You’re an online freelance writer, so what better place to attract direct writing clients than online?
Connecting with prospective clients through social media sites is an ideal way to develop relationships that can provide you with steady income.
In my my blog post, Quick Start Guide to Setting Up Your Writer Social Profiles, I discussed the importance of setting up your social profiles.
LinkedIn, widely known as only a business-to-business site, is a great place to attract and find direct clients for your freelance writing business. With over 160+ million professionals worldwide joining LinkedIn since 2003, the site contains millions of companies ready to hire. This platform is quickly becoming one of the largest for job seekers and work-related content.
When I talk about one of my five freelance writing success pillars, The Right Clients, I like to discuss various avenues to prospect for jobs and attract writing clients, and LinkedIn is one of these avenues. So, to help you with this, in this blog I will cover the DOs and DONTs to attracting the “right clients” on LinkedIn. You have to get client’s attention before you can land them!
What should you be doing on LinkedIn to attract clients?
What shouldn’t you be doing so you don’t deter clients?
You are about to find out!
Let’s get started…
1. Add a Professional Photo to your Profile
That picture is one of the first items prospective clients notice when they visit your LinkedIn page, as you can see here.
First impressions are lasting so put your best foot forward before posting. Use a professional photo. If you do not have any professional photos, it’s a good idea to shoot some so you can use them on your various online profiles.
If you can’t take a professional photo, here are a few tips:
- Don’t “over-pose” – be natural so it doesn’t look forced.
- Dress in business or professional attire if you want to be taken seriously. Look “put together” and presentable.
- Natural, even light is the best, and always face towards the light source.
- Choose a solid wall or “uncluttered” backdrop so it doesn’t distract.
- Smile – but again, do not force it – do what is normal and comfortable for you.
2. Add a Summary
It’s vital as a freelance writer to explain what you can do for your clients. Make your profile summary friendly and long enough to completely identify your strengths but short enough so people can read it quickly.
3. Resume and Experience
Add an updated resume with all previous gigs/companies you ran and include a short description of each one.
If you have a lot of clients, you could combine the dates and clients so it looks something like this:
Jones & Company
January 2009 – Present
Freelance Writer: Some of the clients I’ve worked with: Mr. X from XYZ, Ms. Doe from ABC, etc.
If you only have a few clients, separate them by date.
For my profile, it was best to combine all we do into one paragraph with dates.
If you don’t have any experience or you are still unsure of how to get started with LinkedIn, grab my Free eBook, “The Freelance Writer’s Complete Strategy Guide to Winning High-Quality Clients.” In it, I teach you how use LinkedIn to attract and land high-paying clients and how to set up your profile the right way even if you have no experience.
4. Toot your own horn!
When at all possible, include writing samples, awards, certifications…anything that presents you as an expert and an experienced freelance writer.
5. Ask People for Recommendations
Don’t overlook this free marketing tool. Ask your past clients if they would write one or two sentences about working with you so you can post it on LinkedIn.
I know that some of you have a hard time asking for a recommendation. If that’s you, there is a way around this so it’s not so painful.
Perhaps your clients wrote to you and thanked you for your work and gave you accolades in an email. Ask them if you could use those words with their name. Most clients won’t mind at all.
But don’t stop there. Ask your previous boss, co-worker, fellow writer, family business owner…anyone who is on LinkedIn who can validate you and your talent.
6. Endorsements for your Skills
Endorsements look great on your profile, and they help strengthen connections. But, if you don’t have any, you might have to endorse someone else’s skills first so they will return the favor.
Go to a previous client’s (or potential client’s) LinkedIn profile and endorse them for various talents. This “reminds” clients of who you are (LinkedIn notifies recipients of endorsements) and also puts you on prospective clients’ radar.
If you know any fellow writers on LinkedIn, trade endorsements to help each other. Also, as your profile grows, you will notice you get endorsements without even asking, because LinkedIn is always asking members to endorse others. Some people simply do it as an act of kindness to others if they know the person they are endorsing.
7. Build your Connections
Potential clients will look at the number of LinkedIn connections you have.
Here are various ways to increase your connections:
Overlap with social media profiles. For example, ask your Facebook and Twitter followers to connect with you on LinkedIn. You can easily gain 10 or 20 new connections that way.
LinkedIn has a “people you know” tool. They make it easy for you to go down the list and just connect with them without an introduction.
The “add connection” tool is a perfect way to find connections.
8. Join Writer Groups
You will find writer’s groups on LinkedIn where you can connect with other writers and scout work opportunities. Sometimes writers will post ads for clients that are looking for specific writers. I have done this before when looking for writers for projects. Sometimes it’s easier to find a capable writer in a LinkedIn group so you don’t have to go through the process of posting job ads everywhere. Clients will also peruse the groups and check out profiles when looking for writers. It’s a win/win situation.
You will even find groups devoted specifically to freelance writing jobs or a particular specialty such as “tech writer jobs.” These groups can also come with their dose of spam, however. So pay attention to any job ads that ask you to pay or promise the world. If it looks “fishy” bypass it. If the group is well-run, the admin will have strict rules and will not tolerate spam. You may also need to get approved to join a group. This is another sign of a quality group.
We’ve covered a lot of the “DOs” on LinkedIn. Now for some of the DON’Ts:
- Never exaggerate what you do. LinkedIn is a public site that is open to everyone.
- Don’t use “generic” messages when reaching out to someone. Be specific. Better yet, relate to them on some level, and research their brand before you reach out. It’s easier to land a client when you can tell them what you can specifically offer to them that will help their bottom line, than to just send a generic message.
- Try not to use typical buzz words on your summary such as: powerful, amazing, proven, professional and other clichés. It may turn some people off and they won’t look at you any further.
- Make sure your grammar and spelling are correct on your profile. You’re a writer. That is a huge error if a client finds that!
If you follow these DOs and DON’Ts, you will be in a position to attract more writing clients that could hire you.
Do you have a profile on LinkedIn? Please share in the comments!
Also, here are some of my other posts related to Marketing for Writers.
And, if you are looking for where to find clients and freelance writing jobs, check out my Ultimate List of Freelance Writing Jobs and 100+ Paying Websites.