What’s one of the most neglected, but often the most beneficial social media platform, for freelancers?
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which are more social in nature, LinkedIn was created, and is used mostly, as a tool for business. People don’t expect to be on LinkedIn to create personal relationships or keep in touch as much as they are to connect with like-minded professionals, create networking opportunities, and find work.
As a freelancer, this gives you not only a good reason to be on LinkedIn, but to take full advantage of it.
Here are some of my top tips on using LinkedIn as a source of new clients and freelancing work:
1. Complete your profile: Finish it. The more complete your profile, the better chance you have of showing up in the search results. You want your profile to sparkle before potential clients check it out. Like your letter of introduction, your LinkedIn profile can do a lot of the marketing and selling for you without much effort if you’ve taken the time to really customize it and work on it early on.
2. Make your profile keyword rich: You know how you go on LinkedIn and search for potential clients to connect with? Those same people are often using the search bar in LinkedIn to find freelancers they might like to hire. Will you show up in the search results?
If you’re a writer specializing in climate change, make sure to include that keyword, along with other relevant ones, in your profile. Ditto for business writing, content marketing, and any regions that you’d like to be known for.
3. Use first person: Your LinkedIn profile is not a resume, nor should it read like one. If you want to think of it as a resume, think of it as a very modern version of one. Look, you’re not looking for a job here, you’re looking to connect with people. And the best way to do that is by coming across as a person. A person who is passionate about their work, has a fantastic personality, and is easy to work with.
4. Participate in groups: A fantastic way to start connecting with people you don’t know without actually adding them straight to your network is by participating in groups. There are tons of groups dedicated exclusively to content marketing, to freelancing, to your specific region, and more.
5. Recommend people: Give out recommendations when you can and show your clients that you appreciate them. It will lead to better relationships and more work from people you already like working with. You might even get one back.
6. Find content marketing gigs through search: One of the most effective ways of finding work through LinkedIn is simple: Search for it. This works especially well if you’re looking for higher-paying content marketing, business, or agency clients. I’ve found several clients on LinkedIn that have paid $200 an hour and up.
Use keywords such as “content,” “content marketing,” “environment editor,” “business magazine,” “content director,” and tweak according to the kind of publications or organizations you’re looking for and the titles of the people in those organizations that are most likely to hire freelancers.
LinkedIn can be a very effective tool in your arsenal if you now how to use it right. With the tips above, you’ll be well on your way.
Mridu Khullar Relph is on a mission to help writers make money. Check out her website to find sample query letters that sold to top publications, case studies on how she became a regular writer for The New York Times and TIME, resources on six-figure freelancing, and a free list of 70+ markets that pay $1 a word. www.TheInternationalFreelancer.com