Are you up-to-date with the best new marketing strategies for freelance writers? Do you know how savvy writers market their services and find potential clients interested in partnering with them?
Whether your answer is “not really” or a resounding “yes“, let the following data sink in…
According to recent statistics published by LinkedIn, “43% of marketers say they have sourced a customer from LinkedIn.”
Plus, the number of LinkedIn users has been continuously increasing over the last seven years.
Back in the first quarter of 2009, LinkedIn had 37 million users. Today, in 2017, LinkedIn has recorded almost half a billion registrations from professionals with a diverse range of different backgrounds and careers.
Today, LinkedIn is the go-to resource to conduct potential client research and connect with business owners in your niche.
Before using LinkedIn to network with potential clients, have a look at these tips and ideas from marketing influencer and freelance writer Aaron Orendorff on setting up a professional LinkedIn profile.
Aaron has reviewed several LinkedIn profiles belonging to professionals who’ve volunteered to receive his feedback, and provided them with suggestions to supercharge their profiles.
Here are a few examples…
Aaron advises having a high-resolution picture that conveys emotion and inspires professionalism. He also suggests having a cover photo that relates to “what you’re all about”.
You can hire a local photographer and designer to create these images for you.
Regarding the headline, Aaron recommends briefly mentioning your highest career achievements. This will demonstrate your abilities to any potential client who visits your profile. It’s also a good idea to include a personal or fun fact about you.
As for the description, he suggest you emphasise your potential client’s needs and what problems you solve.
After setting up the header and description, follow LinkedIn’s instructions (if you haven’t yet) until an “All Star” box pops up above the Experience section of your profile.
Now that your account is all set to attract clients, let’s find out how to go about finding clients and pitching them your services on LinkedIn.
How to Conduct Potential Client Research
#1 Expand Your LinkedIn Network
Making 1st connections on LinkedIn helps you expand your network and automatically displays prospective customers and companies in the “My Network” section.
Also, LinkedIn suggests better search results when you’re connected to members who share the same niche and interests as your prospective clients.
You can start by networking with colleagues, heads of marketing and CEOs at companies you already work at.
After they approve your request, you’ll notice hundreds of automatic suggestions that should include potential clients you might be interested in pitching.
Note: Stay away from connecting with random speakers, writers, content marketers and SEO experts. You simply will not benefit from being connected to them, and neither will they.
#2 Search and Connect With Potential Clients
Searching company names and titles such as “Head of Marketing” and “Head of Content” is an easy way of finding employees at companies in your niche to connect with.
Here are the results I got…
See? My search results are dependent on my location and connections. If you have connections in common with any head of marketing, they’ll appear somewhere among your search results.
Now that you know how to find the right people to network with on LinkedIn, start sending connection requests.
For 2nd level connections, you can easily send connection requests by clicking the blue “Connect” button. But when it comes to 3rd+ connections and influencers, you should first visit their profile to display more options in order for you to add them to your network…
#3 Build Real Connections
Connections on LinkedIn are more virtual than they are real.
Because most people in your network will not know you, you have to take the initiative and represent yourself.
Last week, I managed to build a connection with a million-dollar company editor via pitching one of his colleagues…
Sometimes, you need to first build a relationship with your connection before you ask them for assistance.
For example, if you’re connected to a freelance writer at your target company, you should first offer them a free service or favour before you ask them for help.
Experienced LinkedIn user and copywriter Holly Antle recently sent me the following message.
When sent to the right person, this short note can help you connect with any potential client your connection might be working with.
To make long-term connections, you can also suggest chatting on Skype for a few minutes to share your knowledge on your niche(s) or service(s) with them.
This works well with small business owners and can potentially turn into a writing gig if you sell them correctly.
What other effective tools and strategies do you use to land freelance writing clients? Let me know in the comments section below.
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