Are you looking to score major freelance clients as a digital nomad, land a remote job, or just connect with like-minded individuals? Your target audience is likely already waiting for you on LinkedIn. While Facebook is a great tool for engaging with people, it doesn’t always give you the same selling power or access to high-quality connections as LinkedIn. People in Facebook groups have good advice, but people on LinkedIn have the network (and pockets) to help you meet those goals.
LinkedIn is where the C-suite hang out. It’s home to recruiters and CEO’s, AND LinkedIn does most of the heavy lifting by making these people extremely accessible to you if you know the correct ways to leverage the platform. You don’t even need to upgrade to LinkedIn’s Premium paid version to get results if you know how to find and connect with the right people. We’ll explain how to do it.
Create a searchable and robust LinkedIn headline
First things first, make sure you’re profile reflects the highest quality of your work and voice, starting with your headline. Your LinkedIn headline is often the first thing people see when finding your profile. It’s also the most searchable part of your profile so making it SEO friendly will help attract the right connections that can grow your network with the right people. Think of the most valuable words associated with what you do and ways to make them specific enough to let you stand out. For example, searching “Copywriter” on LinkedIn will yield millions of results. But “B2B copywriter for Financial Institutions” will significantly increase your visibility to people in the B2B, copywriting and financial industries. Even if you don’t have a particular niche, including multiple, specific keywords that make sense to your services will increase your chances of making an impression and showing up in searches.
For example; My current LinkedIn headline is “Content Marketer | B2B + SaaS Copywriter | Design Lover | Digital Nomad.” As you can see, it’s not niche specific, but gives visitors of my profile a bit of insight into what my areas of expertise are without boxing me into one category. The keywords are generic enough that they are things people know to search for, but specific enough that I stand out from someone who’s headline is simply “copywriter” or “marketing manager.” It also shows a bit of my personality. Design lover and digital nomad aren’t necessarily skills but give people a point of reference and a bit of insight into my creativity and wanderlust, whereas “content marketer and B2B + SaaS copywriter showcase my technical skills.
If you’re new and don’t have specific skills or services yet, have it reflect your passions or an idea that you’re interested in. For example. “Blockchain enthusiast. Web Design Student. Productivity Hacker” are all very specific keywords on LinkedIn and misinterpret you as being an expert but rather showcase your interests in learning and trying new things.
Connect with the right people
Making good connections on LinkedIn is essential, but that doesn’t mean accepting every request that comes your way. It’s important to fill your feed with quality connections that add value, as well as people with whom you’d like to share your value. Making a list of people you would love to meet in real life and then reaching out to them on LinkedIn is the perfect way to turn a cold connection into a warm one. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people personally on the platform to congratulate them on that new article they’ve written or the new investment they made. If you have mutual connections or shared interests with someone, sending them a nice about your commonality is a great way to break the ice and let them know that you’d love to connect.
When connecting with someone, send out a brief, personalized message. Don’t send the same template to everyone you reach out to or LinkedIn will mark your account as spam, but also don’t spend a ton of time overthinking the message. A quick and easy formula to follow when reaching out to someone on LinkedIn is: Introduction + Compliment that shows you did your research (I loved your recent article/post about….) + Shared interest/why you wanted to connect (I want to learn more about/make like-minded friends in the ___ industry) + Closing (I’d love to connect to stay up to date on your projects…etc.).
Utilize LinkedIn groups
Linkedin groups are not as engaged as facebook groups, but they’re full of useful information and good people to connect with, especially as a digital nomad. Search “digital nomad” in LinkedIn’s search bar, and you’ll find hundreds of groups specifically for connecting with digital nomads and remote workers. Unlike Facebook where most people’s profiles don’t display any of their career information, you can find people in LinkedIn groups in the same industry as you and use the group as an icebreaker when connecting. If you’re in the same group as someone you admire, you immediately have something in common and can use that information as an anecdote to send a connection or brief note.
See who’s viewing your profile
Thanks to LinkedIn’s handy “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature, you already have a handful of warm connections that you may have never known existed. Don’t be afraid to follow up with people who look at your profile. It might seem awkward at first, but it’s not they’ve already been to your page. Start a casual conversation by saying “Hey, I saw you checked out my profile, it seems like we have a lot in common. I’d love to know what kind of projects you’re working on.”
If you’re intimidated by immediately sending a connection request, don’t be afraid to check out other people’s profiles, so they get that notification as well. A lot of times they’ll check out your page in return, and now you automatically have a talking point and know that they (maybe only vaguely) know who you are. They might even be impressed by your profile and send YOU a message first.
Search for remote workers, companies, and positions
Since LinkedIn doesn’t have an easy way to identify remote jobs or companies hiring remotely, it will involve a bit of research and utilizing LinkedIn’s robust search tool to identify these opportunities.
Do a Google search for companies who have remote teams and then search for those companies on Linkedin. Follow their pages for updates or see if they have any jobs posted. It’s also a great way to find other remote workers to connect with by looking for people employed by that company. Identify if you already have first or second-degree connections to anyone at that organization and send a sweet note about your interest in the companies projects or mission. The point of connection could be that you’re a big fan of the company or about how much you value that they are a remote team and your passion for becoming a digital nomad.
To find clients or a remote job, be sure to connect with C level people and decision makers. If you’re just looking to make connections and new friends, not get hired, find people who have the same title, skills, experience as you to get to know. You can even do a quick search of “Digital Nomad + Industry you’re interested in” and see who pops up. The digital nomad movement is still relatively small, and digital nomads love connecting with other remote workers to expand their network.
Create and share content
As you’re growing and expanding your network, it’s important to use your timeline to stay in front of your audience. It’s a big part of converting your connections into relationships and potential clients or employers. If you can, try to get in front of your audience every day whether it be by sharing original content, interesting articles, or status updates to keep your network engaged. You want people to know who you are and that you have skills and knowledge that’s valuable to them. Your timeline updates don’t have to be industry specific but make sure they are adding value to your network. You want your audience to see you as an expert and thought-leader in your industry so that next time they have a question or want to know something they can refer back to something you shared and come to you for an answer or advice.
Most people are on LinkedIn for the same reason; To create valuable connections, meet people within their industry or find people with skills that they need or would like to learn. Besides, when at a networking event, you want to meet new people, not just hang out and talk to the people you showed up with. When you start to think of LinkedIn as a virtual networking event and less as a social network, it makes it easier to approach people you want to talk to.
This article was contributed by Sarah Aboulhosn.