LinkedIn is the premiere platform for freelancers looking to connect with new clients. It’s the biggest professional social networking site, and it puts an emphasis on all things business instead of all things personal. While both Facebook and Instagram can be used to find new clients, LinkedIn is the platform that really excels in this area.
In this post, we’re going to look at everything freelancers can do to connect with the kind of new high-value clients that they’re looking for.
Use Language Potential Clients Search For
Sometimes finding the right clients is as simple as making sure that they can find you. Ensure that your profile is relatively public and that you’re using words and terms your audience is most likely to use.
Some businesses, for example, might search for “writer.” Others might search for “copywriter,” or “ghostwriter,” or “content marketer.” We use terms like “legal transcription”, so those in the legal industry will see us if they search legal transcription. By having the right terms on your profile, you could connect with clients you may have otherwise missed.
If you want to see how people are currently finding your profile, look at the searches you’re currently appearing in. At the bottom of the analytics, you can see what job titles the people searching for you hold, and what keywords they used to find you.
Engage with Your Network & High Profile Content
The goal here is to connect with new clients, so going outside the activity on your own profile will be an effective way to do this. Be conscious about interacting with other content from people in your network, especially if that content has relatively high visibility.
In these cases, you want to engage meaningfully. Don’t just write “Nice!” and leave it at that; share a thoughtful comment that offers value, even if it’s asking a smart question. This can actually help catch the attention of potential clients and put you on their radar.
Reach Out to Decision Makers
An enormous benefit to the LinkedIn platform is that it’s incredibly easy to see who has what job in which organization.
You can search for the company you want to work with, review their company profile, and then seek out the decision maker who would make the call about hiring you. In some cases, this may be the Chief Marketing Officer, the Human Resources official, or even the CEO.
You’ll have a much better shot landing those new clients, after all, if you actually connect with the right person the first time around.
Let Clients Know You’re Open to Work
There are several things you can do to let people know that you’re actively taking on new clients and open for work.
The first is to mention it outright in your profile. You can say that you’re open to taking on new clients, and if you’re looking for specific types of clients (B2B, SaaS, Law Enforcement, etc.), say so.
You can also post publicly that you have a few slots available, and ask your network to spread the word if they know someone who needs a great transcriptionist/graphic designer/consultant/accountant/whatever-it-is-you-do.
Since being connected through someone you both trust often works out better for both the client and the freelancer, this is a strategy you should use. I actually won’t hire freelancers unless they come with solid recommendations from someone I can trust, and trust of vital importance in the freelancer-client relationship.
Get More Recommendations on LinkedIn
We just discussed the importance of trust, and public, detailed recommendations on LinkedIn can go a long way to establishing both trust and credibility. Freelancers have unfortunately ended up with a reputation of being notoriously untrustworthy, and LinkedIn recommendations are a great way to show that you really are different from the rest.
If you don’t have any recommendations yet, that’s ok. Reach out to your current clients and ask them to leave you a testimonial. If needed, you can always offer to give them a discount on the next invoice if they’re willing to do this for you. Many will say yes.
When asking for reviews, know that you can never control what your clients or colleagues say about you. You can, however, request that they focus on something. Saying “hey, I’d love to grow the transcription and editing parts of my business, could you mention those services in the review?” will help you get the testimonials you need without being off-putting to clients.
Want to speed up the process? In addition to asking for a recommendation outright, once the client says yes you can also send them a prompt through LinkedIn. Head over to the client’s profile and find their Recommendation section. You’ll see an option to “ask for recommendation.” When you click on it, you can add a personalized message and send it through. This makes it quick and easy for your clients to leave you a public recommendation.
Share Industry Knowledge
Having recommendations will go along way to establish credibility, though you should also do what you can to demonstrate your own knowledge and expertise on your own time, too.
Post your own public content that’s valuable and insightful. In many cases, sharing your own insights about industry news, tips and tricks, or personal experiences will be a great place to start. It shows that you have experience in your field, and as more people engage, it could pick up some momentum and get shared. If the right person shares it, several potential clients could see it and show up in your inbox shortly. We don’t post about medical transcription services, we do post about the medical industry though, and that has helped us get more exposure and clientele in the healthcare space.
LinkedIn for Freelancers Conclusion
LinkedIn has massive potential for freelancers looking to grow their client list, especially since many people on the platform are open to outreach and messages from people who may be a good fit for their business.
When reaching out to new potential clients, remember to keep it warm and casual instead of going for an aggressive sale; everyone wants to feel like they’re connecting with another person, not a shark. Like all other social networking sites, LinkedIn is about relationships first. As long as you’re able to focus on that and connect with the right people, you’ll see your client base expanding in no time.