My LinkedIn profile sucks. Seriously, just check it out here and you’ll see.
I haven’t updated it in years. No articles. No recent recommendations. But I get leads from it all the time.
Which means, you can have a crappy profile on LinkedIn and get lots of leads too.
And I’m going show you how!
Here are 3 things I did to my LinkedIn profile that each take no more than 60 seconds to complete, yet work wonders for lead generation.
1. Make sure your “headline” and your “current position” state that you are a writer and that you are self employed.
I use “English copywriter and editor”, but you can use “freelance writer”. “copywriter”, “ghost writer” or whatever matches your expertise the best. I’m not sure how LinkedIn search works, but HR managers and VPs, who aren’t even connections of mine, randomly send me messages about projects and open positions all the time. And I’m guessing it’s because of my headline.
I see a lot of freelance writers use a headline like “Owner at [Name] Communications” or “Founder of [Name] Content Solutions”. While this may give your profile a more executive feel, it’s too vague. I think what is working for me is that my profession is clear. People looking for a local copywriter find me easily and reach out.
2. Connect with all your former co-workers. Even if you didn’t like them.
Quick story: I joined LinkedIn in 2009, right before I left my job at 888. Without really understanding how LinkedIn worked, I just sent out connection requests to everyone I knew or worked with at 888. Many of those people left the company and went on to be top level executives at new companies, like VP of Product at Payoneer, VP of Marketing at Outbrain, VP of Product at Playtika and more.
At some point in time over the past 8 years, these former co-workers of mine reached out to me over LinkedIn messaging and asked me if I was available for freelance writing work:
As you can see, I didn’t have to do much to get these job leads. I just kept in (very passive) contact with old co-workers, who eventually moved up the corporate ladder and thought of me when they needed content. And you can do the exact same thing. Reach out to everyone you have ever worked with (even if you didn’t like them) and get connected. You never know what it could lead to.
3. Congratulate people in your network when they get a new job.
When your connections get promoted or move to a new company, new opportunities can crop up for you. Use the occasion to reach out in a friendly, natural way, even if you haven’t been in contact with them for a long time.
LinkedIn alerts you via email when your connections change their job title. What I do is send a friendly message over the LinkedIn messaging, like this:
Hey [Name], congratulations on the new job/promotion! It’s great to hear about what you’ve been up to since we both left [company] and I just wanted to reach out and say good luck. As you may know, I’m a freelance copywriter now. Maybe our career paths will cross again someday. You never know! Wishing you much success, [your name].
When I was first starting out, I would send messages like this to my former co-workers who moved to new companies in the same industry. Many of them would write me back and ask me if I would be interested in writing copy for their new marketing teams. Since they already knew me and I was already familiar with what they do, it was an easy fit. I got a lot of new projects this way with minimal effort. And I bet you could do the same.
That’s it, folks. My investment in my LinkedIn presence is minimal, but it’s working. Give these tiny tweaks a try and tell me if you see a difference too.