When you are setting up a freelance business LinkedIn is where you should start. The impression your profile makes can bring you clients and keep you dead in the water. How you set up your LinkedIn profile is key to having clients find you.
LinkedIn is not a social network like Facebook where you share your social and family photos and activities. Facebook is for friends and casual, but LinkedIn is all about work and professional business. When you are ready to set up your Freelance profile there 6 things you must have on it to be noticed by potential clients.
Along with this, your Freelance resume needs to be ready to send as well. This is not your professional resume but customized to emphasize your value to your freelance client.
1. USE YOUR ACTUAL NAME AND HAVE A GREAT LOOKING PROFILE IMAGE
In order to build trust on LinkedIn as a professional using your real name is a must for your profile. A professional-looking headshot is also key in getting attention.
This image is the first thing people will notice when they look at your profile and pictures are what grabs anyone’s attention when they are scrolling through search results. While having a great profile picture may seem like a no-brainer, many people still get it wrong.
- Use a picture of yourself, not an avatar or random type photo.
- Not using a picture of yourself will make people think you’re not professional. Or worse, that you’re a fake profile or hiding something. Once you’ve lost credibility, it’s difficult to get it back.
- It should be a high-quality photo with good lighting and over a good photo.
- Do a quality or likability check
Now, there’s no need to hire a photographer, but make sure the picture is clear, especially make certain your face is in focus, well-lit and visible. The background of the photo should be simple. For instance, a picture where lots of people are in the background could be confusing, but one taken in a park in front of a tree would be fine.
Once you’re confident with the photo or a few options, send them out to friends or family and see who likes what. Go with the majority as a rule of thumb. If no one gives you a selection try different people or different pictures until you’ve found one that seems to work.
Creating a standout resume is crucial. While your professional experience is great, this resume should focus on freelance related experience. If your Niche is graphics, then links to graphics created by you. If its Webdesign then links to websites you have created.
When you begin applying for this kind of work, they will ask for it. When you begin creating InDesign is does a great job, but if you don’t have it or just can’t do it. Head over to Canva they have some awesome templates that will get you started.
2. Create an Awesome Header Background for your Linkedin Profile
Here, Canva has awesome options for LinkedIn Cover photos. Canva is a handy tool for creating professional-quality social media graphics. Make sure you check out these ready-made LinkedIn banner templates.
Creating awesome graphics is very simple, just ask the people over at 24 Slides. They did a super awesome review, that I thought was worth linking here.
3. Have an eye-catching headline
The next thing people see right after looking at your profile image is your headline text. This gives them a brief intro about who you are and what you do. You could keyword it, but often a brief statement works better.
For example, “I create brand awareness through graphic designs” “I help businesses connect with their customers through B2C Content”
Remember that you are marketing yourself to people, not an algorithm. Even though sometimes keywording might seem better for the robots and algorithms.
4. Have a Personalized URL for Your LinkedIn Profile
Having a personalized URL is one of the first things you should get on LinkedIn, in fact, I set up personalized URLs for all my social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest).
Since the Freelance business is yours, you are the brand. So, make sure your name is in your URL.
For example, my LinkedIn Profile is https://www.linkedin.com/in/loriimdad/
My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/loriwritez and all my social is the same socialnetwork/loriwritez. LinkedIn shows you how to customize your URL .
5. Make Your LinkedIn Introduction Section Stand Out
This section should provide a more detailed explanation about what you do.
Remember, if anyone has clicked on your image to check out your LinkedIn profile, it means they want to know more about you. So, make it stand out.
Having a summary of what you do that makes people want to connect with you is very important. To get a few ideas on how to write a knockout introduction and develop a strategy for improving your LinkedIn summary, this is a great post to read – How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Summary.
You can also check out a few LinkedIn profiles that you know are successful, and write down what you liked about their summary. Follow some of them, too!
6. Join Relevant Groups and Get Active
Now that your LinkedIn Profile is set up, how do you think people will find you? An excellent way is to join relevant groups and participate in conversations. By participating, I mean to add value or show your expertise.
Commenting “excellent” or “great idea” alone won’t get you very far. Write a detailed reply that gives actionable feedback on the topic. People will begin to notice you and may even visit your profile to learn more.
To find relevant groups to join, insert a keyword into the search field, like “Freelance Content Writer” or “Freelance Graphic Artist”, and then narrow down the results to groups. You can also check out profiles of other freelancers in your niche to see what groups they are in by looking at the profile.
Pay attention to the number of members in the group and the date of the latest posting. If there’s no recent activity it can be a dead group and you don’t want to join a group with 3 members or be there talking to yourself.
Bonus: Have you checked out LinkedIn Jobs?
If you haven’t, you should do it now. You can set up job alerts and choose whether LinkedIn sends them to your email, LinkedIn Only, or both. I’ve found it super helpful.
I also love that people can find my profile and connect with me directly on LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to connect with me or follow me on LinkedIn.
To search for jobs on LinkedIn, go to the Jobs tab or copy this into your URL address bar: (https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/) then click go or hit enter.
In the search bar, enter the words Freelance + Your Field or similar, then enter a location and click search. For example, I would put ‘Freelance Writer’ to search, but if you’re a graphic artist, you will put ‘Freelance Graphic Artist.’ Fun Fact: I found my freelance job with The Hoth on LinkedIn, and I love Hothing now. So, you really can find work on LinkedIn.
Having a LinkedIn profile truly helps get you started in your Freelance Business. Make sure you update it regularly. A LinkedIn profile isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it kind of a thing, and it needs nurturing. Best of luck in your new endeavor! Knock me if you have any questions.