How To Polish Your LinkedIn Profile As A Freelance Content Writer
LinkedIn is the only social media platform for professional networking and job hunting. With its 600 million+ users, LinkedIn has hot-shot executives, start-up CEOs, and founders. Therefore, you will find clients from all walks of life and niches. It is safe to say that LinkedIn is the closest thing to a gold mine for content writers. But many content writers make a profile and think that leads will fall into their laps. Or, they are putting in effort and scrolling LinkedIn for hours without any results or leads. How can one use their LinkedIn profile to get freelancing content writing gigs? In this blog, I will help you break down:
- Why is your LinkedIn profile one of the best ways to get clients?
- How to set yourself and your profile for success?
- How to write content that attracts and converts?
- How to get leads from LinkedIn?
- Why LinkedIn is the Perfect Place to Find Freelance Content Writing Jobs
- Setting up your profile
- Content Attracts And Converts
- Getting leads
Why LinkedIn is the Perfect Place to Find Freelance Content Writing Jobs
People have started using social media to get freelance clients, but LinkedIn is perhaps the one that is the easiest to grow on and get high-paying clients. I am not claiming that other social media cannot help you get high-paying clients, but it’s hard to grow organically on a platform like Instagram. Apart from organic growth, here are some other reasons LinkedIn is your BFF as a freelance content writer:
- LinkedIn has the people you need to reach. Whether you want to work with female-run start-ups or SaaS companies, you will find executives and founders from a wide array of niches.
- It is the platform where people post about the job requirements. After being on LinkedIn for a while, you will see various recruiters posting vacancies. Even though you are not looking for a full-time job, these job posts can benefit you.
- People look for content writers to write their LinkedIn content. Founders and CEOs post regularly on LinkedIn to build their personal brand to raise funds or hire talent. Therefore, maintaining your own helps you allow you to pitch your services as a LinkedIn personal branding writer.
- Works differently from other platforms, and there is space for organic growth.
Setting up your profile
Make A Complete and Polished Profile
The first step to starting your LinkedIn journey is to make a complete profile. LinkedIn helps you get started, too, once you sign up on the platform. Ensure that the education and job experience are accurate to avoid any miscommunication. If you have any certifications from online courses relevant to content writing, add them. It shows that you take extra steps to upskill yourself.
Most importantly, your profile picture and cover image should be professionals. A perfect profile picture is a headshot that is not too close or far. Moreover, an adequate cover image shows the services you offer with a CTA like, let’s connect to work together.
Pay attention to the headline.
The headline is the text directly below your profile picture and appears when somebody searches for you on LinkedIn. A headline for a freelance content writer is the way to show which niche they work for as a content writer. You can use something like this when writing a headline for your LinkedIn profile.
Upload Your Portfolio
If you don’t have a portfolio yet, you are missing out. Check our blog on Complete Guide To Make A Content Writer Portfolio That Will Blow Your Client’s Minds to help you make the perfect portfolio. If you do have a portfolio, the featured space on LinkedIn is the place for your portfolio. Since it is the next thing, someone sees below your profile image and headline. You can pin your top posts or external links for all to see. Anytime a potential client visits your profile, they can see your portfolio and reach out to you if they want to work together.
Want to make it easier for people to set up meetings with you? Use Calendly; it is a tool that lets people book an online appointment. You can specify the time slots and days you are available for meetings. Adding the Calendly link to your features section will also allow potential clients to reach out to you.
Calendly lets people schedule meetings with you. Thus, having it in your features section is crucial.
Use Keywords in Your Profile
As a content writer, you are familiar with SEO and using keywords in your content. Similarly, you need to use the keywords freelance content writer and your niche. Sprinkle it moderately in your summary and experience to rank for them when somebody searches for your service. Since you are already using it in your headline, you will start appearing in search results, and eventually, clients will reach out to you to work with you. Also, you get an option to edit your LinkedIn profile link, you can add the phrase freelance content writer to the link as well, to rank well.
Ask For Testimonials and Recommendations
LinkedIn is the best place for testimonials since nobody can fake them. Moreover, if a prospect is interested in your profile, they will scroll to the testimonials to check if your previous clients have something to say about you. As a beginner, you can ask your earlier managers at your internships for one. You may even approach your previous clients too. You may be intimidated and shy to ask for one, but a gentle massage requesting one is the way to go. Most people are happy to give you one, and remember to express your gratitude to them.
Content Attracts And Converts
Once your profile is ready, the next step is to write content that attracts your potential clients and works for you when you are sleeping. Your content speaks for you in rooms you cannot talk in and more. As a content writer, you must understand the power of content, but it can be confusing to adopt the tonality and the vibe of a new platform like LinkedIn. No worries, let’s discuss how to create bomb-ass content that attracts and converts.
