LinkedIn Tips For Freelancers and Contractors

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Yesterday's LinkedIn password leak no doubt made the company's public relations people very stressed. The LinkedIn Blog was used as the source of company announcements regarding the leak and password information, meaning other blog posts were pushed aside. Today it looks as if LinkedIn is back on schedule, posting a belated blog entry that is dated for Tuesday, June 5.

The post is not from a LinkedIn employee, but a guest named Jodi Glickman. She is a consultant, public speaker, and author of the book Great on the Job. In the post, Glickman gives tips for how freelance and contract workers can use LinkedIn to help them find work. She gives three major tips for how independent workers can network using the site. From the post:

At the end of the day, building and maintaining a strong freelance business boils down to building relationships, marketing yourself regularly and using your extended network to source opportunities. Stay in touch with former clients, classmates and colleagues, don’t be afraid to highlight your skills and talents and ask others to vouch for you. Opportunity is more likely to come knocking at your door when you proactively set yourself up for success.

Glickman's first tip is for freelancers to have their LinkedIn profile fully fleshed-out and up-to-date. She advises that it is okay to boast a little, and to make sure keyword skills make it into the profile description. Also, pictures are important, and she touts LinkedIn's recently acquired SlideShare software as a great way to show off previous work.

Her next two tips are to get recommendations and network. These seem straightforward, but for a freelancer or contractor these tasks can be more difficult. Glickman advises offering an exchange of recommendations, and contacting previous clients when looking for more work. She also stated that using LinkedIn to search out new potential employers is important, and encouraged using mutual connections on the social network for introductions. The last tip she gives is to put LinkedIn's group feature to good use. There are hundreds of freelancer-based groups on the site, covering every niche imaginable.

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