Freelancing is a tough way to do remote work. While many freelancers simply create their profiles in freelance marketplaces and search through those platforms to find freelance projects, very few are aware that LinkedIn is an amazing platform to find and get found by potential clients.
As a freelancer for more than 11 years, I thrived and eventually transitioned to consulting and building my own business through LinkedIn. And I’m always fascinated when I see fellow freelancers who thrive by leveraging LinkedIn as a personal branding and marketing tool.
In this article, I’m sharing with you my interview with three Filipino freelance copywriters who are leveraging social media including LinkedIn to grow their freelance business:
- Ronica Valdeavilla, Freelance Facebook Ads Strategist
- Dominic Barrios, Freelance SaaS Copywriter
- Ron Elius Santos, B2B Copywriter for Food & Beverage Companies
But before my interview with them, let me share with you some tips that you can use to start leveraging LinkedIn to attract potential clients to your profile.
These are based on what I noticed when I looked through Nica’s, Dominic’s and Ron’s LinkedIn profiles as I figured out what they’re doing right that makes them attractive to prospective clients:
#1: Complete and optimise your LinkedIn profile
Complete your profile by adding relevant experiences, accomplishments, skills; by uploading relevant rich media including video, audio and visual presentations and images; and by asking for endorsements and recommendations.
To optimise your LinkedIn profile means to add your keywords throughout your profile, particularly in selected sections including your headline, titles, Experience section and About section.
“Optimise your LinkedIn Profile and when you do, make sure to always create a content plan for your posts. Unlike Facebook, your activities in LinkedIn can be measured if you’re doing good by just using the insights and the SSI.” – DOMINIC BARRIOS
LinkedIn Pro Tip: Use a professional headshot and customise your LinkedIn banner. This will separate you from the majority of LinkedIn members who don’t take the time to optimise these parts.
#2: Go niche or go home
As copywriters, Nica, Dominic and Ron know the value of crafting highly targeted messages to convert leads into customers. That’s exactly what they apply in crafting content for their own freelance services. And to do this, the first step is by having specific niches or target market.
Here’s what they focus on:
- Nica – conversion copywriting with focus on Facebook Advertising for businesses in the health and wellness space;
- Dominic – conversion copywriting for software-as-a service or SaaS companies;
- Ron – copywriting for businesses in the food & beverage industry.
If you know your ideal clients and their pain points, it will be easy for you to craft content that will capture their attention. By connecting with the right people and using the right keywords on your profile, you can be found by your ideal clients.
LinkedIn Pro Tip: Use LinkedIn’s search filter function to search for potential clients from your target industry. Connect with them, start building relationship and when the time is right, you can reach out to let them know about your services.
#3: Use the other relevant skills you have as value-add to your core services
The reality with most freelancers is this: they believe they have a lot of skills, so they end up offering all services and ignoring the importance of tip #2, which is focusing on their specific niches.
Seriously, if you want to be a highly paid freelancer, you have to be an expert at what you do and you can’t be an expert at everything. So choose your niche and consider the other relevant skills you have as added value to your offering.
Here are their value-add skills:
- Nica – content writing and Facebook marketing;
- Dominic – Facebook advertising and building chatbots;
- Ron – content writing, email marketing and social media marketing.
“I’ve always thought that I had to choose between copywriting and Facebook Ads. But I love both and later on, realised that these two skills complement each other. Which is why my copywriting skills have helped me in launching successful Facebook Ad campaigns!” – RONICA VALDEAVILLA
LinkedIn Pro Tip: Pin your top three skills on the ‘Skills & Endorsements’ section of your profile. Add your top skills and don’t be afraid to ask for endorsements from your connections. The more endorsements you have in a particular skill, the higher you rank in search results for those skills.
#4: Add value to your network
People on LinkedIn are thinking about business, hiring, getting hired, building professional relationships or growing their companies. They’re in the right frame of mind to read articles or short posts, watch videos and listen to podcasts that will help them achieve their goals.
So if you want to get noticed for the right reasons in a way that will help you win clients, add value to your network by sharing what you know. Do it consistently.
#5: Be authentic
The word authentic is one of the most overused buzzwords that I see on my LinkedIn feeds. But there’s a reason for this — authenticity works wonders on LinkedIn.
Even if you use LinkedIn for business, it doesn’t mean you should be talking about your products or services all the time. If you want to sell on LinkedIn, you should minimise — if not totally eliminate — talking about your products or services. People don’t want to be sold to.
So what works? Talk to your network as if you’re talking to a close friend. Be human. Be authentic. Just be who you are and it will naturally attract people who might be interested in what you do.
Here’s how Nica, Dominic and Ron communicate with with their LinkedIn audience:
LinkedIn Pro Tip: Storytelling delivered through all-text posts can tremendously increase your visibility on LinkedIn. To generate more views and engagement with your posts, try telling your story, sharing your journey, providing useful insights and curating content that matters to your audience.
