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Articles on Freelance Writing Success
- Bob Bly
- Peter Bowerman
- Nick Usborne
- Ed Gandia
- Pete Savage
- John Riddle
- Kendy Sproul
- Clayton Makepeace
- Steve Slaunwhite
- Michael Masterson
- Chris Marlow
- Roger C. Parker
- Marcia Yudkin
- Michael Stelzner
- Brian Tracy
by Kendy Sproul
Most business professionals realize the value of having a LinkedIn account. However, that’s not true for most freelancers. While many know they should use social media as part of their marketing plan, they often overlook the value of LinkedIn.
With more than 150 million professionals using LinkedIn in the first quarter of 2012 and an estimated 7,610 searches per minute (according to Social Jumpstart), it’s not a platform freelancers can afford to ignore.
I’ll show you how easy it is to connect with prospective clients on LinkedIn.
Complete Your Professional Profile
The number one mistake freelancers make is not completely filling out their professional profile.
In order to get the most out of LinkedIn, you need to do more than just upload a resume. Yet that’s exactly what most of us do.
Take time to fill out your profile as completely as possible and you’ll be heads above the other freelancers who don’t.
LinkedIn makes this easy to do with their step-by-step system which leads you from one section to another until your profile is filled out completely.
Link to Your Website
This would seem to go without saying. Yet, I’m always surprised by how many profiles don’t contain a link to the owner’s website.
If a prospect views your profile and is interested in learning more about you they expect to find a link to your website. And, when they don’t, they most likely will move on to another freelancer who does.
As a freelancer you already know the value of having a website set up as your online business card and as a means to showcase your knowledge and professionalism, so make sure to link to it on your LinkedIn account.
Join and Participate in Groups
According to Wikipedia, as of March 29, 2012 there are 1,248,019 groups on LinkedIn. Which means there are groups for just about any industry and interest imaginable.
Groups are a great way to get your name out there and socialize with people who share the same professional interests.
But, you have to do more than just join groups. Participation is vital.
By joining in and adding value, you can quickly become known as a freelance professional who knows his industry.
Connect with Group Members and People You Know
Once you’ve joined some groups and are contributing, start making connections within some of the group members.
Whenever you make a connection on LinkedIn you are connected to other people on tier levels.
For example: you connect with a group member, you and that person now have a level one connection. Everyone that person is connected to is connected to you through a level two connection. And you have a level three connection with everyone those people are connected to.
You can then ask your first level connections to introduce you to people who are level two connections.
Once you’re introduced and connect with the level two connection they become a level one connection and their connections move up from level three to level two. And you can repeat the process.
How does this help you reach prospective clients? In the same way networking does. The more people you network with, the better your chances of finding someone who needs your services.
Don’t forget to connect with people you already know. People you’ve worked with in the past, friends, acquaintances, etc.
Ask for Recommendations
Recommendations on LinkedIn are similar to testimonials. A prospect who is considering doing business with you can look at your recommendations and determine whether you’re the freelancer they want to do business with.
Ask for recommendations from people you’ve worked with in the past. Ask for recommendations from people you’ve already done business with and from anyone who knows you well enough to recommend you.
Updates are displayed on the Home page of every LinkedIn account. By posting updates on a regular basis, you stay in front of the people you are connected with.
You’ll want to post things of value – articles and blog posts you’ve written as well as things you come across online that may be of help to your prospective audience.
LinkedIn has a unique section called “Answers” where anyone can ask a question and other users post answers to that question.
This is a great place to get yourself known as an expert in your field. Surf through on a regular basis and find questions that pertain to your area of expertise and offer a thoughtful answer.
Not only will that help the person asking the question but it will help you as well by getting your name in front of others who are looking for answers.
You never know who might stumble upon an answer you provided. They just might be your next big client.
These tips require that you spend some quality time on LinkedIn. Invest the time and you’ll soon be connecting with prospective clients you never even knew existed. And vice versa.
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