A moment of respect for LinkedIn. The world’s largest professional online network gets three people hired every minute! And with its new Service Marketplace feature, it’s also establishing itself as a primary hub for freelancers looking for gigs.
LinkedIn boasts nearly 740 million members in 200 countries. Of those who are active on LinkedIn, 40% use it daily. Sure, other platforms like Facebook and Twitter can generate job leads, but they don’t hold a candle to LinkedIn, which is 277% more effective in this arena.
Although we tend to think of LinkedIn primarily for people looking for jobs, you can leverage its networking opportunities to find freelance copywriting gigs.
In fact, if you don’t have a complete LinkedIn profile and you aren’t engaging effectively on the site, you are missing prime opportunities to get quality freelancing work.
Here’s how to get results on LinkedIn:
1. Fill out your profile. There’s data to show that if you have an incomplete or poorly executed LinkedIn profile, it’s worse than having no profile at all. Take the time to fill it out completely with relevant experience and skills.
As a freelance writer, you’ll want to focus your profile accordingly. That may mean that you leave your job as a waiter or summer reading tutor off of your current or past work listings—unless your non-writing experience is somehow related to your freelance writing niche. For example, if you write for the health and wellness niche, do include your work as a personal trainer or medical assistant.
2. Write a compelling summary. This can be a little daunting. How do you distill your abilities and experiences down to several concise sentences that will draw people in? Focus on these key questions:
- Who do I help?
- What do I do for them?
- How have I done this? Show proof by listing your key successes and telling what other people have said about you (social proof).
Make sure to include a CTA with contact information so that people know how to reach you.
3. Post a professional picture. We’re visual people, and we use our eyes to make judgment calls. Splurge on a great picture for your LinkedIn profile. It makes you human and likable. It helps employers connect with you. If your picture is grainy or off-center or you’re too far in the distance, it won’t help that connection. But if you’re well-groomed, smiling, front and center, and the picture is high quality, you’ll be an appealing choice.
4. Optimize. Like Google or Facebook, LinkedIn relies on algorithms to help users find what they’re looking for. You can get found more easily on LinkedIn by incorporating the keywords that potential clients will search for. These may include Freelance Copywriter, Direct Response Copywriter, B2B Writer, Social Media Marketing, etc.
As you start to become more experienced in a certain niche, play that up. Focus your profile with niche-specific keywords such as Financial Copywriter or Alternative Health Copywriter.
5. Write articles. LinkedIn is especially helpful for writers because it’s also a publishing platform. Don’t just tell people that you’re a great writer; show them by creating regular posts related to your copywriting niche. Boost their readability by including headlines, bulleted or numbered lists, and images.
6. Follow Your Dream Clients. Are their companies in a certain freelance writing niche that you’re dying to write for? Start following them. Comment on and share their posts. This will help put you on their radar.
7. Connect. Search LinkedIn “Groups” to find organizations that relate to your copywriting niche. This helps establish you as an authority in a certain area of copywriting and can create good networking opportunities. Swamped copywriters might be looking for associates to help them keep up with their workload. Also, these can be great forums for asking questions such as how much others are charging for certain jobs.
8. Cultivate recommendations. Just finished a successful copywriting job? Ask your client to write a LinkedIn recommendation for you. This will help network you to their sphere of influence. You can also write a recommendation for them in return, which will put your presence on their profile. These connections figure into the LinkedIn algorithms and can boost your visibility in the circles you want to be seen in.
9. Network. LinkedIn has a “Who viewed your profile” function. This allows you to reach out to these visitors and see if they’re interested in a writer. And since it’s so easy to track people down on LinkedIn, you can reach out to former connections and let them know that you’re available to help with their copywriting needs.
10. Browse job postings. This is a great way to find gigs. Don’t be scared off by jobs that are advertised as full-time copywriting positions. Chime in and let them know that you’re a hard-working freelancer. They may be willing to hire you for a certain project or feed you steady part-time work.
For more ideas on increasing visibility for your freelance copywriting services, join Copy Accelerator. Our mastermind helps copywriters earn more money by writing consistently high-grossing copy faster and opening up networking opportunities that connect you with mentors and job opportunities.