Lots of sellers don’t realize the huge impact LinkedIn can have on their personal and business credibility. In our 2013 “Sales & LinkedIn Study,” we found that top sellers take advantage of LinkedIn’s ability to help them build trust and credibility.

According to survey results, top sellers regularly share links to articles, webinars, case studies, analysts’ reports and e-books. And sometimes they relate their personal experiences and knowledge about topics related to their industry, customers, business process, trends and challenges.

Continue on to see some examples of how top sellers are leveraging the power of LinkedIn.

relevant contentRelevant content. “LinkedIn is a great place to put industry-relevant content that improves our credibility as a business and helps us stand out from other training companies. More than a website, LinkedIn can get you to the key decision-makers. An important piece of advice is that you need to keep in contact with those in your network rather than it be just a collection of contacts. Otherwise, it is just like old business cards bound up with an elastic band.”—Tim R.

Pre- and post-event. “We post content on LinkedIn about upcoming events we are running. The team ‘likes’ them, and this generates significant follow up for their connections. We also create ‘alumni’ groups for people who’ve attended the events, and then post relevant content in those groups. This has been a good way of getting referrals for us, as group members have invited their friends and colleagues.”—David K.

Status updates. “I update my status line at least three times per week with relevant content my clients and potential clients can use to help their business. It keeps me top of mind and solidifies my standing as a valuable expert to them. Recently Steve, one of my long-lost connections, saw an article I’d shared and called me to talk about it. He then mentioned his new role as a SVP at a large company that needed the services I provided. Knowing a little status update could keep me top of mind is all the encouragement I need to keep sharing valuable content with my connections.”—Phil G.

webinarsTrusted advisor focus. “LinkedIn is not just about connecting with folks for the sake of trying to develop business opportunities (‘sales’). My intent is truly that of being an advocate — a trusted of advisor — and to increase my credibility for providing solutions. To be successful, you have to really look at the view from the customer’s side and get out of that ‘What’s in it for me?’ mentality. LinkedIn is a tool that can help you personally develop a ‘brand’ and show how you can positively impact a business and/or client and make them look better.”—Brent J.

Webinars. “We publicize our webinars on LinkedIn. We do a number of them each month and use LinkedIn (plus other vehicles) to promote them. I would estimate that 10 percent of our attendees and registrants come from LinkedIn postings. Quite often these are also companies in our target space that we didn’t even know about. So now we have them for other items of interest for them as well.”—Michael G.

Presentations. “I was surprised at the response I received when I loaded a company demo PowerPoint to my LinkedIn profile and asked people to contact me for a five-minute demo via the presentation.”—David F.

linkedin postsLinkedIn posts. “Linkedin increases the efficiency of marketing our services. Recently, I took a phone call from the managing director of a German company who said she wants us to train her sales force. I asked why and she said that she first read many of my posts on LinkedIn, then downloaded our book and read many of our blog articles as well. She was ready to do business with us. We discussed the details of our training, including our limitations, and she agreed to a comprehensive program.”—Jacques W.

Content marketing strategy. “LinkedIn is a key component of my content marketing strategy to the specific market segments that I focus on. It reinforces my branding, PR, thought leadership, trust and my industry expertise. I leverage groups I moderate, tag groups I communicate with and follow up using the profile organizer for prospects and clients. Best metric for me is that I am growing my connections, referrals and leads through LinkedIn and continually hear ‘It seems like you’re everywhere on LinkedIn!’ ”—Barry D.

People respond to initiatives and view you in a different light when you stand out on LinkedIn. You’re not just another seller vying for their attention. You’re a valid player in the marketplace — someone willing to share information to help them out.

Seems to me that’s a lot better way to start a relationship than cold calling!

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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.