Finding freelance writing gigs online can be frustrating.
But of all the types of social media out there you can use to promote your freelance writing, I think LinkedIn is one of the most useful. It’s a powerful way to find freelance jobs so you can make money writing.
In working with writers in my mentoring program, I’ve discovered a lot of writers aren’t making full use of this platform.
But where do you get started? How exactly can you find freelance jobs on LinkedIn?
Why LinkedIn is the Perfect Place to Find Freelance Jobs
First off, here’s why I like LinkedIn and recommend you become active on it: Unlike Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and many other platforms, LinkedIn is all business.
There’s nobody on there with a photo of themselves half-nekkid with a drink in their hand, where their bio says they just wanna par-tay, or that they watch Glee.
Folks are on LinkedIn to further their careers. Period.
So that to me screens out a lot of the bullcrap that often turns social media into such a time suck.
Nobody’s playing silly games on here or asking you to watch some dumb video. The audience may be smaller than Facebook’s at about 100 million, but it’s a higher-quality group.
The huge potential of landing gigs through LinkedIn is why we’ve done a lot of training on this in the Freelance Writers Den. You can access tons of bootcamps plus over 300 hours of other trainings by becoming a Den member.
7 Ways You Can Land Freelance Jobs on LinkedIn
1. Use keywords in your profile
Start by fully filling out your profile and stuffing it with keywords about what you do. At one time, mine said “freelance writer, award-winning blogger, copywriter, and writing mentor,” but now it says “Freelance Book Ghostwriter & Traffic-Driving Blogger | Finance | Entrepreneurship” to better match my current freelance goals.
Why is using keywords one of the most essential LinkedIn headline tips?
Companies and publications that need a freelance writer search by keywords for the type of writer they’re looking for.
My profile also names my nearest major city, useful for people searching for a local writer — that’s how an airline magazine based in my town came to call me recently to write a $500 business-finance article. They’re not the only major company I’ve had call me cold off my LI profile, either.
So fill out your profile, people. Your profile converts people into buyers the best of any page on LI. People like to hang out in the groups (more on them later), but filling out your profile completely may be your most efficient use of time on LI.
2. Check “Who’s viewed my profile?”
A lot of people don’t realize you can click on this little sidebar widget and get more information about who has been looking at your LI profile.
Yes, if you’re only on the free level, sometimes it won’t show you much — some of the information will be hidden.
But sometimes, it will reveal contact names.
If they smell like a prospect, I then send them a message: “Hi, were you looking for a freelance writer? I noticed you were looking at my profile. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!”
If I have particular expertise relevant to their industry, I mention that as well. I get a lot of responses to this, as people are amazed you knew they were checking you out.
3. Track down your editor connections
I find LI is the place to look up all your former editors.
Search for them and ask to connect.
Shmooze, catch up, find out what they’re doing now. Do they need a job? Send them leads. Do they have a job? Maybe they can use you again, or know another editor using freelancers and could refer you.
At one point when I was really needed a few new clients, I decided to reconnect with every editor I’d ever liked. It was fun! And one I hadn’t written for in a decade ended up referring me a great new global client that I did $1,000 of work for last year, and they’re still calling me.
4. Browse available job postings
If you’re going to look at online writing jobs, LI is one of my favorite places to do it, as an increasing number of their ads are exclusive to LI. Their ads cost money, and the companies tend to be high-quality.
I use one of my favorite ad-hunting tricks and look at LI’s full-time job ads. In my experience as a staffer, the appearance of a staff-writer job ad means a crisis situation — someone usually left months back.
My strategy? Apply to any publication or company of interest, and just let them know you’re a happy freelancer, not looking for a full-time job, but I’m so right for you, look at my experience…do you perhaps also work with freelancers?
I got one $1,500 assignment last year this way from an interesting national trade magazine.
5. Use InMail for prospecting
I have yet to try this, but it appears that sending a paid-level InMail on LI has a response rate of 30 percent and up.
Apparently, there’s a real novelty and credibility factor to sending these, so people often will get back to you.
Target your dream prospective clients, write your pitch, and then fire away on LI.
6. Take advantage of in-person networking opportunities
Many LI groups also meet in person — my local Linked: Seattle chapter used to have networking events with more than 500 attendees.
And while this has obviously slowed down over the last year due to the pandemic, with vaccine distribution ramping up, it’s safe to say in-person networking events will be coming back very soon.
If you’re interested in small-business clients, these can be a gold mine.
One of the best ways to make social media work really productive is to deepen those online connections by going offline.
If you have a location-based LI group that isn’t meeting live, consider starting a live event and serving as host.
7. Join the right groups
You don’t necessarily find gigs in groups, but the writer groups on LI are one of the best free places I’ve found to discuss rates, negotiating, and other client issues.
The biggest and busiest is LinkedIn Editors & Writers. I’ve made some nice friendships through LI groups, and we can all use the support.
Active participation in groups where you share your expertise can also lead to some nice new traffic to your blog.
Search around a bit to see which groups best fit your interests and career goals.
Do you have questions about how to earn more from your writing? Learn more in my freelance writer community — take ecourses, attend live events, ask writing pros your questions in our forums, and use our exclusive Junk-Free Job Board.