Talk about your writing life.
Talking about your life as a writer is the easiest way to start as a creator on LinkedIn. Irrespective of your experience level, coming up with content is more effortless when talking about your writing life. For example, a new freelance content writer can talk about why they started content writing and how they are improving their craft. An intermediate content writer can talk about their client experience or their mistakes in their career. An expert content writer can write about their struggles and how they could scale their income. At each stage, you have to ask yourself what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong and craft content around it.
Get on Pulse
Are you a long-form content writer? LinkedIn’s pulse is the perfect way to show your skills. LinkedIn has a blog feature on it. Unlike the LinkedIn post’s character limit of 3000 characters, LinkedIn’s article word limit in 2021 is unlimited. Therefore, long-form content writers can take advantage of the feature and publish a lengthy article on their profile once a month.
Variety is the spice of life. So why stick to only text posts when you can experiment with LinkedIn’s features. One of them is the ability to post a picture and a carousel post. You can make a carousel post on LinkedIn with its document feature. You need to make your carousel into a PDF file and upload the file. Tada! Your carousel is ready. But, making a visually appealing post will require a graphic designer. Wrong! Canva is the saving grace for people who want to create beautiful designs but don’t have the skill or the money.
Canva has a free version that is more than enough to make visually appealing content. Use it to make an attractive visual to catch their attention and keep them interested and engaged with your content.
Inspiration and stealing are two different things. I don’t believe that art is unique since artists get inspired by various art and make their versions. However, a trend that has been popular on LinkedIn is copying someone else’s content and posting it as their own. They think nobody will notice and do it to keep up with the algorithm. But, when somebody catches them, it is embarrassing and humiliating. Therefore, save yourself from the potential of ruining your reputation on LinkedIn and stick to posting original posts. You can get inspired by other creators’ content but do not copy and paste it as yours. If you cannot ideate, take a rest, and don’t post.
Use Hashtags to reach people.
My friend got a client because her post was trending in a hashtag she was using. Hashtags don’t work as effectively on LinkedIn as Twitter and Instagram. However, it is a powerful tool to reach people if you know how to use them. Unlike Instagram, LinkedIn gives you an exact number of people following the hashtag. Therefore, targeting the hashtag with a higher following increase the reach of your post. But, since there is a character limit for each post, limit your hashtags to four to five. More than five appear shabby on the platform.
Post on time
Unlike platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram, people use LinkedIn during work hours. Your clients are looking for you during work hours; therefore, appearing on their timeline during work hours requires you to post in a particular time slot. The time slot can be from 9 AM to 3 PM. Posting roughly in this time should ensure that your post appears on people’s timelines when they are using LinkedIn.
Coming up with ideas, graphics, hashtags, and posting on time is easy; the hard part is doing all of it consistently. Consistency is the hardest when you’re seeing no results but ironically the most crucial aspect of seeing results. Most people think that constantly posting on LinkedIn means posting daily. Nope, you don’t need to post consistently to see results. Posting daily does matter since you post more and get faster feedback for your content ideas. But it is not sustainable, and sustainability is a vital part of using your LinkedIn profile to build your personal brand.
You have set your profile for success and started posting to attract people and show you are good at what you do. It is time to maximise your chances of getting leads. Many people start seeing an influx of leads through setting their profiles and posting content. However, looking for leads in your niche who want your service benefits you immensely. Let’s look at some ways you can get leads.
Pay Attention to LinkedIn Job Ads
LinkedIn ads are expensive, so if you see a company running paid ads to hire content writers, it means they are urgently looking for content writers. The recruitment process can be lengthy, and therefore you can approach the recruiter from the company and offer to provide content writing services till they hire a full-time content writer. Since you have worked on your LinkedIn profile, and your content speaks for you, there is a high chance of getting hired.
If they like working with you, they may give you an extended contract, and if not, you got a client nonetheless. Don’t forget to ask for a testimonial; it will help you establish credibility with other clients. Moreover, working with a client will give you more fodder for your content so that the content mill doesn’t stop.
Are you not seeing any ads? Search for your ideal client on LinkedIn and approach them. Finding clients gives you more control since you can look for clients in the niche and location of your choice. Look for content writers, marketing managers, content strategists, etc., either at your dream companies or your niche.
Follow or connect with your client.
Once you find a bunch of clients, go through their profiles. Are they actively sharing their posts on LinkedIn too? If they are, it means you can see what they think and how they operate, which can help you pitch better. Another benefit of finding an active client on LinkedIn is engaging with their post and sharing your insights in their comment section. You would see that they reply to you or notice you. The more you engage, the more they will notice you. After a week or so of engagement, send them a connection request with a personalised message.
