How 3 Freelancers Maximize Opportunities by Being Active on LinkedIn

LinkedIn activity helps freelancers get clientsMany freelancers think that being active on LinkedIn is a waste of time. Jeremy (Jerm) Day-Storms, PhD, MWC, Núria Negrão, PhD, and Kathy Adamson, DVM, are proof that LinkedIn activity is an effective way to get high-paying clients, network with colleagues and potential clients, and build their authority.

Being active on LinkedIn means sharing content and engaging with other people on your content and their content. The more active you are, the more people who will see your content. And being active will help you rank higher in search results; it’s #4 in LinkedIn’s search algorithm criteria.

Sharing Knowledge, Advice and Perspective

Jerm, Núria, and Kathy, all freelance medical writers, share knowledge, advice, and their perspective in their posts. This makes their posts relevant, a key priority in LinkedIn’s algorithm. Writing about what they know encourages LinkedIn to share their posts more widely.

Medical writing and clinical practice guidelines and recommendations are Jerm’s key topics. Núria posts about AI and AI in medical writing and effective communication and teaching in science and medicine. Kathy focuses on animal health and quality of life for freelancers.

Consistently posting about a few topics helps Jerm, Núria, and Kathy build their visibility and authority on those topics. “Being active on LinkedIn allows me to be in front of clients and colleagues in a cost-effective way,” says Núria Negrão.

Attracting Clients by Being Active on LinkedIn

Jerm, the owner of Day-Storms LLC Medical Writing and Research LLC, delivers accurate, evidence-based, and timely medical content for laboratories, healthcare payors, managed healthcare companies, biotech companies, and other clients. He helps his clients communicate effectively with healthcare professionals and payers. His services include abstracts, articles, blog posts, dossiers, content related to government regulations, compliance, and accreditation, manuscripts, medical news stories, medical policies, posters, slide decks, and white papers.

Each week, Jerm does at least two posts on LinkedIn. And each post is “carefully curated to align with the interests of my clients, potential clients, and followers,” he says.

One post is about medical writing. Jerm shares tips or insights to help people who are interested in medical communications. The second post, about recent clinical practice guidelines and recommendations, provides valuable updates and analyses related to his work in the medical policy and healthcare payer sectors. Other posts cover a broad range of topics.

One of Jerm’s client reached out to him after seeing his posts on a topic that was relevant to their needs. This and other content he posts on LinkedIn “significantly contributes to attracting potential clients.”

Here is an example of one of Jerm’s posts.

Responding to comments on your posts is important because LinkedIn will show the post to more people if you respond to comments. Here’s Jerm’s response to my comment on this post.

Jerm uses Buffer, a social media scheduling app, to help manage his LinkedIn activity. When he finds an article or blog post he might like to post about, he saves it to his Buffer content board for future use. “This helps me organize (and remember) what I would like to include in my LinkedIn posts,” he says. “Buffer also allows me to plan my LinkedIn posts for future releases.”

Showcasing Expertise and Staying Top-of-Mind

Núria is a freelance CME writer and a speaker on AI strategy & implementation for medical writing and science communication. She specializes in writing and providing strategic content guidance on engaging and evidence-based continuing education content for healthcare professionals. Also, Núria offers conference and advisory board coverage. As a speaker about AI for medical writing and science communication, she helps medical writers get clarity on how best to use AI as a work collaborator to make a real difference with their work.

Núria has built her freelance business through networking and LinkedIn is one of ways she networks. By building community with other medical writers and focusing on helping others without expecting anything in return, Núria consistently gets referrals from colleagues.

While Núria prefers one-on-one and small group networking, this takes a lot of time. Being active on LinkedIn is a useful supplement to Núria’s other networking. It allows her to efficiently strengthen relationships with people she knows and to meet new people.

Núria also builds her authority, especially about two topics she is passionate about: (1) AI and AI in medical writing and (2) effective communication and teaching in science and medicine. She does posts on LinkedIn about 3 times a week.

As part of giving more than she takes, Núria uses her posts on LinkedIn to teach other medical writers about AI and AI in medical writing. She loves exploring AI and figuring out how it works, and then translating what she is learning into LinkedIn posts so that other medical writers can also learn how to use AI in their writing.

“People are interested in AI and AI in medical writing and there aren’t many voices out there explaining how this works,” she says. “So, this has made it really easy for me to position myself as an expert.” I know that I’ve learned a lot about AI and AI in medical writing from Núria.

“My activity on LinkedIn showcases my expertise and keeps me top of mind for people there,” says Núria.

Top-of-mind awareness is critical for freelancers. Clients and colleagues are really busy. When clients need to hire a freelancer or colleagues have work to refer to another freelancer, they think of the freelancer who’s been in touch with them most recently and most often.

Being active on LinkedIn is an easy way to help ensure that clients and colleagues think of you first for freelance work. It’s a subtle, comfortable way to market your freelance business.

Here is an example of one of Núria’s posts.

