LinkedIn Freelancing: Your Guide to Finding Clients through LinkedIn | Christopher Dodd | Skillshare

LinkedIn Freelancing: Your Guide to Finding Clients through LinkedIn

Christopher Dodd, Web Developer / Educator

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10 Lessons (49m) View My Notes
    • 1. Introduction

      1:08
    • 2. LinkedIn vs UpWork

      2:03
    • 3. Finding your Niche Pt. 1

      1:17
    • 4. Finding your Niche Pt. 2

      3:27
    • 5. Creating a Targeted Profile

      10:03
    • 6. Marketing your Profile

      0:47
    • 7. Creating Content

      11:06
    • 8. Finding Work

      8:09
    • 9. Bonus: Examples

      10:04
    • 10. Conclusion & Class Project

      0:48
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About This Class

In today's short class, I'm going to share my experience using LinkedIn to find freelance work. 

We’ll talk about the important mindset shifts required to succeed on LinkedIn as well as some of the practicalities around crafting your ideal profile and setting yourself up for success.

LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world, hosting the profiles of thousands of local professionals all the way to CEOs of the world’s biggest companies. 

In this class, we’ll go over some of the core lessons I’ve learned from marketing my own freelance services on LinkedIn and how you can unlock opportunities to work with your ideal clients through the world’s premier professional social network.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for your next big consulting contract, an opportunity to just work part-time or to find your next full-time job, LinkedIn is the premier location to market your professional services online. 

