The Freelancer’s Guide to Success, Part 2: Optimizing LinkedIn for Networking and Growth


Mar 11, 2024 | LinkedIn

Note: This is part 2 of a 2-part series for freelancers. For part 1, click here.

You meet someone at an event, you introduce your business, and they happen to be looking for just the services you provide. Before you know it, you have a new client. If you’re a freelancer, this has probably happened to you at least once in your career.

That’s why they always say “your network is your net worth.” It stands particularly true in the freelancing world, where connections and referrals play a crucial role in securing projects and growing your business. It’s the power of networking that can take a freelancer from struggling to thriving.

But what happens when you can’t attend events in person? Do you just throw in the towel and accept that you won’t be able to grow your network? Absolutely not! You can replicate the experience of in-person freelance networking more frequently and without even having to leave your desk – through LinkedIn.

Many freelancers think that just because they’re not looking for a full-time job, they don’t need to have an active presence on LinkedIn. That’s a big mistake. Not only does LinkedIn host jobs for freelancers, but it’s also a goldmine when it comes to networking and connecting with potential clients.

However, you’ll only reap its benefits if you optimize your freelance LinkedIn profile and use the platform strategically. We’re about to walk you through how to do just that.

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Optimizing your LinkedIn profile for freelance opportunities

If you want your LinkedIn profile to work for you as an inbound marketing tool, here’s what you need to do:

Tailor your About section

The About section of LinkedIn is where you can truly showcase your personality and tell your story. It’s also the perfect place to highlight your freelance skills, experience, and accomplishments.

Speaking of personality, while you want to inject some of your personal flair into this section (clients want to work with someone they can connect with on a human level), it’s still important to maintain a professional tone that’s not too informal or unpolished.

Here are some tips for crafting a compelling About section:

  • Start it off with a catchy opening sentence or two that highlights your unique value proposition. This is your chance to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to learn more about you.
  • Highlight your accomplishments & expertise (and use metrics and examples if possible).
  • Mention your personal values and what drives you as a freelancer. This is what will set you apart from others in your field and attract clients who align with your values.
  • Add your service specializations (keywords) and skillset to increase your visibility in searches.
  • Include a call to action at the end, such as inviting potential clients to connect with you via email or visit your portfolio.

To truly get the About section right, our tip is to balance professionalism with personal branding. Sure, you want your About section to “convert” and attract business, but you also want to make sure you’re not coming off as too sales-y.

Showcase freelance projects and achievements in the Experience section

When you’re a freelancer, one of the most challenging aspects of creating your resume, LinkedIn profile, or other professional documents is how to showcase your experience. This is considering the fact that your projects, clients, and work may vary greatly. However, you have several options.

And speaking of resumes, if you want a professional’s eyes on yours to make sure you’re structuring it in the best way possible, get your free resume review here. Using the personalized tips that you’ll receive, you can use those to inform your LinkedIn profile as well.

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, there’s a very simple solution. In the Experience section, only add one entry for your entire freelance career. Within that entry, you can list all of your clients and projects separately (or the ones you want to highlight) in bullet points. This way, you can highlight your diverse experience without making your profile seem cluttered.

You could also add your portfolio link within this entry to showcase your work and make it easily accessible to potential clients.

Alternatively, if you work on a retainer for a specific client or have longer-term project-based contracts, you can list each of those as separate entries in your Experience section and choose “Freelance” under “Employment type” when adding the entry.

Both options can effectively showcase your freelance experience and demonstrate your versatility as a freelancer.

Take advantage of additional profile sections

If you don’t want to limit yourself to the Experience section, there are more ways to showcase your freelance experience on LinkedIn by adding additional profile sections to your profile. “Projects” and “Licenses & Certifications” are the two most relevant sections for freelancers.

In the Projects section, you can highlight specific projects you’ve worked on and include details such as the project name, a description, skills used, media to showcase the project, the duration, and even any contributors. You can do this for as many projects as you’d like and rearrange them to your desired order.

In the Licenses & Certifications section, you can include any relevant certifications or licenses that are related to your freelance work. This adds credibility to your profile and shows potential clients that you’re knowledgeable and qualified in your field.

For example, in a field like graphic design, you could list certifications for specific software programs or design techniques. In a field like writing, you could list certifications for courses on copywriting or editing.

Other tips

There’s a lot more that LinkedIn has to give to freelancers. Here are some quick tips to make the most out of your profile:

  • Leverage the headline to highlight your freelance service niche and expertise. This boosts your visibility when potential clients search for freelancers in your field.
  • Tailor your Skills section to showcase the specific skills you possess that relate to your freelance work. Don’t forget about hard skills – they’re prioritized over soft skills on LinkedIn.
  • Fill your profile with endorsements & recommendations. These add social proof to your profile and give potential clients a better idea of your skills and work ethic. Be willing to provide recommendations for others as well!
  • Add a link to your portfolio in your contact info.
  • Add a custom button to be displayed on your profile with a CTA (call to action) such as “Hire Me” or “Contact for Work” that links to your website or contact information.
  • Create a LinkedIn Services page to showcase your freelance services and make it easier for potential clients to understand what you offer.
  • Use the Featured section to showcase your best work and add credibility to your profile. You can include links, media, and even write a short blurb about each featured piece.
  • Change your LinkedIn URL to something more professional, such as your full name or business name. You could also use this as an opportunity to include keywords related to your freelance services

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Building your network

Lastly, don’t treat LinkedIn as a passive platform that you set and forget. After setting up your profile, tap into the power of the 1 billion LinkedIn members by actively building your network.

However, you don’t want to connect with just anyone – be strategic about who you connect with. Start with the below:

  • Identify potential clients or decision-makers in your target industries or niche and connect with them.
  • Follow influencers or thought-leaders in your industry and engage with their content. This can help you build relationships and potentially open doors for future opportunities.
  • Search for groups or communities related to your freelance work and join them. Make sure you’re an active member by participating in discussions, sharing useful insights, and networking with other members.
  • Take part in relevant discussions you come across on your feed and engage with other users’ content by liking, commenting, and sharing.
  • Share valuable content and insights related to your expertise to showcase your knowledge and attract potential clients.
  • Seek out mentors or peers in your field and connect with them for advice, support, and potential collaborations.

Your network should be a mix of both potential clients as well as a supportive community of like-minded individuals who do the same kind of work as you.

Also, remember that the power of networking on LinkedIn lies in building genuine relationships, not just adding numbers to your network. That means that the relationship shouldn’t end once your connection request is accepted. Actively nurture those connections through regular engagement and communication.


Once you make a conscious effort to optimize your LinkedIn profile and build a strong network, you’ll be amazed by the opportunities that can come your way. From potential clients to collaborations, mentorships to job offers,  LinkedIn can open a lot of doors for freelancers. Don’t underestimate the power of this platform and make sure to leverage it to your advantage.

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