You could be wondering whether it is possible to get clients for your freelance business on LinkedIn.
Yes, LinkedIn is one of the ideal places.
It is possible for clients to look for you and request your services.
How would you feel if clients came looking for your freelance writing services?
That is exactly how I felt when I got my first LinkedIn client. In this post, I am going to tell you exactly how you can also make clients look for you.
When I started out as a freelance writer, like many freelancers, I thought it was impossible to get any client.
Just as Nicole Slaughter wrote, it is possible to use LinkedIn in finding freelance jobs.
I have made a total of $4485 from six LinkedIn clients only.
It worked for me as a newbie and it must work for you too whether you are a beginner or an established freelancer.
Before I delve into the nitty gritties, let me tell you what clients look for in freelance writers.
Clients are constantly looking for the few best writers; they will hire you if you show any hint that you are such a writer
The world is full of writers but almost devoid of quality writers.
Quality writers are a special group of writers with the following characteristics:
Ability to fix the client’s needs
Ability to meet strict deadlines
Excellent command of language
Ability to follow simple instructions
Capability to engage with readers
Ability to write naturally and over-deliver
And lastly, the ability to think like a customer.
Does that sound like you?
Maybe yes and no.
If it sounds like you, why then are you not getting clients?
If you do not have the above characteristics, read on, you may wish to change your approach in order to get your first client.
I want to take you through the process of setting up a professional LinkedIn profile that clients cannot ignore.
Here are things that will make clients chase you up and down and demand your services
1. Create a Nice and Complete LinkedIn Profile
This sounds very obvious. I want us to think together.
Does your LinkedIn profile look like that of somebody you would wish to employ?
If yes, kudos!
If no, why should anybody employ you?
LinkedIn stated that complete profiles get 40% more opportunities and profiles with profile photos get 21 times more profile views.
Now that you are reading this, I believe that you are better than an average computer user.
You can type, read, write, connect to the internet and follow simple instructions.
Follow the simple instructions on LinkedIn, sign up and complete your profile with the right and truthful information.
Do not procrastinate. Why can’t you start doing this right now? I always implement new tips as I read.
Remember to make good use of keywords since LinkedIn, just like Google, Bing and Yahoo, is a search engine. The keywords will make your profile discoverable.
When a client searches for “freelance content writers near Birmingham” one of the results will show the top freelance writer profiles near Birmingham.
Therefore, when creating your LinkedIn profile, use specific keywords which describe your specific niche in the following fields:
Name: Write your full name. Don’t be tempted to use fake names like the ones we normally see people using in Myspace, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites. Be professional. I even don’t know some people lie about their names.
Headline: Show yourself as an authority. Use keywords to describe who you are and what you can do. Bear in mind that you are communicating to real humans also, not just search engine robots.
Profile Picture: Upload a nice photo that depicts you as a professional. Avoid selfies or any other photos taken when drunk (in case you sip any funny drinks) or party photos.
Let the best choice of your photo be the one in which you give a warm gentle smile as opposed to the one you are portraying your worst frown. You get the point.
Ensure your photo filename has some keywords in it.
For example, use Kegesa-Danvas-Freelance-Content-Writer-in-Virginia.jpeg instead of uploading a photo with an unfathomable file name like picgjhyewabhjh3456ghjkljytityu.jpeg
Summary: This section has a whopping 2000 characters worth of ad space. Maximize this it fully and remember to decorate it with words that clients are likely to use in searching for you. Tell the client how awesome you are in delivering the exact needs they are looking for.
Position: Remember to use your keywords or keyword variations to describe your title. Fill in the company name you have worked for, the location and time period. You can tell the world whether you currently work there or not.
Under the description field, describe your achievements mingled with keywords.
Media: In the media section, showcase your best work in the position you mentioned and upload the evidence or give a link to the work.
In case you upload photos or any other files, make sure they have the right keywords relevant to your specialty.
Other Specific Fields: Fill in the fields such as education, country and zip code as appropriate. LinkedIn gives you suggestions of people you may know based on geographical and educational backgrounds. The content is important in Search engine optimization.
