As someone with a varied background in several industries, I can’t help but love using LinkedIn. Not just an interactive CV, but also as a platform to connect with like-minded individuals (who may just also want to hire me - (wink, wink!). Although the platform is over 20 years old, it’s only been in the last 10 years that they started catering to freelancers and providing the type of features we need to thrive on the platform. Understanding how to properly utilize LinkedIn as a freelancer can open a wealth of opportunities without spending a dime.
How do I design my profile to attract clients?
First of all, having your page public is key. As a freelancer, you want clients to trust you from the moment they click on your smiling face. As a Career Portfolio expert, I tell my clients to have someone take a photo of them in front of a blank wall wearing semi-professional attire (depending on their industry) and a big smile on their face. You also want to design a banner that promotes your brand and invites clients into your world of freelancing. Another quick change you can make to your profile is to change your URL from a list of numbers and letters to simply your name or business by editing your public profile and URL on the right-hand side of your profile.
Secondly, you want to have an interesting tagline that immediately tells your clients what you can do for them (no one likes a mysterious freelancer). You’re selling yourself as someone they can trust without ever meeting in person, so show them your brand and skillset from the jump. Your “About” section should be a brief summary of your experience but add some personality to the paragraph to ensure potential clients are persuaded to read more.
Lastly, the way you describe your experience and skills shouldn’t focus on the hum-drum of daily duties and responsibilities. As a freelancer, you most likely work with a variety of businesses and clients. As a result, it can be hard to know which clients to mention and how exactly to do that. Pick the areas you want to be hired most in and provide your readers with a short description of the client and your key results. Also, make sure to create a business page for your freelancing business so you can be sharing your content on multiple media and give legitimacy to your freelance business. Link your key skills to each client/business to provide a quick description of what you offered in that partnership if someone doesn’t feel inclined to read the full experience description. All experience, education, and licenses/certifications should be properly linked to the company/organization pages when possible; this adds another tier to your legitimacy.
What features does LinkedIn provide for client growth?
As previously mentioned, LinkedIn only started rolling out features for freelancers on the platform within the last 10 years. As they continue to grow, they are extremely advantageous for freelancers interested in attracting clients from all levels. Whether you
want to help small businesses or partner with larger companies, here are some key features to achieve client growth:
Open to Work & Providing Services
The “Open to Work” feature is available at the top of your profile and opens you up to letting clients know what roles you’re looking for, employment types, and more. You can specify if you prefer strictly remote roles or choose hybrid if you still want a taste of company culture in your life. The “Providing Services” feature tells clients in a zero-frills way the services you can offer them, your pricing, and more.
Featured & Projects
These areas on your profile are perfect for showing dynamic visuals for your work. Whether you’re a graphic designer, writer, or consultant, these areas allow you to display previous work to give your readers a wider scope of what they can expect from working on a project with you.
This feature is the best way to promote your client feedback which in turn can persuade potential clients to sign on with your freelancing business. You can choose previous employers, clients, or colleagues to leave a review of your work and experience from their point of view, allowing potential clients to see the inner workings of your professional relationships.
How do I optimize my profile if I'm not a writer?
It’s true, we’re not all gifted with having a way with words. One of the hardest things to do for a lot of people is to explain themselves. Many intricacies go into curating the optimal LinkedIn profile for your freelancing career. I could list off a million different profile section must-haves like pronoun usage, networking tactics, etc., but sometimes you may just need to hire a professional. If you need assistance with LinkedIn optimization or your career portfolio as a whole, feel free to reach out for assistance!