Even if you’re new to freelancing, finding freelance jobs on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be complicated. You just need to know where to look and what steps to take. In this article, you’ll discover a bunch of tried and tested ways to find freelance jobs on LinkedIn, tested by experienced freelancers for newer freelancers like you.
By the way, you don’t have to do everything on this list to experience success from freelancing on LinkedIn. To avoid information overwhelm, start with what resonates and leave or return to the rest later.
Note: optimizing your LinkedIn profile is a significant step to take in your hunt for freelance work on LinkedIn.
1. Optimize Your Profile for Freelancing on LinkedIn
Before we deep-dive into optimizing your profile for freelancing on LinkedIn, to the METAPHOR MOBILE… or something.
A house without solid foundations doesn’t make for a strong structure to weather storms…or provide you a cozy space to snaffle cookies in your sweatpants without the walls crumbling around you. #CrumblyCookiesNotWalls
Likewise, it would be best to start your LinkedIn prospecting journey by building the right foundations for success. Enter the optimized LinkedIn profile stage right. *Fanfare*
Your LinkedIn profile should reflect the freelance work you want to find or attract and highlight your relevant skills. Doing so will help your ideal client(s), and relevant recruiters discover you. It’ll also assist job applications, or if you reach out to people directly to apply for freelance jobs on LinkedIn.
Keep the following in mind to optimize your LinkedIn profile for freelancing:
Proofreading For The Win
- Excellent spelling and grammar are SO necessary. Spelling mistakes and poor grammar will make recruiters or clients skip past you in a hurry. FREElance tip: Check out Grammarly or Hemingway for an assist.
Get That Heading On Brand
- When people visit your LinkedIn profile page, they’ll usually check your banner, tagline, featured area, and about section in that order. These are all critical touchpoints to optimize.
Optimize Important Touchpoints
- Ensure these touchpoints speak to your ideal client or manager. Think: How can your work as a freelancer solve their problems? Does your profile make it clear what you do?
2. Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search Function To Find Freelance Leads
Here’s a cool and lesser-known fact about LinkedIn… the platform has an advanced search function. You can access the feature by starting a generic search using the search bar from the home page. Extra filters will appear under your initial inquiry, and you can narrow them down from there.
Use the feature to search specific criteria and discover your ideal clients or advertised roles. Some helpful search criteria for LinkedIn gigs include geographical location, job title, experience level, and on-site/remote.
If you want to step it up a notch, you can set up automatic searches to find freelance jobs or identify prospects. You’ll then receive weekly LinkedIn recommendations for new connections or live jobs direct to your email.
3. Set up Relevant Freelance Job Alerts
You can also set up relevant freelance job alerts through your LinkedIn account. Like the advanced search function, you can set precise criteria for your LinkedIn job alerts. Examples include ideal job titles, whether the work is part-time, full time or contract, and the location.
4. Follow Specific LinkedIn Gigs Hashtags
You can also follow specific freelance gigs hashtags so that relevant job adverts using this hashtag appear in your LinkedIn feed. If you’re a copywriter, an example would be #copywritingjobs. Once you set these up, you can access them via the left-hand side of your newsfeed.
To start, enter a hashtag into the search bar, click on the hashtag to go to the relevant feed, and click the follow button. You’re now following a LinkedIn hashtag that will help you find freelance gigs.
5. Connect With Established LinkedIn Freelancers and Recruiters
Another way to build a strong foundation for freelancing on LinkedIn is by connecting with established LinkedIn freelancers or recruiters. These connections will help you create a network of relevant professionals. You could also connect with people who work for companies you’d love to contract for.
You never know when people in your network might be hiring. Recruiters especially will check LinkedIn to find candidates because it’s a cheaper alternative to job boards. And if you’re already connected, you’re less likely to miss that dream freelance opportunity.
FREElance tips: LinkedIn allows people to have up to 30,000 connections — that’s plenty of room to grow. If you’re stuck for inspiration on how to build relevant relationships, think about who would likely hire a freelancer with your skills.
6. Research Relevant LinkedIn Company Pages
Do you have any dream companies you’d love to freelance for in mind? Well, chances are they’ll have a company page listed on LinkedIn. That means you can research their page and hunt for relevant freelance opportunities. Woohoo!
Even if you don’t have an ideal company in mind, you can do this step. So if you have a particular niche, you can locate businesses on LinkedIn in the same niche.
