Last week I saw something terrible happen. A freelancer friend of mine lost a $10,000 contract because of one tiny detail. His LinkedIn profile was empty. The client wouldn’t admit it, but the lack of history on LinkedIn was the reason they decided to eliminate my friend. This was completely avoidable. It only takes a few minutes to dial in your LinkedIn profile if you’re a freelancer. You just need to know how to list contract or freelance work on LinkedIn effectively.
Therefore, the recommendations on this page are some of the biggest wins you can make in your freelance business today. They only take about 15 minutes to apply, but you can literally see a six-figure from this.
So in this post, we’ll walk-through how to list freelance and contract work on LinkedIn in a way ensures you get more opportunities with less effort. This article pairs perfectly with my other one how to go out and find clients on LinkedIn. We even include a trick for how to feature freelance testimonials if you don’t already have one in your “Recommendations” section. So read on.
Here’s are the best ways to list freelance work on LinkedIn:
This is a quick tip that almost no one knows about or uses. You can easily attach a PDF or image that can serve as a lead magnet or work sample directly on your profile. It should look like this:
This is great if you do client work because you likely already have PDF’s with case studies.
Simply attach them to your profile and show them off potential clients who visit your profile. (To do this click on Add to Profile > Featured > Media).
A lot of people list their company under Experience, but don’t create a company profile page for it.
This extra 10 minutes of effort uploading your logo, location, specialization can go a long way in beefing up your credibility. So don’t skip it! Compare how these two look profiles would come off to a client:
As an added bonus, people can also choose to follow your company which will mean your posts show up in their feed.
Next to your name and location, your headline is one of the most visible and important components of your profile.
It should draw people in with a quick summary of what you do, with keywords that are relevant to your work while still being human and free of business jargon.
Focus on addressing your prospects biggest pain point, paint the dream of what fixing this would feel like. We go into detail on how to find this out in Endless Clients.
This is a hack for getting recommendations on LinkedIn: give some out. I recommend giving 5 out today to get 1 by next week.
This lets you take advantage of the reciprocation effect by giving recommendations to freelancers and clients you’ve worked with, or by using the “Ask for a Recommendation” feature.
If you opt for the latter, be sure to personalize the request and provide some helpful pointers on what should be said.
Your summary is a text box at the top of your LinkedIn profile, that lets you write up to 2,000 characters about yourself.
Describe what you love doing while showcasing your communication skills with clear and concise writing. Include any keywords that you couldn’t weave into the introduction. Don’t forget to provide a brief description of your services.
If you don’t have any “recommendations” you can still add past testimonials to the about section of your profile.
When it comes to testimonials, the best way to get more of them is to do the work for the client.
Literally write the testimonial you want then email the client and ask if you can use it.
One of the best ways to make your profile stand out to clients is to show them what you can do directly on the platform. Don’t try to get them to go anywhere else.
In fact, pretend your website doesn’t exist. How can you bring all of the information and work samples prospective clients need to your LinkedIn profile?
Remember to play on what works for your industry. For instance, the creative portfolio display is best for designers and artists who want to showcase visual work. Publications are better for writers and freelancers who use content marketing.
One of the most prominent profile elements is your recent activity. These are any recent comments or posts that you’ve created.
The art of writing a sales message that is irresistible to clients is covered in detail in Endless Clients, and honestly outside of the scope of this post, but I will say it might be easier than you think.
You don’t want to write something that looks like it was copied and pasted a thousand times over. It’s okay to be brief or simply introduce yourself. An even better idea is to mention a mutual contact or share some other kind of information that’s uniquely relevant to the client and shows that you’re serious about connecting with them.
You can talk about a current matter, but you don’t want to appear insensitive. For instance, mentioning the current crisis can be a tricky one. Check out our COVID-19 freelance template to get the rundown on how it should be done. From here, get straight to the why. Explain what you can do for the client and why you’re the one who should be doing it.
