Every writer knows that the key to earning money as a writer is to find quality clients who need your service and are in a position to pay for it. LinkedIn is a social media tool that you can use to get work, providing you know how to use it correctly. For those of you who may be struggling with how to get work on LinkedIn, here are a few pointers to consider:
1. Polish Your Professional Profile
The first mistake many people make is that they treat it as if it were a job board or a brick and mortar employer. They complete their application (their profile) quickly to get themselves “out there” and then sit back and wait for someone to contact them.
If you want to find quality work on LinkedIn, the first thing you need to do is polish your profile. We are in the digital age and your profile is more than just a resume that lists where you worked and when. Your profile is your chance to shine, to put your best foot forward, and to convince people that you are the right person for their project.
Your profile should include the following well-thought out items:
- A professional photo that captures your personality
- Strong keywords in the title and summary
- Samples of your best work
- Testimonials from previous clients and colleagues
2. Be Seen Regularly
If potential clients cannot find you when they need your services, then you will lose out on potential business and you may never even know it. One way to make sure that they can find you is to be seen regularly in different places on LinkedIn. You must build your presence. If you are a writer, you can do this through blog posts. If you aren’t a writer, then consider finding content from others that would be helpful to your potential clients and sharing that on a regular basis.
Another way to be seen regularly on LinkedIn is to post frequently in different groups that are related to your business. Make sure when you post, you answer a question for someone or provide value in some way. When you do this, people remember you, and being remembered is a big part of the battle.
3. Perfect Your Pitch
The second half of the battle to get work on LinkedIn is to make sure that everyone knows exactly what it is that you do. The clearer you can be in your message, the better. If people know what services you provide, then you’ve won another leg of the battle. Not only will they call you when they need your services but they will refer friends to you who need your services as well.
- Be sincere and authentic in your messages.
- Avoid mass messages to large groups of random people.
- Customize your pitch as much as you possibly can for each person or several people at a time.
- Engage people to get a response
- To get a response, you must convince them that you are sincere and not just sending out mass messages to everyone in hopes of snagging someone.
LinkedIn has a feature called “Your Day” which provides you with additional information about your contacts so that you can keep up with changes and milestone events. Use this information to connect and build a relationship gradually with your potential clients.
It has been proven that people in need turn first to people they know and trust. If you keep your name and photo in front of them regularly, and if you are clear about the services you can offer, then when they need your services, they will contact you.
4. Provide Value for No Reason
One way to build trust with potential clients is to make sure that you occasionally provide them with something they feel is valuable. No strings attached and no charge or obligation. If what you provide has value, then you create a lasting impression. Always make sure that your freebie items are error free and high quality.
Freebies can be in any form, an e-book, an infographic, a video lesson or a tip. Don’t skimp on design or get sloppy because it’s free. Make sure your content is interesting to your potential client and related to your work in some way. This is your chance to put your best foot forward and to demonstrate to potential clients the level of quality you can provide.
5. Expand Your Network
The quickest way to expand your network is to let LinkedIn go through your email contacts for people using the site. This gives you some suggestions of people you can add as connections. When considering whether to add someone as a connection, always think about who they may know that might need your services. Your aunt may not need your services but if she works for a graphic design company, then people she knows might.
Join groups related to your industry. But also follow the businesses and companies that interest you and have a need for written website content. Connect with non-profit organizations and other businesses who may need content for their monthly or quarterly newsletters or for their social media pages.
Maybe you’re really good at editing. If so, make it a point to message someone if you see a typo or other mistake in their profile or webpage and suggest a correction as a courtesy. Include a very brief elevator style pitch of your services along with your contact information. As a writer, there is really no limit to who you can approach but figure out what kind of writing best suits you and then target people who need that type of writing.
Another way to expand your network is to host a Google hangout and invite people from your LinkedIn groups or simply post the hangout details using your LinkedIn account. Make sure that the topic of the hangout is something of value that is relevant to the people you invite. You could even post details about the hangout on other social media platforms and pull in new people that way that you can then connect with on LinkedIn. Make sure that you include a way to collect name and email address from each hangout participant.
6. Create Professional Partnerships
LinkedIn was designed to be a professional networking platform, but many people don’t use it to its full potential. Don’t just connect with people in your field or specialty. If you’re a writer then yes, you should join writing groups, network with other writers, and follow publishers. But if you write and are looking to get work on LinkedIn, you need to network with marketing and website design folks who can refer you to their clients who need written content.
You can form professional partnerships with these related businesses. Make sure that you like and trust their work quality before approaching them as a referral partner. You need to trust that if you refer your clients to them, they will make sure your client is happy and gets quality work. They can refer their clients who need a writer to you and you can refer your clients who need marketing or graphic design services to them. These kinds of professional partnerships can be very beneficial to you, your clients, and to the people that you partner with. It’s a win-win situation.
So, no matter what industry you are in (but especially if you are a writer) there is plenty of work on LinkedIn. The key is in using the platform and its services to its full potential. To do that, you have to put in a little effort up front to make sure you are presenting your best self, showcasing your services, and getting out there where potential clients can find you when they need you.