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to LinkedIn freelancing. Your guide to finding clients through LinkedIn. I'm Christopher Dodd, I'm a freelance web developer and top teacher here on skillshare.com, covering all things, web development and online freelancing related. In today's short class, I'm going to share my experience using LinkedIn to find freelance work. We'll talk about the important mindsets required in order to succeed on LinkedIn, as well as some of the practicalities around crafting your ideal profile and setting yourself up for success. LinkedIn, of course, is the largest professional network in the world, hosting the profiles of thousands of local professionals, all the way up to CEOs of the world's biggest companies. Regardless of whether you're looking for your next big consulting contract and opportunity to just work part time from home or find your next full time job, LinkedIn is the premier location to market your professional services online. In this class, we'll go over some of the core lessons I've learned from marketing my own freelance services on LinkedIn, and how you can unlock opportunities to work with your ideal clients through the world's premier professional social network. 2. LinkedIn vs UpWork: Before we get started talking about LinkedIn specifically, I wanted to talk a little bit about where LinkedIn fits into the overall plethora of professional services websites out there. Of course, one website that we've already discussed in depth on this Skillshare channel, is upwork.com, the world's largest freelance marketplace. Up until recently, upwork.com was my go-to website for finding freelance clients. But once I started to learn which companies would benefit most from my services, I decided to reach out to them directly via LinkedIn. Whilst upwork.com and linkedIn.com can both be used to find freelance work, the nature of each platform is quite different. As mentioned, upwork.com is a freelance marketplace, and linkedIn.com is a professional networking site. The Upwork marketplace is centered around jobs with two different types of accounts: clients, and freelancer. On Upwork, only the freelancers have a profile, and there's a set process to beginning any engagement, with Upwork taking a cut of each job as their business model. LinkedIn on the other hand, is more like a social media platform. Everyone on LinkedIn has a profile and the ability to create content. That content is then delivered through the LinkedIn news feed, just like you'd see on Facebook, or other social media platforms. Why would we use LinkedIn over upwork.com for finding freelance work? I see there being two main benefits to using LinkedIn over freelance marketplace websites. Number 1, you can reach out to clients directly. You don't have to wait for a position to be advertised, instead, once you have a clear understanding of who you want to reach out to, you can contact them directly rather than wait for a gig to become available. Two, you can reach a much larger audience with your profile. You can create contents to draw on your views, increase your network, and create more chances for referral business. The way I see it, having a presence on LinkedIn, should be a long-term goal for anyone trying to build their reputation in most professional services industries. 3. Finding your Niche Pt. 1: Before you can really do well on LinkedIn, you need to have a clear idea of what service you provide and the type of clients that would benefit most from that service. To use myself as an example, I'm a front-end web developer who specializes in Shopify theme development. The audience I serve are mostly busy agency owners who need a reliable and efficient freelancer to whom they can outsource their Shopify front-end web development work to. See how I know exactly what I do and who I serve. This is the kind of clarity required to be able to reach out to companies directly and also it's going to help with marketing your services and getting referrals as well. On LinkedIn, it's very important to be seen as a specialist. Not only is it easier to position yourself as an expert when you have a singular focus, it also adds legitimacy to any outreach you do to connect with and attract new clients. Later in this class, we will look at just how simple outreach on LinkedIn can be when you have a clear idea of the service you provide and the exact audience you serve. But for now, I want to talk about how you can actually go about finding your niche and for that, I'm going to share my own story of how I landed on my current niche of doing a Shopify theme development for agencies. 4. Finding your Niche Pt. 2: In 2015, I got my start working in web development. After just a few months of studying the backend framework, Ruby on Rails, I got my first job working with Ruby on Rails full-time. Back then I was quite directionless when it came to where I wanted to take my career and I took the first job that was offered to me. Long story short, the job didn't work out and I ended up pivoting into the popular blogging platform in CMS WordPress. While WordPress was a good platform to learn in order to gain freelance work, it was still quite a broad niche and I didn't have a clear idea of the audience I served within it. Then in 2019, I was offered the opportunity to work with an agency that specialized in Shopify as a front end web developer. While working for this agency, I learned as much as I could about this specialized area of web development, while also learning about how it is to work in a digital agency. When I left that agency at the end of the year, I had found a new niche; providing specialist Shopify web development services to agencies. Now, obviously, I've made a long story short here, but the key lessons I feel are as follows. Number one, it might take some time before you find your niche. Notice how I'm using the word finding rather than deciding on your niche. As oftentimes, you need to build out experience and try a few things before you find a niche that works for you. Number two, following on from that idea of building experience, you might want to take up an opportunity to grow into your niche. For me that meant taking a job where I would automatically gain the skills and experience that I could then directly channel into working with businesses on a freelance basis. For you, you might want to sign up