Traditionally, people don’t think of LinkedIn as a place to get hired if you’re a freelancer. However, there are so many potential employers on the platform that freelance writers can benefit from having an up-to-date profile.
The way you should approach LinkedIn as a freelance writer isn’t the same as your friends in more traditional jobs. However, with a little effort, LinkedIn can become an excellent way for employers to find you, instead of the other way around.
In this article, we’ll go over some tips to get hired as a freelancer on LinkedIn. If you don’t have a profile yet, go ahead and sign up now before you keep reading!
1. Include Your Best Work
Freelancers live and die by their portfolio, so it stands to reason you want to showcase at least some of your best work on LinkedIn. Although the platform doesn’t have a dedicated portfolio section, it does enable you to publish articles from your timeline, which will appear on your profile:
If you click on the Write an article button, you’ll gain access to the LinkedIn text editor, which is surprisingly not bad at all:
You can directly copy and paste a few handpicked articles to LinkedIn this way. Beyond that, you also want to add a link to your actual portfolio website (you have one, right?) directly on your profile.
I recommend using both approaches – some people won’t want to leave LinkedIn to take a look at your work, whereas others prefer looking at external portfolios. By doing both things, you cover all your bases.
2. Write a Compelling Intro
The first two things most people look at when it comes to LinkedIn profiles are their pictures and intros. You don’t need to have a professional picture to get hired on LinkedIn, but you do need to look at least passably professional and have a great intro:
As freelance writers, most of us don’t get to meet our clients face to face. Initially, potential clients might be more reluctant to contact you if your profile is too bare or you don’t sound like someone they’d like to do business with.
One of my favorite examples of a LinkedIn bio doesn’t come from a freelancer, but rather from a real estate agent, and it just oozes personality:
With your intro, you get a chance to talk about your skills, why people should hire you to write for them, and give clients a sense of your personality. While you’re at it, make sure to mention you’re a freelancer in your LinkedIn title, so you can filter out traditional job offers. For example, my title reads Freelance Tech Writer, so visitors know what’s up right away.
3. Fill Out Your Job Experience
A lot of the people who hire freelance writers don’t care too much about your job experience beyond your credited work. If you have bylines on popular sites, then that’s often more than enough.
Sadly, that doesn’t apply to LinkedIn. The whole platform is built around the concept of providing you with a virtual resume that other people can look over. If you leave your profile’s job experience section empty, that’s going to cost you a lot of potential job offers:
The good news is, if you’ve been freelancing for a while, you can absolutely put that in your LinkedIn profile, as you see in the example above.
My recommendation is – go ahead and fill out your profile’s job experience section as you would a traditional resume. If you’re a freelance writer now, but you worked in marketing before, that’s absolutely something that clients would love to know.
On top of that, putting your current job as a freelancer lets people know you’re open to work opportunities, which is the whole point of using LinkedIn in our industry.
4. Ask Past Clients for Endorsements
One of the cool things about LinkedIn is a lot of people you know and have worked with are probably already on the platform. That means that you can ask past clients to leave you reviews, or endorsements, as LinkedIn calls them:
The more endorsements your profile has, the more at ease prospective clients will feel about contacting you. On the other hand, a profile with zero endorsements may not look as attractive.
If you’re too shy to contact past freelance clients, ask them to leave you an endorsement the next time you finish a project. It never hurts to ask and you’d surprised at how many people say yes!
5. Be Proactive and Use LinkedIn to Look for Jobs
One of my favorite things about using LinkedIn is it can be a passive way for clients to find me. However, when I’m being aggressive about looking for more freelance writing work, I’ll visit the Jobs tab on my dashboard:
Depending on your work and experience, LinkedIn will give you recommendations for job searches. My top recommendation is for ‘freelance technical writer’ jobs and you’d be surprised at how many opportunities you can find for most searches:
The bad thing is, a lot of freelance gigs don’t post to LinkedIn. To find potential opportunities, I recommend filtering your job searches so they only show remote openings.
If you’re not having any luck finding opportunities on LinkedIn, don’t worry. Keep your profile updated and let clients come to you. In the meantime, look for jobs on freelance writing boards, which are a much better source for our kind of work.
As a freelance writer, you need to be proactive when it comes to finding work. That means checking as many job boards and platforms as possible, pitching new clients all the time, and making sure people can find you on LinkedIn.
The great thing about using LinkedIn as a freelance writer is that it can become a passive source of work. The more attractive your profile is and the more endorsements you get, the more likely it is that clients will be able to find you there.
Do you have any questions about how to get hired as a freelancer on LinkedIn? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.