Head to their company page to either browse their posts for job openings or click on the jobs section of the page to see if they’re currently advertising. If you choose the latter, LinkedIn will give you an option to create a job alert for that company. SAY YES!
7. Reach Out To Hiring Managers, Prospects, or Agencies Directly
You’ll find an abundance of relevant hiring managers or agencies, and if you’d prefer to work with a client directly, your ideal prospects on LinkedIn. And this means you can connect to reach out to them directly about advertised or potential LinkedIn gigs.
If you’re a content marketer, connect with content managers, HR folks from social media or SEO agencies, and business owners who will benefit from your content marketing skills.
Be polite, friendly, and conscious of their time when you reach out. You should also include a portfolio relevant to your freelance work. And if it’s an advertised role, respond with all the information asked for in the hiring post.
8. Customize Your LinkedIn Gig Applications
Think of the times you applied for roles outside of the freelance world. If your application was successful, you likely tailored your CV and cover letter to the advertised position.
The same logic applies to LinkedIn.
Customizing your LinkedIn gig applications will increase the likelihood of hearing back because it shows you’ve read the requirements and made an effort to respond accordingly.
Keep the following in mind when customizing your freelance job applications on LinkedIn:
- If you can find the hiring manager’s name, address your application to them.
- Research the company and include a brief mention of what you love about them and why you’d be a great fit.
- Link to a portfolio or examples of published work. The more up-to-date, the better.
- Provide testimonials from clients. Bonus points if you have one or two from a client in the same industry.
- Include industry-related skills and work history.
9. Ask Your Connections
Okay, this method works incredibly well if you’ve built a strong network of relevant connections (shout out to #5 and #7 above). However, it can work, even if you’re in the early stages of growing your network.
There are a ton of invisible freelance opportunities on LinkedIn. You never know; if you’re open, honest, and very specific about the work you require, your connections might be able to help.
Try sharing a post detailing what you’re looking for (specificity is key) and the problems your freelance services can solve. If you’re only interested in part-time, say so. If you have a niche, state what it is. If your ideal client is in the tech industry, mention that too.
FREElance tip: You can increase the visibility of your post by tagging connections or company pages and using hashtags. Consider tagging previous (happy) clients or company pages from your research and using industry hashtags.
10. Participate in Industry Relevant Groups
Aside from connecting with people directly, there are other ways to find your freelance ‘tribe’ on LinkedIn. You can join and engage in multiple industries or business groups. To access these groups type a key phrase into the search bar and filter using the group’s option.
Here are some effective ways to engage in these groups:
- Share thought-provoking or valuable content in the groups to spark a discussion.
- Ask questions to learn about your fellow group members.
- Comment on posts by other members.
FREElance tip: Check out how active the group is before putting lots of time into participation. Even if a group isn’t busy, it’s worth joining on the chance of job advertisements, but it isn’t worth spending the time trying to spark a conversation in a dead group.
11. One More For The Road: Build A Personal Brand As A Freelancer
Well done, freelancer! You’ve made it this far, you’ve gained a ton of XP, and you’re probably ready to find those freelance ops you so deserve. But, we’d like to cordially invite you to a bonus round to help you win at the LinkedIn long game.
Building a personal brand while freelancing on LinkedIn takes time to achieve. We assure you the effort is SO worth the reward.
Becoming a LinkedIn thought leader (even on a small scale) is one of the most effective ways to have new freelance leads land in your inbox every week. Build it (your brand), and they (your ideal prospects) will come.
Consider the following to build a personal brand on LinkedIn:
- You have to be active with your LinkedIn posts.
- Your content should be high-quality, consistent, and add value to your connections.
- You need to take the time to connect with different people and engage with their content because doing so will increase your visibility.
Now Go Get Those LinkedIn Gigs!
Pssst! You just leveled up your freelancing game by learning how to find freelance jobs on LinkedIn. Remember, you don’t need to do everything in this article to find some seriously awesome LinkedIn gigs. Pick what you feel is achievable, do it consistently, and do it well.
Thank you for joining us. Stay tuned for even more content to help you win at freelancing on LinkedIn. You. Got. This.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities they represent. Freelance Theory is not affiliated with any of the aforementioned entities.
Rachael Hope is a freelance writer & content strategist focusing on SEO and conversion. When not writing, you'll find her painting, yoga-ing, or having fun with her feline pals, Yuna and Binx. Oh, and she founded Rachael Hope Media or something.