If you’re looking for freelance writing gigs and think about social media, you focus on the sites you know: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Everyone you know is on Facebook, and if you’re a self-publishing author, you love Instagram. Twitter’s useful too, for quick chats.
But what about LinkedIn? Perhaps, like me, you’ve looked at the professional networking site as too complex and too stodgy. It’s packed with people looking to polish up their résumés and find their next full-time job, isn’t it?
LinkedIn has changed over the years. When a couple of my friends told me that it was the new happy hunting ground for freelance writing gigs, I had to adjust my thinking.
Find freelance writing opportunities on LinkedIn
“I got bored with developing bog-standard web content,” a friend said. “Then I discovered a client had replaced me with two unpaid interns. I wanted to scream. But now, I could kiss them.”
She decided to explore LinkedIn, and it took just three weeks to replace half her client roster. She landed gigs which not only used her expertise, they paid more. No one argued about her fees, either: “it was a revelation,” she said. “I got used to the low-balling on the freelance marketplaces, and from new clients who found me on the web. Clients who find me on LinkedIn are experienced in hiring writers. It shows.”
Try the site, if you’re looking for freelance writing gigs.
If you don’t have a profile, follow the site’s instructional Help files to get set up. With that done, this article on LinkedIn tips for 2023 has great info on the site’s recent changes and more.
Now let’s look at some savvy tips you may find useful if you’re just starting out on the site.
1. Spread your wings: make your profile public
You control what’s public and what’s not:
Search engines – You can opt out of appearing on search engines or you can determine what areas of your profile appear through your Public Profile.
For years, I encouraged my students to think local, to find freelance writing gigs. Today, local has become a trap. Google geo-targets, and offers suggestions when people are logged in. When someone in your locale actively undercuts your rates, it’s hugely challenging to appear anywhere on the first pages of the search results at all, even if you search for your name.
Additionally, you’ve got the freelance marketplaces advertising widely on Google, so it’s harder to get clients. You need to differentiate yourself, and show what you offer.
Here’s something I learned, just recently. You can make your LinkedIn activities publicly visible, if you choose to do so. Oddly enough, I assumed that my profile was public; without realizing it wasn’t.
On your profile page, click the Edit Public Profile and URL link at the top of the right sidebar.
You can now edit your Public profile settings.
Again in the right sidebar: edit your URL, so it’s easier to remember. Moving down, ensure that your public profile’s visibility is set to ON. Make any other changes you need.
Expect it to take a week or two for your LinkedIn profile to become public once you’ve made changes; indexing takes time for Google and the other search engines.
Next, make connections.
2. Connect with past clients: they know you
LinkedIn helps you to connect with the people you know; you can add your email contacts. In addition, check out the My Network page, and the People You May Know feature—you’re sure to find contacts there.
Search for past clients too. Connect with them, and let them know you’re still freelancing. They may have a need for your freelance writing services now, or in the next few months.
Your aim isn’t to connect with everyone you can, it’s to become visible to people who know you, and to people who may need your services.
LinkedIn is huge: it’s worth the time you spend
I’ve been on the site for years, but never paid much attention. However, going forward, I intend that to change.
Not only does LinkedIn have a huge member base globally, it’s a professional social media site, rather than a purely entertainment website.
Check it out if you’re looking for freelance writing gigs.
Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn too, if you’d like, and watch for more articles on this under-the-radar social media site.
Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.