LinkedIn is a great resource for potential writing client contacts. However, it often goes untapped.
Because many people, including me, originally create a LinkedIn account, draft a profile, upload a few samples and then ignore this useful resource, leaving valuable contacts languishing in a void. It was only after I spent time researching and brainstorming ways to actively use this resource – linking to my blog, commenting on others’ accomplishments, posting my latest publishing efforts, endorsing contacts – that I realized what a vast amount of writing work was available via my LinkedIn connections.
So, how can YOU use LinkedIn to snag good, profitable writing projects?
USE CORRECT KEYWORDS IN YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE!
First, outline what you DO in your profile. Use words such as freelance writer, copywriter, reporter, author. Why? Because editors and communications directors who need a freelance writer search for freelancers by using key words. Make sure your name shows up in their search. Iíve received numerous LinkedIn messages that begin with “Your profile came up in my search for writers…î
SEARCH FOR, AND CONNECT WITH, FOLKS WHO HIRE WRITERS AND JOIN LINKEDIN LISTS
Connect to decision makers who need writers. Look for the editors of publications, marketing directors of organizations, public relations executives, and “get linked.î You may ask “How can I connect to someone I donít know?î The best way is to join groups. One of my areas of expertise is health care, so I have joined a number of health-related groups. Once you are in the same group with your potential client, you can join in on discussions and showcase your expertise to get noticed. Iíve been in many thoughtful discussion threads, and later messaged the potential client with a comment on his or her post – instant new connection.
ANSWER PUBLICLY POSTED QUESTIONS
Answer questions. Many individuals post questions, especially in groups that may be in your area of know-how. This is another way to share your expertise and attract interest. I once answered a question about a proposed health care legislation in Michigan, started a discussion about its benefits, and landed a contract writing OpEds and marketing letters in support of the senate bill.
PROMOTE YOUR OTHER SOCIAL NETWORKING LINKS
Connect to your other media. This is pretty obvious but can be overlooked. Make sure your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts are linked and on your profile. Same with your website and blog. Show that you are a busy professional who takes your business seriously.
Endorse and get endorsed. An easy way to enhance your reputation is to obtain as many endorsements as possible. But, how do you get endorsed? Endorse others. Itís a reciprocal activity. Lots of endorsements for your particular skills equal proof that youíre a professional who can get the job done. You can also ask current, happy clients for a testimonial to post on your profile.
MAKE YOUR PROFILE SEARCH ENGINE FRIENDLY
Donít forget SEO benefits. Make your profile page public, remembering to use plenty of key words in your summary. Potential clients using search engines like Google and Bing will be glad they found you.
GET IDEAS AND FIND NEW MARKETS FOR WRITERS!
Many people on LinkedIn share columns, work tips, and articles they enjoyed or found helpful. Read them. This is a great way to stay on top of news and current events, which can lead to ideas for articles YOU can pitch. Checking the publication or online avenue of their post also leads to new media outlets that you may not know existed. Presto! New ideas and new potential income.
FIND SOURCES FOR YOUR ARTICLES
Find sources. Do you have a great story idea on a new technology, but no experts to quote? LinkedIn is full of experts, researchers, CEOs, directors – all eager to share their knowledge.
UPDATE DAILY AND KEEP EVERYTHING FRESH
And most important — update, post, stay fresh. Each time you post an article, update your profile or make a new connection, your contacts will be notified and your name is before them again. As is your availability to assist them with writing projects.
Good luck, and happy linking!
Networking and “Subtle Promotion”on LinkedIn! By Elizabeth Armenta (WriterLiz, LLC)
Networking Techniques That Work Fast and Pay Off Big! By David Geer
A Local BBQ Leads To Freelance Work! Social Networking The Old Fashioned Way – By Rachel Gerner
Networking Party Tricks or “Hello. I’m A Writer” By Daniel R. Robichaud
The Importance of Networking and Spinning Off Stories By Deborah J. Myers
Susan Thwing, owner of Resolute Writing, is a Rochester, Michigan-based writer and editor with more than two decades of experience, including work with newspapers, magazines, public relations and marketing agencies, health care organizations, universities and corporations.