So now, here is my brief interview with Nica, Dominic and Ron:
Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do.
RON: I’m a B2B Copywriter for the Food and Beverage Industry.
NICA: I’m a freelance direct response copywriter and Facebook Ads Strategist. Currently, I work with various clients in the US and Australia, particularly those in the health and wellness niche.
DOMINIC: I’m a wedding photographer who geeks out with LTD SaaS tools so now I’m a SaaS Copywriter.
Tell us any interesting information about you that very few people know and that is not found in your LinkedIn profile.
RON: I’m also a Freelance Illustrator, although I’m still a beginner. I can draw in detailed looks but I need at least one week to finish some commissions. And I’m a Storyteller and Story Plot Maker for Fiction.
I’m a bit of Half Creative and Half Logical. That’s why I’m a B2B Copywriter that could illustrate ideas through words and drawings.
“An illustration is one way to edge out your competitors. There’s nothing wrong with mixing Creative and Logical in your Marketing.” —Ron Elius Santos
NICA: Apart from being a freelance conversion copywriter and Facebook Ads Strategist, I love to travel and also spend a lot of time working out at the gym. My interest in the fitness industry is one of the reasons I prefer working with clients in the health and wellness niche.
DOMINIC: I’m also a chat marketer and I build chatbots for wedding professionals. What most people in LinkedIn don’t know about me yet is that, before I became a SaaS Copywriter, I was first a pre-school volunteer teacher in Gawad Kalinga for 3 years where I enjoyed handling kids ages 3-7 years old.
It was there that I decided that if I’m going to have a family, I want to spend more time with my kids; thus we want to homeschool them by next year.
What impact did LinkedIn have on your career or business? Tell us your LinkedIn success story.
RON: A lot! First, I found my first client here and LinkedIn is the social media platform where you can learn something new every single day.
NICA: I’ve been on LinkedIn for more than 5 years — since 2013 — but I never knew how it could work for me until I took Ms. Virginia Bautista’s mentorship programme. Two weeks after the programme, I had a job offer almost every day.
Taking the mentorship programme also made me comfortable reaching out to my target market. I no longer feel intimidated when speaking with clients from various parts of the world. Plus, I became more vocal on how I want to help other freelancers succeed.
“Regularly, I post stories about my freelancing journey — hoping to inspire people to never give up on reaching their goals/dreams. I also get great feedback from them — some even claimed that what I wrote “struck them at the right moment.” —Nica Valdeavilla
DOMINIC: A few weeks time after my LinkedIn mentorship, I was getting leads already there just because I was being active.
When I was starting with LinkedIn, I was confused about which market I was going to cater to. And because of that, I was always wondering how to position myself on LinkedIn.
But when I decided to take a leap of faith and pursue the SaaS market, coming up with my value proposition, headlines and cover photos were a lot easier. Creating value content was also smoother because I already know which market I should be calling out on my posts which made it possible to get me more leads on LinkedIn.
What’s your top advice to Filipinos who are new to LinkedIn?
RON: Reach out to people who you know or who inspire you and invite them to be your connection with a super personalised letter. And start creating content that matters to your audience and your ideal customer. Make your content as if you’re writing a letter to a friend.
NICA: Never be afraid to reach out and connect with people on LinkedIn — whether they are freelancers or business owners that fit in your target market. Think of them as people you want to learn from. Also, do not sell something to them upfront.
DOMINIC: Treat LinkedIn differently than Facebook. Post more valuable content, connect with your target market and engage with other people’s content. Soon enough, your market will be knocking at your doors.
What’s your top advice to freelancers who would like to use LinkedIn to find and get found by potential clients?
RON: First, connect with your ideal client — it doesn’t need to be a super extravagant like a Big Name Companies or Brands. The ideal client you would want to have is a company or a brand whose ideals, mission, vision, purpose, etc. resonate with you. Your ideal client is someone you could spend time talking with because you would want to contribute to their purpose.
And second, build a long and lasting relationship with your ideal clients. It’s a way of life.
You wouldn’t want to see them as clients with a cash but rather as a great friend.
NICA: Connect with people who may be potential clients or fellow professionals on LinkedIn. It’s easy to feel intimidated but you don’t have to be. There are a lot of founders who are very down-to-earth and will respond to your comments and questions. And once you connect with them, you might be (luckily) included in their list of people to hire or contact when it comes to a particular project!
DOMINIC: My best advice would be to always optimise your LinkedIn profile to position yourself as an expert in your market and continue giving out value posts on your feed to get noticed by your audience more.
Wrapping up; thriving on LinkedIn as a freelancer boils down to taking the time and putting in the work in building your profile, building relationships and building your credibility.
Whether you’re a seasoned freelancer who has not given LinkedIn a try or an aspiring freelancer, now’s the best time to get started in using LinkedIn to build your personal brand and market your professional services.