for a specialized training program or intern with an individual or small business where you'll get real industry experience. Now, of course, if you're a particularly confident person and you already have a clear idea of the niche you want to get into, then you can always disregard these lessons. These are not prerequisites for getting started in a niche. You don't necessarily need to take your time with this, but I think for the majority of us, finding a niche is typically more of an organic process. You might have to try out a bunch of different niches before settling on something that works for you long-term. Of course, you don't have to stick to any single niche for the entirety of your career, just like I might switch niches over the course of my career as well. Something else I want to make clear here is that finding your niche doesn't have to be an accidental thing. In my own journey, I did take steps to move in the direction of what I determined would be a good niche to get into. I had a plan upfront to build experience in that area first before having the confidence and skills to go into freelance full time. With your own career you might want to do the same. You might want to create a plan for gaining experience in a particular field which you think has an audience of clients to whom you can serve on a freelance basis. Your niche is not set in stone, but I do recommend that you have a particular niche in mind before continuing with the lessons in this class. Everything else we'll learn in the following lessons is going to be about taking this niche and applying it specifically to LinkedIn. Please don't skip this step. Make sure you have a clear idea of the service you provide and the specific audience you provide it to and when you're ready, I'll see you in the next video. 5. Creating a Targeted Profile: Now that you're clear on the service you provide and the targeted audience to which you think would benefit most from your service, we need to update your profile to align with your target audience. I call this creating a targeted profile. The idea here is not to max out your profile with tons of portfolio items, experience, and education, instead, we want to create a profile which will position us as the ideal person to provide our specialized service to our targeted audience. In this part of the video, I want to take you through a few examples of targeted profiles on LinkedIn. Let's start with my own profile here, and by no means am I saying that I have the perfect profile on LinkedIn, probably far from it, not a copywriter by trade, so I'm sure I could word some things on his profile better. But the main thing I feel like I'm doing well at is having a clear headline, and my headline is targeted; it tells the person looking at my profile what I do and the exact clients I serve. If a digital agency were to look at this profile, they would see them listed and they would see that this is what I help with. If they want more clarification, they can go down here and learn a bit more about me. I think the main thing with your LinkedIn profile that you want to get right is your profile photo and your headline here, everything else should be aligned with what you do and who you provide that service to, as I keep harping on in this class about, but that's really the core principle that's going to follow us through this whole class. Obviously, the profile photo looks pretty good, it's a professional photo that I did pay a photographer to do, but you don't necessarily have to have a professional photographer take a headshot of you, you just want to make sure that the lighting is good, you're smiling, you look approachable but professional, and that you're centered well in the photo. I'm sure there's a lot of information you can learn online about taking a good photo, I'm not going to spend too long on that, but use your common sense here, you want a photo that presents you as a professional. Up here, you can see the space for the cover image, and I have this cool image of me presenting on stage. This is a good one to show some authority, but it's not particularly relevant to what I'm providing services about now. I actually did a speech on how I got started on YouTube, but of course, the person looking at this profile doesn't necessarily know that, so I think it's a nice touch or maybe adds a bit of authority to my profile. Of course, there's other areas of your profile that you'll want to do well at. Your bio obviously, you just want to make sure that it's communicating exactly what you do and who you serve, and possibly, the story of how you came upon that, or going into more detail about what you do for clients. Definitely, I could probably do better than this, but it's ticking all the boxes I feel for now and it makes sense as to how I got into Shopify theme development. Here you can see I've featured some of the content I've created, and this content has done quite well on YouTube and Skillshare, so I made sure to note that here, it's one of the top Skillshare classes on Shopify theme development definitely in the last year or so that anyone has created. Also on YouTube, I've created a bunch of Shopify theme development content that ranks pretty well. This is authority building if you have any good content, maybe it's an article on your website, even so, that when people click on it, they go to your website, if you have anything that feature here, definitely do so. Obviously, you're going to want to list your experience here. I wouldn't get too caught up on listing tons and tons of experience, just anything that's relevant. It doesn't have to be a lot of entries as we'll soon see in a different example, but just make sure anything that's relevant like, for instance, this job where I first got into Shopify theme development, definitely relevant, definitely want to include it, so anything that's particularly relevant, I could even get rid of this one here, but again, don't try and fill up. I used to have a lot more experience listed here, I should probably even remove this one because it's irrelevant to what I do now, I used to have all sorts of internships in accounting and finance in here, just remove them if they're not relevant to the service that you're providing. Also here you got an opportunity to list education, depending on what your service is, you might require education. I'm sure if you were providing