5 Reasons for Freelancers to Use LinkedIn
Many of the freelancers I know stay active on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +, but they ignore one of the most powerful professional networks out there: LinkedIn.
Maybe it’s because they think LinkedIn is for job-seekers. Maybe it’s because they like procrastinating by reading celebrity gossip or watching the viral video du jour on other social networks. Maybe it’s because they don’t know how to leverage their LinkedIn profile to land new clients (believe me, they can and you can too!).
Whatever the reason, freelancers who aren’t on LinkedIn are missing out on opportunities to network, share useful content, and otherwise grow their business. Here are five reasons why you should use it.
1. Connect with Decision-Makers
Can’t say that about Twitter or Facebook or probably even Google +. Thousands of creative directors, marketing VPs, IT directors, recruiters, and other potential clients are accessible through LinkedIn. If you have a complete profile that highlights your technical or creative skills, some of them may come to you. You could also use LinkedIn features like InMail or introductions to increase the likelihood that they will respond.
2. Stay Current in Your Industry
Whereas other social networks get flooded with status updates about reality TV or social gaming, LinkedIn focuses on professional interests. You can join groups to trade tips on, say, your favorite WordPress plugins, skim industry-specific headlines on LinkedIn Today, or follow companies that may have a need for your freelance services. All of these features are focused on helping you stay current in an age of constant flux and information overload.
3. Stay in Touch With Colleagues and Clients
By adding colleagues and clients to your LinkedIn network, you can see when they get promoted, score a new client, or share an interesting article. Likewise, they can see when you share a website you worked on, announce a new infoproduct, or speak at a conference. Since LinkedIn is focused on business, you probably wouldn’t be posting photos from a night out on the town, so you don’t have to worry about creating circle or friend lists.
4. Position Yourself as an Expert
When journalists or authors need an expert to comment on a development in a given industry, they sometimes turn to LinkedIn and see who’s been answering questions or who has a connection at a company they’re covering. Recruiters and prospective clients also scout for freelance talent on LinkedIn to avoid sorting through a million responses to a job posting (though some do post in the jobs section). Having a robust presence on LinkedIn can only help you.
5. Drive Traffic to Your Website or Blog
Earlier this summer, TechCrunch reported getting more referral traffic from LinkedIn than Twitter. LinkedIn’s sharing features makes it easy for users to disseminate your content, but you can use services like BlogLink to syndicate your blog to your own LinkedIn profile. It’s also possible to syndicate your Twitter feed, but I don’t necessarily recommend that (you can read why in my new book, details below).
Something is coming…
Tomorrow Rockable Press will be launching a detailed eBook guide on how freelancers can get clients using Linked In. If you’re interested in learning more you can sign up to the Rockin’ List newsletter or join the Rockable Press Linked In group to get a discount coupon for the book.