LinkedIn is a powerful tool that can help you get clients, not only by applying for contracting positions, but by connecting you directly with the owners of the companies hiring or looking for freelancers.

But what if you could get clients to come directly to you?

Without all the resume uploading, cover letter crafting, and numerous applications typing in the same information over and over and over again.

It gets tiring.

That’s why it’s best to set set up your profile in a way that draws the clients (or employers) directly to you.

And how exactly does one do something like that?

Well, it starts by optimizing your LinkedIn profile by tweaking it in certain ways.

Here’s how you can do that.

1. Use a Professional Photo (or Get as Close as You Can to One)

Your photo is one of the first things potential clients and employers see on your LinkedIn profile, so make sure it’s a good one.

I didn’t get a professional photo taken and you don’t need to either.

Just make sure you’re wearing something professional, your hair looks decent, and you’re smiling or holding a serious (but friendly) expression on your face.

Don’t stress too much over this, but do pay attention to how your photo might come across to potential clients, business associates, or potential employers.

2. Don’t Waste Your Headline Space Talking About You

Your headline/title is one of the most valuable pieces of real estate on your LinkedIn profile.

That’s why you should never waste it by talking about your accomplishments or yourself.

Instead, use it to tell potential clients what you can do for them.

I talk more about this in my book, The Ultimate Guide to Living Your Best Freelance Life.

But if you take a look at other LinkedIn profiles from people who know what they’re doing things like this:

The first part of your headline should be a keyword (*more on keywords later*) that helps potential clients or employers searching for people like you find you.

The second part of your headline should give them an idea of the value you provide.

For example, your LinkedIn headline might look something like:

Copywriter and Content Creator @ Branded Content Co. | Helping companies boost conversions by 500%

Whatever you write, make it true. The last thing you want to do is lie. Because clients might ask you to prove it.

And then what?

You’ll lose that client — that’s what.

So don’t lie. Just be honest, but make it sound as good as possible.

3. Write an Effective, Engaging “About” Section

Your “About” section should not go on and on about your skills, accomplishments, and every amazing thing you’ve ever done in life. That’s not what clients (or most employers) care about.

You’ve got to show them what you’ve done and what you can do.

Talk about the value you added for previous clients, or how well the content you’ve created has performed.

Give them something measurable that they can wrap their heads around. Give them numbers (if you can), like in the example above.

In this section, it’s okay to brag a little bit (in a relevant way, though). For example, if you’re a copywriter looking to attract clients in the finance industry, you might say you worked with Lending Tree (or a similar company).

If you’ve checked out my LinkedIn profile, you’ll see that I listed a bunch of different clients I’ve worked for. (But I write B2B content mostly, so I used mostly B2B clients, but I also threw in some higher-profile B2C clients, like Instacart and Columbia — the sportswear company, not the university).

4. Add Your Skills

This is a no-brainer. The skills you choose will directly impact how you show up in search results — or if you even show up in search results.

Your skills are another place to ensure you’re using keywords. Think about the search terms employers or clients might use to find a good [whatever your career is — copywriter, content creator, graphic designer, etc.].

Max out your skills. I think you can have a max of 50 skills and I used all of mine.

Do the same.

If you need to, do some research to find out what skills people in your field need to master to be successful and add those to your profile.

5. Link to Your Publications or Writing Samples (If You Have Them)

If you’ve published anything online from a pretty reputable site or blog, add your links.

This will immediately showcase to potential clients and employers that you’re serious — much more serious than A LOT of other people they might come across.

It also kind of establishes you as an authority figure in your industry — a thought leader.

And if you can establish yourself as a respected thought leader, you can gain a pretty large following and use it to your advantage in your business.

Aim to publish new articles online regularly by submitting to guest blogs and then later, on authority websites like Entrepreneur and Forbes.

6. Add your qualifications

Any relevant qualifications you have should be added to your LinkedIn profile. Even if you think it’s small, add it.

I added a Content Marketing certification from HubSpot to my LinkedIn profile and I believe it only adds to my profile’s appeal.

Add your college education (no need for high school), grad school education (if applicable), and relevant certificates or courses you’ve taken that might be relevant to your career path.

If you want to take this a step further, get a new qualification that can help bolster your reputation in your industry even more. There are Google certifications you could get or HubSpot also offers free certification classes on a number of topics.

(I should probably renew my Content Marketing Certification from HubSpot.)

7. Use Specific Keywords

Just like you would on a resume, using keywords in your LinkedIn profile is key if you want to show up in search results. Currently, LinkedIn tells me that I’m showing up in about 20–30 searches every week.

And out of those 20–30 people that see my profile, about two to five of them reach out to me per month, asking me if I want to work on one of their upcoming projects.

As I said earlier, it’s best to use keywords in your headline (that’s the most important place) and then sprinkle them throughout your profile.

But don’t make it obvious. Use keywords naturally. Otherwise, they’ll have the opposite effect.

Like salt and sugar, use them sparingly.

8. Change Your Banner

Use the banner space to give potential clients your contact information, such as your email, phone number, and website.

You could also add your title, the name of your business, etc.

Anything that’ll help you achieve your goals on LinkedIn, whether that’s to showcase a shining LinkedIn profile to potential employers or it’s to get clients to come to you.

I just changed mine back to how I had it before — with all of my contact info. For a while, LinkedIn wasn’t allowing me to upload my new one so I was stuck with one of their banner images.

My banner needed updating since I started my own content agency. So I just updated it (in the middle of writing this article) so I could show you guys what I mean.

Getting Clients (or Employers) to Come to You

Getting clients to come to you on LinkedIn isn’t as hard as it sounds. As long as you plug in the right information and keywords and follow the above advice, you should be able to get clients (or employers) to come to you on LinkedIn with much more ease.

Check out my LinkedIn Profile Optimization Checklist (part of my Social Media Profile Optimization Checklist bundle) to help you make the most of your LinkedIn profile.


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Author

Founder at The Ultimate Freelance Guide and author of The Ultimate Guide to Using Blogging to Boost Engagement and Drive Sales and Copywriting vs. Content Marketing: A Guide to Understanding the Difference Between the Two and Using Both for Maximum Engagement. Her work has been featured at USA Today and Small Biz Daily and she's written for clients like Columbia, LifeLock, eSurance, Anthem Health, USAA, Rev.com, Princess Cruises, and Rodan + Fields, among others.

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