Learn 10 essential LinkedIn profile tips for getting noticed by prospective clients and making more money!
Are you using LinkedIn to attract freelance writing clients yet?
If not, you’re completely missing out. LinkedIn is a gold mine for networking and increasing your visibility as a freelance writer, not to mention landing high-paying writing gigs.
It’s one of the things that’s helped me grow my writing income to six figures. So using it is a must if you want to boost your writing income.
But making LinkedIn work for you as a freelance writer is all about the strength of your profile. So I’ve got some LinkedIn profile tips to help you stand out and start attracting more clients.
How to Use LinkedIn as a Freelance Writer
1. Fine-tune your headline
The first tip you need to know for how to use LinkedIn is creating a strong headline.
Your headline is what tells people who view your profile what you’re about as a writer. It’s also what people see when they search on LinkedIn so you want to make sure your headline delivers a clear message.
When writing your headline, keep it short and simple. For example:
Personal Finance Expert and Freelance Writer
SEO Content Writer for Digital Brands
Healthcare and Fitness Writer and Blogger
These are just examples but they all tell someone what to expect if they come across your profile in search results.
2. Include a good headshot
Next on the list of LinkedIn profile tips is making sure you have a decent headshot.
It doesn’t have to be a photo taken by a professional photographer but it should be professional-looking. And remember to smile in your headshot, since you want to appear approachable and friendly to potential clients who are looking for a writer.
Also, skip the full body shots and try to choose a photo that highlights your face and/or upper body only. Take the photo in front of a solid background or a background that won’t be too distracting for people viewing your image.
3. Create a solid summary
Aside from your headline, your summary is the next most important section of your LinkedIn profile.
One of the smartest LinkedIn profile tips I’ve learned is using keywords in my headline and summary. Keywords can act as triggers for prospective clients to clue them in to what you do as a writer and why they should hire you.
Your summary is a chance to expand on who you are and tell a little more of your story. But remember where the focus should be: on what you can do for a potential client.
So write your summary as if you were interviewing with a client in-person or over the phone. Make what you bring to the table as a writer clear and incorporate keywords that are relevant to your niche.
Finally, wrap up your summary with a call to action. For example, you could say something like:
If you’d like to chat about how I could help you grow your brand, email me at XYZ@email.com.
Let’s connect and discuss how I can help fill your content needs!
And make sure you’re including the best way to reach you. There’s nothing worse for clients than having to try to chase you down.
4. Link to your portfolio and/or blog
Building a solid portfolio is one of the smartest things you can do for yourself as a new freelance writer.
Once you get more established, you don’t necessarily need a portfolio as much because you might have hundreds or even thousands of articles published online. Clients might come across your writing and reach out to you directly, instead of having to pitch or apply to job boards.
If you’ve gotten your starter portfolio going, be sure you’ve linked to it in your LinkedIn profile. This way, prospective clients don’t have to go searching for your writing samples.
And if you’ve started a blog as a freelance writer, make sure you’re linking to that, too.
Blogging is a genius step for freelance writers for lots of reasons. Here’s why:
- It’s an easy way to create writing samples for your portfolio.
- You can develop your writing skills, the more often you write.
- It shows clients who might want to hire you that you know how to craft a good blog post.
If you want to start a blog, then I recommend using Siteground for your host. They’re super easy to get started with, the plans are affordable and the tech support is insanely helpful.
No clue how to start a blog? Check out this helpful guide to getting started!
5. Make use of your header image
In addition to a headshot, you can also upload a header image to your LinkedIn profile. So why not make it something useful?
For example, say you’ve started a blog or set up a freelance writer website. You could create a header image that has your site’s name, logo, URL, a brief description of your services and your email.
That way, potential clients who find you in searches don’t have to go looking for your information. They can go straight to your website/blog or email you to learn more about what you do as a freelancer.
It’s one of those LinkedIn profile tips that’s not as obvious, but it can pay off big when people are checking out your profile.
6. Link out to writing samples
Linking to your portfolio, writer website or blog is a good start but there’s more you can do to show off your writing skills.
If you have any experience writing for freelance clients at all, then you should be listing that experience in your profile. And along with describing your role, you can add a link to a piece of writing you did for the client.
This is yet another way to get eyes on your writing and show brands and editors what you can do and what kind of skillset you have as a writer. It’s one of the simplest LinkedIn profile tips for getting noticed.
7. Ask for endorsements
Referrals from past clients or other writers/editors can be one of the best ways to get more clients and grow your freelance writing income.
If you don’t have any endorsements on your LinkedIn profile yet, reach out to some of your current or past clients and ask them to offer one.
