LinkedIn can be a valuable source to find clients consistently. It can take some time and effort to get set up and establish your presence on the social media platform, but it can be a really valuable process for B2B freelancers. This article will guide you through how to find freelance clients on LinkedIn by looking at the following steps:
- Optimise your profile
- Reach out to your existing network
- Share your expertise
- Participate in groups
- Engage with people
- Look for opportunities
Optimise your profile
First of all, complete your profile. Don’t leave any section blank. Fill in a variety of skills and include a digital portfolio if you can. Add your most relevant experience, and ensure you have a friendly and professional-looking headshot too.
Next, make sure you have the keyword ‘freelance’ visible in your profile. When businesses are looking for freelancers, this is the word they’ll use to search, and by including the word on your profile, you could show up in the search results.
Here are a few places you can include the word freelance:
Open for opportunities
You can also add ‘actively looking for work’ to your profile so that any headhunters or businesses can immediately see that you are available for an opportunity. Include this in your headline or summary, or change your settings. Just under your profile picture, you’ll find a small box that allows you to show that you’re job hunting. To change this:
- Click on the box that says, “Show recruiters you’re open to work.”
- Fill out the pop-up with your availability
- Save the changes
Next, reach out to some of your contacts or previous employers to have them write some recommendations for you. The recommendation and endorsements will be visible on your profile so ensure you ask employers for projects you’re particularly proud of or people with whom you had strong working relationships.
Reach out to your existing network
First and foremost, speak to people you already know to find out if they have any opportunities for freelancers. Start by approaching people directly, either over the phone (if you already know them well) or with a LinkedIn direct message. Even if they don’t currently have any opportunities to work with you, they may remember you later down the line.
To gain more connections and a more extensive network, you can start by adding people from your career:
- Previous clients
- Past employers
- Colleagues and ex-colleagues
- Professionals that you know from your general career
Next, add people you know personally, potentially from your social circles:
- Friends with professional careers
- Acquaintances with similar job interests
- Alumni and school friends
- Friends of friends who are professionals in an industry that relates to your work
- Other people you’ve hired for their services
Share your expertise
The culture on LinkedIn is based around information sharing and building relationships. Try to post updates 1-3 times a week and create talking points by sharing content and showing your expertise. You can do this by:
- Posting articles
- Sharing any research that you found interesting and comment on it
- Discussing how you solve common problems in your industry
- Give personal opinions on relevant current affairs
- Share content and insights from industry influencers
- Show potential customers the value you have as a freelancer, such as anonymised results from previous clients
- Show prospective clients how your finished work looks with portfolio pieces
Participate in groups
Think about the sector or industry that you work in, or want to work in. Then, look at the profiles of some influential figures in the industry, and see what groups and pages they have liked — try to become members of these groups. Then comment, like and make connections with people through discussion on these pages. Your engagement on these posts will position you as someone who knows their stuff and is involved in conversations in the space.
You can also join niche groups to get involved with a specific type of business. If the companies on these groups are your target, engage and make yourself known as an expert amongst the group members. Then you can approach them for freelancing opportunities, and you’ll become a go-to person if those businesses need freelancer support.
Engage with people
You’ll have to spend a lot of time establishing yourself as a ‘thought leader’ in your field. Being a ‘thought leader’ means you’re a person who is an authority and ahead of the curve in your area of expertise. By talking to people and creating discussion through comments and posts, you can build relationships with businesses and individuals that could be valuable clients.
Start by commenting on the posts of companies and individuals at companies that you’d like to work for. Commenting and engaging could also get your name and thoughts in front of people connected to these companies, getting your profile in front of a wider audience.
Look for opportunities
Now you’ve established your profile as a freelancer who is active on the site, and are available for work, then look in the jobs section. So, first, search the jobs section for opportunities that would be relevant for you and browse the ads that companies currently are advertising.
Another method is to try searching ‘hiring freelancer _____’ and insert the appropriate keywords for your services. Also, try words such as ‘seeking’, ‘needed’ or ‘looking for’. This search will bring up individuals using their profile for hunting for someone of your skillset, and you can contact them directly.
Use this search in the ‘People’ search and the ‘Content’ search, and filter the results by ‘Latest’. This will bring up any articles or posts that mention recent or current freelancer opportunities. Browse through and see which posts apply to you, apply for the role, or contact those individuals.
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