A freelancer and not utilizing LinkedIn? Lemme tell you, the people you think as competitors are not really your competitors, YOU’RE FAR BEHIND THEM!
- Most clients search for your LinkedIn presence before hiring you.
(Because they’ll prefer professionals with vivid credibility over strangers)
- An established up-to-date profile does the magic for you even if you’re not actively looking for new clients, the clients will find you.
Following these simple steps, you can establish a successful LinkedIn profile that can show you a gold mine of quality clients!
Optimize your profile:
Here’s a breakdown of how you can optimize the sections of your LinkedIn profile which can attract potential clients at first glance.
Hint: Change your profile to “private” so you can easily play around with your profile without broadcasting it to all your LinkedIn connections.
Human nature is to judge a person by his looks. That tells the significance of your LinkedIn profile picture.
- Dress for success! Wear a simple yet professional attire.
- They can see your friend’s shoulder so don’t crop him out.
- Avoid using old Facebook display pictures.
- Your background shouldn’t be super distracting so either stand in front of a wall or use a solid background.
- Full body shots create difficulty in recognition so crop it at your waist and emphasize your face.
It’s the second most important thing which clients notice after landing on your profile. (The first word from you, about you! )
Search results are also based on headlines.
You have 2 options for this:
- You can use keywords here.
(Looks like this: Content writer | Blogger | Freelancer | Top Rated professional on Legiit)
- You can stand out from the crowd by using a tagline.
(For example, I help brands boost awareness and grow their business. Top-rated content writer on Legiit)
The keyword option is best for the search engines and robots, the second option is best for human beings because:
- You’ll eventually be hired by a human being. (They’ll be inspired by a sublime headline! Not keywords)
- Usually, clients find your profile in groups, the “people also viewed” section, notifications, and in the comments section of a post.
- There are many other sections in LinkedIn from where you can attract search engines (like ‘skills’ area, summary, etc)
Personalize your URL
Here’s how you can personalize your URL in 3 simple steps:
- Click the “Me” icon and go to your profile.
- On the right rail, click “Edit public profile & URL” and click edit.
- Type your name in the text box. (If you’ve got a business page, write the brand name)
Your headline catches the attention, your summary reels them in.
A quick guide on how to sell your services in summary:
- Start with your elevator pitch. (Sum up what you offer)
- Use bullet points to highlight how you can help your clients accomplish their goals in business.
- Write what you’ve done for the happy clients.
- Demonstrate your credibility by writing your achievements.
- Add testimonials in the “media files” option.
- End your summary with a ‘call to action’.
(Like how they can reach you and write “I’m always open to new prospects”).
Your portfolio is the proof of your word. Use this space to demonstrate your skills by:
- Uploading PDFs and images of your unique designs or past work.
- Uploading your work in PowerPoint presentations.
- Displaying articles you’ve written.
- Links to your freelance profiles.
In short, showcase everything you’ve!
Because this is the only space that can prove your expertise in your field.
If you have work experiences that can add value and credibility to your profile, put them up.
And you can leave your job experiences that are not directly related to your work. (i-e your high-school pizza delivery days)
Here’s how being a freelancer at LinkedIn is different from being a potential employee, and that is why you must add “Freelancer” to your profile experience:
- As an employee, your target is to let people know that you have the skills and experience they need.
- As a freelancer, your goal is much more direct: To tell customers that you can solve their problem.
So here are a few suggestions to set up your experience section:
Combine the small projects in one group entry:
Group those small freelance projects you’ve done for many different clients and name this entry with your business name and choose the type of work from the options.
Add large projects on their own:
If you’ve worked on a specific project for a longer period, add it as a separate work experience, and don’t forget to include a quote from your satisfied happy client.
Caution: Don’t list your client as an “employer”, instead make it clear that it was a freelance work.
An endorsement is the equivalent of a 5-star review on Legiit.
LinkedIn profiles with a high number of endorsements are more likely to be approached by the clients as they have a high level of trust score.
Don’t hesitate to ask for a LinkedIn endorsement from your happy client. It can boost your chances of being approached by new clients.
The easiest way to get an endorsement is by writing it yourself for your colleagues. They’ll be persuaded to return the favor.
Pro tip: Re-arrange your most endorsed skill at the first position.
Adding relevant skills to your profile lets people endorse you. Adding as many skills as you can lets you stand out in an ocean of boring resumes and dull headshots.
How to find clients
Opportunities don’t present themselves out of the blue but through visible online presence.
Here’s what you can do about it:
Use “The ProFinder” feature:
There’s a hidden tool on LinkedIn where you can create your services just like freelancing websites and reach prospective clients.
- Go to your profile and click “Add services” right under your headline.
