A guide to LinkedIn for creative freelancers

Ellen with a cuppa

While it may not be the first platform to come to mind, LinkedIn is a highly effective tool for promoting your creative business. Whether you’re a copywriter (like me),  designer, illustrator, animator or any other type of creative freelancer, LinkedIn can be a fantastic outlet for showcasing your work and generating valuable leads. 

It all starts with learning the ins and outs of the platform and how you can put your best creative foot forward while keeping a professional tilt on your content. 

As the original professional social network, LinkedIn may seem daunting. However, the platform is changing – and so are its users. Although there are still plenty of ‘traditional’ businesses on the platform, I’m seeing more and more creative freelancers and small businesses venture into the world of LinkedIn. 

So, if you’re still a little nervous about being a creative freelancer on LinkedIn, or you simply can’t think of anything to share except your portfolio, I’ve got you covered. Last year, over a third of my income came from inbound leads generated on LinkedIn. My approach on there has never changed: sharing meaningful and authentic posts regularly, firmly establishing myself as the go-to person for the services I provide (copywriting and web design).

Ready to become your LinkedIn network’s go-to in your niche? Keep reading to find out how.

Find your voice

It’s a cliche, but it’s true. Your voice is incredibly powerful as it is what makes you you. Growing a personal brand should be a priority for any creative freelancer and learning how to channel that is half the battle. Whether you prefer the written word, dabble in illustrations or even video, there are so many different ways to get your brand voice across to your LinkedIn network.

Funny, sarcastic, emotional, controversial… it doesn’t really matter what your voice is, the most important thing is that you stick to it. I’m not saying you have to pick one descriptor and channel that eternally, but by choosing a few ‘values’ that determine how you want to be perceived, you can create consistently and authenticity in everything you share.

I talk openly about mental health and empathy is one of my strongest values, and this comes across in my writing. Equally, I love a good rant – and I don’t mind if people disagree with me. I love to debate and this is all part of the fun.

Think carefully about your voice and maybe even write down your values as a checklist, this will help you be consistent.

Catch their eye

As a freelance copywriter, I am passionate about the written word. However, I can’t deny the power of photos and videos. LinkedIn loves multimedia just as much as any other platform, so make sure you have a healthy mix. If you are a professional photographer or videographer, then you’ll already have this nailed… but if you are more of a word-y person like me, then you might need to try a few things to find out what works.

I typically take a lot of selfies and desk photos. I am very fortunate to have a photogenic home desk set-up that makes for a great visual accompaniment to my writing. And, of course, this wouldn’t be an article about social media content without mentioning pets. My two retired racing greyhounds, Potter and Harmony, play a huge role in my branding and, as a result, regularly make an appearance on my social media. 

Finally, I dabble in amateur illustration (digital and traditional) so sometimes I draw a cute image with an inspirational quote to go alongside a particularly poignant piece – these go down very well on LinkedIn as images like is are distinctly different to 99.9% of the other stuff you see on there. 

Don’t be afraid to experiment with the visual side of your content, be it photos, videos, drawings or a combination of all three – you’ll soon see the benefits when you content climbs the ranks and you start raking in those profile views.

Talk about the whys

I’d argue that benefit-led writing is paramount to any business nowadays, but particularly for creative entrepreneurs whose offerings are often seen as “less essential”. We see it all the time  – homemade logos, web copy, hacked-together video footage… Nobody questions paying an accountant for their expertise, yet many will choose the DIY approach over hiring a creative freelancer.

LinkedIn is your platform to tell these decision-makers why they need to buy your service. 

Hopefully, these tips will help you kickstart your creative business on LinkedIn. The platform may seem intimidating at first, but I’ve found that through careful curation of my professional network, I have grown a fantastic community of business owners who regularly interact with my posts and often pass me high value leads. If you found this helpful then I’d love to connect on LinkedIn

If you liked this article and want more, why not sign up for my LinkedIn Toolkit? Starting from just £15 a month, I provide a bounty of resources to inspire you to create content for your small business. Find out more on my Patreon.