How to Start Promoting Your Brand on LinkedIn
As a freelancer, maintaining a strong presence on LinkedIn is a great way to promote your brand and strengthen your reputation in your area of expertise. In many cases, it can also help you connect with new clients and secure more work. Follow these five (and free!) tips to start getting noticed on LinkedIn.
Optimize your profile.
Think of your LinkedIn profile as your online resume. A complete profile gives clients a thorough understanding of your professional experience and the services you have to offer. Fill out as many sections as you can, but stick to providing information that is relevant to the work you’re currently interested in. The following sections should always be complete:
- Headline: While many people use this field to display their current title, it’s better to provide a unique, attention-grabbing snapshot of who you are professionally. For example, a headline such as “Trained Technical Writer With 20+ Years’ Experience” is much more engaging (and impressive) than “Freelance Writer.”
- Photo: All profiles should have a professional-looking photo to create a great first impression. If you don’t have an appropriate picture of yourself readily available, wait to upload a photo until you do. Showcase your personality, but avoid using selfies, pictures taken at odd angles, and photos that could be considered controversial or otherwise unprofessional.
- Experience: This is the most important section of your profile. Include every significant position you’ve had that’s directly relevant to the work you’re interested in now. As a freelancer, it’s important to list the exact clients and companies you’ve worked with and the type of work you did. Avoid listing overly general positions such as “Freelance Writer: February 2007 – Present.” If you aren’t allowed to mention a client, use an anonymous descriptor for the company name, such as “World-Renowned Finance Website.”
- Skills: The skills section of your profile plays a crucial role in networking with other professionals. Add the top 10 to 15 skills you possess, focusing on the talents that are relevant to the work you’re currently interested in. Put them in order of most to least important, and allow your connections to endorse you for them. The more your colleagues endorse you for your skills, the more impressive it looks to potential clients.
Log in to your LinkedIn account as much as you log in to every other social media platform you use. Check your news feed daily, share posts from connections, and post interesting content relevant to your field. By remaining active and visible, you can give your personal brand top-of-mind awareness with potential clients and connections.
Submit long-form posts.
LinkedIn allows users to publish long-form posts, or articles, for free. Doing so gives you the opportunity to showcase your skills and establish yourself as an expert in your field. At least once a month, compose a post that is unique, engaging, and relevant to your target audience. Promote your post on other social media channels, and encourage your connections to read and share it as well. The more attention your posts get, the better you look to potential clients.
LinkedIn also has groups you can join based on your interests and areas of expertise. As a member of a group, you can participate in conversations with other members and share relevant job listings. This allows you to network with your peers and stay up-to-date on important news and trends. It’s also another chance to demonstrate your expertise in your field.
Pitch to potential clients.
As of 2013, there were 3 million companies with pages on LinkedIn, and many of the decision-makers who work at these companies have profiles on the site as well. Don’t be afraid to reach out to these potential clients and pitch your freelance services. Even if a company doesn’t have a specific job opening listed on their page now, let them know what you have to offer in case they need your services down the road.