When you’re a freelancer, social media can sometimes be the bane of your existence. You might find yourself tempted to scroll through your social media feed of choice whenever you’re procrastinating (or approximately 16,802 times a day). You may experience pangs of jealousy when you see other people who seem to have it all figured out and appear to be flaunting their success while you feel like you’re floundering.
But social media isn’t just for wasting time or making yourself feel bad—it can actually be a great way to attract prospective clients to your business!
There are a few keys to making the most of social media to build your brand and business, and in my Skillshare course, I focus on one platform in particular: LinkedIn.
I’ll give a quick overview of a few main points here, but I encourage you to go check out my course “LinkedIn for Freelancers: Build Your Brand & Business” on Skillshare. It’s short, sweet, and my first foray into this type of content, so I’d love to hear what you think!
Tip #1: Decide if LinkedIn is the right platform for you
Before you invest a lot of time in building out your LinkedIn presence, it’s important to consider your ideal clients. Who are they? What do they do? Where do they hang out online?
In my case, I work mostly with marketers and HR people. Both of these groups tend to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn throughout the course of their days, so it makes sense for me to focus my time and energy on that platform.
If your client base is a little different—say personal trainers or designers—you might find that other social media platforms will better serve you. There’s generally no harm in taking the time to build out your LinkedIn profile, but you’ll probably get the best results if it’s a platform your ideal customer is already likely to be active on.
Tip #2: Make sure you’ve got all the basics covered
The Intro section of your profile is what appears “above the fold” (another way of saying that it’s all the information that shows up before someone has to scroll down). This includes your profile photo, background image, headline, summary, and multimedia additions. You’ll want to prioritize completing these sections since they’ll generally be the first things people see when they come across your profile.
Having a clear and professional headshot is super important. LinkedIn has found that people who have profile photos get 21 times more profile views and 9 times more connection requests than those who don’t.
People who have profile photos get 21 times more profile views and 9 times more connection requests than those who don’t.
Your headline is also a great opportunity to share relevant information about yourself. You can mention the type of work you do, the clients you work with, or anything else you think might catch people’s eyes. I recommend thinking of it as a tabloid newspaper headline, but maybe not quite so trashy!
For my headline, I chose to use: “Freelance Content Marketer, Writer, and Oxford Comma Enforcer.” This reveals a bit more about my nerdy sense of humor and editing style than simply referring to myself as an “Editor.” And it’s one of the things that people comment on the most whenever they reach out to me!
Want even more tips on how to write your LinkedIn headline? Check out this useful article from HubSpot.
Tip #3: Put the social back in social media
One of the biggest mistakes that people—and brands—make on social media is making it all about themselves.
Just as it’s not very fun to have a conversation with someone who only ever talks about themselves, it’s not super enjoyable to engage with companies or people who behave this way on social media.
So rather than treating LinkedIn like a megaphone that allows you to broadcast your message outwards, look for ways to listen and share others’ voices.
Look for ways to listen and share others’ voices.
For example, maybe someone you know is looking to hire an accountant for their team. You’re not an accountant, but maybe you happen to know a few. You can share the job post and mention how awesome the person or company is. Or maybe one of your contacts just started at a new company or role. Send them a quick note to congratulate them. Look for ways that you can strengthen existing connections, even if there’s no immediate benefit to you.
Because, just as a wise man once said, “What goes around comes around.”
In my Skillshare course, we’ll look at each section of your profile in detail. I’ll offer tips for making the most of different features to show off your work and attract potential clients to your business.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and check it out!