If the client is inactive and rarely shares on LinkedIn, you can still approach them by sending a connection request with a personalised message. Why send a personalised message? Because you are coming them out of the blue, indicating the purpose of connecting is crucial. Do not pitch yourself here; take it step by step. Tell them that you noticed the niche they work in, and you want to connect them to learn about their industry from them.
You can introduce yourself and that you would like to have them in your professional network. Always start with mentioning their achievement, opinion, or where you found them. Follow that with an introduction of yourself and end with something that points to how you would like to have them in your network.
Sending messages drastically improves your chances of connecting with them, and it is crucial to connect with your prospects; else, you cannot message them without paying. Therefore, crafting your personal note when connecting is essential and should be done with utmost care.
Engage with their content
I touched briefly about engaging with the potential client’s content, so here are some pointers you should keep in mind when engaging:
- Do not post redundant comments; repeating their thoughts in a different language helps no one.
- Many people end their posts with a question. Answer the question in the comment for authentic engagement.
- Do not comment for the sake of commenting. You can step away from it if you don’t have anything to add to the conversation.
- Adding another perspective to the one they shared is valid; however, be polite when doing that.
Follow established writers and engage with their content.
Networking with clients is not enough; you need to network with established or more experienced writers than you on LinkedIn. You don’t even need to limit your network to freelance content writers; connect with copywriters, social media managers, content strategist, marketers, basically anyone whose jobs includes writing or editing content. Engage with them on their posts and DMs and learn from their mistakes.
Not everything can be learnt from courses and books; social media is also a great teacher, given you use it properly. The more you network, the more people you will meet and learn from. And who knows? Maybe you will make some genuine connections that will turn into friendships. Freelancing can be lonely, but it can be less daunting and lonely with other freelance writers.
Connect to Businesses You See On Job Boards
Job boards have a variety of companies looking for freelance content writers. Instead of applying on the job board itself, you can find the company on LinkedIn! Try to specifically look for the recruiter and send them a connection request with a personalised note. The note will be different and state that you found the job for a content writer on a specific job board. You can briefly introduce yourself and your services and end with a thank you.
Directly approaching the company and the recruiter shows that you are proactive and gives you an edge over other applicants. How? Since you have been actively working on your LinkedIn, the recruiter will visit the profile, see your portfolio, read your recent posts, and look at your testimonials. Even just a quick scanning of your LinkedIn profile will place you at a better vantage point than other freelance writers.
The strategy works when you reach out to as many people as possible. Reaching out to 10 people per day will work too, and you will eventually start seeing results.
Browse available job postings
You can even use LinkedIn’s job portal to search for freelance writing gigs. One advantage of using LinkedIn’s job portal is accessibility to the recruiter’s profile. You can directly connect with them and ask them if they are still looking. Do this enough times (tweak the personalised message each time to gauge what is working and what is not), and you will soon onboard clients.
Use the “Who’s Viewed my Profile?” Tool
When someone lands on your profile, it is probably because they were searching for a freelance content writer. However, they might have refrained from approaching you due to some reason. No worries, LinkedIn shows you the people who viewed my profile! Look through their profile and see if they are your prospective customer and approach. Unlike your past cold approach, this will be a warm one since they showed interest in your profile. You can even start following and engaging with their content to make them notice you.
Everybody uses emails and checks their inbox at least once a day. Therefore, it is safe to say that reaching your prospective clients via email is a wise decision. Use LinkedIn to find their email address and send them a cold email. If you aren’t sure how to send a cold email, check our blog on the 10-Step Guide Of Cold Emailing.
Go bestie! You got this, real talk, freelancing especially as a freelance writer is hard and sucks most of the time. Maintaining your LinkedIn profile is hard, and it has its challenges. In the beginning, nothing seems to be working, and you want to quit. But, keep at it, challenge yourself to post consistently for six months and try to have fun with it. Eventually, you will get the hang of it, becoming a habit. You may even start getting inbound leads, and that in itself is a great motivator. Just keep your eyes on the goal and keep doing your thing.
To sum up the blog, we saw why LinkedIn is the perfect platform and its advantages over other social media websites. We discussed how to set up your LinkedIn profile the right way, the kind of LinkedIn profile picture to upload, how to write a LinkedIn profile summary to rank better, and create content that attracts and converts. Finally, we discussed getting freelance writer jobs and increasing your chances of getting clients. We hope you liked the blog, and don’t forget to send this value-packed blog to your other freelance content writer friends (sharing is caring).