Do you have a LinkedIn marketing strategy?
If you’re trying to land freelance writing clients, especially copywriting clients with ongoing content needs, LinkedIn can be a game changer.
When you’re actively marketing for freelance writing clients, do you feel like you’re shouting into a void? Is your inbound funnel full of dead-end leads?
If this sounds anything like your efforts to get freelance writing clients, chances are pretty good you don’t have a LinkedIn marketing strategy, or you’re not using this platform effectively.
FYI…there’s an estimated 575 million users on LinkedIn, and some of those are editors, marketing directors, and content managers who need your help.
Want to be a six-figure freelancer? You need a LinkedIn marketing strategy. Seriously, if I can do this, so can you.
Two years ago, I was laid off from my oncology research job. I was unemployed for several months and hated all of my job prospects. Plus, I was living off of unemployment and bartending wages. But that all changed with help from Carol Tice and the Freelance Writers Den.
Ready to get well-paying clients? Use this LinkedIn marketing strategy…
Meet freelance medical writer Alexis Taylor
As a trained scientist with a microbiology degree, writing was just a hobby for Alexis Taylor. But when she got laid off, it’s one career path she wanted to learn more about. However, every road seemed to lead to race-to-the-bottom sites like UpWork.
When she got help from Carol Tice and the Freelance Writers Den, there was still one pressing question that kept coming up…
“I’m a scientist who has no ‘actual’ writing experience. Do I have a shot at making this a real career?”
The answer came from Carol Tice: “There is a real shortage of writers in the scientific and medical space who can speak the language and also enjoy writing, I think you have a real opportunity here.”
With that boost of confidence, Taylor launched her freelance writing career with a LinkedIn marketing strategy to get clients. And it worked.
Within a year, she hit six figures, landed retainer clients, and still uses her LinkedIn marketing strategy to grow her income, even during the pandemic.
Want to learn the LinkedIn marketing strategy to be a six-figure freelancer?
Here’s what you need to know:
Optimize your LinkedIn profile
The first and most important step to your LinkedIn marketing strategy is to identify your industry niche and ideal client.
Once you do this, you can optimize your LinkedIn profile to connect with people in your niche
This is important for several reasons:
- Optimizing your LinkedIn profile helps you appear in searches.
- When you reach out to potential freelance writing clients, they’re going to visit your profile to see if you’re credible.
- Your LinkedIn profile should let a prospect immediately understand you’re a freelancer in their niche, and why you’re the solution to their problems.
- Your LinkedIn tagline should identify your niche. For example: “freelance writer at freelance,” is not descriptive, effective, or professional. It gives off the impression that you do not know what you write or who you write it for. Be more specific, like this:
3 easy ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile:
- Use industry or niche keywords in your LinkedIn web URL
- Include industry or niche keywords in your Profile headline
- Add industry or niche keywords in your About section (formerly called summary)
Are you starting to see a pattern here?
Using industry or niche keywords in your LinkedIn profile is a powerful way to show up more often in searches when people are looking for a freelancer.
Here are some things you can do to get the most out of your LinkedIn marketing strategy:
- Be as descriptive as possible with industry keywords to increase your chances of appearing in a web or LinkedIn search for a writer in your niche.
- Update key profile items like your headline or profile summary to stand out as a professional and expert writer in your space.
- Capitalize on every LinkedIn profile section. For example, if your featured section is empty, find a previous clip or video to include. Add a background photo with your proof bar. Put your information (email and phone number) at the top of your profile. Do not pass up these easy, free advertising spaces.
Screen LinkedIn connection invites for leads
So you’ve got your LinkedIn profile dialed in to stand out as the writer in your niche. Now what?
Not every person that reaches out to you via LinkedIn is a legitimate freelance writing lead. But you can usually weed out the time wasters by asking for the following information within the first few exchanges about freelance writing:
- What’s your budget?
- What your timeline or deadline?
- Is this part of a bigger project or ongoing marketing strategy?
My advice: If they don’t know or take their sweet time in getting back to you, they’re more than likely not a legitimate lead. This LinkedIn marketing strategy will save you a ton of time.
But I really just need some work…
I understand feeling the need to treat every single prospect as though they are a potential client, especially when you’re just starting out. However, bad leads often turn out to be difficult clients.
- Either pass or tell them to come back to you when they have a better understanding of their writing needs. Getting involved with a wishy-washy company in the early stages of project planning will leave you underpaid and tied up in an ambiguous contract indefinitely.
- Hold out for more organized clients. This will allow you to prioritize your time more effectively and ensure you are getting paid the correct rate within a well defined project.
What if a recruiter contacts you on LinkedIn?
It’s a good sign your LinkedIn marketing strategy is working and your profile is dialed in.
But if you start getting a lot of interest from recruiters and headhunters, you have to make a decision.
- Are you a full-time freelancer, or do you want another 9-5?
I thought talking to recruiters would be a good networking opportunity. But it wasn’t. I wasted a lot of time on screening and intro calls that were dead leads. Time I could have spent honing my outbound marketing skills.
My advice: If you’re serious about only freelance work and have no interest in full-time opportunities, find out whether contracting or freelancing is an option within your first few exchanges, before you pick up the phone.
Outbound marketing to find freelance clients on LinkedIn
You can turn your LinkedIn profile into a lead generating-machine. But until that happens, you need to do your own outbound marketing. Here’s what you should pay close attention to:
- Your connections: These are all the people you’ve connected with on LinkedIn. Editors, marketing directors, content managers, former co-workers, colleagues from professional associations, and so on. People in your network can be great referral sources. And those new connections may be hot freelance writing leads.
- Who’s viewed my profile. If you’ve got your LinkedIn profile dialed in, you may show up in the results when someone searchers for “freelance [your niche] writer.” If they check out your profile, LinkedIn let’s you know. It’s fair game to reach out and ask them if they or anyone they know are in need of a writer for their marketing projects.
Do you need LinkedIn Premium?
If you’re on the basic LinkedIn plan, you have a limited selection of who views your profile. The Premium subscription will give you the full list of anyone who’s viewed your profile along with InMail credits to directly message other Premium members.
Here’s what I do: I toggle back and forth between the basic and Premium plans whenever I’m really ramping up my marketing efforts. If you’ve never explored this option you can usually get your first month free.
The dos and don’ts of LinkedIn marketing
A few very important tips to keep in mind as you’re using LinkedIn for marketing:
- Write a general post on the platform as an open casting call for ‘anyone looking for a writer’
- State or insinuate that you are desperate for work
- Contribute negative posts to your feed or private groups
- Ask for network referrals and offer them in return
- Craft thoughtful personalized private messages
- Regularly post status updates and PulsePosts to show that you are active on the platform
- Reach out to inbound leads like this:
Give LinkedIn marketing a try to get more clients
If you’re feeling frustrated and discouraged, start in any one of these places to improve your profile and LinkedIn marketing strategy. LinkedIn is one of the best places to consistently land quality freelance writing clients. After all, it’s how I hit six figures in my first year.
What’s your LinkedIn marketing strategy to get clients? Let’s discuss in the comments.
Alexis Taylor is a Philadelphia-based freelance medical writer for medical device and healthcare companies.