7 tips to make your LinkedIn profile stand out
How to stand out on LinkedIn as a freelance consultant
As a freelance consultant, LinkedIn is one of the best places to promote yourself. As a freelancer, you might invest a lot of time and resources in helping businesses with e.g. building brands or growing the business. You use your expertise and you’re good at it. But how often do you apply those skills when marketing yourself?
Your LinkedIn profile is the foundation of your personal branding. From a marketing perspective, neglecting personal branding will sell yourself short and contribute to you missing big opportunities. LinkedIn is the go-to network for professionals, recruiters, and alike. You might have used it during your corporate life to hunting for a better job, but have you really given it much thought since you started freelancing?
Think about it – when targeting any type of business, odds are that they are more than likely on LinkedIn. It’s a gold mine of quality clients. Having a top-notch LinkedIn profile will help you stand out and get found by these potential clients. At Free Agents™, we’ve collected 7 profile features you should check out and update. And it’s actually not that complicated.
1. Optimize your headline
This is such an important part of your LinkedIn profile as a freelancer. When people do a search on LinkedIn, the search results are based on headlines. Including important keywords such as Content Writer, Art Director, or Social Media Manager together with freelance in your headline is a must.
The default-settings of LinkedIn will be your current position and company. In case you are trying to attract new clients and your default headline indicates that you are currently unavailable, clients and recruiters are going to assume you aren’t on the lookout for new opportunities and keep on scrolling.
Take a minute to consider what your ideal client might be looking for when searching on LinkedIn and include that in your headline.
2. State your title as a freelancer
If you only state you're normal role/title, you won’t stand out from the number of permanent employees who you share your title with. Likewise, recruiters looking for freelancers will never be able to find you. The same goes for the clients looking for exactly your profile. The reason for this is that they will be searching for the word ‘freelance’ as an important keyword. Make sure you include it!
In relation to including the freelancer-buzzword in your title is putting a fitting title for the role you actually excel in. As a freelance consultant, you are the boss in your own enterprise and it can be tempting to include titles such as CEO, CTO, or CIO. However, even though it sounds impressive, it will not help you get recruited for an assignment as it does not highlight what you are actually good at. Are you a ‘full-stack developer’, ‘copywriter’, ‘digital marketer’, or something else? Then include this title with the freelancer-buzzword.
3. Show that you are available
If you are looking for jobs, then communicate it! It is never wrong to signal your availability and desire for new challenges. Communicate that you are available, where you geographically wish to be employed and which type of assignments you are looking for.
You can also announce your availability status in your title or your resume. This can be done by writing open/ready/available/looking for new opportunities/assignments.
4. Highlight your previous projects and clients
Spend some time highlighting your previous projects and clients on LinkedIn. It is not very informative stating that you’ve been employed in your own company for the last 10 years without elaborating on which kind of work you’ve done. Likewise, it is not enough stating just the client, title, and period. You need to elaborate. 5-6 short and precise lines or key points can be enough.
LinkedIn gives you a few opportunities to display your portfolio to potential clients and recruiters. They include the following:
- The media section underneath your summary where you can upload a link to your website, PDF’s, images and PowerPoint presentations, etc. You can use this space to showcase a few of your key pieces or accomplishments.
- The articles section which displays articles you’ve written on LinkedIn. If you are a blogger or writer, consider sharing some of your content directly on LinkedIn.
Make sure to create a trustworthy connection between previous experience and the competencies you highlight in your resume. Lastly, requesting testimonials from clients and highlighting these can be a big winner in creating a trustworthy profile.
5. Stay active on LinkedIn
The prerequisite for all the above-mentioned is that you stay active on LinkedIn and want to use the platform as a means of promoting yourself. We recommend that you do. Stay active and expand your network. Engage in relevant and interesting dialogues. Get into the habit of following up meetings and conversations with LinkedIn connections – it’s a great way of keeping your network vibrant and up to date.
6. Choose a proper profile picture for LinkedIn
We’re able to draw conclusions from other people in 40 milliseconds based on a photo. Your LinkedIn profile picture is your calling card and governs other people’s impressions from the start. LinkedIn provides some great tips on how to pick the right profile picture on LinkedIn, but here are some quick tips:
- Use a new and up to date picture.
- Use a solid background and don’t include distracting elements.
- Crop the frame to emphasize your face.
- Use a high-resolution picture.
- Dress for success!
7. Do a good and honest job
Lastly, simply focus on doing an honest and good job. This seems simple but is vital in making all the above tips work for you. Passion, flexibility and hard work can you a long way and is what is really going to stand out for your clients.
Follow these tips to stand out on LinkedIn and succeed in your profession as a freelancer.
If you haven’t already done so, remember to sign up on Free Agents™, and let our platform match your profile with interesting and relevant jobs that could be yours in a matter of days. All for free.