LinkedIn isn’t just for job hunting and networking, although those are its main uses. You can also use LinkedIn to find clients, leads, and referrals as an entrepreneur or freelancer. The key is knowing how to leverage the platform to connect with the right people, generate interest in your work, and show off what you can do to help them solve their problems. The following five tactics will help you do just that.
1) Build a profile
LinkedIn is a great place for professionals to connect with each other, look for jobs, and get clients. Whether you’re looking for more clients or not, here are five ways to make your profile stand out from the crowd.
- Create an attention-grabbing headline that shows off what you can offer people. If you’re a copywriter, try Copywriter Needed! If you’re an accountant, try Tax Help? You get the idea. Include a link to your website or blog in your headline so people who click on it have another way of getting in touch with you.
- Write an introduction that introduces who you are and what it is that you do without being too long or wordy. Keep it brief but clear so readers know whether they want to continue reading about you. Don’t use all caps or spammy sounding words like LOOK! HURRY! GET IT NOW! or FREE! Again, include a link to your website or blog if you want people to find out more information about you and see if they like what they see. 3. Share articles relevant to your field as well as articles written by others in order to show that there’s someone intelligent behind this page. 4. Use keywords in your description. Search LinkedIn’s member directory to find keywords that relate to what you do (e.g., copywriting) then list those words next to job titles under headings such as Skills, Expertise, Education and Affiliations when filling out your profile. The more searchable your profile is, the better chance you’ll get found when somebody does a keyword search for services related to yours.
- Make it easy for people to contact you with their questions or requests by including links where appropriate (email address, cell phone number).
2) Make friends on Linkedin
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for getting clients. First, make sure your profile is complete and up-to-date. Then, look at the profiles of your connections and find people you’d like to get in touch with. You can add them as a connection by clicking on the connect button at the top of their profile or by navigating to their profile and hitting add connection. It’s important to note that you should only connect with people who are relevant to your industry or business.
One of my favorite ways to get new business is by introducing myself to people who are not connected on Linkedin yet but have companies that could use my services. I use this strategy when attending networking events, participating in trade shows, or reaching out directly via email. The advantage to getting clients this way is they already know me because they’ve seen me somewhere before! Another great place to meet potential clients is through referrals from other professionals on LinkedIn. If someone sends an introduction request, reply with an introduction request of your own and then introduce yourself right away. Ask if there is anything you can do for them professionally, send a quick message detailing what you offer, or ask if they would be open to meeting in person soon. Asking questions will help put prospective clients at ease and may even help uncover more opportunities than initially planned! Finally, try using public groups to showcase your expertise and drive traffic back to your website.
3) Start conversations
- Network, network, network! You have to be strategic about who you connect with. Connecting with someone just because you know them is a waste of time and energy for both parties. 2. Offer something of value in your connections’ inboxes. You can do this by asking for feedback on their work or sharing an interesting piece of content that they might find valuable. 3. Invest in yourself and your skillset by taking courses, attending networking events, or hiring a coach or mentor 4. Post quality content regularly on your profile and make sure it’s engaging – people will begin to follow your updates and may even reach out to you directly! 5. Be consistent in following up with new connections until they respond or connect back with you.
4) Create an interesting profile picture
The first thing you should do is upload a high-quality profile picture. A good rule of thumb is that if it’s not easy to tell what you look like in the photo, then it’s not a good profile picture. Your goal is for your business card to be an accurate representation of who you are and what you offer. If you’re new at this, try uploading three different pictures and ask your friends which one they prefer. The more visual variety the better! Post images of your work as well as photos from any conferences or events where you were speaking. Be sure to include a short caption under each photo with context around the event or situation. You can also post videos, such as YouTube tutorials or TED talks – but these need to be professional quality productions. Just make sure that the text doesn’t cover up too much information about your company or services offered (e.g., This is my latest project might be better suited for Instagram). Share inspiring quotes and updates about projects you’ve completed successfully to show off your success stories. And don’t forget to update your status periodically so people know what’s happening right now in your life and how it relates back to whatever service you provide. You’ll want people getting to know the real you so they can feel comfortable hiring someone they don’t really know all that well yet.
Most importantly, respond promptly whenever anyone reaches out. When someone asks a question or comments on one of your posts, reply within 24 hours or less– otherwise there may come a point when it feels like no one cares enough anymore.
You will have clients lining up once potential customers get past the getting-to-know phase.
5) Add your blog and website link on your Linkedin bio
I write blog posts that help people make better business decisions. I am also a graduate student at the University of Illinois studying Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
I’ve been writing for about six years now and have had the privilege of working with some incredible companies. In the past, I’ve written for PepsiCo, American Express, and even NASA. If you’re interested in my work, please visit my website or my blog. You can also connect with me on Linkedin!