If you’re planning to quit your job and build your own business, good on you. The joy of the digital era is that it’s easier than ever to build your own business, wherever you are in the world. But, finding clients isn’t always the easiest part. But that’s where Linkedin comes in…
You’ve probably heard all about how Linkedin is great for finding business clients, maybe you feel like you’ve missed the boat on it. Not at all. Finding clients for your business on Linkedin is simply a matter of understanding what the platform really is, how you should present yourself and how to reach out. And if you’re looking to move careers, get headhunted or generally level up, you need to take Linkedin seriously.
In this post, I’m going to explain the core things you need to do to find clients on Linkedin so you can be a freelancer. Rely less on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, and become a true Global Playboy – whatever you do.
Your Linkedin Profile
First things first. Get your profile in order because this is going to be hugely important. This is going to be your calling card, whatever you do, so make sure you put your best self forward.
How can you make an effective Linkedin profile to land those clients?
- Use a good quality portrait image of yourself. No funny FX, silhouettes or other off putting features. Preferably be smiling in the image too.
- Make sure you job history is complete but relevant to the industry you’re targeting. You might only have a few jobs up your sleeve, but make sure if anyone looks at your job history they can see you have some experience in the sector you’re building into your niche.
- A catchy headline is going to be essential too. Keep it short and focused on what you do. Being creative with it is good, but if in doubt, just state your desired job role.
- Be real. Don’t embellish heavily on your experience, or pretend to be someone else (this happens A LOT).
- Build contacts with people you know or have worked with in the past, regardless if they’re in your target industry.
OK, so your profile looks good. On to the reason you’re here… How can you find clients for your business on Linkedin?
1. Write a post about your industry
This might not be your forte, especially if you’re not big on writing. But having a post on your profile about your experience, your tips for success or your thoughts on your industry is quite a good way to get some attention.
We can’t all be industry influencers like Gary Vaynerchuck, Russell Brunson or Neil Patel. But having something on your profile that shows that you know what you’re talking about is very useful to potential clients.
This tip isn’t an absolute essential, but a good one to have.
2. Keyword searches
I spend at least half an hour a day on Linkedin searching through posts with the target keywords for my job role. This is usually something like ‘content writer’, ‘copywriter’, ‘marketing’ or ‘SEO manager‘.
Whatever your role is, perhaps ‘business advisor’, or maybe ‘FX trader’, or ‘yoga instructor’, take some time to scroll through the feed. Like and comment on posts and keep an eye out for job openings.
Adding a hashtag # can sometimes change the search, so try that too. Be warned, this isn’t like Instagram or Twitter, so be focused with this tip. Limit the time you do it for, keep all comments and engagements you make professional and if you see someone you would like to connect with, don’t be afraid to reach out…
3. Make connections
Now, this one is crucial. But…. Before you go adding everyone on Linkedin to find your next business client, this is an essential tip to bear in mind.
When you go to add a Linkedin contact, you’ll be given an option to ‘add a note’. Always do this… Never, ever add someone without putting a little note in saying hi.
I would say something like:
“Hi John, love what you’re doing, thought I’d reach out as I’m building my network right now. Hope to chat soon!”
And leave it at that.
Now this next bit is important….
DO NOT TRY AND SELL YOUR SERVICE. Don’t try and tell them that you’re a professional whatever, looking to blah blah, or that you can offer them ra ra ra at this amazing price. They don’t care. Not at this point.
Read our guide to sending Linkedin connection requests.
Finding clients on Linkedin comes down to this next point.
4. Treat Linkedin like a networking event
I’m willing to bet that you’ve been to a conference or business networking event before. Now, you might recall that people that you bonded with most are the people who you didn’t chat shop with. Well, that’s true for me at least. But most people don’t like being actively sold to, it’s a huge turn off.
So, the best way to build rapport is just to engage. Chat. Offer assistance, build bridges and give your opinion sometimes. If a contact of yours asks for advice, do your best. If someone is looking for a job, share their post and tell people why you think they deserve a job.
People remember things like this and it can reflect well when you start asking for help too.
5. Apply for jobs
In my early days of looking for clients on Linkedin, I would apply to all kinds of jobs, whether I wanted them or not. I wouldn’t really do that today, but some of my approaches from back then do still work for me.
If you search for a job, do some research on the company and the person doing the hiring. If you want the job, sure, apply. Give it your best shot and good luck!
But, what I often do is ask the recruiter questions. My questions is always:
“Can I do this job remote?”
They might say no, but I might still connect with the recruiter anyway and leave a note saying:
“Hi Jane, just thought I’d connect as I’d love to stay in the loop with what you’re doing at *company*. Reach out anytime if I can assist you in any way.”
Basically, make the connect about them and offer them a branch if they’re ever in a sticky situation. They might remember you when it matters!
You’ve made all those connections, so don’t let them go to waste. Make sure to comment on people’s posts, repost/share interesting stuff and even wish them happy birthday or congratulations for new jobs.
7. Don’t be afraid to pitch when you see a job
Being active on Linkedin means you will sometimes see people looking for the type of services you’re offering. Now, assuming you’ve been a good contact up to this point, its never a bad idea to pitch and make that Linkedin contact into a client.
For example, you might see a post from a contact saying:
“We’re looking to hire a business accounts manager to start ASAP, with this experience”
Looks like you’re a good fit? If it’s from your contact, start a dialogue and ask them how you could present your services. They might just say, “Lets schedule a chat” or they might say “send in X, Y and Z and we’ll get back to you”.
Whatever it is they want, be friendly, be professional and make sure you make yourself the obvious best choice before they even see your CV. This doesn’t mean you have to ell them why you’re awesome, it just means that you’ll be courteous, professional and curious to know how to be the best option for them.
Bonus – get Linkedin training
I’ve shared my own expertise here. But if you really want to level up your Linkedin and find more clients, consider expert training.
I’ve been enjoying and learning loads from the Justin Welsh Linkedin OS course. If you haven’t heard of him then he’s basically a very active Linkedin influencer who does VERY well and is everywhere on the platform.
When it comes to finding clients on Linkedin, it does help to be consistent. Don’t spend hours each day, but build your Linkedin time into your business day. Honestly, I avoid spending more than 30-40 mins at most per day, although if I’m looking specifically for work, this might double.
Stay professional, stay positive and stay focused. Good luck!