legal services, for instance, you would want to list your law degree obviously, but any certifications, trainings you've done that are relevant to what you do, I think with the exception of a university degree, you'll probably want to remove anything that's irrelevant. Again, here I can probably remove some of my school experience here and my study abroad experience, I'll probably clean that up in future. I need to follow my own advice here and cut out some of this profile but again, I don't think it's hurting me too much and if we go down here, you can see skills and endorsements. If you can get endorsements for the service you provide, great, definitely not going to hurt your profile either. If you can get recommendations for what you do, that is probably more powerful than having some on click and say that you have skills in a particular area. Down here, accomplishments, interests, yeah, not very important, the rest of the stuff down the bottom of the profile. You want make sure that you're optimizing from top to bottom. The main thing you want to get right on your profile is the first impression where you're communicating what it is you do and who you serve, anything else is just authority building, so everything that I put here in terms of experience or featured content, it's just adding authority to this core message, but the core message is important, you want to know who you serve and what you do for them so that when the person who's in your target market or target audience looks at your profile, they know that you are the ideal person to help them with their needs. Let's look at some other profiles quickly and then we'll move on to the next lesson. I want to show you a friend of mine who does content removal, I was recently on his podcast. What I like about his profile is he's using the cover photo here for a banner and he is clearly communicating what he does and the benefits of what he does. He does content removal, so it's clear what he does here. Brands is a little bit broad, but I think content removal is so niche that he doesn't really have to go and niche any further because what he does is already quite niche. I guess I would improve the head-shot by not having shadow on one side of the face, but it's definitely a clear shot, well-aligned with a smile, he looks approachable, so not a bad top part here. Here you can see in his bio, he's got some sales points here and some testimonials that might be something you would want to do as well. As you can see here, not much listed in experience, education, and licenses, and certifications, so only the things that are relevant, and in this case, he started his content removal business seven years ago, and he has only that experience listed on his profile. You might have all this experience from an unrelated field, you can simply remove it, you don't necessarily need it on your profile. Skills and endorsements, he could do better at that but I see here he's had three recommendations received, so that's pretty good, that's probably above average. But yeah, the main thing is this part up here, it's clear what he does and who he serves. Another person, final example, I'll leave you guys on, my friend Kathleen. She does international tax advisory. She probably doesn't need to put this in her title, but it's clear who she helps, digital nomads, global startups, and what she does for them is deal with international tax and corporate issues. Definitely, I think there's a lot she can improve with this profile in terms of having a cover photo here and maybe fleshing out her bio a little bit. Yeah, she's got some good experience from a local university here, but the main thing I want to get across about her profile is that she's clear on who she serves and what she does for them. She could probably be a bit more clearer on how she helps with international tax and corporate issues, but I'm sure what she does is quite broad within that and I'm sure international tax is quite a niche subject within itself. You want to use your own knowledge of your industry to figure out how niche you are. In my own example, if I was just a web developer helping people build websites, I know for sure that that is just too broad, so knowing what I know about my industry, I know I've niched down to the right level or to a good level. You need to use your own discretion here and figure out whether you're niched enough, it's going to be different from industry to industry, but I hope these examples have shared what I'm talking about when I say a targeted profile. Again, I've got some stuff to improve of my own profile, probably need to cut out a few things that are irrelevant to the service I currently provide, so I've got a bit of work to do myself, but the core principle, as always, is communicating what you do and who you provide that service to 6. Marketing your Profile: Now that you've set up a target profile, you might get the occasional view from a prospective client or recruiter, as you're now more optimized to show up when these people are actually searching for someone like you. However, in order to increase the reach of your profile, therefore increasing the chances that it's found by the right people, you'll want to promote your profile through inbound and/or outbound marketing. On LinkedIn, the main ways we can do these are by, one, creating content, two, engaging with other people's posts on the news feed, three, making sure to connect online with new people we might meet in real life, and, four, outreaching to new connections through LinkedIn itself. Let's discuss the main ways you can market yourself on LinkedIn in the next few videos. 