It’s similar to writing a cold email, which means having an attention-grabbing headline and being genuine in what you say. Fortunately, it also means that you can leverage a template to save time and effort. Here’s a guide to writing great cold emails.
I’ve seen so many clients and hiring managers eliminate candidates over their LinkedIn profile that I have to be definitive here.
The answer is YES, creating a LinkedIn profile and listing contract work on it is worth it.
Not being on LinkedIn (or having an empty profile) will disqualify you from consideration at some point. You will lose jobs without a good profile. Guaranteed.
Any business opportunities that come from the platform itself are an added bonus.
Note: For a full rundown of how to find 10+ $10,000 client leads every week on LinkedIn, get on the waiting list for my upcoming course Endless Clients.
Now, how do you list contract work effectively on LinkedIn?
To most people LinkedIn is a bit of a black box. I rarely see a breakdown of how LinkedIn works or what types of products they offer. So first lets walk through the five different accounts you can get currently on the platform:
This is your typical free account you get when you sign up. You can message prospects, attach work samples to your profile, get endorsements and a lot of other things. Most of the tips in this article will apply to this type of account.
Premium comes in two flavors: Careers ($29/month) and Business ($59/month). You get access to a range of features including a Resume Builder and the ability to see who’s viewing your profile.
You’re also given access to competitive intelligence about applicants for jobs and the ability display the Premium badge on your profile.
Probably the biggest Premium account feature is the ability to get prospect’s emails when you’re not connected with them.
The higher priced Premium Business account includes three times the amount of InMail credits (15 per month) which is basically LinkedIn’s own currency used to message other users.
You can also browse without restrictions and gain access to business insights that include industry trends. It isn’t necessarily worth the higher price unless you find the features important.
Sales Navigator starts at $79/month. It’s designed to let you create lead lists with advanced search filtering options on LinkedIn’s big data platform. You also get 20 monthly InMail credits to message people. This is more of a cold call sales tool.
This is a somewhat newer account type which has seemingly been rolled into the Premium feature, but I thought it was worth mentioning here because ProFinder matches you to users who request your type of work. You’re able to submit 10 free proposals before committing to a $59 monthly fee.
There you have it. As mentioned above, you don’t need a paid account to apply anything I’m about to share below. However, I find most people don’t know what LinkedIn’s paid account types have to offer because, well, they make it super confusing.
However you do it, aim to find the balance between posting quality work and not draining all your time into the endeavor. I like to refer back to Document, don’t create by Gary Vaynerchuk which has some excellent advice on achieving that balance.
Like any social network, remember to engage with people by commenting on and sharing their posts to bring them to your page.
Don’t forget that you can also share industry insights and reports if it’s relevant to your niche. These tend to perform particularly well on LinkedIn.
Getting all of this in place can take some time. Our new course, Endless Clients, walks-through on how to find 10+ $10,000 leads on LinkedIn in under 30 minutes. It can also help you create an ideal profile to target your LinkedIn searches.
When will your LinkedIn efforts produce results? It mostly depends on where you currently are in your career.
If you’re more established, building a reputation on LinkedIn will be much easier because you already have a network.
Even newbies should be able to setup a profile that gets leads using these tips in a week or less.
From there, you won’t have to spend more than half an hour per day during the week staying active and communicating with prospects. If you’re not seeing the results you were hoping for, it’s worth taking a moment to look at your strategy and consider what you can change.
There are many ways that you can save time, as well. Automation tools, for instance, are useful for taking some of the load off of your hands and simplifying more complicated or tedious tasks.
One of the last points I wanted to touch on when it comes to your Linked Profile is some automation tools that you use on the platform.
I haven’t personally tried any of these, but they seem to work for some people.
LinkedIn has surprisingly been one of the most consistent way I find great $10k+ leads for my private referral newsletter.
But I don’t do what everyone else does. I approach LinkedIn slightly differently.
Wanna know how I uncover thousands of big budget projects on LinkedIn every year? Sign up below and I’ll share more with you in the coming weeks.
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