- Fill out the form by providing details about the services you offer.
- Click continue and that service will be visible in search results as well as on your profile.
Send connection requests:
Cold contacting is uncomfortable in real life but not on LinkedIn 😉
People send InMails and connection requests to professionals in higher positions, and they often accept it to increase their chances of reaching competent employees.
Pro tip: Never send generic messages. Profoundly connect with them by starting with a reference of an article of theirs you recently read and point out the connections you share.
A personalized approach can increase your chances of getting a response.
Choose the right people for endorsements:
Ask for recommenders who are relevant to your field, and can validate your expertise, skill, and credibility in your present field.
(Asking a former boss at a restaurant may not create the kind of impact you want)
How to grow profile:
In order to grow, you need to demonstrate your presence first.
Your competitors are already engaging themselves in fruitful discussions on LinkedIn where clients hunt for talent and skills.
Here’s a guide that can help you grow as a freelancer.
Also, follow these steps:
Maintain an active profile:
Just as some people like to poke their nose in every discussion on Facebook, you should do that on LinkedIn (in a valuable way) 😉
- Share content related to your field, on your profile.
- Promote yourself through your posts and articles (not directly as an advertisement, rather show that you excel at something by writing tips and tricks about topics.
- Engage with other people on their shared posts and express your opinion. This can let you get discovered by potential clients searching for someone with your expertise.
There are 2 benefits of publishing posts directly on LinkedIn and how they’re different from your everyday blog:
- Your connections get a notification each time you publish a new post.
- LinkedIn places your articles in front of the faces of interested people in your field.
- Your blogs get more comments and views on LinkedIn than your site because they appear in their feed.
- Summarize current news stories and express your opinion.
- Use bold images and faces
- Utilize the three tags they give you at the end of each post.
Join groups and participate in conversations
After joining relevant groups in your field, don’t just leave “great post” and “very nice” at every post.
Take some time to write a valuable reply which can place a good impression on the people.
The more valuable your comment, the more likely you’ll get a response, and attract potential clients.
Pro tip: You can find relevant groups by writing your keyword into the search field and then narrowing down the results to groups.
Take a skills assessment test
A skill assessment test can prove your expertise and display a “Verified Skills” badge on your profile.
A profile with many verified badges is more likely to get offers than a general profile.
Note: Displaying the result of the test is entirely voluntary and you can retake the skills test as many times as you want.
How to create content:
John Espirian, a successful content writer once said:
“Your profile sells. Your content tells.”
Know your target audience:
Answer these questions in your mind:
- Who do you want to attract?
- What are the topics they’re interested in?
Do your research by going through their profile.
After making sure you’ve their answers, follow the 3 E’s of Goulet for your content:
- Engagement: Content that starts a discussion. (For example your own opinion about a topic)
- Evergreen: Content about key terms of your field that will always be relatable.
- Events: Content written on current events like a big news or event.
This ultimate guide can help you create valuable content, the market loves.
Use keyword research tools:
Tools like Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner and Moz, etc can help you find topics that can lead to more engagement and reach.
Create a catchy headline:
Your headline has a lot of heavy lifting to do because 80% of the people who visit a blog judge content through the headline.
Studies show that instructional phrases like “things you need to know” and “here’s why you should do that” are more likely to be read and shared by people.
Similarly “Tips & Tricks” and “How to” posts win the internet.
Put yourself in their shoes and write. This way, they will relate, engage, and may consider you as a thought leader within your field.
Push marketing is out, pull marketing is in.
Speak in your authentic voice:
- Let them know your values
- Your enthusiasm for the topic must be evident
- Show yourself as a real, warm human being with feelings and emotions. It will compel people to comment and share their thoughts on your post.
- Being a little controversial in doing so, is fine.
“Only dead fish goes with the flow”
Share your opinion:
Develop your image with your opinion. People always have comments on politics, religion, industry, and style. When you’ll share your own thoughts, people will not hesitate to share their opinions too.
Tell stories, be human:
Just as success stories inspire, failure stories let people empathize. When you open up and express your feelings about a failure or success journey, it instinctively builds trust, and your followers feel they know you.
Publish content that’s tightly written:
This doesn’t mean to shorten the length, but to narrow down the focus of the article.
Your article should have a single clear idea. For example:
Bad: How to increase your marketing
Better: Ways to do small business advertising
Best: How social media can boost advertising for SaaS startups
Using the first line, one cannot create a useful piece of information because the concept is just too wide.
A topic with a narrow focus can let you create valuable content about a specific topic.
This guide can help you avoid some deadly blogging mistakes people make.
By posting valuable content with strategy, you will increase your influence, build respect, and eventually boost up your engagement.
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