In the age of the internet and social media, sometimes the best way to get a job is to make one, and that is exactly what countless numbers of freelancers and other gig workers have done. But when you work for yourself, a big part of your job is marketing your services, and that can be a bit tricky.
You know you are talented, and you want to share those talents with the world, but how do you go about it? For freelance writers the answer often lies in social media outlets, especially professionally-oriented sites like LinkedIn.
When properly used, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for freelance writers, one that can help them land more clients by showcasing their expertise. Through testimonials from former and current clients to connections with businesses large and small, freelance writers can build their networks, expand their operations and build their brands and their reputations.
Start with a Polished and Professional Profile
There is a lot riding on your LinkedIn profile, so make sure it shines. The profile should be complete, polished and professional, with finishing touches designed to help your personal brand stand out.
These finishing touches can include a personalized URL that includes your full name, a compelling back story about your writing journey and anything else you feel is relevant. The idea is to create a personal brand, one that will inspire clients to hire you and other writers to look to you for guidance.
Showcase Your Best Work
LinkedIn is more than a social networking site; it can be a showcase for your talents. As a writer, building that showcase means populating your LinkedIn page with articles, blog posts and other quality pieces of content.
Think of your LinkedIn page as a showroom, a place customers will come when they want to shop for writing services. If they like what they see, they are more likely to stick around, and that will be good news for your freelance writing career.
Build Out Your Blog
Your LinkedIn page can be a wonderful showcase for your writing talents and past work, but it can only hold so much content. If you really want to show off your writing prowess, you need a dedicated blog.
Starting a blog has a number of benefits for freelance writers, both on and off LinkedIn. Writing a blog post once a week, or every day, will sharpen your skills and help you better anticipate the needs of your clients. The blog posts you create can also be clipped and used as sample content when you are working with a new buyer, giving those new clients reassurance of your writing talents.
Connect with Colleagues and Potential Clients
Once your LinkedIn page is up and running and your blog is filled with content, it is time to do what social media does best. Now is the time to connect with your colleagues, fellow writers who are working on building their own freelance dreams.
You may think that connecting with potential competitors is not a good idea, but there are many advantages to building a network of other writers. Every freelance writer has their own areas of expertise, and they routinely recommend one another to their existing clients. The more connections you make, the more work could come your way.
Connecting with colleagues is important, but networking with potential clients is even more critical. The beauty of LinkedIn is that it is a professional networking site, frequented by Fortune 500 companies, brand new startups, individual entrepreneurs and everyone in between. Think about whom you want to write for and who your ideal clients are, then reach out to those people to make some meaningful, and potentially profitable, connections.
In the end, succeeding as a freelance writer is all about the marketing. It goes without saying that you have a way with words; otherwise you would have given up on your writing dreams long ago. What you need now is a talent for marketing, and that starts with building your personal brand.
Building a new freelance writing brand from the ground up is no easy task, and it will not happen overnight. But if you work at it and incorporate the tips listed above into your own efforts, you just might find that success on the LinkedIn platform and beyond is well within your reach.