7. Creating Content: Back in 2014, LinkedIn announced the launch of its publishing platform, LinkedIn Pulse. Previously it was only LinkedIn influences who are allowed to write articles on LinkedIn, but Pulse open the door for all LinkedIn users to create content on the platform. In 2017, Pulse stop being a separate feature and merged into the homepage of LinkedIn. Now when you login to LinkedIn, you'll see the News Feed on your homepage just as you would on other social media platforms like Facebook. Also similar to Facebook, you might be notified of new content through your notifications tab and any articles you post could be shown on your profile depending on whether the user is logged in or not. This presents an opportunity for us to mock at our profile and extend our network through creating content. When you create a post on LinkedIn, other members will see the post on their LinkedIn News Feeds, which may cause them to engage with the post forever increasing its reach. Or they might click directly on your profile to learn more about you. Depending on how appealing your content is, it could go viral and attract lots of use to your profile. But even if it's not a huge hit, you're still setting yourself apart from the majority of LinkedIn users who aren't creating anything. In my mind, whether you're creating content on LinkedIn directly, doing it on your own website or publishing on other platforms, creating content is one of the best, if not the best inbound marketing strategy that you can employ for yourself as a freelancer or professional services business. I like to quote popular programmer and blogger, John Sonmez here, who on this topic has said,. But if you can commit to writing one blog cause of the week , even if it's crap, trust me, if you do this after here, you won't be a crap writer anymore. You might start out as one, but you'll get better. But if you can commit to that, you're going to be in the top, definitely the top 0.1 percent of the rest of the freelancers out there as far as building a brand and market yourself like you're going to have be doing that much more than the majority of people ever do. Now, that we've established what LinkedIn content can do to promote your profile, let's look at the ways you can actually go about creating content on LinkedIn. So content is a little bit weird on LinkedIn. It shows up in a few different places. For instance, if we go to profiles we've seen before, we can't see all the content that we've shared and posted on LinkedIn, which is interesting. If we open up an Incognito window and I go to the same profile. You can see when we scroll down, articles that I have posted directly on LinkedIn show up here. So not when I'm logged in, but when somebody is looking at my profile when they're not signed in, they'll see the articles that I've posted up here. I've also created some native video content for LinkedIn, which I'll show you in just a second. Which strangely enough does not show up on either this version of my profile, or if we click back to the logged in version, this version of my profile. So it's not exactly like Facebook in the sense that anything you post would go on your own page as well. But what we can do is click over here, go to posts and activity under Manage, and you can see all of my posts here. So I've created a video which I'll talk about in just a second. But it also is showing me the posts on LinkedIn that I've engaged with as well. It's showing this video multiple times for the times that I have replied to people's comments on the video. So it's not a very efficient system, but this is where you can see the activity on your posts and also see your activity liking other people's posts like I have done here. Okay, if I scroll down, I'll show you some content that I've created previously on my own professional blog. As you can see down here, I decided to create content on my own blog and then share it on LinkedIn rather than publish on LinkedIn itself. Still testing that out whether it's better to create it on LinkedIn. As you saw before, I did used to create articles directly on LinkedIn. But the problem with that is they're only on LinkedIn and you would have to share the article from LinkedIn to anyone who may want to view it in a different context. If you have the article on your own website, then you own that content. Not to say that you don't earn your work, that you post on LinkedIn. But if we click on this link, you can see it goes to my actual website, and you can read the article and then click on other areas that are off LinkedIn. So is pros and cons to publishing content off of LinkedIn itself and linking to it. Then there's of course, pros and cons to creating content directly on LinkedIn. For these articles that I've created, I've decided to put them all on a central website so that when I send people my website, they can read them. But as I said, I recently created a native video just for LinkedIn. If we scroll back up to the top, you can see I created this video, discussing what it is I actually do. As it says here, some of my clients I've found can be a bit confused by the term Shopify theme development. I break it down a little and take a look at how it works. Not that people didn't know what I provided, but there's different areas of Shopify development and different parts of the Shopify ecosystem. I thought it was a good bit of content to create to explain how themes fit into the overall structure and experience of your Shopify store. That has received pretty good engagement. As you can see, I've gotten some views, some comments, and one of the tips my friend and colleague Ian and gave me was to tag people that I thought would find it relevant in a comment, and that has invited them to comment on the post, forever increasing its engagement so that can reach more people. I did find, after I posted it, that I was getting a few more connection requests from relevant people in my industry. It at the very least will help you connect with people that also do what you do or something similar who are in that industry. But I definitely got some relevant connection requests after posting this video. Definitely I recommend experimenting with creating content. If you want the best bang for your buck, I would definitely recommend doing video because not a lot of people at doing video on LinkedIn and it's the most engaging type of content that you can post on LinkedIn, as is the case on other social media platforms as well. So of course, if you create a video, it's going to stand a pot more than just linking a article or writing a text post. But I would recommend to get the best results on LinkedIn, you want to create native content. Either writing a post with a bunch of text that's just on LinkedIn, or creating a video that's just on LinkedIn doesn't mean you can't have it on other places as well. But I think that LinkedIn is going to favor that content and it's going to be more appealing in people's News Feeds. Like this from my friend Danielle. This really stands out on the News Feed compared to just a little bit of texts or even an image. So speaking of the