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Chapter
4

Professionalize your LinkedIn to show off what you have to offer

Jack is looking for a freelance podcast producer for his new show, Cookie Gaming. Jack runs a search on LinkedIn for freelance podcast producers.

Riley is a freelance podcast producer. However, his LinkedIn profile doesn’t reflect that at all: Riley hasn’t added his freelance business to his profile, and he hasn’t shared that he’s open to working with clients. Jack doesn’t see Riley’s profile.

Parker is a freelance podcast producer. Parker’s LinkedIn is updated with the keywords that Jack is targeting in his search. Parker shows off his freelance experience and regularly shares that he’s available for freelance work. Jack sees Parker’s profile and is impressed.

You need to start thinking like a client. Clients are going to use LinkedIn to look for freelancers. They’re wondering:

  • What experience does this freelancer have?

  • How professional are they?

  • What do people say about working with them?

To attract potential clients and land freelance opportunities on LinkedIn, your profile must be unsurpassed.

Optimize your LinkedIn headline

Your LinkedIn headline is the short section of text below your profile picture that explains what you do in 220 characters or less. Your LinkedIn headline should encourage people to scroll down and take a look at your LinkedIn profile. It should include your job title and keywords that your client will use to look for your services.

  • Look at your elevator pitch. Did you describe yourself as a “freelance videographer” or a “freelance video editor?” Use those same keywords in your LinkedIn headline, but don’t write out your exact elevator pitch. We will use that in the next section.

  • Consider how your potential clients will find you. For example, if your potential client is looking for someone to manage their social media accounts, they might search “freelance social media manager” or “freelance social media consultant.” It’s okay to add multiple keywords to your LinkedIn headline and about sections. 

  • Do not tell people you’re a “guru” or “ninja”. Beyond feeling like the early 2000s, no one is searching for gimmicky words online. Make every keyword you choose count.

Spotlight: Jasmine Williams

Jasmine’s LinkedIn profile features a professional profile picture and banner image. Her headline includes keywords relevant to her work “copywriter” and “content strategist.”

Write a LinkedIn summary to share your value and availability

The summary section sits toward the top of your LinkedIn profile and is one of the first things a client will see. Don’t leave this section blank! Use it to communicate your value and experience. Here’s where you will want to plug in your elevator pitch.

Spotlight: Kaitlyn Arford (me!)

I wrote my summary based on my own elevator pitch. I specifically mention the different services I offer and how clients can contact me. Since LinkedIn’s summary section gives you plenty of room to work with, I personalized it by mentioning things I enjoy (pets and my aloe plant).

Create a professional LinkedIn experience section for your freelance business

Your LinkedIn experience section should highlight your freelance experience. Adding multiple clients as different positions looks messy, so you need to make one job experience to list your clients under. Include:

  • Your job title. Again, use keywords that your ideal client looks for. Your company name can be your name if you want.

  • Explain what you do and how you help clients. What type of client do you want to work with? What services do you provide? Mention all of that!

  • Clients you’ve worked with. Name specific clients you’ve worked with to build credibility in your business.

  • Add results you’ve achieved for your clients. Did you build a website that doubled sales? Mention that! Your ideal client will want to see that you make results happen.

  • Add links to your work. Feature a curated list of links to your published work in your experience section. Link out to the published work you’re most proud of or your website. Clients will want to take a look at your work experience, so make it easy for them!

Spotlight: Kat Boogaard

Kat’s LinkedIn experience section succinctly explains the services she provides and the clients she’s worked with. She provides information on the results she’s achieved and links to some of her best work samples.

Ask for testimonials in LinkedIn’s recommendation section to show your expertise

Persuade your ideal client to work with you by sharing testimonials from your other satisfied clients. The perk to asking for a testimonial through LinkedIn is that it will live on your LinkedIn profile and you can share that same testimonial across your other social media channels and website.

By the way, if you don’t have a testimonial yet, don’t worry. It’ll only take you a few minutes to ask for one. If you haven’t worked with freelance clients yet, ask coworkers and supervisors from previous jobs to leave a recommendation for you. Your clients will want to see that others trust you.

Spotlight: Masooma Memon

Masooma’s recommendations clearly demonstrate that she is a good service provider. Her clients mention how they’ve worked together and the results Masooma has achieved for them.

Click the “ask for a recommendation” button on LinkedIn and type in your client’s name. (You’ll need to be connected on LinkedIn before asking.) Then write a short, personalized note with a specific request. Remember to thank your client for their time!

Ask for a testimonial with this template

Search for freelance opportunities on LinkedIn using keywords

LinkedIn has a secret goldmine of freelance opportunities hidden in its posts section. A quick keyword search can help you find these freelance opportunities.

  1. Search for the type of work you need in LinkedIn’s search bar. Type in keywords your clients would use, like "looking for freelance copywriter" or "hiring freelance graphic designer." You can also run a search with Boolean terms like "freelance AND video."

  2. On the results page, filter by clicking “posts.”

  3. Then filter by “date posted.” I like to select “past week” to see the most updated results.

  4. Scroll through and look for opportunities you’re interested in.

  5. When you find an opportunity you want to apply for, comment below the post with your elevator pitch. Great job for putting yourself out there!

  6. Clients will look through the comments and will look at your profile. By optimizing your LinkedIn profile and crafting a spectacular elevator pitch, you’ve done your best to land this client.

  7. Continue searching for freelance opportunities and putting yourself out there!

Recap

Your LinkedIn checklist:

  • Optimize your headline

  • Create a professional experience section for your freelancing

  • Write a summary

  • Get powerful testimonials 

  • Search for opportunities with keywords

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