Linkedin is a platform of opportunities and a chance to get the money pot at the end of the rainbow, for those who work for it.
LinkedIn for freelancers is like butter on bread, or sugar in chai.
It is a much-needed, mostly-underutilized and all because it is taken to be ‘just another job-hunting site’.
What all of this says, to me, is that we forget behind every profile is a human, a human who’s there for a reason – they are either there to network, to build a business, find employees or maybe just build a personal brand.
The point in the case, we have the likes of Kunal Shah, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Jeff Weiner, Gary Vaynerchuck and Neil Patel – all on the platform, and active.
Those are millionaires, some billionaires.
It might seem intimidating, let’s tone it down a little bit and talk about the freelancers on the platform who are just like you and me.
Jasneet Bhalla, who’s a corporate trainer, life skills coach and experiential learning evangelist. 6 years and counting
Dhruvisha Jain, who’s a copywriter for coaches. 5 years and counting.
Dipanshu Rawal, a digital marketer cum purpose-led life coach. 4 years and counting
These are just 3 out of the 1,956,083 results Linkedin shows you when you look up the word ‘freelancer’.
My journey with Linkedin started right after I graduated from Northeastern in Boston, I then, just like most people used it for job hunting and networking.
But, as I clung on the platform, I realised it is so much more. It’s like walking in the dark, with everyone around you, with the hope that you’ll land up on the other side.
So, I did. And I continued. Today, we are in 2020 and it’s been a journey of thousands of conversations, 12,000+ connections and a loyal community of 53K+
2020 was a momentous year for me.
I decided to be a rebel, quit corporate in December 2019, was jobless, and yet super hyped, so I jumped independently with hopes to tell better stories and work on branding projects.
My first project? – It came from Linkedin.
My fiftieth project? Also came from Linkedin
Let’s talk about ‘the how’ and also ‘how’ I cracked my first 1L+ deal on Linkedin.
I’ll share 3 top tips that I’ve learned over time, being a loyalist on Linkedin.
Do what seems natural to you.
Every Linkedin expert will tell you to do these three things.
- Post consistently; every day
- Engage consistently; every day
- Connect with as many people as you can
Having been on the other side, let me correct it.
Linkedin is an extension of you, and you are not a robot.
Your Linkedin is also ideally not automated, so you absolutely have to do what feels right to you.
(Side note: Automations can get your account blocked)
Linkedin is absolutely great at rewarding you with vanity metrics and feel-good metrics, but don’t fall in that trap. Consistency wins over ‘being there every day’.
What has worked for me, and what I follow every day.
- 2 hours through the day on Linkedin to engage
- 3-5 posts a week
- Connecting only with people who can give me value, or will derive value from me
What this has done for me:
- It helps me get noticed
- It helps me get inbound leads
- It helps me build my personal brand
- It helps me spark conversations
… and so much more. All of this, without being a robot on Linkedin
Don’t sell, only share
Whatever you do on Linkedin sets an impression about you on the world, for the world to see.
Therefore, I would highly recommend you to not sell anything, just share value.
That is truly the key to unlocking success.
I’ve probably written close to 700 posts or so on Linkedin in the last 3 years, and none of them has been of the tunes of “I’m looking for a job!” or “I’m looking for a project” – they’re always, ‘This is what I have to share, this is how you’ll benefit’
How does that help me?
Most of my clients come to my DM appreciating my content, they explain why it caught their eye and how they think I can help them.
Most of the times and the best part is that they are willing to accept me with open arms even before knowing me.
Even then, I don’t sell, I always say ‘happy to get on a casual call with you for 20 minutes’, and they agree.
THEN, on the call also, don’t sell, ask them about their problems, where they are stuck, why did they reach out to you- so on and so forth.
Never ever sell. It will backfire. Be open to conversations, and most of the times, conversations turn into business without you even realising.
Share achievements and stories of success
For a freelancer, while we do work for the money, we also are very proud of our work. Being proud of your work is amazing, but imagine sharing that joy with X people. It’s even better and it multiplies the joy.
This is something I suck with, so I don’t do it that often, but I’ve seen people sharing stories of results, metrics, percentage increases – so on and so forth.
All of this is not done with the intent to show off or boast, it is done to talk to your skillset and your knowledge, which led to X result.
The few times I’ve done it, it auto-generated leads for me because of the trust that came with the post. You can’t/shouldn’t lie if you’re posting something like this. It will backfire.
Done with the right intent, it speaks for you, without you having to say anything.
So, do it humbly, don’t brag, be honest.
That’s it from my folks!
The journey is one that requires consistency, honesty and willpower to make this work, and it sure does pay off, when done right.
Linkedin for me has been my primary lead gen source and even led me to my first 1L+ client. I know I saved the best for last!
I posted about something similar to the point 3 kinds of post, one of my connections saw it, messaged me saying her friend was looking for a UX writer and connected us up.
Through the conversations, we became friends and we still have casual conversations.
Zero-intent conversations I call them, because of which I have a strong relationship with them.
You never know the power of your post and/or your engagement.
You never know who’s going to see which post of yours (stupid algorithm!)
What you can control is the quantity and quality.
Keep that up and rising, and you will reap results
Vanshika is a Brand Strategiest, Copywriter and Strategic Communications expert, Networking, Event Planner, and a LinkedIn pro user since 2017.