Contrary to common belief, LinkedIn isn’t just an online resume; it’s a powerful tool to cultivate relationships and win new clients. In other words, you’re probably leaving a lot of money on the table if you’re not actively using it.
Notice that I italicized the word “actively,” because this is the most important of my LinkedIn tips: Be active on the social media platform, as opposed to checking your account once every few weeks (or dare I say months?). Keeping active, however, involves a lot more than taking advantage of new site features, like LinkedIn ProFinder.
As with any form of relationship marketing, it’s important to develop relevant relationships. Connecting with anyone and everyone just for the sake of having more people in your network doesn’t do anything. Instead, focus on connecting with people who:
- You already have a relationship with offline
- Engage with your content on LinkedIn
- You meet on other social media platforms
- Are key decision-makers of businesses you want to pursue as potential clients
Be Your Own Publisher
LinkedIn publishing (also known as LinkedIn Pulse) is a self-publishing platform within LinkedIn. This tool allows you to publish long-form, interactive content within the confines of LinkedIn and, more importantly, to reach more people within your connections.
In other words, if you post a third-party link on LinkedIn (to one of your blog posts, for instance) some of your connections will see it in their feed. But, if you use LinkedIn publishing to post it, more of your connections will see it because the site sends your connections a notification every time you publish a new post.
A Digital Business Card
The overarching goal of LinkedIn, like any other marketing tool, is to stay relevant in people’s lives until they are willing, ready and able to hire you (or to refer someone to you). When you give someone your business card, chances are it gets thrown away or placed in a pile that’s only good for collecting dust. When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you give yourself the exposure to be a constant they can refer to as (and when) needed.
Therefore, the key to achieving freelance success via LinkedIn is developing connections with the right people, and using LinkedIn publishing to share original content that elevates your personal and professional brand.