There’s a reason LinkedIn has 500 million users. Not only can it help you network, but, for freelancers, it’s also one of the best ways to identify and nurture leads that result in solid, regular freelance engagements.
This applies no matter what your particular freelance specialty is. Whether you’re a writer, web designer, or business consultant, LinkedIn’s huge database of professionals gives you access to many decision-makers who are hiring. The only thing you have to do is craft a persuasive pitch to sell yourself with confidence.
Here’s how to use LinkedIn to get more freelance jobs than you thought possible.
How to Find Leads on LinkedIn.
Using the platform to find new leads across a multitude of industries is easy. In this example, we’ll use the example of a freelance writer who wants to contribute to big-name publications. Just follow these steps.
- Type the name of a company you want to work with into the search bar on the top-left of the screen. Let’s use the example of Forbes magazine.
- On the search-results screen, click on People to open a dropdown menu. From there, select Companies.
- Select Forbes
- On theForbes magazine LinkedIn page, click on “See all xxxx employees on LinkedIn.”
- From the new secondary menu near the top of the page, choose All Filters.
- Scroll down and type “editor” into the Title field, and click on “Apply.”
- You’ll now see a search-results page that lists various editors of Forbes magazine, across various capacities and locations.
- Click on the name of the person you want to contact as your new lead.
Using LinkedIn’s Messaging Feature.
LinkedIn’s messaging feature is InMail, which gives you a certain number of messages per month to anyone on the platform, even if they’re outside your network and you’re not connected to them. The only catch is that you need to pay the monthly Premium fee to use InMail. Without InMail, you’re greatly limited, as you can only directly message your actual connections.
Look at upgrading to Premium as just one more way to optimize your LinkedIn marketing. Once you’re a Premium subscriber, using InMail is a cinch. Simply head to the profile page of your lead, and click on “Message.”
How to Pitch on LinkedIn.
Alright. This is what it all comes down to – your pitch! LinkedIn works in such a way to encourage these cold outreach messages, so increase your chances of getting a favorable response by following these tips.
- Include your lead’s name in your message subject line.
- Start with a salutation (Hi or Dear).
- Immediately, mention that you enjoy reading their publication and what you like about it, so they know you understand their brand and have at least familiarized yourself with their content.
- Briefly explain who you are (a freelancer from your specific location, with bylines in X, Y, and Z).
- Segue into your best-selling qualities, like your high-quality writing and research skills and fast turnaround time on assignments.
- Then, ask a question like “May I send you samples of my writing?” to get a conversation going.
- End by thanking them for their time.
Finally, send your message! With this format, you’re outlining a well-organized pitch in just a few sentences, which also highlights the value you’re bringing to the publication.
Search, message, repeat.
As a freelancer, always remember that you’re in the business of selling your services, whether you’re a web developer or a voiceover actor. That means you should never stop promoting your services – otherwise, your income may dry up.
The LinkedIn lead-identification-and-pitching strategy is one of the very best techniques to get a steady collection of freelance gigs, no matter your occupation.
Have you ever used LinkedIn for networking? Did you get any freelance gigs? Tell us in the comments!