It doesn’t have to be anything lengthy but having this on your profile is social proof that you’re a legit writer. If you don’t have anyone to ask for an endorsement you can also beef out this section by adding skills instead.
8. Connect strategically
The whole purpose of LinkedIn is connecting with other professionals. But when you’re building connections as a freelancer, it pays to think strategically.
Here’s who I mostly target when I’m sending out connect invites:
- Freelance writers in my niche
- Editors in my niche who write for publications I want to write for
- Content marketers and content strategists who are in my niche
There’s a simple reason why I focus on these types of connections: because it’s all about who you know in freelance writing.
If I’m connected on LinkedIn with an editor in my niche, getting a gig can sometimes be as easy as sending a friendly note asking if they’re looking for writers. Even if they don’t need a writer, they might be able to refer me to another editor or content marketing connection who does.
So as you’re branching out your network, focus on connecting with people who can connect you with other people. It may not lead to a writing job every time but something as simple as an introduction could eventually become a paying gig down the line.
9. Aim for 500+ connections
This is one of those LinkedIn profile tips that tends to get overlooked but when it comes to your connections, two things matter: quality and quantity.
The quality we’ve already discussed. You should be networking and connecting with people in your niche because those are the people that could help you find paying gigs or lead clients right to your (virtual) doorstep.
The other side of the coin is quantity. For whatever reason, once you hit the 500+ connections mark on LinkedIn, you suddenly become a lot more visible when people are searching on the site.
And that’s a good thing because the more often you come up in searches, the more you increase your odds of attracting a client.
So make sure you’re working on getting to the 500+ number if you’re not there. Just keep what I said about quality in mind when sending out invites. And of course, don’t be spammy with your invites.
10. Write posts directly in LinkedIn
One neat thing you can do with LinkedIn, aside from networking, is posting directly to the platform. You can repurpose posts from your blog, write a brand-new post or share content from other people.
Writing original posts can be a great way to add to your portfolio of writing samples. And the right piece could be a conversation-starter that helps you build connections with potential clients.
If you’re planning to use blogging content, you could repackage the content or share the link directly. Just don’t copy word for word, since that could hurt your blog’s SEO.
Remember that with whatever you’re posting, keep it relevant to your niche and your connections.
Bonus LinkedIn Profile Tips:
1. Leverage LinkedIn Jobs
LinkedIn Jobs is an awesome resource for finding in-house writing jobs but you can also use it to target freelance work.
In some cases, you can find remote opportunities right away. But other times, you have to do some legwork to make those opportunities.
Here’s how you do it.
- First, decide which keywords you want to use to search for jobs. (Remember, choose keywords that reflect your niche!)
- Search for jobs using those keywords.
- Once you find some job leads, search for people who work for those companies that are in charge of marketing and/or content.
- Send connect invites to those people, including a friendly note mentioning that you’re a freelance writer.
- If your invite is accepted, follow up with a second note asking if they ever work with freelance or remote writers.
It’s a simple formula and I can tell you from my own experience that it does work.
Will it work every single time? Probably not. But the more often you use this strategy, the more your odds improve.
Remember, freelance writing is a numbers game when it comes to pitching and offering your services.
2. Get more leads with LinkedIn ProFinder
LinkedIn ProFinder is a relatively new feature but it’s worth looking into if you’ve got some authority and expertise under your belt as a freelance writer.
ProFinder is a marketplace where freelance professionals can connect with top-quality clients. You can use ProFinder, along with these other LinkedIn profile tips, to get writing jobs.
You create a profile (it’s free). LinkedIn members submit requests for freelancers for various projects. If you’re a good fit for a project, you’ll get an email from LinkedIn allowing you to submit a proposal.
If the LinkedIn member likes your proposal, they can reach out to start a conversation with you to discuss terms. It’s a little like Upwork, which is a freelance bidding site.
The difference is that clients who use LinkedIn ProFinder generally have the budget to pay their freelancers well. Whereas Upwork tends to have more low-hanging fruit, meaning clients who want to pay you pennies for your work.
A few tips for using ProFinder to get freelance writing clients:
- Make sure you’ve nailed your headline and summary
- Completely fill out your profile
- Add recommendations and ask past or current clients for them if you don’t have any
- Showcase your writing by publishing through the LinkedIn platform
- Be specific and concise when drafting proposals
- Communicating clearly and follow up promptly if a LinkedIn member reaches out
Remember to grab your Independent Contractor template to protect yourself and your freelance writing business legally!
Do you have any killer LinkedIn profile tips to share?
LinkedIn is an excellent resource for finding paying work as a freelance writer. If you’re not using it, now’s the time to dive in!
If you’ve got an amazing tip or two to share on how to use LinkedIn, drop it in the comments.
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