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6 Must-Haves On Your LinkedIn Profile For Freelancers

LinkedIn is the go-to network for professionals and recruiters. You probably used it at some point during your corporate life to hunt for a better job. But have you given the network much thought since you started freelancing?

Most freelancers are seriously under utilizing the site to find a gold mine of quality clients.

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Think about it. If you are targeting any type of business, they are more than likely on LinkedIn!

Having a great profile on LinkedIn will help you to stand out and get found by potential clients. Because even if you aren’t on the platform actively looking for new clients, they are on there looking for you.

I have found that the majority of my clients have checked in on my LinkedIn page before reaching out or hiring me. If I hadn’t kept my LinkedIn profile up to date, I may not have even been considered for the majority of my work over the last few years. This alone makes LinkedIn a pretty important marketing tool for freelancers.

Let’s go through the sections of your LinkedIn profile and make each one stand out to your ideal clients.

LinkedIn profile must-haves for freelancers

Hint – You can change your privacy settings so your changes aren’t broadcast to all of LinkedIn while you’re playing around with your profile.

1. Profile Picture

In 40 milliseconds, we’re able to draw conclusions about people based on a photo.

So it’s pretty important to put your best face forward!

Quick tips:

  • Don’t use your old Facebook profile picture and crop your friend out (you’re not fooling anyone, we know that’s someone’s shoulder!).
  • Use a solid background, or at least be standing in front of something that isn’t super distracting
  • Smile with teeth
  • Dress for success! You don’t have to be wearing a suit, but don’t wear your slouchy sweater and yoga pants you usually work in.
  • Crop the frame to emphasize your face. Crop it at either your waist or your shoulders. Full body shots are too difficult to recognize in such a small thumbnail
LinkedIn profile must-haves for freelancers

2. Headline

This is arguably the most important part of your LinkedIn profile.

When people do a search in LinkedIn – say for, Social Media Manager or Content Writer – the search results are based on headlines. That means including important keywords in your headline is a must-do.

By default, your headline is set to your current position and company. If you’re trying to attract new clients and your default headline screams “I’m a proud employee of this call centre”, they’re going to assume you aren’t looking for new opportunities and they will scroll right on to the next profile.

Take a minute to think about what your ideal client might be looking for when they’re searching for you and include it in your headline.

3. Summary

While your headline is meant to hook someone’s attention, your summary is there to reel them in.

This section is where you can go a little deeper into who you are, what you do, and what you care about. Here is where you can tell your story beyond your job title.

Most importantly, this section should make it clear to the reader what’s in it for them. In other words, what exactly can you help them accomplish in their business?

When telling your story, always keep in mind who you’re writing for and the point you want to get across – that you are a top notch freelancer that can help them meet their goals.

End your summary with a call-to-action. Say something like “I’m always open to new opportunities in…” or “If you want to chat about x, y, or z…”, and follow it with how they can reach you.

Looking for inspiration? Check out these 3 clever LinkedIn summaries to get your creativity flowing.

LinkedIn profile must-haves for freelancers
6 Must-Haves On Your LinkedIn Profile For Freelancers

4. Portfolio

Like your math teacher used to say – show your work!

LinkedIn gives you a few opportunities to display your portfolio to potential clients and hiring managers.

First up is in the media section right underneath your summary. You can upload PDFs, images, powerpoint presentations, and links to your website. Use this space to share a few key pieces you want to showcase.

You can also use this space to link to your website.

Next up is in the articles section, which displays articles you’ve written on the LinkedIn platform. If you’re a blogger or writer, consider republishing some of your blog content directly on LinkedIn. If you’re not a writer, think about the kinds of articles you could write that showcase your knowledge and expertise in your field.

It will add some credit to your profile and help you reach a new audience.

To write a new article on LinkedIn, go to your home feed and click “write an article on LinkedIn” below the regular update box.

LinkedIn profile must-haves for freelancers

5. Work Experience

Most clients aren’t going to ask for a copy of your resume, so do you really need to include your work history here?

The answer: if it’s relevant, include it.

Any past work that proves your experience, knowledge and expertise is worth including. If you have jobs related to the work you’re doing as a freelancer, put ‘em up. But feel free to leave off your high-school pizza delivery days.

One job you absolutely want to include is your current role as a freelancer. This lets anyone browsing through know that you’re currently freelancing, and currently open to new opportunities.

LinkedIn profile must-haves for freelancers

When you’re adding a new role, type in freelance under company name. You can choose the freelance category that best fits for you.

You can include specific links or media right in the work history section to show off exactly what you did in your role.

6. Endorsements

Social proof will get you everywhere!

In the world of LinkedIn, a recommendation or endorsement is the equivalent of a 5-star review on Google.

Testimonials – ask your clients (or employer or colleagues) to write up testimonials or recommendations for you in LinkedIn. The best way to ask for a recommendation is by writing one yourself. Most people will feel inclined to return the favor.

LinkedIn profile must-haves for freelancers

Skills – add the skills most relevant to your freelance career to your profile. This gives others the opportunity to endorse you for those skills.

Honestly, most people give very little thought to their LinkedIn profile. Put some TLC into your profile and you’ll stand out in a sea of bland resumes and boring headshots.

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*This post contains affiliate links for products or courses I have used and loved. If you decide to purchase, I may get a kickback from the creator. Thank you for your support.

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