LinkedIn is one of the best social networks to focus on if you are a contractor, so it’s important to get the most out of it. Here’s our guide on how to do just that.
One of the most important parts of being a contractor is marketing yourself. You won’t be able to grow your business and your revenue without being able to attract more work from larger – and more lucrative – clients. In the present day, one of the best ways to do this is online; specifically, on social media.
While Facebook and Twitter have their uses, we’re going to focus on a different platform: LinkedIn. While there are plenty of benefits to using other social networks, LinkedIn is the best around when it comes to looking for work, and it’s something a contractor should be looking to make the most of.
If you’re new to the platform, LinkedIn can seem a little confusing. However, once you get to grips with it, it will just become another part of your workday. Here’s how you can utilise this social network to grow your business:
LinkedIn Tips for Contractors: Your profile
As with any social network, the first thing you will need to do is set up a profile. However, this is more important for LinkedIn than it is for something like Twitter, as the point of the platform is for you to be found by potential clients in need of your skills. To achieve this, one thing you need to do is make sure your profile is 100 per cent complete.
That means filling out every field, from your educational history to your employment experience, as accurately as possible. Once you’ve completed 100 per cent of your profile, LinkedIn will start ranking you higher in people’s searches. However, to really succeed, you need to make sure every aspect of your account makes you look appealing to potential clients.
For example, your profile picture should be as clear and professional as possible. No blurry photos, holiday snaps or anything too informal. Potential clients aren’t going to want to see you on a night out with a beer in hand!
You also get 120 characters to give yourself a profile headline. This should describe what you do clearly and succinctly. Don’t try to impress anyone with technical jargon, as this will alienate more potential clients than it attracts. Try to include terms that people are likely to search for when looking for someone like you.
Make sure to include the fact that you’re a contractor, along with other terms like ‘freelancer’, as this is something that clients will likely include in their searches. They need to know they’re not contacting someone who expects a permanent position.
Your Contractor skills
One thing LinkedIn allows you to do is list your skills, which other users can then endorse you for. Essentially, if you say you can program in Ruby, for example, your connections on LinkedIn can confirm that you know what you’re doing in that area. The more LinkedIn endorsements you have, the more valuable you’ll be seen as.
This means to make the most of them, you’ll need to have a good collection of skills. Don’t just use “marketing”, for example, as it’s too broad a term. Instead, you could split that into “marketing campaign planning”, “copywriting” and anything else that makes up the role.
Then you’ll need to get people to endorse your skills. This will partly get done through networking – more on that below – but also from talking to your clients. If you do a good job for a client, ask them to endorse you on LinkedIn; it’s a quick and free way of showing their appreciation.
Once you’re all set up, you need to build up a network. There are a few ways you can do this, but the main rule here is to be active. You can’t just sit back and ignore LinkedIn once you’ve finished your profile if you want to make the most of it.
You should join groups, and make an effort to find people you know and connect with them. If your friends are on the platform, you can find them and endorse your skills if you know they’re good at what they do; hopefully they’ll do the same for you.
You should also look for potential clients yourself, and connect with them. Search for companies located in your area, for example, or even ones you’ve worked for before; they may have forgotten you, and seeing you on LinkedIn will remind them the next time they’re looking for a contractor.
If you follow the above tips you will be able to create a strong network of people that could benefit you in the long run. For future contracting tips and advice follow the Brookson One social channels and stay ahead of the game, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.