And here’s Núria’s response to my comment on this post.

Focusing on Other People’s Posts

Kathy, owner of KMA Veterinary and Medical Writing LLC, is a freelance medical writer who specializes in CME, continuing education, and other veterinary and medical content. Even though she’s not as active on LinkedIn as Jerm and Núria, she is still getting clients through LinkedIn.

For now, Kathy focuses more on reading other people’s posts and commenting thoughtfully on them than writing her own posts. “I comment on every post I find interesting or inspiring, and I also comment on a post when I want to know more about what they’ve shared,” she says.

Here is an example of Kathy’s comment on one of my posts about AI and whether the robots would replace freelance writers. My post talked about how freelance writers should be using AI and Kathy’s response shares her perspective on AI.

If you’re new to being active on LinkedIn, commenting on other people’s posts is an easy way to get started. Look for relevant posts by relevant people. LinkedIn’s algorithm favors meaningful comments over comments like “Great article” or “I agree.” If you write meaningful comments, then the members who wrote the posts are likely to write meaningful comments on your posts. So you’ll both increase your visibility on LinkedIn.

About once a month, Kathy does her own posts on animal health or freelancing, things like tools for success, how to balance work and life at home, office ergonomics, and maintaining mental focus,

“I’d like to post more frequently,” she says. “I’m still learning how to balance marketing my business, providing writing services to clients, and family life. When I have a project, I tend to put aside my marketing, including LinkedIn. But I’m working on that and getting better.”

Here is an example of one of Kathy’s posts.

And here’s one of Kathy’s responses to a comment on this post.

Learn more about effective LinkedIn activity

How to Increase Your Visibility on LinkedIn 
How to Use LinkedIn Algorithm Changes to Boost Your Visibility

Dedicating Time to Being Active on LinkedIn

About an hour a week, or 10-15 minutes a day most weekdays, is plenty for most freelancers for LinkedIn activity. That’s about what Kathy spends on LinkedIn. Jerm and Núria both spend more time on LinkedIn.

Some weeks, Kathy goes on LinkedIn many times over one or two days. Other weeks, she spends a few minutes on LinkedIn on most weekdays. And some weeks, she spends more time on LinkedIn than others.

Jerm usually spends at least 15 minutes a day on LinkedIn, where he checks his feed, leaves comments on other posts, and responds to any activity on his posts. He also spends about one or two hours a week drafting his posts.

Núria spends about 10 minutes every other day on LinkedIn. “LinkedIn is more forgiving than other networks and you do not need to engage daily to keep the algorithm happy,” she says.

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Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile and Building Your Network

Just being active isn’t enough to maximize your freelance opportunities on LinkedIn. You also need a complete, client-focused profile and a big, relevant, network. Profile completeness and relevant keywords in the headline are #1 in LinkedIn’s search algorithm criteria. Common connections with the person who is doing the search is #2.

Having complete, client-focused profiles helps Jerm, Núria, and Kathy keep the attention of clients they attract through their LinkedIn activity. Jerm and Núria have built big, relevant, networks. Kathy is still building her network.

A complete profile has:

  • Profile photo
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Education
  • Position (under Experience)
  • At least 5 skills.

You also need 50+ connections.

Relevant keywords, especially in your headline, help you attract clients and rank higher in search results. Clearly say what you do and how you help your clients. Relevant keywords include “freelancer” and “freelance [writer, editor, etc.]” and your services. You can also include the type of clients you work with or other key information. Continue to use the keywords that clients are likely to use to search for a freelancer like you throughout About.

Learn more about creating a complete, client-focused LinkedIn profile

The Ultimate LinkedIn Profile for Freelance Success This Year 
Free Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Checklist for Freelancers

Building a Big, Relevant, Network

When clients are looking for freelancers, having at least 500 relevant connections really helps you rank high in search results.

Jerm has definitely seen this. “Being connected to people within my industry often leads to new clients discovering my profile. This network effect is amplified by my active participation in relevant discussions and my consistent engagement with industry-related content,” he says.

The closer your connections are (1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree), the higher you’ll rank. Relevant connections are people who work in your industry(ies), do similar work, or are related to you and your work in another way. You don’t need to know someone personally to connect with them. But you do need to have something in common, like both being freelancers or medical writers.

Being active on LinkedIn makes it easy to meet people to invite to be part of your network. And some of them will invite you to be part of their networks.

Learn more about building a big, relevant LinkedIn network

10 Ways to Get 500+ Connections on LinkedIn Fast

Maximizing Freelance Opportunities on LinkedIn

Jerm, Núria, and Kathy are all using LinkedIn to maximize their freelance opportunities. You can too.

“LinkedIn is a great, easy way to network and increase your visibility to a professional audience,” says Jerm. “Plus, I really enjoy meeting new people and interacting with my network.”

Núria considers her LinkedIn network as her work friends. “This helps me engage with people there the same way that I want to engage with people I know in real life,” she says.

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About Jerm, and Kathy

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