LinkedIn has certainly blossomed as a social network over the past few years. In fact it currently boasts over 225 million members worldwide who represent a broad swath of industries – which presents amazing opportunities for freelance writers.
Whether you’re in content marketing, textiles, holistic medicine, or dog training, chances are you can find people to network with on LinkedIn. Not only that, but there are plenty of tools and features to help you find people easier.
A lot of people realize the potential that LinkedIn has for networking and finding new clients, but the size of the site along with all of its features might seem intimidating. If this is you, here are five ways to make the most of marketing your freelance writing services on LinkedIn.
I. Fill out your profile completely.
When you first join LinkedIn, you should fill out your profile as completely as possible. Your tag line, experience, clips, and currently projects are all important indicators of what you can do for the people who search for you.
Key Tip Here: Don’t forget to include keywords in your tag line and profile. If you’re a ghost blogger, copywriter, and freelance journalist, put all of that in there, and not just whatever you are working on at the time.
II. Ask existing connections.
Is there someone you’ve written for before and would like to connect with again? How about that prospect you haven’t emailed in a while?
LinkedIn is a great way to reconnect with old connections who might have work for you. You will also have access to their network of contacts as well.
Tip You Might Not Know: Use that helpful tool that allows you to add connections from your email contacts. You might even spot a name or two that you’d forgotten all about.
There are LinkedIn groups for just about every occupation you can think of. This is great because it gives you a chance to reach out to lots of different professionals.
If you’re a writer marketing to SEO agencies, join an SEO group. If you write for nutrition blogs and websites, join a group for nutrition professionals.
Once you join a group, don’t forget to contribute regularly in a meaningful way. You might mention that you’re a writer in some of your posts, but only if it fits into the conversation. Never spam a group. This is the quickest way to get yourself booted.
Important Tip to Remember: You can join writing groups, but be careful not to limit your scope to this area alone. The key is to get yourself in front of professionals and companies who might need your services, not just to hang around other writers.
IV. Join LinkedIn for Journalists.
If you are a professional writer on LinkedIn, then LinkedIn (LI) for Journalists is the group to be in. You have to apply for membership, and you’ll usually get approved as long as your profile has at least a few writing credits.
Tip You Might Not Know: When you join LI for Journalists, be sure to sign up for the very helpful LI for Journalists training. You will learn helpful tools and tricks for utilizing LinkedIn for your writing projects, and you will also earn a free year’s Premium membership just for taking the training.
Premium LinkedIn Membership Benefits
The premium membership has its benefits, including:
(a) Seeing who viewed you recently (I liked to send In-mails to these people letting them know that I saw that they viewed my profile and that I’m available if they need a writer);
(b) Contacting 2nd connections via inMail (see below); and
(c) Seeing how many searches you’ve appeared in within the last 30 days.
V. Search your connections.
Your 2nd connections are valuable prospects since 1) You already have an “in” with them through your mutual connection; and 2) They’re likely in a similar industry as your mutual connection.
Did you know this about marketing your freelance writing services on LinkedIn? If you’re a Premium member, you can use the search tools to look up 2nd connections by keyword, industry, position, and more.
When I’m trying to find second connections that work for marketing agencies or in marketing positions, I check the “2nd” box and type in “marketing” as the keyword. You might find other useful ways to use this feature.
LinkedIn Connection That Pays Off in Possible Future Freelance Writing Work
Actually one of Yuwanda’s connections on LinkedIn opened the door for possible future work for me. I sent her the following email to let her know, writing:
. . . I wanted to thank you for endorsing me on LinkedIn. I was contacting prospects and one of them, … says he used to work with you. He invited me to a luncheon hosted by our local chapter of the American Advertising Federation . . . but I unfortunately will be out of town by then. His company already has a content marketing firm but he said he’d keep my info on file.
Yuwanda emailed me back, saying:
. . . yeah, I remember [him]. He used to work for an internet marketing firm in CA; they were one of my first long-term SEO writing clients. I worked with 5 or 6 ppl in that firm — thanks to [his] referrals (he was my first contact).
Anyhoo, glad you made the connection, and hope you get future work from him. He was a doll to work with.
And that’s the beauty of LinkedIn.
When you know how to use it, LinkedIn is a veritable treasure trove of contacts for freelance writers. It’s an ideal place to make yourself visible to prospects, and also a great way to keep in touch with your existing professional connections.
One more thing to remember about the power of LinkedIn when it comes to marketing for freelance writing jobs – it’s where the decision makers are. Proof?
According to the HootSuite post, Among Decision-Makers, LinkedIn The Most-Used Social Network for Work:
New data from Forrester confirms that LinkedIn is the most-used social network for work among ‘decision-makers’. Using data collected from 283 of these business leaders at North American or European companies with over 100 employees, they were able to determine that LinkedIn was used by 81% of respondents …
The wide use of LinkedIn for business illustrates the broad acceptance of the social network’s contribution to business success. Be it recruiting, networking, marketing or anything else, business leaders are clearly recognizing the value of LinkedIn at work.
If you’re not already using LinkedIn to market yourself as a freelance writer, there’s no time like the present to start.
About the Author: Tiffany Howard is a freelance writer whose work includes articles, press releases, blog posts, eBooks, white papers, special reports, and sales copy, and her concentrations include science and nature, real estate, travel, and nutrition and wellness. When she is not at the beach or playing tag with her little one, she can be found blogging about online marketing and social media. Connect with her on Twitter @THowardWriter.
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