Okay, here’s what you need to know, freelancer!! In fact here’s what you need to know most of you -day jobbers, entrepreneurs, start-ups and all – ‘Resume is a History’.
Resumes, CV or bio-data, whatever you call it, is not what employers look at when they hire a freelancer. It is just an outdated document (unless you are in a regular job and are in the same company for more than two years); people would rather look at a profile that is active, online and shows your skills, outwardly. Something like LinkedIn.
If you are a professional, we don’t have to brief you on what LinkedIn is all about. However, you should know that this social networking site for professionals is not meant for the 9 – 5 goers alone. In fact, with the latest LinkedIn upgrades, it has become a huge platform for freelancers, start-ups and other business people for a number of reasons including:
- Network with employers, other freelancers, and potential clients
- Showcase your talent in a number of ways
- Generate leads and new businesses
- Promote your services
So, it is very important that you should have a great LinkedIn profile to appeal and impress potential clients.
Here we have curated a few simple steps or tips to Create a LinkedIn Profile for Freelancers.
Concentrate on Uploading a Good Profile Photo
A profile photo that is clear, smart, and visible is very important for a freelancer. Unwarrantedly, it is the first thing that people notice to evaluate you. A professional photo adds credibility to your profile.
- Add photo of your full face
- Add only a headshot (pleasant looking and not boring)
- Avoid selfies and side profiles
Write a Stunning Profile Headline
Profile headline is one of the first few things that are viewed by others, as they are usually on the top of your profile. Since you will have only 120 characters to write a headline, it is important that you use little creativity to capture the viewer’s attention.
Your profile headline shows up in search results. It should speak well of you.
- Summarise your headline in 3 – 4 words
- Don’t use any jargons
- Use keyword related words to optimize your profile for search results
- Example: Content Developer/ 5 Years’ Experience/ SEO Expert
Profile Summary that Can Hook Viewer for More than Few Minutes
Your profile summary is a quick overview of your skills and experience. It is more like a sales pitch of your capabilities.
- Write your profile summary in the first person for human touch. Keep it short and succinct.
- Two ways you can write your profile summary:
- Add Visuals: Add high-quality visuals of your work (especially if you are a designer).
Common visuals that you can upload include logos of companies, videos, or list your work in the form of infographics.
- Short bio-data: Try the old school way and list couple of skills, accomplishments and results of your efforts.
Add a ‘Call to Action’ at the end of the summary (e.g. Contact me anytime for further business discussions)
List Your Professional Experience
The next section on LinkedIn is Experience– your current and past projects based upon your freelancing skills.
- Way #1
List your skills. Use keyword related skills to optimize your profile. This way your LinkedIn connections can also endorse your skills.
- Way #2
List each client that you have worked with as separate headings. Mention your work with each client in full details. Your client can recommend you under the job you did or are doing.
- Way #3
Talk about your overall experience as your own business label, instead of listing your experience under various clients. You can list your experience, as in what you do for clients in bullet points.
- Way #4
Use publications (especially if you are a freelance writer). Add website links, blogs, magazine articles or any such place where your work has been published. However, it should be relevant to your skills.
- Way #5
If you have a lot of visual works, for instance, if you are a designer, you can showcase the websites, web apps or mobile apps that you have designed.
- Way #6
You can also list the projects or case studies that you have worked on as a freelancer. You can make your project seem like an interesting story to read on.
Update your profile summary, work experience, and headline every now and then to stay active.
Make Quality LinkedIn Connections
It’s not about the numbers, that’s not important. What’s important is the quality of these connections, the kind of relationships you develop with these connections. Here’s how you can increase your connection quickly:
- Personalise your Connection Request Message
- Add people whom you have known on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter
- Use the ‘Add Connections’ and ‘People you may know’ tools to increase your list
Boost Your Recommendations
‘Recommendations’ is one of the most valuable LinkedIn tools for Freelancers. Don’t ignore this.
- You can get recommendations from anyone – a business partner, a friend, a friend of a friend and other freelance professionals
- Send out requests to your existing connections to generate recommendation or a quick comment on a particular skill or project you have worked with them
Double Your Interaction on Groups
LinkedIn Groups are a great way to build and strengthen business relationships with clients and freelancers. You can join any number of groups but the best are the ones that are appropriate for your skills and services.
- Join those groups whose top contributors are people you get inspiration from or want to connect with
- Actively participate in discussions and make your presence known in the group
Use a Personalised URL
The best feature of LinkedIn – it allows you to personalize your LinkedIn URL instead of the typical generic number URL. It not only optimizes your profile but it also looks professional and easily shareable.
Fill Out Your Contact Information
This is very important because unless you don’t add a number or email id where people can connect to work with you, there’s no point having a LinkedIn account. Make it easy for potential clients to contact you. Contact Info is just below the header or at the very end of your profile page.
Thanks for reading. Expect more cool and intriguing facts for freelancing career. Meanwhile, if you know any other useful LinkedIn hack, do share in comments below.