While not the most commonly discussed social media platform, LinkedIn is an absolute gold mine of potential for businesses and professionals. For freelance writers, finding that next job is always on the back of our minds. We’ll rely on other platforms, but in reality, the biggest clients are all on LinkedIn already.
Today I’m going show you 10 ways you can leverage LinkedIn to put yourself out there and attract the best clients you’ve ever worked with. All of these are actionable tips you can implement today, so let’s get started.
10 Ways Writers Can Tap Into LinkedIn For Freelance Success
Everyone from writers to marketers are using LinkedIn. Some of LinkedIn’s best features are hiding just beneath the surface of the platform. While you can opt for a paid membership, many of today’s tips are easily utilized on the free membership option.
Without further adieu, here are ten ways you can use LinkedIn to find epic freelance writing jobs:
1. Create a Complete and Polished Profile
It goes without saying, but an incomplete LinkedIn profile doesn’t send the best message to job prospects. Furthermore, there are certain elements of polish that many forget to include when setting everything up.
Avoid the biggest mistakes and polish your LinkedIn profile with these handy tips:
- Upload a professional picture of yourself, focusing on your head and shoulders. Remember to smile! You should look kind and approachable in your headshot. Make it a square shaped photo of roughly 400 x 400 pixels.
- Create a compelling headline that describes your main skillset or responsibility. For freelance writers, we can say something more compelling than “freelance writer.” Try something like “Accomplished Freelance SEO Writer.”
- Include a professional email in your contact information. Your high school username won’t work, I promise.
- Start building connections with colleagues and fellow writers.
- Make sure Linkedin states your profile is 100% complete.
- Ask personal connections to endorse your skills.
- Customize your profile URL to be your name (example: www.linkedin.com/in/yournamehere).
2. Connect Your Blog
Any great freelance writer needs to start a blog so they have a place to showcase their expertise and provide example content for new clients. A freelancer is no different than a business; both have a brand that needs to be nurtured and grown. Your blog is your brand, plain and simple.
Once you have a blog up and running, you should connect it to your LinkedIn profile so potential clients can easily find it. Besides including a link in your profile, you should also promote your posts by writing status updates when you’ve published new content.
You can also use LinkedIn’s blog publishing tools to bring similar content directly to the platform and include backlinks to your blog as well. Any major client will want to see your blog at some point, so building your own now will ensure you have a wide variety of content to show them.
3. Upload Your Portfolio
Many writers work in a variety of mediums and genres. While your blog will be focused on a specific niche, you can absolutely upload your portfolio of other works on LinkedIn to showcase your varied talents.
Published articles, videos that you wrote screenplays for, or even links to your published books are all great options for your online portfolio. This is also a great place to upload larger projects where you worked with a team of people. That way you can showcase your ability to work with a group and accomplish something amazing.
4. Join and Participate in Groups
While LinkedIn groups are necessarily ripe with job opportunities, they do sometimes have possible leads for you to follow. More importantly, they let you have frank and candid discussions with other writers about rates and specific client opportunities.
5. Reach Out to Potential Clients
If there’s a specific company or client you’re looking at, it doesn’t hurt to reach out yourself. On the free membership, you can send three InMails per month and if you have a paid account, you can send unlimited messages.
If you’ve done your research or you’ve seen someone from the company view your profile, simply reach out with a message like this one:
Subject: Are You in Need of an Experienced Freelance Writer?
I saw that you visited my profile recently and I wanted to reach out to you and see if you’re in need of a freelance writer. I am currently available for new work and I would love to send you some samples if you’re interested!
Looking forward to hearing from you!
6. Use Keywords in Your Profile
Freelance writers of all kinds will hear about SEO at some point in their careers. Your profile is subject to the same rules when it comes to relevant keywords and visibility on search engines. Using the term “freelance writer” is only the beginning. Plenty of other people are using that keyword in their profiles.
You should expand your keyword selection by narrowing down what it is you specializing in doing. Consider some of these terms:
- Content Marketer
- Social Media Manager
- SEO writer
- Published author
These all describe a more narrow field of writing that can help you stand out. When in doubt, trying using Google’s Keyword Planner to look for relevant terms people are searching that you can use to better describe your talents.
7. Utilize the “Who’s Viewed my Profile?” Tool
Even with a basic profile, LinkedIn offers the ability to see who has viewed your profile. This feature is far more robust in the paid membership, but it essentially lets you view leads that could result in future clients.
If you see people that have viewed your profile, and you think they would be a good fit for your talents, then send them a message! They’ve already showed an interest in you, so it’s time to return the favor. You’ll find this information on the sidebar of your profile page.
8. Pay Attention to LinkedIn Job Ads
The job postings on LinkedIn are always worth a look. Even if the ad is a full-time position, remember that these ads cost money. The companies that post them are serious about finding someone, and that someone could be you.
Try reaching out to ads like these and let them know you’re not available for full-time, but you would be more than happy to freelance for them until they find someone permanent to fill the position. This is a great way to make some serious money on the side without signing on for a full-time commitment.
9. Ask For Testimonials and Recommendations
Clients that you’ve previously worked with are usually more than happy to recommend your services. You just need to ask them. You can either ask them to provide a testimonial on your profile, or they can also provide an official recommendation through LinkedIn.
Much like today’s brands use social proof to sell their products, this is a similar way to show new clients that you’ve been successful in the past.
10. Try a Little Reverse Psychology
While I wholeheartedly support reaching out, sometimes a little inaction is the best course of action. If you have a potential client or contact you want to work with, try looking at their profile. That’s it, just look around and then leave.
They will see that you viewed their profile and most likely reciprocate out of curiosity. If you’ve done everything right up until this point, they won’t be able to resist sending you a message.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform for professionals and especially for freelance writers. How have you leveraged the platform in the past to find new clients and job opportunities? Let us know in the comments!