If you run a freelance business, did you know that LinkedIn can be a fruitful resource to push it in the right direction?
In the U.S. alone, there are 62 million freelancers, and that number continues to grow as time goes on. More people are leaving their nine-to-fives and choosing to work for themselves and pick projects based on fair pay and interest level.
Being self-employed means you’re responsible for finding new job opportunities, finding the right clients, and making professional network connections with other businesses and freelancers. It’s no easy task finding well-paying freelance work. However, LinkedIn is a solid place to boost your freelance business efforts and get your name out there.
Let’s look at a few ways you can use LinkedIn so your freelance business sees results.
Optimize your profile
Your profile is what potential employers and those searching for freelancers look at to determine:
- What type of work you do
- If you’re good at what you do
- When you’re available to accept new projects
- Your skill set and experience
- If your samples align with what they’re looking for
Your LinkedIn profile is like a resume. It’s filled with information recruiters are looking for to determine who their next freelancer will be. If it’s not filled out and fully optimized, say goodbye to potential freelance opportunities.
There are different sections of your profile you need to complete:
Implementing SEO practices in your LinkedIn marketing strategy is a must. Add industry-specific keywords in your headline, summary, and experience so LinkedIn’s search engine indexes your profile and recruiters can find you. Add the word “freelancer” so recruiters know that’s the type of position you’re interested in. You can also add “for hire” in your headline so it’s obvious you’re looking for opportunities.
Don’t neglect to add work samples to your profile. Your portfolio tells businesses if you’re worth hiring straight off the bat based on its quality and content matter. You can link to samples on your website or use LinkedIn Publisher to upload them straight to the platform.
Uploading content directly to LinkedIn can increase your followers, encourage engagement from other freelancers and businesses, and land you new opportunities.
Leverage networking opportunities
LinkedIn is most known for creating networking opportunities, whether that’s between businesses or between businesses and workers. It forms connections that wouldn’t exist otherwise and helps put your name out there as a job seeker.
For freelancers especially, the ability to network is vital for success. Without connections, it’s challenging to find opportunities with the right companies or people. They also come in handy later on if you’re looking for extra work or need a referral to work with someone new. You really can’t go wrong by building connections that will help you down the road.
There are several ways you can leverage your network using LinkedIn. Take advantage of the connections feature where you can request to connect with businesses and other freelancers. Cold connecting might feel awkward and outdated, but finding valuable freelance work is a job in itself. Put yourself out there and see what happens next.
Send personalized InMail to connections you think are valuable. This could be potential employers, businesses, and other freelancers you could form a bond with. When reaching out, it’s important not to send generic content that people will glaze over and delete. It hurts your chances to form meaningful connections that will benefit your freelance business.
Here’s an example of how freelance writer Jorden Roper reached out to a connection and potential job opportunity:
Notice how she mentions she checked out the business’ website beforehand and compliments their logo. It’s essential not to speak to potential employers with copy-and-pasted content; it’s obvious, lazy, and won’t get you anywhere. Take the time to write a personalized pitch that uses first names, expresses what you do, and how your skills benefit that business.
Share your services via your profile
This past July, LinkedIn rolled out a new feature for small business owners and freelancers that could change the landscape for finding work opportunities. Before, freelancers only had the option to express their services through the summary and experience sections. Now, those with a Premium Business subscription can share the services they provide directly on their profile.
This feature could drastically change the way freelancers do business and how those seeking their services discover them. These services now show up in LinkedIn search so those looking for help can easily filter and find freelancers with skills that match their needs.
For example, if someone searches for a freelance accountant in the search bar, freelancers who listed this in their profile will pop up. It’s a faster, more straightforward way for businesses to connect with freelance workers currently accepting new projects.
The fully-functioning version of this feature doesn’t roll out until this fall, but if you want LinkedIn to add you to the waitlist, you can sign up here.
Over to you
When it comes to marketing your expertise on LinkedIn, how successful you are is up to you. The platform makes it relatively easy to find freelance opportunities, make valuable connections, and set up your profile so the right prospects see it. How will you use LinkedIn to boost your freelance business?