6 Powerful Ways to Leverage LinkedIn as a Freelance Writer

Caitlin Lemon
4 min readJan 26, 2021

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A man reclining back while typing on a laptop.
Photo courtesy of LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Unsplash.

*Updated June 2021**

You’ve decided to pursue a new freelance writing career. You’ve set up your online portfolio. Updated your resume and, of course, created a blog. You’re doing everything right.

But there’s one important thing freelance writers often forget: Harnessing the power of LinkedIn.

Maybe you thought, “I don’t need LinkedIn. It’s for high powered business executives to talk about profits.”

Wrong.

According to HootSuite, LinkedIn has over 722 million users and people get hired there every 3 minutes. Signing up is completely free. Which means it’s free marketing for your business.

Which also means that, if you’re not on there, you’re already behind.

LinkedIn is a powerful platform with so much potential. It’s been a great way for me to be found by my clients. But I see many writers not taking advantage of all the great things it has to offer.

Let’s make LinkedIn work for you. Here’s how:

Fill Out Your Profile Completely

To achieve “All-Star” status (hint: get more views) you need to fill out your profile completely.

Stop using that weird blank avatar and let people see your face. You don’t need to look like Beyoncé, but you do need to look professional. That means no duckface selfies.

An incomplete profile can subtly send the message that you’re not serious. Or worse, untrustworthy.

Think about it from the view of someone trying to hire a writer. Who looks more legit? The profile with no photo, 2 connections, and a one sentence “About?” Or the person in a neat shirt, smiling, with a completed “About” and “Skills” section?

Who would you choose?

Invest in a Well-Thought-Out Headline

I’m going to say something controversial: I don’t think ONO does any favors at the front of your headline.

ONO goes in and out on LinkedIn. It means “Open to New Opportunities.”

I just don’t think it works. Imagine someone scouring 722 million users to hire a writer. That’s the first thing they see.

And on comments, you only see the first half of the headline! So, they may not even see the part that says you’re a curriculum writer/legal writer/insert service here. And that’s a problem.

If you’re a freelance writer, your headline needs to be compelling. That’s not to say it needs to be click bait, but it should make your ideal client want to read more.

Because if the headline doesn’t grab them, they surely won’t read your body copy.

Create Content Consistently

To gain more visibility, and get noticed by your client (and hopefully, get a new gig) you need to create content. On a regular basis.

“But I don’t have time to create content daily!” The triplets, the hyperactive cat, and your partner, all squished in your 2-bedroom apartment. I know daily content might be a pipe dream. But try for a couple times a week to be consistent.

And while we’re at it, create thoughtful content. Don’t just slap a random cat meme on your feed. Delightful as cats are, you should create content with the intention of being useful to your followers (i.e: your ideal client) and elevating your brand.

Engage with Other People’s Content, Too

Don’t forget to read the cool content other people are putting out, too. Like, comment, and share what other people in your industry or niche are saying.

Other writers on LinkedIn are not your competition. They can be a source of meaningful conversations and offer new perspectives. It can be an opportunity to network and learn from one another.

Engaging with other people’s content is also a great way to build your following. If you start engaging on their stuff, they’ll probably start engaging with yours.

Use it to Feature Writing Samples

Did you know you can pin e-magazine articles, social media posts, or other bylined content to the top of your profile? LinkedIn can be used to display your latest work, like a mini-portfolio.

You’ve heard the saying “show don’t tell.” This option is a great way to showcase you’re a great blogger without saying “I’m a great blogger.”

Plus, with it above the fold (or near the top) of your profile, it’ll be one of the first things potential clients see! You can’t assume everyone will scroll to the bottom or be convinced to click a link.

Turn On Creator Mode

Creator Mode is for users who are looking to build their following by creating regular LinkedIn content. The biggest difference is the shift from encouraging people to connect with you to (as with traditional job hunting) to “follow” you.

Creator Mode is free organic marketing. It amplifies original content you create within your niche. This allows you to increase your following and search visibility within the platform.

Notice the keyword here is “niche.” This is important for freelancers on LinkedIn.

And I know what you’re thinking. “But what if I leave people out?”

You don’t want to be a generalist. It’s difficult to highlight your expertise when you claim to write for everyone. We can’t be all things to all people. As the famous Marisa Corcoran says, “niche down to blow up.”

By creating posts showcasing your expertise, you give people a reason to trust you. Because anyone can claim to be a writer, graphic designer, etc. By showing you know your stuff, you can begin nurturing those leads that could turn into a gig.

Most of my leads have come from a post someone sees! That led me to my first gig of over 1k!

There you have it. The top **now 6** ways for you to leverage LinkedIn to your advantage. Remember, just like with other social media platforms, you won’t see instantaneous results.

But by taking time to curate a thoughtful, complete profile and regularly engaging on the platform, you should quickly start to see results for you and your business.

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