5 Reasons Why LinkedIn Still Works for Freelancers in 2013
This is a guest post by How2become.
When it comes to landing your next big freelancing role, your online profile can make or break whether a potential client will choose you for your next project. While your Elance or Odesk profile may be chocked full of all the information you need to provide in order to woo a client into signing with you, there are certain aspects of your online presence that you may not be utilizing to its maximum potential.
Originally designed for co-workers and employees to connect with one another on a more professional level than that of Facebook, LinkedIn is quickly growing into a social media resource that freelancers may not be taking advantage of. Since the social media sites are here to stay, here are five of the reasons why you should consider adding LinkedIn to your freelance marketing strategies.
The Visual Portfolio feature
An important element of any freelancer’s profile is their portfolio. It provides examples of work they have done in the past and gives potential clients a feel for the type of work the freelancer creates and helps them determine whether or not they would be a good fit for the project they are hiring for. LinkedIn helps freelancers show potential clients who they are, with an area for examples of their work called the visual portfolio. It is designed for writers, photographers, and graphic designers specifically, but can really be used by any field of freelance.
Profile features that tell more about you
If you have ever completed a profile on one of the many job boards, you probably know that these sites provide potential employers with a limited view of who you really are. LinkedIn takes this up a notch by giving freelancers the ability to provide more profile information that gives clients a better understanding of who the freelancer is as a person. You can provide information about the causes you support, special skills you may have, or hobbies and other things that interest you. LinkedIn has also expanded the degree area to include a place to list any courses you have taken such as certification courses, or anything else you feel your clients should know about you.
The influencers feature
This feature can give a potential client an even deeper look into what makes you, the freelancer, tick. Unlike the news information and articles shared by your connections, the influencers section actually gives you the ability to follow articles from experts in specific areas. This helps you build out your profile even further and gives clients an even better idea of what interests you; allowing them to determine whether you would be a fit for their project.
The groups feature
An important aspect of LinkedIn is its groups feature. This option benefits freelancers because it gives them the ability to connect with other like-minded individuals. Groups exist for nearly any area you can think of, and include groups for websites, as well as niche hobbies. Joining groups that truly interest you can gain you access to information related to the area you are interested in, and some groups even post job listings in that interest. Just keep in mind the site only allows you to have somewhere around fifty groups in your profile, so make sure you choose wisely.
A functional search tool
One of the most important features of LinkedIn is its search tool. As a freelancer it is important to be able to find potential clients quickly and easily, but some sites make this process more of a frustration than it is worth. With LinkedIn freelancers can easily find jobs, groups, people, companies or even updates with the click of the mouse. There is also an advanced search option that gives you the ability to tailor your search even further, allowing you to find the exact information you need quickly and easily.
These are just a few of the many reasons why LinkedIn is a must have in the freelancer’s marketing profile. With easy to use features, and a detailed profile, you may soon find that this site can bring you more work than all of your other freelancing profiles combined.
Richard McMunn is a writer for How2become.com; a leading career and recruitment specialist for public sector careers. For the last 8 years How2become has helped numerous people prepare for and pass tough recruitment processes and assessment centres in order to secure their dream job.