Click “YES” to Share Profile Changes: When you click “Yes”, your network receives any profile updates you make and they are likely to check “what’s new”. When people check your profile, they readily get more acquainted with you and the kind of services you offer.
Projects: Showcase all of the projects you have completed. Give samples, reviews and links back to websites and other portfolios. Make sure you share your best projects.
If you are a beginner, take time to create nice samples or work. Clients are most likely to hire you when they see samples.
You can also PDFs or screenshots of your best work and remember to add keyword-rich descriptions.
Header Image: Upload a clear header image – 1000 by 425 pixels. This is just a lot of ad space you may be wasting and yet you are doing business!
Recommendations: Ask former colleagues, your friends and clients to relate your positive aspects. Even if nobody writes you a recommendation, go ahead and write for them. They will just return the favor.
Skills: Make sure that your skills section has the right skills. Do not waste your time highlighting the wrong skills when you are looking for freelance writing jobs.
Endorsements: Get endorsed for the skills you have. Use the same technique you used with recommendations.
2. Establish a LinkedIn Network Around Your Niche
Creating your profile is not enough because nobody will trust you and hire you if you are just a loner.
You need to build a solid network of other freelance writers.
Probably, you could be asking yourself why you need other writers.
Unity is strength, if in doubt, read Brittany Berger’s article on the importance of collaborating with other freelance writers.
Do not join any group just because I have said so.
Be sure to follow what Kristen Pope explained when finding the best writing groups.
Keywords play an important part in recommending connections which have similar profiles.
The LinkedIn algorithm uses the keywords in your profile, your education, skills and geographical location to suggest possible connections and people you might know.
If you go wrong in completing your profile, you will end up getting the wrong connections.
Ensure you connect with the right people, people who will motivate you in your work, people with whom you can share ideas; people who will give you work.
Be sure to connect with previous schoolmates, area mates, colleagues, employers and clients if any.
Join useful freelance writers’ groups and remain active
Offer free advice and answer your group members’ questions to build trust
Show that you are an authority in your niche, other writers can refer you or give you the extra work they have
Request for introductions from your current connections
As a rule of thumb, avoid connecting to people who have no head-shot pictures.
3. Connect with Potential Clients Subtly
Start connecting with clients without sending any pitches. To increase your chances of success, include a quick note stating why you want to connect.
You may write this:
I am Kegesa Danvas, a freelance writer specializing in writing B2B articles for renewable energy companies.
I have read your profile and I felt it important to connect with you.
There is a lot I can learn from a professional expert content marketer like you.
The above message is a subliminal message which does the following:
It acknowledges your connection by name
It introduces your expertise
It shows you have read about what your connection does
It says you appreciate her experience and profession and you are ready to learn from her
Nothing makes a person happier than to learn that they are admired and that somebody is ready to learn from them.
You can tweak the custom message to include other things but remember that the results are wow.
I am reaching out to connect with you because I believe that I can add value to your work and make your work easier.
As an expert B2B freelance writer, I write engaging content for businesses like (their business) which turns website visitors into loyal customers.
I believe there is a lot we can accomplish in this lifetime.
The message in Example 2 is straightforward. It informs your potential connection that you are an expert and you are ready to offer your services.
It portrays you as a straightforward person who does not waste time trying to appease your new connection with fluffy nonsense and false praises.
Who knows, you may be hired for being straight to the point.
You may realize that up to now, you have not tried to make any hard sale, and you are only optimizing your profile and making connections.
There are high chances that some of your connections will start contacting you, especially after you request to connect through a custom message.
In case any person connects with you, follow the connection up immediately with another custom message.
The message should:
Thank them for connecting with you.
Highlight something about their profile.
Include something that you can do for them.
Include something, like a question or a statement, which will make them get back to you.
The conversation shall continue and take a natural flow from there onwards.
If the client needs your service, they will ask for it without you having to do it.
This gives you bargaining power and negotiation spirit.
When you play hard to get, clients look for you. This brings us to another point.
4. Join Active LinkedIn Groups Where Clients are Members, Follow Up
I highly recommend you joining active LinkedIn groups where your perfect clients may be active. Once in the group, join in the discussions and avoid giving stupid answers.
