LinkedIn has been around for a while, but as a Freelancer, Consultant and Solopreneur, it is the single best social media network to help you bring in warm leads. Here’s how to 3x inbound leads with these tips for your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is fast becoming the only social media network used professionally. Facebook and other companies have talked about and are working on building a professional profile graph, but LinkedIn has the benefit of being around for close to a decade now.
With 400+ million users and in more than 200 countries, the potential reach you have as a Freelancer is unlimited. By building an amazing profile on your page for your Freelancing Business, you stand an amazing chance of creating warm inbound leads effortlessly. Here’s what I’ve done to my own LinkedIn account with some great results.
1. Make Sure Your Profile is an ‘All-Star’
With the gamification of everything, LinkedIn profiles have joined the game of showing you how your profile is doing with a simple gauge. You’ve probably seen it before and mine currently looks like this:
The Profile Strength meter helps you determine with a simple feedback UX feature if you’re profile is as best it can possibly be. Mine is an All-Star level and you should aim for that or higher too.
2. Test Your Professional Headline
You shouldn’t be afraid to change Your Professional Headline every few months as an A/B Test. Your Professional Headline is what people searching your profile on LinkedIn see first, even before they see where you’re based, what past experiences you’ve had. As a self-employed person, freelancer, consultant or independent contractor, this is the place where your clients and prospects interact with your personal brand.
3. Use The Summary
The tried and true methods of a standard resume never really grow old or fail. If The Professional Headline is the first, yet brief encounter with your personal brand as a Freelancer for clients and prospects on LinkedIn, then the “Summary” is the place where they can read more about you.
Focus on your strengths here and be concise and brief. I would say 4 sentences spread over 2 paragraphs — the first paragraph summarizes what you are and your experience and the 2nd paragraph showcasing your accomplishments.
4. Sharing an Update (Regularly)
People who are in your 1st-degree network automatically follow you. What most people don’t know is that your secondary network also follows you as well. When you post an update on your profile, that is a potentially large network that at least gets an impression of your post.
You don’t want to sharing every blogpost from your freelancing site every time. The ratio for sharing external and useful content from other sites versus things from your own site should be 5:1.
Sharing regularly also helps set the expectation that you are an authority on the subject matter you freelance in and giving back to your readers what they want to know to help them start, improve or grow their business.
5. Leverage Buffer App
Buffer has turned out to be an amazing tool for me — one that I’ve used almost every single day for the past three and a half years.
Buffer is a social media online and mobile application that helps you keep a list of posts you want to post to social media accounts. The free software lets you put up to 10 in 3 different spots (e.g. Facebook Page, Twitter, LinkedIn Group). Once you connect to your LinkedIn Profile or your LinkedIn group Buffer seamlessly posts those articles for you at the times you pre-selected.
This helps you with sending relevant information and selling your clients and prospects.
6. Post In Relevant and Large Groups
Find groups that your clients and prospects would frequent. Don’t SPAM that group as you can get kicked out, but again if you don’t have your own content, be sure to add to Buffer a list of things you would share to add value to your clients and prospects.
Even the ability to get someone to comment on your article and start a discussion can be a lead generation opportunity. It also gives you the halo effect of being the authority on the topic.
7. Make Your LinkedIn URL Relevant and Personalized
The default LinkedIn profile URL given to you when you first created your account is usually www.linkedin.com/in/YOURFIRSTNAMEYOURLASTNAME. Not everyone is that lucky to get their account like that — after all there are 2 new people that join LinkedIn everyday. So you might get MichaelScott23 as part of your URL.
As a Freelancer, this is vital to do correctly as your name is your brand when you first start. As you grow, you might have productized your services and your company will be your brand. But in the beginning you should make your name stand out.
If you have a middle name, you should use it as part of the URL instead of something generic. Think of your clients and prospects might Google you. Make it easier for them to find you by making your URL specific to you.
8. Link Back to Your LinkedIn Profile from Your Company Page
This is one of the most overlooked advice and simplest ways you can add authority on your website. Make sure people can easily see your LinkedIn Profile in the emails you send, the website that’s client and prospective facing.
Luckily, LinkedIn has some pre-made ones you can easily add to any email signature or site.
9. Let Recruiters Know You’re Open
Not sure if this is a new feature or something I discovered a new, but this is something that every Freelancer, independent contractor should take advantage of to get potentially new contracts.
It’s this feature here:
You access this by going to Jobs >> Preferences and tap to toggle it on.
10. Create a Company Page
Even though you are a Freelancer and you are your personal brand, it helps a lot of show that you’re bigger than just you. Creating a Company page effectively does this and also allows you to add this experience on your profile. The company page can showcase the work you’ve done, your position in the company (like Vice-President or something).
This is your way to get followers to your company, truly think beyond yourself as a lone freelancer and become a company.