Facebook and Twitter hogging the attention all the time, LinkedIn often sits on the backburner like a less-popular cousin. While social networks may be a great way to build contacts and market your service, nothing quite cuts it like LinkedIn when it comes to bagging lucrative writing projects. I had let my LinkedIn profile sit stagnant for the longest time, until a few days ago when I rediscovered the power of LinkedIn, especially for freelance writers. Not only is LinkedIn a treasure house of well-paying freelance writing projects, it is also a potent client-magnet if used regularly and right. Here are 5 ways you can land some lucrative freelance writing jobs on this awesome professional network.
Pack some power into your profile: First things first. Before you go out applying for freelance writing jobs and adding potential clients to your network, make sure your profile is the best possible representation of your skills and experience. A 100% complete profile ups your chances of being recruited by 40% (or so the stats say), therefore it may be worthwhile to spend some time updating each section and filling in as many details as you possibly can. Your LinkedIn profile is the first glimpse of you that a client is going to get – so make it pretty!
I came back to my dormant LinkedIn profile after several months only to find a bunch of project queries waiting in my inbox. As soon as I pimped up my profile with some SEO and descriptions, I got a bunch more. It was only when I landed 4 high paying writing jobs with well-known brand names within a single week did I actually bow down to the power of LinkedIn . One of these incidentally, was the profile of a ‘LinkedIn Profile Writer’ for Shine.com! On a slightly digressed note, this tells us two things:
1. People are actually paying writers to do up their LinkedIn and other profiles, which means this is REALLY important stuff.
2. This opens up a whole new market for freelance writers (if you know your way around this, there is serious money to be made)
Your LinkedIn profile serves as an organized online portfolio that lets potential clients come after you, rather than the other way around. This is especially useful if you do not have a professional writer website yet.
Gigs in the “jobs” section: This is an obvious place to begin your search for freelance writing projects. Among the many full-time job opportunities, you will surely find some freelance or flexi-time ones. Some job postings may fall into the “content-mill category” but if you are meticulous in your search, you will definitely find the good ones tucked away somewhere. Follow the instructions to apply and put your best foot forward.
Follow the companies/clients you love: Is there a publication you have been dying to break into or a client who you crave to work with? Follow them on LinkedIn and get regular updates about recruitment plans and job openings. As soon as something suitable crops up, pounce on it with all your mojo.
Gigs posted within groups: Groups on LinkedIn are primarily for networking with like-minded professionals and discussing issues of common interest. However, it is not uncommon to find freelance writing jobs posted on forums – sift through them carefully and you might hit a gold mine. Two of the four aforementioned gigs were fished out from the Indian Freelance Writers group on LinkedIn. True Story!
Reach out to editors and profile viewers: This may be a slightly aggressive approach but it does pay off if you can pull it off without coming across as a stalker/spammer/both. Look for editors and business owners in your network who could use your freelance writing services and shoot them a polite mail asking if they have any openings or requirements at the moment. There is a good chance they won’t hire you immediately but they will know you are available when something comes up. You will be surprised at the number of assignments I have bagged this way.
A tiny box on your LinkedIn profile allows you to view a list of individuals who have checked out your profile in the past few days. See if any of them are potential client material and send a short message asking if you could be of any assistance to their business. I have never tried this myself but I know a few writers who do it and it seems to work for them more often than not.
Have you even found freelance writing work on LinkedIn? If so, where and how? Tell us your story!