profile and include your photo. Believe it or not, people check you out to see what you do before before responding to request. I personally ignore and delete people whose profile is scanty, with no way of getting to know who they really are. People who market on LinkedIn seriously have adequate information on their profile, to help others make informed decisions about their dealings with them. As a matter of fact, many members include their academic qualifications. Even if you only have a GED...still include it. It's a way of building trust.
3) Whenever you make an accomplishment, update your profile. Let your direct connections know about it so you can continue building trust.
4) Give Status updates regularly. It does not have to be a long-drawn article. But do update your status often to keep your presence relevant. Whether you realize it or not, people are looking at what you do.
5) Add the blog App to your profile, so that your contents gets updated and displayed automatically.
6) Join groups that are related to your business concept. DO NOT start sending offers to folks. You may get ignored and probably be accused of spamming. There's opportunity for growth but there is also the possibility of getting banned.
7) As you become more popular, it would be wise to start your own group with like-minded individuals.
8) If you can afford it, upgrade your account. There are many advantages of being a paid member and getting more exposure is just of them.