Why You Need a LinkedIn Presence as a Freelancer
We have been touting the importance of LinkedIn for some time and maybe you thought it wasn’t relevant to you because you’re a freelancer. You think to yourself, I’m not looking for a 9-5 job or a cubicle to sit behind, why would I need a LinkedIn profile? If that is your perception of what LinkedIn does, you are completely mistaken and missing a tremendous opportunity to expand your personal brand.
LinkedIn boasts about 433 million active users on the site and is the preeminent resource for professional networking. It isn’t just for job searching anymore! Word of mouth is crucial for your business to thrive and LinkedIn allows you to leverage it in a whole new and engaging way.
Building your network on LinkedIn starts by connecting to former colleagues, peers, and clients thus making endorsements, referrals, and promotion from people that know your work best easy and accessible. No more struggling to chase down clients for testimonials!
You have the ability to share or create content on their publishing platform and start conversations in groups that fit your niche. Drive conversations or exhibit your expertise by commenting on posts and increase your exposure tenfold.
The content of your profile is curated and controlled by you. Set the tone and adapt branding as you see fit. In a time when so many other platforms are killing organic reach, the numerous avenues of free exposure on LinkedIn put your unique skill set front and center. This is a non-salesy way to create a funnel for your business and allow your ideal clients to find you.
The chief bonus here is perception; you aren’t someone found randomly on the Internet, LinkedIn automatically provides a sense of credibility, especially if you share a common connection. Something LinkedIn kindly points out!
Unfortunately, a lot of freelancers do not take advantage of LinkedIn or even set up a profile. Those that do often neglect it provide very limited information and generally seem to have trouble understanding how to use the platform effectively for their gain. Don’t follow their lead!
Anyone building a professional presence online these days needs to know how to present themselves in a compelling way that clearly identifies who they are, what they do, and the value that they bring. As a freelancer, you know better than anyone how essential that is and how competitive the landscape has become. Why wouldn’t you want to utilize this tool for all it is worth?
To secure your piece of the LinkedIn networking game, we’ve briefly outlined the five major components you need to include in your profile to utilize this free form of advertising to your advantage.
1. A professional photo. The key word being professional. Even though you might be in a more creative field, you are still better off with a professional looking headshot here. Your goal is to be sought after so you want your photo to set the stage as to how people view you. A picture is worth a thousand words; make sure yours conveys the right ones. We have a whole post dedicated to this topic; you can check it out here.
2. A well-crafted summary. This is the area where most people fall flat. This is your pitch: who you are, what you do better than anyone else, and why you do what you do! It should be more informal in nature and needs to match your personal branding story on other platforms. Your work history is all about providing proof; your summary is the ‘why would I want to work with you’ portion. Missing the mark here means you have lost your potential client’s interest and, as a result, lost out on a sale. If you can’t craft this for yourself, it might be wise to hire someone that can powerfully relay your message. It will be money well spent and can be written off as a business expense!
3. Utilize the Skills section. People will search for profiles based on specific skills and their immediate needs. So if you have a skill, flaunt it and list it on your profile. It will help you show up in results and get noticed more easily. Think SEO optimization. The skills you select will be made available for endorsement by those in your network: make them count!
4. Recommendations are imperative. Ask your previous clients whom you have had positive experiences with to write an endorsement about the quality of your work and your character. Nothing makes someone more likely to hire you than glowing words about your work from someone who has benefited from your services! Social proof is critical to achieving results and will establish a killer LinkedIn presence. Let others sing your praises so you don’t have to!
5. A method of contact. Make sure you let others know your preferred/best method of contact. It should be easy for clients to get in touch with you. Also, make sure to link to your website or online portfolio.
Don’t overlook this powerful professional network and establish a presence on LinkedIn today. You never know who might be looking for you and your precise skill set! Take advantage of this platform and watch your client base grow!
Need help crafting the perfect LinkedIn profile; we’ve got you covered.