Do you remember the early days of your career when you were advised, either by your colleagues or by your friends, to start a LinkedIn account? Well, your peers were right! Although a large number of those who take up freelance projects do have a Linkedin profile, only a handful of people actually know how to use the platform efficiently.
Being a solo talent, it is beneficial to know how to use LinkedIn to get freelance clients. As a platform, LinkedIn can be more than an outlet where you upload your resume and share it with other solopreneurs and entrepreneurs.
Why does your LinkedIn profile matter?
Your LinkedIn profile matters because of the simple fact that the platform is usually the first place where potential clients and employers look while searching for a freelancer for a project or gig.
It is through LinkedIn that potential clients get the most vital information concerning your previous experience, area of expertise, past clients and employers as well as your overall business interests. Long story short, a strong LinkedIn profile is the key to finding freelance jobs on LinkedIn.
How to build a professional LinkedIn profile
Without further ado, let’s get to the heart of the matter and talk about how to build a professional LinkedIn profile and list freelance work on LinkedIn. No matter who you want your profile to be visible to–startups, entrepreneurs or large firms–the basics of building a professional LinkedIn profile are the same. These are;
- Using a professional photograph
- Demonstrating your past experience
- Presenting your portfolio
- Having referrals
- Having a strong social media presence
Use a professional headshot
Your profile picture is what your future clients and employers will see at the first glance. The best way to make a first impression on the viewers of your LinkedIn profile is to put up a headshot that is both simple and professional. Trust us, you probably don’t want to upload a random picture that might make a negative impression on your potential clients.
Add summaries to show your experience
Summaries can both demonstrate your past experience and give a clear idea to the reader about the content of your previous projects. Provide a brief but comprehensive summary of your past experiences to show your clients that you have what it takes to deliver the project you have been assigned to.
A LinkedIn profile in which only the past experiences are demonstrated without any hint about the nature of these experiences might be considered incomplete. Remember that your choices regarding what you showcase on your profile will affect the number of views and interactions you get on the platform. The more professional your profile is, the more exposure you get as a freelancer and therefore increase your chances to find rewarding projects.
Write articles to enhance your freelance business’ brand
Articles are wonderful tools to endorse and enhance your freelance business. Keep in mind that as a freelancer, you are not only a solo professional but also the owner of a personal brand providing certain services to your clients. Write brief articles about your business and the nature of your projects and link them to your LinkedIn account.
This way, you can represent your brand and demonstrate your areas of interest and expertise to employers and clients who might be interested in doing business with you. Writing and publishing articles is an ideal method of self-advertising and promoting your professional activities.
Add success stories to your portfolio
Along with articles that promote your freelance business and summaries that draw a clear picture of your past experience, your portfolio is one of the most important and integral parts of your LinkedIn profile.
Your portfolio, combined with your top achievements (aka success stories!), convey the message that you are a competent solopreneur who can complete even the most challenging tasks and handle the most demanding projects. But you must also be careful not to exaggerate and always remain truthful.
Request referrals from existing clients
At this point, you probably understand well enough that once the pieces of this puzzle are complete, they create a coherent story of self-promotion and self-endorsement.
Referrals are one of the major contributors to the entire endeavor of making a perfect LinkedIn profile.Presenting recommendations and reviews from your already existing clients reflects reliability in your potential clients’ eyes. Through referrals, you transmit the message that you are trustworthy and that people who previously worked with you were satisfied with the work you accomplished.
Build a professional social media presence
Lastly, we need to emphasize the importance of social media when it comes to maximizing exposure, both on LinkedIn and on other platforms. While some people like it and others may not be very fond of it, it is clear that the role social media and its outlets play in today’s professional landscape is crucial.
In order to be more visible and recognized, solo professionals need to have a strong and competent social media presence including, but not limited to, LinkedIn. Use your Instagram, Twitter or any other popular platform to promote yourself and your business. Don’t forget to cross-link your accounts and make sure that all of your accounts are up to date.
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