Posted by Aditya Sharma
If you are not leveraging LinkedIn for generating a concrete client base, it may be time to re-think your strategy for social media platforms. Hosting nearly 303 million users per month, LinkedIn is often overlooked as a platform for generating leads and building a clientele.
LinkedIn has a plethora of like-minded professionals which is immensely beneficial for the freelance marketers looking to expand their freelance career. However, you need to identify the prospects to build a stellar client base and make a solid profile.
What it means is that you need to iron out the inconsistencies in your profile and connect with the right people, and optimize your pitch.
So, let’s jump right into it:
Optimize your profile
Creating the right impression can help you attract quality connections. Though creating the right impression starts with updating your profile.
You need to portray your expertise as a marketer in a way that is achievement-driven and easily readable.
Think of it as a resume layout that effectively covers each section of your profile and displays your said expertise as a marketer.
Let’s say a prospective client is looking for the skill “content marketing”. Though you possess this skill, it does not reflect anywhere on your profile. You need to incorporate all such pointers that help you convey your skills to potential clients.
Here is how you update your profile to showcase your skills:
Headline and banner:
The headline and the banner give a reason to the professionals on LinkedIn, to click on your profile. So, make sure you update it in terms of your services and what you can provide. For instance, a fine example for a freelance marketer can be, “I leverage content to improve a brand’s performance on social media platforms”.
Take a look at what a solid headline and banner should look like:
In summary, introduce yourself with a few pointers regarding your interests. Further, don’t rely on long paragraphs as they reduce readability. Instead, make short bulleted points to write information here. For example:
Add your portfolio
All your efforts will go in vain if you do not have any work to show for. As a freelance marketer, you can have certifications, clients you have worked with, a website, projects, etc.
However, all this information should reflect in your profile. Though you can use recommendations and endorsements to build your legitimacy on LinkedIn. But it will not be enough.
As a freelancer, the only way you can attract prospective clients is by showcasing your work.
You can utilize the media section in your profile to upload any images/files as a means of displaying your achievements.
To showcase your prowess regarding the services you are endorsing, you can write an article on LinkedIn as well.
Update your network
To draw the interest of potential clients, you need to create a network of professionals who can get you in touch with the right people and customers.
To do that, you need to improve the connections suggestions of your profile by updating the functional industry.
Further, connect with people you already may know by allowing LinkedIn to access your email list, and personalize your connections request.
Before sending a request, use the add a note feature to add some pointers that will help you personalize the request. Here is what I mean:
Join LinkedIn groups
If you are looking for prospective clients, join LinkedIn groups. Here you need to engage in discussions and comment on posts shared by other professionals on the groups.
The idea is to appear on the radar of people who are interested in the expertise you are sharing. What you need to do is to drive them to click on your profile, hence LinkedIn profile optimization is extremely important.
With a limit of 100 groups, you need to make sure you are targeting the right groups. Do not go by what the algorithm has to offer, use the search bar, and include keywords that are relevant to the services you offer.
For instance, check the below image where I searched for “content marketing”
Further, while engaging with professionals in these groups, make sure you follow the guidelines. Most freelancers outright sell their services to such groups. Avoid such self-promotion activities.
Do not make a generic pitch that you send out to everyone, go through the person’s profile to look for pointers where you have mutual interest.
While reaching out to prospective clients to offer your services, try to keep it as informational as possible while keeping the reader interested.
Though you should be treating it as a professional pitch while modifying your message for each professional.
My name is Marcus and I work as a freelance marketer. We’re both members of the Content marketing LinkedIn group and I came across your constructive comments on your experience with inbound marketing. I was interested to learn more about your experience.
If you’re interested, I’d love to learn more about your stance. I can also help you out as my portfolio fits well within your interests. Can we arrange a meeting later this week?
Further, if you do not receive a reply, do not forget to follow-up while keeping in mind that you are not bombarding them with unwanted messages. As a best practice, 2-3 follow-ups are enough.
Here is what we covered in the above guide:
• How to optimize your profile to improve its outlook.
• How adding your portfolio can be helpful.
• Updating your network to improve your network base.
• Joining relevant LinkedIn groups.
• Drafting a perfect pitch for a potential client’s attention.