Are you looking for fresh ideas to ramp up your freelance-writing business in the New Year? If so, my tip is: Look to LinkedIn influencers. But not the usual freelance writing guru-types.
That’s not who I spend most of my time reading in social media. Instead, my feed is full of business and entrepreneurship experts.
One of the secrets of my success is that I was a longtime business reporter before I got into freelancing. So when I started my own home biz, I knew right away to take it seriously. And I knew people from many walks of entrepreneurship would have good tips for me.
I continue to read and learn from business leaders — and these days, they’re all over LinkedIn.
A lot of writers don’t think of what they’re doing as a business, which is why you end up under-earning. Let’s fix that with a shot of serious business inspiration!
One more reason to check out LinkedIn right now: Ever since Google+ died last fall, LinkedIn has really livened up. I find myself spending more time on there. (So let’s connect.) People seem to be using the platform more — and they’re posting great stuff.
Another plus here: reading top LinkedIn infuencers is a chance to learn how to be a LinkedIn influencer. Study the types of content they share for a playbook on how to build a social-media audience.
If you’re wondering, there are no affiliate links in this post. These experts don’t even know I’m about to mention them. Gonna be a surprise.
Who’s got pithy tips for you that could help your little ol’ home-based, freelance business? Here are the LinkedIn influencers in business and entrepreneurship that I read, to help my freelance writing biz grow (listed alphabetically):
1. Don’t be afraid to fail
For writers who’re shaking in their boots, I prescribe a dose of Richard Branson. Nobody has launched more diverse business ventures, flamed out (remember Virgin records?), tried again, succeeded wildly, crashed back to earth again, built and sold, more times than he has!
If you think he’s not relatable — hey, he’s got a new book, Finding My Virginity. He’s a longtime Entrepreneur columnist, too. When you’re feeling tapped out, let Branson be your ‘idea guy.’
For a quick dose of mind-expansion, try this post:
2. Track trends
Full disclosure: I’m in a mastermind with Anita Campbell of SmallBizTrends — but I was an admirer of her in-depth site long before that happened.
If you’d like intel on emerging opportunities or niches where you might want to target your writing services, Anita is a good one to tune into.
Her site covers a broad swath of business issues, including hiring good help and passive-income ideas for solopreneurs.
Take the pulse of the ‘business climate’ with updates like this one, as you plot your own marketing strategy for the coming year:
3. Multiply your results
Grant Cardone isn’t just a mega-successful business tycoon (currently doing crowdfunded real-estate investing), he’s written multiple bestselling books about business mindset.
He does a ’10X’ program for radically leveraging up your business that I find inspiring (though in my own coaching, I’m happy just to help double your writing income). I once sat in on one of his live masterminds — look for opportunities to watch him in action.
Grant probably isn’t for everybody, personality-wise — he’s your classic brash, swaggering, super-confident dude. But he knows what he’s talking about. Here’s a recent post of his I heartily agree with, and shared around:
4. Fix your business
I’ve been aware of Melinda Emerson, the SmallBizLady, for a long while. She’s always super-sharp — and if you can’t relate to big-business guys like Grant Cardone, check out Melinda.
She’s got advice for businesses that are just your size, and knows how to grow them. Her new book is Fix Your Business (might that help you?).
If you don’t know what to do next, Melinda probably has a good idea of the questions you should be asking, as you can see here:
5. Be a ray of light
I first met sales, marketing, and social-media whiz Phil Gerbyshak about 8 years ago, at the online-business conference SOBCon in Chicago (sadly, no longer held, but was totally life-changing for me). Then, I met Phil again at World Domination Summit in Portland! We kept running into each other — and he’s one of those people that you’re just thrilled to see.
Phil is one of the friendliest, most approachable people I’ve ever met. He does social media right, in my view — namely, he just socializes. He mostly shares uplifting ideas and thoughts, and his own journey through life. He has a larger-than-life personality and just lets it shine.
I’m confident he gets lots of clients who just want a chance to spend time talking to him, because Phil just radiates joy and fun. He’s refreshingly honest and totally real. I feel lucky to have run across him.
He’s super-active on Facebook, but shares in LinkedIn as well. He has a huge network, so there’s great conversations. He hops on live, shares photos, videos — he’ll keep you uplifted and keep your newsfeed hopping with ideas. Here’s a recent one, on finding clarity in your business (you could use that, right?):
6. Think like an entrepreneur
Some people on LinkedIn serve up loads of shareable mindset-shifters that seem to wire straight into your brain and change you for the better. Right now, Derek Lewis is my current favorite LinkedIn influencer of that ilk.
Yes, he is a business writer (like me!), but he also runs an online business, Ghostpreneur academy. So he knows from online biz.
As a bonus, he’s got book-publishing info, tips on being a book author, writing craft, and more.
Here’s a sample of Derek’s graphical shares:
7. Master LinkedIn
If you’re taking the time to hang out on LinkedIn, why not learn how to attract your ideal clients while you’re there? That’s where John Nemo comes in.
I do a lot of coaching on LinkedIn myself, and have helped hundreds of writers get hired through the platform (and more to come in February!), but I’m still gleaning new tips from John.
He’s a good one to watch if you want to connect with top-drawer clients — he’s landed tons of ’em.
John keeps the fresh info and case studies flowing on his updates, as you see here:
8. Be an entrepreneur
If you’re a freelance writer who has any dreams of teaching online, self-publishing, or earning from your blog, I recommend you adopt more of an entrepreneurial mindset. Your business is yours to create!
And for that, I’ve got Connie Ragen Green in my feed.
Her emphasis on small-business marketing means plenty of useful tips for any freelance writer. There are insights on the nuts-and-bolts of running your business, too.
Here’s a post from Connie that caught my eye recently:
Be a contrarian
I’m a firm believer that in this era of polarization, we all need to keep listening to people we disagree with. For me, that person is Carol Roth. (She’s another influencer I met at SOBCon. Tip: Get out and meet people in 2019!)
There may not be a single thing we agree on politically, but I know she’s got good reasons for her point of view — and her business tips are always solid.
Carol is a super-savvy businesswoman who’s leveraged her knowledge into a book on entrepreneurship, as well as high-profile TV-commentator gigs.
As she famously says, she’s the one who’ll tell you if you’ve got spinach in your teeth. We all need someone like that around.
Carol will make you think about the big picture of your business and where you’re headed:
Learn from LinkedIn Influencers — and more
Hopefully, this list shook up your idea of who freelance writers should be learning from! The interesting thing is, LinkedIn definitely seems to be popular with the (white) male influencers. I looked up some of the women I find smart — Marie Forleo, Amy Porterfield, Naomi Dunford from Ittybiz — and while they have LinkedIn profiles, they don’t seem to do LinkedIn. Catch them on other social-media channels.
I could also do a list like this for Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, as every influencer has a different place where they’re most active. Whatever social-media channel you spend time in, seek out the big business minds. Your freelance-writing biz will be better for it.
Who are your LinkedIn influencers? Leave a comment and share their name (the comments won’t accept links).