Easy LinkedIn tips to help clients find you for freelance work
LinkedIn is a surprisingly good place to find freelance clients and build your network. Follow these LinkedIn tips to polish your profile and find more work.
About the author: Dana Miranda is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance® and founder of Healthy Rich. She’s written about work and money for publications including Forbes, The New York Times, CNBC, Insider, NextAdvisor and a column for Inc. Magazine.
You might think of LinkedIn as just an online resume. But don’t forget it’s also a networking platform — and a search engine!
LinkedIn is a surprisingly good place to find freelance clients and build your network as an entrepreneur, but so many people completely ignore it unless they’re looking for a new job. It’s easy to ignore it as a freelancer, because so much advice just tells you to write cold pitches and polish your website.
But LinkedIn is a gold mine for connecting with potential clients — and I don’t mean through a bunch of cold direct messages or connection requests. (Egck.) If you use the platform right, you can turn it into a place where clients find you, instead of the other way around.
The key is to make yourself searchable.
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Help clients find you on LinkedIn
If you haven’t established a broad online presence, your LinkedIn profile probably ranks high in Google searches for your name. It could be the first result prospective clients see when they search your name.
Search potential within the platform is just as important, too. Recruiters and potential clients use LinkedIn to search for people with your skills and expertise all the time — make sure they can find you!
Clever headlines and summaries on Linkedin do a good job of showcasing your personality, but find a balance with practical terms to make sure you show up in searches for terms someone is likely to type in.
Here’s where to focus on keywords:
This is the line right under your name in your profile. Searchers will see just your photo, name and this line in search results.
Make it practical, clear and eye catching, like “Copywriter for coaches who’ve run out of f*cks to give.” The longer it is, the more will be cut off in search results, so put the most important words at the beginning.
Your “about” section can be up to 2,600 characters, and each position description can be up to 2,000. You don’t have to fill all that space, but take advantage of what’s available to write more than a sentence or two about your experience.
Your about section is search gold, so write in practical — and creative! — terms that include the words your clients would search for.
Listing the right experience is less about keywords and more about key companies. If you’ve worked for a top company in your industry, as a freelancer or employee, list them separately as an employer. Competitors love to peruse the people sections of those companies for talent.
LinkedIn lets you list your position as freelance or contract, if that’s relevant, so this is all above board.
Stay active on the platform
LinkedIn has far fewer active users than other social media platforms you might be trying to compete on. That means less noise to break through.
If you post and share content, and comment and engage with posts in your network, a little each day or week, you’ll be miles ahead of most users (who, remember, tend to go dormant between job searches). Share content relevant to your potential clients, and that activity can help you show up in search results, too.
You don’t have to add LinkedIn as yet another platform to scroll through 100 times a day.
Use a social scheduler like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule posts to drop periodically. Either one lets you schedule posts for a specific date or use a queue that drips posts out, so you can batch the work without blasting your network with a bunch of posts over a few hours.
Polishing your presence on LinkedIn isn’t a heavy lift. Most people are doing the platform pretty haphazardly, so showing up just a little bit can give you an edge and help you get in front of potential clients.
Image by @alyssasieb via Nappy