Today it’s time for the second post in my series on how to bulletproof your Linkedin marketing presence as a freelance writer. If you missed part 1 – which looks at the potential of Linkedin as a promotional platform – you can catch up here.
So, you’ve uploaded a clear, clean headshot of yourself that gives off the right vibe – approachable but professional – along with a stylish background photo that hints at your brand and what you’re about, and is definitely not a snap of a dog wearing pj’s (unless that is your brand, in which case, good luck with that niche).
Your headline and summary are short, sharp and contain the right kind of keywords so that people in your industry looking for a freelance writer are going to find you first. Linkedin has its own search function, and it’s very active, so you want to stay on top of it as much as possible.
Get yourself connected
Now you’ve established yourself with a basic profile, it’s time to make use of it. Linkedin has somewhere around 400 million users, so there’s plenty of people for you to connect with – whether you want to network with other writers or find prospects. There’s a huge potential for overlap in those areas, so I’d say don’t limit yourself, especially if you’re just starting out. Do both, and get yourself out there!
One of the fastest ways to grow your network is to simply accept connection requests you receive. If your profile is optimised correctly and conveys professionalism, you’ll get a high volume of requests from other writers, marketers, and freelancers. How do I know this will grow your network fast? Here’s a screenshot of the size of my current network:
Be proactive with your Linkedin marketing strategy.
It’s also a good idea to be proactive, and invite people to connect. Adding a note with your connection request is essential – tell the person exactly why you want to connect with them.
Maybe you’re in a few of the same Linkedin groups (another great way to expand your network is to search and join ones relevant to your market) or have a mutual connection in common.
Inmail is a direct messaging feature only available to premium users, but adding a note with your request basically gives you the same option. You only have a certain amount of characters, and it is called a note for a reason, so you’re forced to keep it snappy. Here’s an example of one I use, which you can modify for yourself:
I see we share Linkedin connections and are both involved in (your industry or niche) marketing.
I love to network and meet people in the industry, and I thought we could benefit from connecting with each other.
Thanks, and have a great day!
(your name) – Freelance Writer
If it’s a potential prospect you’ve identified, you can also adapt the message for follow-up purposes. Thank them for connecting, ask if there’s anything you can help them with, and include any relevant links you have, with a view to moving the conversation off Linkedin to an email or call. Again, feel free to adapt this for your own use:
Hi (prospect’s name),
Thanks for connecting!
Do you need a freelance writer for any upcoming or current projects?
I help (your industry or niche) businesses just like yours connect with leads, engage customers and generate sales.
Here’s a link to something I did for (company or publication) recently, and I’d love to work on something similar for (name of prospect’s company) if you’re looking for a new content and marketing strategy:
(link to a relevant sample of your work)
Shall we carve out some time next week to go over a few quick ideas that could benefit (name of prospect’s company)?
Let me know when works for you, (prospect’s name), and thanks again.
Keep in mind that these are template messages, so don’t be afraid to change them. Play around and inject them with your own style, offerings and personality. And if these templates have you intrigued, there’s plenty more where that came from.
Boost your prospecting power with the magic of the saved search
Finding prospects is hard and time consuming. No matter where you are in your freelance writing journey, the task of sourcing a list of potential clients to reach out to is a dull one at best, and a daunting one at worst.
If only there was a way you could practically eliminate the process altogether, and still get a steady list of prospects delivered to your inbox – that would be a dream come true. But who could you hire to do that, and how much would it cost?
Well, I’ve got good news. You can do exactly that, and you don’t have to spend anything or hire anybody to do it for you. Thanks to the ‘saved search’ feature, you can turn Linkedin into your own personal, automatic, prospecting tool.
Prospecting on autopilot
Here’s how it works. First, go to the Linkedin search bar and go to the ‘People’ tab. Then, perform a search for the job title of your ideal prospect: For freelance writers, ‘marketing manager’ ‘content manager’ and ‘brand manager’ are all excellent search terms.
You can then filter your search by industry ( for example, tech or finance), location, mutual connections on Linkedin, and other keywords.
Then, you can create a saved search, with those exact terms, and Linkedin will update it automatically. Not only that, you’ll get weekly or monthly email updates of new people that fit your search parameters.
So, if you perform an effective, targeted search, you can have Linkedin literally send new prospects right to your digital doorstep. Here’s a screenshot of my saved searches, together with my search alerts emails:
Pretty neat, right? Prospecting…without the prospecting! Frustrated with cold pitching? Give this a go instead – it’s a faster, more streamlined way of connecting with the type of clients you want to work with.
I hope you’ve enjoyed part 2 of this series on how to bulletproof your Linkedin marketing presence as a freelance writer.
Next time, in the final instalment, we’ll be looking at how to stay active and visible on Linkedin so you’ll easily catch the eye of your prospects and client base. See you then!
Have you had success with a particular Linkedin marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments.