Are you a freelancer? Do you have a LinkedIn account yet?
LinkedIn seems to be one of those social networks, that you ‘once upon a time’ created a profile on, made a few connections and then soon forgot about it.
But, LinkedIn is rapidly growing and with 433 million users across the world, it is now considered the third most popular social network.
There are so many reasons why it is worth being on LinkedIn, especially as a freelancer.
As the only major social network that is purely for business connections, LinkedIn is an incredible way for freelancers to find work, keep in touch with old clients and to interact with potential clients, without being spammy!
So, what can you do, as a freelancer, to get the most out of LinkedIn?
1. Customise your URL
Are you easy to find on LinkedIn? Just like any of your social media networks, you need to have a URL tag.
When you sign up, LinkedIn assigns your profile page a URL, that is a random bunch of numbers and letters.
To edit and customise this, hover over the URL beneath your profile picture and you’ll see an icon that allows you to set a new one.
Make sure the URL is your name and not something unprofessional. Plus, if you’re clever, your LinkedIn profile will come up when you type in your name in google, giving people who are searching for you the chance to see your work!
2. Show off your work and your skills
LinkedIn is the place to boast about everything you have ever done as a freelancer. Show off your skills and detail what your job is and what you can offer potential clients. As freelancers, we need to work harder to sell ourselves.
People come onto your profile page to see who you are and what you can do, so don’t be shy. This is the place to really showcase yourself to your full potential.
You don’t need to add where you went to primary school or that one time you worked in Nando’s. Only add jobs that are relevant to the work you are doing now, or that add value to your profile.
You can also show off great things, as they happen, through status updates (a bit like on Facebook). Simply send an update announcing your successes (winning awards, a happy customer, a piece of work you’re proud of) and it’ll keep your connections updated and could even lead to more work!
3. Have a good profile image
LinkedIn users will not take you seriously if firstly; you don’t have a profile picture at all, and secondly; you’re photo is unprofessional.
Try and avoid making it a group photo (sorry friends and children), a photo of you on a night out or a photo where your face is covered, etc.
Keep your profile picture as professional as you can. You don’t need to hire a photographer, but try and take a photo where people can see your face and you look professional and natural.
4. Make connections
Do you know what your old school classmates are doing now? I was surprised the other day to find out that one person in my class is doing exactly the same freelancing job as me.
I’d always assumed she was going to University to train as a doctor. You’d be surprised at what people you used to know, are doing now. We are now connected on LinkedIn and have even gained work from each other.
You can easily add connections in bulk from your e-mail addresses, your Facebook page and beyond. Each time you work with a new client, remember to add them on LinkedIn. It makes you more visible to them and it’ll be more likely for them to give you more work.
5. Engage and endorse!
LinkedIn is all about engagement. Engagement will make you memorable and is a great starting point for conversation, which could lead to potential work.
Don’t just ‘accept connections’. You get notifications of new jobs, promotions, and posts. Use these to stay in touch with your connections, even if its a simple ‘like’ or message. You also have the option to ‘endorse’ people’s skills. In return they will usually endorse you too, which is great for your profile.
Building strong connections, and maintaining them on LinkedIn can really help your freelance career. Staying memorable and networking are two key ways to landing both returning clients and new work.
There is a huge pool of freelancers. Standing out and making sure you are remembered is important. LinkedIn is a great social media network for doing this.
Don’t forget to connect with me on LinkedIn. I post regular updates about being a freelancer and tips and tricks to help you.
If you are a new freelancer, don’t forget to read my post 5 Tips For New Freelancers.
Have you utilised LinkedIn as a freelancer yet? What are your thoughts on this social media network. Let us know in the comments below.
This post is linked with…