Your Ultimate 6-Step Guide To Using LinkedIn For Freelancers
LinkedIn can be a great way to make connections with influential people in your field and grow your freelance empire. LinkedIn is a professional network, because of that, a lot of people try to avoid it. As a freelancer, LinkedIn should be one of the first networks you go to.
Bottom line, you are running a freelance business. You must get over the fear of LinkedIn as this stuffy site that only professionals on the 10th floor of buildings use. LinkedIn is for everyone if you are mildly professional, and a corner office is not required. Check out these tips on LinkedIn for freelancers.
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1. Connect With & Follow People In Your Niche
LinkedIn is filled with hundreds of millions of users. It has grown rapidly since its inception, and it has become a hub for connecting with other people professionally. Use LinkedIn to connect with other freelancers and creatives in your niche. Start with who you know, then use their network to expand your own. Growing your circle is imperative on LinkedIn, and it will help you get more out of the platform than just having a small circle of people. Once you begin connecting on LinkedIn, you will realize that you know more people than you thought you did.
Try To Forge Deeper Connections With Your Network
Once you have begun building connections with your group of people, try to take it further than just one more person on your contact list on LinkedIn. Try to create deeper, meaningful connections with the people you connect with:
Become a part of their story by commenting and liking their posts as appropriate.
Ask for a comment from them for a story you are working on in exchange for a backlink to their site on your freelance blog.
Jump on the phone with them and have a more profound conversation about their freelance career and what they want to accomplish with it.
The more you connect with your audience on LinkedIn, the better. You do not want a bunch of LinkedIn connections with no further communication. Think of each of your contacts as a potential connection to someone who could get you the job or opportunity of your dreams. You should also think of your connections as beautiful business partnerships in the making. The connections that you are making are unique, and you should try to cultivate them as best you can.
2. Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups can be fantastic for your freelance brand. LinkedIn Groups are filled with professionals so if you can offer your advice and links to your site (when appropriate), it can make a significant difference in your page views.
Whatever you talk about most often, you want to find relevant LinkedIn groups for that. I see a lot of freelancers (whether on LinkedIn or Facebook) only joining groups about freelancing. Yes, you will get a certain amount of readership from those groups, but you will gain much better traction by taking the time to find groups related to the topics you write about. Branch out so you can meet the people who will utilize your freelance services!
3. Take LinkedIn Courses To Become More Knowledgeable About Freelancing & The Topics You Write About
If you currently have a LinkedIn Premium account or you subscribe to LinkedIn Learning (although, getting a Premium account is MUCH more cost-effective), you have access to courses on a wide range of topics. On the LinkedIn Learning platform, you can learn about things like:
Search Engine Optimization
Writing Ad Copy
And so much more. LinkedIn Learning is extremely business focused, so you will learn a lot of skills that I feel freelancers will benefit from. As I stated earlier, subscribing to a LinkedIn Premium account is much more cost-effective because you get the LinkedIn Learning platform PLUS all the features that come with a LinkedIn Premium account. I would also suggest getting an annual membership if you can because you will save a lot of money that way versus paying month-to-month.
In today’s day and age, continuous learning is everything. You cannot afford to be stale because there is always someone learning about something. This is not to make you upset; it is just dropping a truth bomb. No one can afford to be stagnant, and honestly, you would not want to be. There are other learning platforms like Skillshare or even Coursera, but I love LinkedIn’s Learning platform, especially if you are already paying for LinkedIn Premium.
4. Use LinkedIn’s Publishing Feature To Showcase Your Writing
LinkedIn has an excellent article publishing platform that you can access in the same place you can share a status update. On the place where you would write a status, instead press the button that says Write an article instead.
I use this feature in two ways:
Share A Snippet Of The Content You Produce
When I create a particularly long article, I share my top 3-5 favorite points in a post on LinkedIn. For example, last year on The Happy Arkansan I shared 11 editing tips for academic papers, so on my LinkedIn account, I shared an article with 3 of those tips. Then at the bottom of the article, I linked to the full article so that my audience could choose to read more if they wanted to.
Create LinkedIn Specific Articles
Every blue moon I share LinkedIn specific articles on my account. These are articles that don’t show up on either of my websites and are there to offer some thoughts on a subject to my followers on LinkedIn. I do not do this often because I write a ton of content on my websites and as a freelance writer, but every once in a while I feel that a subject warrants a LinkedIn only response.
5. Become A Trusted Source Of Info In Your Niche By Sharing Other People’s Content
A good influencer or expert knows that they do not know it all. You do not have to know everything about careers to be a great and influential career writer. You should not be monotonous with the content that you share. Break out of your comfort zone and share content from other influencers on and off LinkedIn. Share content from other content creators as it relates to the content you write about. This will make your LinkedIn profile the place to be.
You want people to come to you for the best advice. Sometimes that will be content from your account, sometimes that will be content from another freelancer or blogger account. Share the love and do not fear that doing that will cut down on appreciation for your content.
6. Share The Good Things Happening With Your Freelance Business Loud & Proud
I think we have all heard of the Law Of Attraction, and I think that can be seen a lot in our businesses. When you share the great things happening in your life loud and proud to the public and yourself, you seem to attract more of that amazingness into your life. So, you cannot be afraid to brag about the fantastic things you have going on.
Just landed an amazing client? Write about your experience on LinkedIn.
Launched your first course? Share the good news with your LinkedIn followers.
Thinking about writing an e-book? Share that with your followers too, so you have someone to hold you accountable.
Be open, honest, and fearless with your communications about what is going on in your business world. You never know when someone might see that from you and want to learn more about your services and what you have to offer them.
LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with new people and grow your influence. Not enough freelancers are taking full advantage of LinkedIn, and it is in your best interest to do so. You never know who you might meet on LinkedIn and what they could do for you and vice versa. You might meet a client on LinkedIn or the next person you want to spotlight on your website. Either way, you have to start frequently posting to find out!
16 Ways To Use LinkedIn Effectively by SEO.com