Using linked to grow your business as a contractor
Whether you find your work through recruiters or use your own network to find work directly with clients, LinkedIn cannot be underestimated for its ability to generate new business for you as a contractor.
It is one of the largest social media platforms and arguably the best platform for professional networking and generating leads.
With over 467 million members, you can be sure that there is someone somewhere on LinkedIn, in need of your services as a contractor, you just need to connect with them!
It is in your interest to make yourself relevant and easy to find for both clients and recruiters.
Optimise your profile
- Get a professional photo: This doesn’t have to be a Hollywood head-shot but it should be predominantly of your face in an acceptable setting (So no pics of you doing shots down your local)!
- Think about your LinkedIn headline: This is sometimes overlooked because it is default populated by linked in with your job title and employer. As a contractor you want people to know what you do, (contractor), who you help and what you help them with. For example: “Designer specialising in website design for retail businesses.” or “Band 7 nurse, specialising in paediatric cancer care.” It would also be in your interest to include the word contract or freelance in your headline.
- A comprehensive summary: Potential connections/customers will often look at the summary section to get a feel for you (or your business) so it is a great opportunity to sell yourself.
- Portfolio: If you work in an in industry where you would have a portfolio, linked in also allows you to include links to your work so don’t miss the opportunity to showcase your talents.
Once you have finished working on your personal profile you may want to consider starting a company page on linked in.
- The page itself is free to create
- Add your logo and include a cover image that portrays the business image
- Write your company description
- Finally add your specialities- of which you can add up to 20!
At its heart, Linked In is about making connections, so get connecting!
- Find a company you are interested in working with
- Find key employees at that company by using the “Employees” section of their company page
- Send them a personalised message and invite them to connect
Generally people are happy to make new business connections if you give a genuine reason for wanting to connect.
Stay Active and Present
- Share content
- Comment on and like other people’s content
- Join groups and forums and become an active contributor within them
Linked in ProFinder
This is a relatively new tool which is likely to be a huge success based on the performance of linked in’s other tools, currently only available for companies and freelancers/contractors in the states. ProFinder connects professionals with businesses looking for your services. So watch this space.