LinkedIn is a goldmine for finding freelance opportunities. Whether you’re a freelancer struggling to get work or looking to expand your client base, there’s a bit of something for everyone.
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But amidst the stiff competition on LinkedIn, how can you take initiatives that land you offers? Here are a few ways to take the initiative while job-hunting on LinkedIn.
1. Enable the “Open to work” Feature
LinkedIn has an “Open to work” feature that signals to clients and hiring managers whether you are open to new job opportunities. This can help clear any form of confusion recruiters might have regarding your availability to take up new jobs, especially if you currently list an active job on your LinkedIn profile. To enable the “Open to Work” label on your profile:
- Log into LinkedIn from a desktop browser and click on the Me icon in the top right corner of your homepage.
- Click on View Profile from the dropdown.
- Click on the Open to button and select Finding a new job from the dropdown.
- Next, enter the required information tailored to your freelance work preference and click Add to profile. You can choose to make your open-to-work status visible to All LinkedIn members or Recruiters only. If you opt to make the settings visible to all users, LinkedIn will add the #OpenToWork frame to your profile photo.
Enabling this feature will allow you to appear in the search results for the selected roles and attract new clients on LinkedIn.
2. Use Keyword Search to Find Posts Calling for Freelancers
Hundreds of companies and recruiters looking to hire freelancers post on LinkedIn daily. Unfortunately, you may never see their posts unless you follow or are connected with them. Sometimes, even when you follow them, there’s a good chance of missing job posts or only seeing them when the available spots have been filled.
Proactively searching for posts that contain freelance job offers is a good way to keep yourself ahead of the competition. A keyword search can help you find opportunities you may have missed out on. But how can you use a keyword search for hunting down opportunities on LinkedIn? It’s easy. Let’s say you need a freelance copywriting gig.
- Log into your LinkedIn account from your web browser. Type “looking for a freelance copywriter” in the LinkedIn search bar and click See all results.
- On the results page, click the Posts filter under the search bar.
- Scroll through the results for relevant posts that call for copywriters.
- Comment below the post and send a connection request to inquire about the job posting if necessary.
3. Use InMail to Send Pitches to Decision-Makers
LinkedIn InMail is a feature that allows you to send messages to LinkedIn users without being connected to the recipient. To enjoy the full feature, you’ll need a LinkedIn premium account. However, with a free account, you can still send a free message to a LinkedIn member who has enabled the Open Profile Premium feature. To send a pitch via InMail:
- In the LinkedIn search bar, search and open the profile of the member you intend to message.
- Click on Message beneath the profile headline.
- On the New message pop screen, enter the Subject field and compose your message in the text box.
- Click Send.
Of course, you can’t just throw random messages at recruiters. To increase your chances of using LinkedIn to pitch your services, always try to:
- Personalize the InMail by mentioning the name of your recipient and the name of their business.
- Demonstrate how you can add value to their business in a few words.
- End with a powerful call to action.
Below is a sample of an InMail pitch to a potential client.
Remember to follow up if the recipient didn’t see or reply to the first message. You can follow up with a simple but not too pushy message like this:
4. Frequently Browse Job Postings
Apart from looking up jobs that are listed in regular LinkedIn posts, you can also browse job postings created with the LinkedIn job listing tool. To browse new jobs on jobs LinkedIn:
- Click on the Job icon at the top of your LinkedIn home screen.
- Type the freelance role and location in the search bar and click Search.
- Next, click on All filters beneath your profile icon.
- In the tab that opens, scroll down to Job type. Select any combination of Contract, Part-time, and Temporary options.
- Click to show the results of job listings, and click each job listing to view more details about the job. Tap Apply on the expanded details to apply to job listings that meet your requirements.
You can contact the hiring manager, especially when the job is competitive. Check to see their details beneath the job posting or check the employees on the company’s page.
Inform the hiring manager that you have applied and demonstrate why you are best for the position. Remember to keep your message simple and straightforward.
5. Reach Out to Your Profile Viewers
This is one of the most powerful yet underused opportunities on LinkedIn. Checking people who’ve viewed your profile will help you know the keywords you rank for and enable you to message potential clients who are undecided about your service.
However, you’ll be limited to fewer people who have viewed your profile if you’re not using LinkedIn premium. A premium beats that limitation. To check who’s viewed your profile in the past 90 days:
- On the left corner of your LinkedIn home screen, click Who’s viewed your profile, below your profile photo.
- Next, select All viewers from the options and go through the names of the profile viewers to get more information.
If you spot an interesting view that looks like a potential client, send them a message like this:
6. Use Connection Invites as Pitches
Instead of sending a blank invite and then messaging them after, you can use your invite message as a pitch. This will give potential clients a reason to accept your connection invite simultaneously.
This approach will fast-track your process and save InMail credits if you use the premium plan. You don’t need to be aggressive. Just a simple “why I’m reaching out” message will suffice.
- In the LinkedIn search bar, enter the name of whom you want to message.
- Click on View full profile from the result screen.
- After the profile opens, click on the More button below their profile and select Connect.
- Click Add a note, use the text input area to craft your pitch, and click Send.
If you don’t have a premium LinkedIn membership, you’ll be limited to 300 characters for an “invite note.” You’ll need to know how to write short but effective emails to make the best of them. If you’d love to know more about pitching on LinkedIn, we’ve previously done a detailed guide on how to pitch your services to potential clients on LinkedIn.
Make LinkedIn Work for You
Irrespective of your current experience with LinkedIn, don’t write off the platform as a source for freelance jobs. Thousands of freelancers leverage the platform to get gigs across many niches. Success on LinkedIn doesn’t end with having a glittering profile or crafting the best bio.
In a platform with a lot of competition like LinkedIn, success requires being proactive with your approach to job hunting