Freelancers using LinkedIn to get their next gig? You might be skeptical of the idea. Isn’t LinkedIn for job hunters, recruiters, and influencers? Yes, but don’t forget that this is also the defacto social network for professionals. Even if you might not be actively looking for a gig there, potential clients may be looking out for a contract worker out on LinkedIn. Here are some LinkedIn tips for freelancers to make the most of this powerful platform.
1) Make your LinkedIn profile compelling:
There are a few steps to do this –
a) Upload a professional photo:
A professional photo is a must for your LinkedIn profile. If you neglect to put one, other people may wonder what you are hiding. Don’t crop out a group photo from Facebook and use it. Consider getting a professional photographer to take a few pictures and select the best. Dress in business attire and have a broad smile while facing the camera.
b) Pen down a strong headline:
You can use a maximum of 120 characters in your LinkedIn headline. Make each word count. Start with 2-3 words which summarize your expertise. Include keywords associated with your industry. Avoid using too much of jargon. An example of a great headline is – “Sales Copywriter. I write compelling content which will help increase your sales.”
c) Write an interesting summary:
Your headline should catch your potential client’s attention. After they click through, you should keep them interested in reading further. That’s where your summary comes in the picture. Write a strong opening sentence. Doing so will help make people want to know more. List a few blue-chip companies you’ve worked with. Or pen down what is different about you in comparison to freelancers in your particular niche. Use numbers to quantify your achievements. An example is saying that your last campaign increased conversion rates by 30%. People search on LinkedIn using keywords. So be sure to add keywords naturally in your profile summary. Write in the first person not second or third. Doing so will make clients feel that you are a real person and are talking to them.
2) Connect with potential clients:
If you are a freelance graphic designer, find contacts that may be in need of your services. No point in connecting with too many CEOs at this stage. See if you can connect with creative directors, UX managers and the like. After connecting with them, don’t be sleazy and pitch your services immediately. Nurture the relationship, like a few of his or her posts, exchange a few emails. After a couple of months of doing this, try to find out if he or she knows anybody who may need your services. You never know, he or she may contact you first to help them out with some project.
3) Establish your authority by publishing posts:
LinkedIn offers a great platform to write about your area of expertise. Publish well-written posts which help establish your authority. If you are a copywriter, write a few posts about how hiring a copywriter can increase sales. Or if you are a graphic designer, write posts about the importance of well-designed images on websites. After publishing a few posts, you will notice an increased traction among your contacts. This may translate to a few of them reaching out to ask if you will take up a project on their behalf.
LinkedIn is not the first avenue for projects that may come to mind for freelancers. However, utilizing the above LinkedIn tips for freelancers is a great way of increasing your business contacts. Putting in a bit of effort to establish your LinkedIn presence will work out well in the long run.