LinkedIn has become the best channel for finding meaningful work. As companies branch out into a global, remote-by-design work structure, LinkedIn has become even more important.
While originally presented as a way for recruiters to find employees and prospects to find work, LinkedIn has also become a major B2B sales channel, including for freelancers. This leads to the question of whether (and how) to list freelance work on LinkedIn.
First, yes, you should definitely be listing your freelance work on LinkedIn! Second, you should be detailing your freelance work history in many ways. Remember that prospective clients use different search methods when looking to outsource their work, so you need to showcase your work history in different ways to attract as many clients as possible.
In this article, I am going to go over everything I have learned in the last decade sourcing 100% of my clientele on LinkedIn.
Whatever freelance niche you work in, SignTime has you covered with this recent article detailing everything you need to know to draft your own freelance work contracts as well as links to helpful templates for use in every industry.
Why should you use LinkedIn for freelance work?
LinkedIn is quickly approaching one billion total users, and most are looking to network for mutual benefit. With so many users out there starting or expanding businesses, whatever service you offer, there are many who could benefit.
Most of the well-known freelance marketplaces have high fees paid for by the hiring firm and/or the freelancer. That means there is a great opportunity to charge less but keep more by going directly to the source and getting clients directly on LinkedIn. In my experience, the long-term relationships found between firms and freelancers on LinkedIn are another added benefit for both parties.
Here are just some of the reasons you should list your freelance work on LinkedIn:
· It helps potential clients find you.
· It highlights your skills.
· It improves personal branding.
· It helps build connections.
Hopefully I have convinced you of the value LinkedIn brings to freelancers. Now, it’s time for you to stand out. Here is how to list freelance work on LinkedIn using every section of your profile.
For your profile picture, a simple background is your friend. Consider the market and your position, and then dress the part. A suit might make sense for some fields, but for most I would aim more casual. Be sure to smile.
You can also add the “looking for work” banner to your image to increase the number of people messaging you.
You should definitely utilize a banner image to give people an idea about you and your craft. Think about the colors as well so it doesn’t distract from your face and the text, which are more important.
The headline allows you to write a short title and summary of your specialties. If you offer more than one service, you can write them all here. However, be brief.
With a limit of 2600 characters, this is where you can add a little more detail about your services. Be sure to add any common search terms that those in the industry might use to find (freelance) employees.
You could even add quotes from client recommendations to this section. This will give potential clients more confidence in your ability to perform your services well.
Featured sections give you the ability to add your best work to a special section. If you’ve written some particularly good copy or helped build a successful app, then feature posts, articles, links, and so on can work as a micro-portfolio to entice viewers to click connect.
You should definitely add your freelance experience to your work history . There are several ways to do this.
Create a company profile for your freelance work
Creating a name for your business, or simply labeling yourself as “self-employed”, and then listing everything you have done is a good first step in presenting your full freelance resume. (You should click this companion article about how to list freelance work on your resume too.) This is a great way to showcase all the tools you can use, all your skills, and any specific benchmarks that you have achieved.
Attach work samples directly to your listed experience
This is a little-known option on LinkedIn. You can actually add links or media to your work experience. This is a great way to further show off some of the work you have done.
Add ongoing freelance clients
If you are working for a client over several months or years, then you should absolutely add them to your LinkedIn work experience. Give yourself a title that represents the work you have done and list specific achievements made during your time with the client.
Reach out to your clients after you have impressed them with your work and ask for a recommendation. In my experience, most will be happy to click on a couple of your skills. It can be hard to get them to write a full recommendation though.
Write posts and comments about your freelance work
I’ll admit that I was skeptical about the value of posting on LinkedIn, but since posting articles I have written daily I have received way more messages about potential work. You should definitely be posting work you are doing to LinkedIn regularly, but be sure to get your clients’ permission first.
How to actively find work on LinkedIn
Your profile is a great way to passively attract clients. However, there are loads of ways to actively search for work as well.
I find that it is easy to connect to other freelancers using a connection request and inbox message. You can also comment on your clients’ posts to be seen by their followers.
One of the best ways I have found to attract clients on LinkedIn is to join communities for people working in your industry. This is also a great way to increase the number of views and interactions with your posts.
Update your LinkedIn profile today
Remote work is on the rise. Companies are increasingly viewing freelancers as equivalent to any other remote employee. In fact, the lower paperwork and compliancy burden makes freelancers even more valuable.
LinkedIn is the single best place to find clients, and you should be putting your freelance work experience on LinkedIn to attract new opportunities.
With an easy-to-access and organized online contract repository, never search for important paperwork again.