Finding freelance clients is essential to your business success. One of the most effective tools to do so is LinkedIn—and it’s free!
Now in its 20th year, the online social network has millions of people engaged worldwide. It is focused on business and employment and is primarily used for professional networking and career development.
It’s filled with valuable contacts that are all potential clients, making it the ideal platform to connect with people and pitch your services.
However, like any social media platform, there are rules of engagement and best practices you should know and use. For one, don’t click “connect” to every person who pops up. That’s not the right way to build a network of people who are interested in you and your services!
Here we discuss five strategic tactics to ensure that your connections are genuine and valuable for both you and the person you’re connecting with.
5 Essentials for Connecting on LinkedIn
1. Avoid the Pre-Written Copy
LinkedIn pre-populates copy along the lines of “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.” Well…obviously! Take a minute to write a unique sentence or two about yourself that will compel the recipient to want to connect with you. Sure, it’s easier to click the “connect” button and let LinkedIn put in its pre-written copy? Of course! But it also immediately conveys laziness and a lack of value for other people’s time.
2. Introduce Yourself
In your unique introductory sentence or two, tell the person you want to connect with who you are. If it’s a stranger, give them something that you have in common that makes you think you’d like to have an association. Do you both work in a particular niche or an industry and can share helpful info? If it’s a former colleague, remind them how you met and the work you did together—and don’t forget to let them know you hope they have been well. Keep your tone friendly and your copy succinct!
3. Give Them a Reason to Connect
You’re asking someone for something so make sure you’re giving something in return. Why should they connect with you? Is there a benefit you can tell them about? Do you have a freelance business that offers solutions for their company, for example, or do you have mutual people in common? If you can’t think of a good reason to connect, then they likely won’t either and your changes of coming together are highly unlikely.
4. Provide Value
Give a potential connection something of value to them. Send a link to a pertinent industry article that you think they may find useful for their business or interesting to them on a personal level. This is a great way to set yourself apart and make a positive initial first impression.
5. Don’t Make a Request
The initial request to connect is NOT the time to pitch work, ask for a phone call, or make a request of ANY kind. You’re already asking for something: to connect. You don’t want to appear needy by asking for TWO things in your first outreach. If the person you’re trying to connect with already feels put out by your first communication, they likely won’t want to connect with you.
LinkedIn is a wonderful resource to find freelance clients—and help to build and maintain a successful freelance business—if you use it effectively.
Have you found freelance clients on LinkedIn? If so, what are your tips for connecting? Let us know in the comments below.
Last Updated on July 1, 2023 by Craig Galo