According to a recent study, LinkedIn currently hosts a whooping 467 million users. Among these you’ll find a large number of employers and recruiters who actively leverage it to find talent. Yet, a lot of people set up their account and let it become “just another page” in the sea of LinkedIn profiles. This course of action not only costs them the opportunity to build their brand and position themselves as experts in their industry, but also a number of potential job offers.
For any freelance writer looking to increase their client base, LinkedIn must be a part of their marketing strategy. By providing access to a network of professionals, it allows users to advance their career development.
Since joining the platform last summer, I have grown my following to over 1,500 people, attended a variety of exclusive events (conferences, workshops) and scored a few writing opportunities that became steady gigs. My secret?
I used LinkedIn Publishing. This tool gives you a platform to share your professional insights and demonstrate your expertise.
Here is how I used it to acquire 3 freelance clients:
I published regularly
You’ve heard it before. Consistency is key in keeping your audience engaged. When I wrote my first post, I was hesitant to share it. Was it good enough? Would people care to read it? These were all questions that kept me from publishing sooner. But once I did, I never looked back. I promoted my posts on every platform and emailed people I thought would be interested in reading them. This gave me some initial traction and eventually, more people started responding to my posts.
I covered events and tagged relevant groups and companies
I borrowed Gary Vaynerchuk’s approach to content creation and documented any relevant happening in my articles. One of them was Office Hack, a one-day event organized by 2020Shift that takes a select group of technology and digital marketing professionals on a tour of major companies in the industry. I not only had the chance to visit companies like Yelp, Mashable and Spotify, but I also learned from their employees during panels and mixers. It was totally newsworthy so I turned it into a blog post. I then reached out to all the people that I met at the event as well as the organizers. Most of them linked to my article on their blog or shared it on social media.
I aggressively promoted my articles
I jumped on every opportunity to promote my LinkedIn posts. This means joining relevant groups on the platform and actively taking part of ongoing conversations, pitching my posts to different small publications and online blogs, and sharing it across all of my social channels (mainly Facebook and Twitter).
As with almost everything in life, building an engaged audience on LinkedIn took time. I never imagined I’d land clients from it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Slowly but surely, my following grew and people started inquiring about my services. These strategies helped me build my brand and develop authority. To this date, they continue to generate leads by putting me in direct contact with people I didn’t have access to.
They key is to not be afraid to start conversations. Be open to criticism and learn as much as you can. Document everything and most importantly, stay consistent.