Did you know that LinkedIn is more than a job board? As one of the largest business networks in the world, the platform is also used for marketing, employer branding, as a learning platform and of course for networking itself. In this article, you’ll learn how you can leverage LinkedIn for freelancers.
- What are business networks?
- Advantages of business networks for freelancers
- The perfect LinkedIn profile for freelancers
- The profile picture
- The LinkedIn banner
- The profile headline
- The summary
- Your experiences
- Knowledge and recommendations
- Find influencers and inspirers
- Join LinkedIn groups
- Example of some successful LinkedIn profiles
- The LinkedIn company page
- How to find freelance work on LinkedIn
What are business networks?
Business networks are networks of contacts that primarily serve a business purpose. People with common or complementary interests network on business networks. The best-known representatives on the market are LinkedIn and Xing.
For a long time, professional networks were primarily considered job exchanges – which is not entirely unjustified, after all, 55 applications per second are submitted on LinkedIn.
Nevertheless, a profile on business networks for freelancers is also worthwhile if you are not currently looking for a job. With 706 million users worldwide, and over 19 million members in the DACH region, LinkedIn is the largest business network in the world.
According to the 2022 survey among freelancers, 76% of them use professional networks to market their services.
Advantages of business networks for freelancers
Did you know that more than 30 million companies are present on LinkedIn? Primarily specialists and managers from almost all industries also cavort on LinkedIn. The portal specialises in jobs and careers and thus offers the perfect environment for self-marketing.
In addition, according to results from a recent poll we ran in our freelancer community, the majority of freelancers (79%) use LinkedIn every day.
But what exactly makes LinkedIn the ideal network for freelancers? Let’s take a look:
1. Recruiters are on LinkedIn
Studies show that over 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn regularly. LinkedIn also currently shows 460,940 people in this position. The chances are good that some of them are looking for freelancers.
2. Business card & CV in one
LinkedIn profiles are the free, modern business card. But unlike business cards, they not only contain the contact details of the person you are looking for, but also information on their level of education, career and experience. This makes them efficient sources of information for recruiters.
💡 LinkedIn profiles appear on Google – when your name is typed into the search field, the LinkedIn profile is often the first entry in the search results!
3. Networking with relevant contacts
As the name suggests, business networks are predestined to network. According to LinkedIn, over 6 million IT decision makers are registered on the platform. For freelancers in particular, it is worth maintaining a good network of professional colleagues, industry experts and potential customers. So use the profile information to find “suitable” contacts and start networking.
4. Share and expand knowledge
LinkedIn is also a knowledge platform. 6 out of 10 users use LinkedIn primarily for industry insights. With specialist articles worth reading and inspiring comments, you can position yourself as an expert and share your knowledge with the community. This often results in new, useful insights for you.
All this makes the LinkedIn profile a “must have” for freelancers. Read the next section to learn how to create a successful LinkedIn profile.
The perfect LinkedIn profile for freelancers
Since a business network profile is something very personal, the perfect LinkedIn profile is what conveys your personality and your work most authentically. After all, it’s not just your skills that appeal to the client, but also the person behind it. In the following tips we have summarised the most important aspects for a LinkedIn profile.
The profile picture
First impressions count and this is also true in digital business networks. Studies show that profiles with a photo are viewed 21 times more often than those without a photo. A professional profile picture is therefore indispensable. Good lighting is just as important here as the right outfit. Make sure the image is personable, competent, and of good quality.
The LinkedIn banner
The banner sits directly above the profile picture and is therefore the first thing that future profile visitors will see. Here you can let your creativity run free and leave a lasting impression.
If you work as a business coach, then a picture of you during coaching is a good idea. As a consultant, images that imply growth and progress are suitable. Your contact details such as e-mail address and telephone number could also be used in the banner on LinkedIn.
The profile headline
By default, the field is filled in by LinkedIn with your current position and company. As a freelancer, you can also be creative here – but you should also be able to clearly see what you do or what you stand for.
Recruiters looking for freelancers usually also search for “freelancers”. So use the headline to draw attention to the fact that you are one of the freelancers they are looking for.
Example: Online Marketing Freelancer | Content-Strategy | Creation | SEO | For targeted online marketing🎯
Additional tip: The profile slogan can also be used as an availability indicator. Adjust the field depending on the current workload (contacts will be informed automatically).
Example: Freelance Coach | Available at 80% | Search projects in ZIP 6+7
The LinkedIn Summary is your digital showcase, where you put yourself and your work in the spotlight. Show who you are, what you want to achieve and what you have already achieved. Passion and personality set you apart from other freelancers and companies. Tell your personal story and report convincingly about your offers, your goals, your values and your experiences to give recruiters and companies a concrete picture of your added value.
