This is a guest post by Carol Tice.
For freelancers, LinkedIn is the 21st Century phone book.
Increasingly, when companies want to hire a freelancer, they don’t ask around their network. They don’t look at the stack of business cards on their desk.
They do searches for “freelance writer” — or graphic designer, or web developer — on LinkedIn.
The question is, how can you connect with the right prospective clients on there? I’m talking big, well-funded companies with fat freelance budgets. I mean Fortune 500 companies, fast-growing startups, and major national magazines.
It’s all in presenting yourself as a seasoned pro — or as seasoned and pro as you possibly can, with your level of experience.
There are two basic strategies for finding great clients on LinkedIn.
One is to actively market yourself on LinkedIn to prospects you identify.
The other is to use a passive-marketing approach. You do this by making yourself look amazingly knowledgeable, professional, and well-connected on LinkedIn. Then, you relax and wait for prospects doing searches for freelancers within LinkedIn to find your profile, check out your links, and decide they simply must hire you.
I’ve gotten clients via LinkedIn both ways — in fact, three different Fortune 500 companies hired me off LinkedIn in the past year.
One wanted me to write for their airline magazine. One top national retailer hired me to write articles for their newsletter for business owners. And the third, a temporary-help firm, hired me to write for their company newsletter for employees.
How can you make this sort of thing happen?
Here’s a rundown of the best LinkedIn strategies I’ve found for attracting great-paying clients.