Instead of saying stupid things like “That’s a nice answer, I love this group, wow, thanks, etc., write things which can make you stand out.
Make clients visit your profile to learn more. When they visit you, they are basically telling you that they are interested in what you are offering.
Look for tough questions and use your research skills to find answers and stand out of the rest! Although you may not be aware of it, clients will notice you and want to know more about you.
Be proactive and do immediate follow-ups on people who view your profile.
When you realize that a potential client viewed your profile, write this to them:
Hello (Name of Client).
I saw that you visited my profile. I am a (State what you do and the skills you have).
I will be glad to serve you by providing engaging and high quality content for your blog that will attract more visitors and turn them into customers. I can grow your business and double your traffic as I did while working with Forbes, New York Times and Kissmetrics.
What do you say?
There are many variations of what you can write to whoever visits your profile. Make sure you don’t let them go without any word from you. Always send them a message as soon as possible before they forget about you.
5. Use reverse Psychology by Viewing Clients’ Profiles
Another method of making clients look for you is by viewing their profiles without even making any connection or writing anything about what you do.
LinkedIn will give them a list of people who viewed their profiles.
If you have a nice photo and a professionally looking profile, the client will check your profile only to find that you have the skills and experience of somebody they are looking for.
Bam! The client will connect with you or send you an InMail requesting for your services.
Again, this method portrays you as an authority from the client’s perspective.
N/B: High paying clients are not about to hire desperate job seekers, they look for confident professional freelance writers who know what they are doing, experts who don’t shout too much about their services.
When clients look for you, you have an upper hand in determining the pay.
OTHER WAYS OF GETTING CLIENTS FOR YOUR FREELANCE BUSINESS ON LINKEDIN
6. Be proactive in pitching your potential clients
Tell potential clients what you are up to. Don’t be scared to tell them; be scared of remaining silent and wallowing in poverty.
Example of a follow-up email after the initial connection.
This email should be sent as soon as possible after making new connections before your connection forgets about you.
Make a point of being really quick. It works.
Subject: Thank you for connecting!
Thank you so much for connecting with me on LinkedIn! Immediately I saw your profile, I knew I had to reach out.
I am a freelance B2B content writer with extensive experience on writing blog posts for companies like (their company). Now that you are the chief content marketer, I’d love to know if I can write engaging content for your blog and turn your visitors into customers.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions and in case there is someone else I should contact, kindly point me in the right direction.
Thanks for your time and best regards.
7. Ask for referrals from existing clients
You will be surprised how ready your happy clients will feel when they refer you to the next and next high paying client. If you did an excellent job, they will be more than ready to recommend you to their friends. That is how I get most of my freelance writing work –direct referrals.
Again, you should note that you basically do nothing much to get direct referrals. You basically write something similar to this to your clients:
Hello (Client’s Name).
I was really happy to work with you in (mention the name of the project and the service you offered).
I am ready to deliver my services in your next project.
If there is no project available at the moment, I will highly appreciate if you refer me to clients in your network.
As simple as it may seem, most people find it difficult to ask for referrals. If you fear, you are basically leaving more money on the table! Just ask for referrals without sounding desperate.
All will be well.
Conclusion: Getting Clients from LinkedIn
It is possible to make clients look for you. First, you need to create a strong profile by filling it with correct and highly optimized information.
Since LinkedIn is a huge search engine just like Google, your information will also be found in Google Search and other search engines. SEO is important if you want to stand out and make clients come to you.
Secondly, you need to make intelligent moves in creating useful connections around your niche. Be sure to connect with other freelance writers and clients in your niche, you need both of them.
You should connect with clients without showing that your aim is to sell them your services.
Joining active groups where clients discuss their issues is a sure way of making you noticed. Do not neglect it.
Lastly, you should learn how to use reverse psychology when visiting clients’ profiles. Instead of making the contact, just visit them and remain calm. They will know that you are not desperate and make the first move. When they contact you, move with speed and seal the deal!
Remember to use other methods like sending cold pitches to potential LinkedIn clients and asking for referrals as stated. You cannot go wrong in all these. Persist until you get clients.
Implement these tips and share your findings.
What do you think?
Let’s talk in the comments section below.
How have you been making clients look for you?