✋ Extra tip: LinkedIn uses SEO keywords, so use terms relevant to your industry in the summary and tagline.
This is where you add your experiences and freelance work to LinkedIn. You can do this by following the steps mentioned below:
- Clicking on the ‘Me’ button at the top of your LinkedIn homepage
- Selecting the ‘View Profile’ option from the drop-down list
- Clicking on the “+” button under the Experience section
- Entering your job title and selecting freelance from the Employment Type drop-down menu
- Adding additional information (Like the company, dates of the project, goals achieved, activities etc. If you have testimonials or permission to use customer quotes, this is a good place to do so.
If you have completed many small projects and want to add this freelance work to LinkedIn, you can combine them into groups according to topic in order to make your profile clearer.
Knowledge and recommendations
LinkedIn makes it easy for you to present your skills to recruiters. You can add them to your profile with a click. But be careful: Anyone who specifies skills in web design as a web designer will not surprise anyone. Make sure that you not only tick off the classic skills in your job, but also list knowledge that is atypical for your job.
Achievements become credible when there are witnesses to them. So ask previous clients, colleagues and bosses to endorse your skills and write a recommendation.
Join our IT freelancer community today! Create your freelance profile in just 2 minutes.
Find influencers and inspirers
Follow industry-relevant influencers and people who inspire you in general because they share your background, work ethic or methods, for example. The more interesting and inspiring content there is on your feed, the easier it will be for you to share it and write a personal comment about it. These comments, in turn, position you as an interesting personality for recruiters and customers.
Join LinkedIn groups
There are various reasons for freelancers to get involved in LinkedIn groups. On the one hand there are groups that explicitly post projects, on the other hand there are specific groups for each industry in which the latest trends can be exchanged.
You can actively use the latter in particular to demonstrate your expert status and draw positive attention to yourself. Share your knowledge, engage in active discussions and broaden your own horizons.
Example of successful LinkedIn profiles
Now that you’ve learned what makes a good LinkedIn profile, let’s take a look at some examples of successful profiles that you can use as inspiration.
LinkedIn profile example of a freelance graphic designer
LinkedIn profile example of a freelance photographer
LinkedIn profile example of a freelance web developer
The LinkedIn company page
The LinkedIn Company Page is the perfect place to build a community of members who are interested in your freelance business. You can use it to build new connections and get in touch with followers, fellow freelancers, and customers.
To set up your company page, follow the steps mentioned below:
- Set up the page with the name of your freelance business
- Create or upload your logo, along with a header image
- Add description for your business page and then link that page to your profile
You can use your personal LinkedIn profile to talk about yourself and the benefits of working with you whereas your company page can be about your freelance business and what you can offer clients.
Also make sure you post content related to solving clients’ problems through your company page and not your personal profile. You can use your personal profile to post content related to yourself as a person and connect with your audience on a more personal level.
How to find freelance work on LinkedIn
There are lots of things you can do to find work as a freelancer on LinkedIn. Some of them include:
1) Using the job search option
Your first step to finding clients on LinkedIn is using the job search feature. You can click on the search bar at the top of the screen and type in the freelance position you’re looking for. You can also filter results by ‘job type’ for options like contract, part-time, temporary, etc.
2) Having an #opentowork slogan on your profile picture
Just below your profile picture, you’ll find a box that invites you to show people that you’re currently on the lookout for a job.
If you haven’t changed the settings, all you have to do is:
- Click on the box that says “Show recruiters you’re open to work”
- Fill out relevant information like skills and availability
3) Using the LinkedIn Sales Navigator
The LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a membership option on LinkedIn. It is a powerful feature that gives you advanced search capabilities, improved visibility into networks, and personalised algorithms. The Sales Navigator lets you:
- Target people with open profiles
- Use advanced filters to identify your ideal client
- Help make your interaction with potential clients more personal
- Save leads and accounts that interest you
- Look for similar prospects
4) Outreaching to potential clients to build relationships
Last but not least, you can outreach to potential clients by sending in a connection request and explaining who you are, the problem that you solve, how much it costs, and so on.
Remember not to be too spammy though. And keep your request message short and concise and with all the information the client needs to make a decision.
A business network profile offers tons of advantages and opportunities for freelancers and does not require a lot of effort or budget. It is enough if you take the time to fill out your profile completely and meaningfully. You don’t have to become a LinkedIn influencer overnight either. It is best to approach regular use and start distributing recommendations and commenting on other posts. This is how you gradually build up a relevant network and consolidate your expert status.
👉 Join our freelance community on LinkedIn 👈
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