news feed, let's actually move out of this view now. Click on ''Home'' and this will take us to the News Feed. As you can see, this is where the content that you create will be posted. You can also see some ads here. But the more rich the content that you can post, the more reach it's likely to get, and the more engagement and just overall benefit to you of growing your network and finding your clients you'll receive. So you want to, if it makes sense to put in photos, put in photos. If you can do a video like I've done, definitely do a video. But creating content is definitely a way to increase your network, promote yourself, and hopefully get a few new leads in the process. The way you actually create content is by scrolling up to the News Feed, and as you can see here, we can write a text post or we can add photos here, just like we would on the other social media platforms. Or we can do what I did for my video. Share a video here. You can also join a Event and write a native article here. But if you click ''Right article'' then you'll be taken to the publishing platform to create your article. All right, so content is king as they say, it's a new, relatively new thing to LinkedIn. LinkedIn didn't start out with everyone having the ability to create content. But as a lot of people are doing it, it's a competitive advantage and it's not too saturated. So you can stand out and set yourself apart by creating lots of content and drawing people into your profile increasing your leads, increasing your connections and resulting in more work. The final thing about content that I'll share is something I showed you before in the last video is on my profile. You can see here that I have featured content. So these bits of content, if I click on this, it's going to go to YouTube, and that's just an ad there. But if we get past the ad, you can start to watch my video on Shopify liquid, which should be one of the top videos when you search, Shopify liquid at present. So it's good authority building. You can see it's gotten a good number of views. Over here, I've got my Shopify theme development class, which has gotten some good reviews on it. So again, authority building in my particular niche, in my particular field of work. If you have content from other places, you can post them or feature them here and you can also feature articles and media that you already have on LinkedIn up here too. I wonder if I could share. No. Fortunately, I can't share a video, or maybe I can. Here we go. Let's go back here. Click on ''Feature'' and look at that. I can feature the video as well. I'm going to take that off because it just doesn't look consistent with the other two items. But yeah, you can actually feature that content, that video content on your profile. As we saw before, it doesn't come up by default. So that might be something you want to do if you are creating videos. But the principle here is create content, increase your reach, set yourself apart, and position yourself more as a leader in what it is you do for your particular niche. 8. Finding Work: In this lesson, let's talk about outreach. At this stage, we should know exactly what service we provide and to whom we provide it to. We've set up a targeted profile that clearly communicates this message and maybe we've created some content as well. Given that you now know exactly who you serve, you can reach out to these clients directly. Now there's a few ways you can do this, and it's going to depend on what your service is, if you're selling high ticket consulting services, for instance, you're going to take a different approach to say me, who's offering web development support to agencies. Having never sold high ticket consulting via LinkedIn before I'm going to divert to industry expert Natasha Vilaseca here. Natasha's E triple C method starts by; One, engaging with the prospects content. Two, sending a connection requests with a personalized note. Three, starting a conversation with the prospects when they accept your connection request, explaining to them what it is you do and see if your services would be a good fit for them. Then getting a prospect on the call to discuss further if it seems a good match or if not asking for a referral. Finally, once you get the client on the phone, running them through your sales script and closing the deal. This is an example of an approach you might take for selling a consulting package or any kind of logic to deal with a prospective client needs to make a significant upfront commitment. For me, I take a much simpler approach instead of going through a process of warming up the client by engaging with their content, waiting until day aware of me before making a connection, I often just reach out to them directly with a simple message like this. In the bonus lesson, I'll show you how this one message landed me over 200 hours of freelance work. But for now I want to stress a few key elements of this outreach message. Number 1, this message is not at all salesy, that's not to say you shouldn't ever be salesy, but in this case there's really no need to be. Notice how I'm simply putting it out there in this message and then I'm not pushing for the sale. Number 2, it's clear why I'm messaging this person specifically. If the prospective client reads the message and doesn't see how this message is relevant to them, then you're going to look like a spammer. Instead, notice how I make the connection between what I do and what they do by referring to the fact that the agency has a Shopify Plus partner agency having done the exact same service for a different company, I'm confident that my service is going to be highly relevant to what they do in their business. Now, I'm not saying that my message is perfect and that we should all copy it word for word. But I do want to stress that you definitely don't want to spam people on LinkedIn. If you ignore my advice here and just start direct messaging prospects at random, this can actually hurt your reputation and reflects badly on your profile. So please always be targeted with your approach, don't be pushy and makes sure to message only those prospects who are clearly an ideal fit for the service you provide, agreed? All right. Now that we've established some principles for outreach on LinkedIn, let's look at the mechanics of messaging on LinkedIn. Now, messaging on LinkedIn is a little bit of a weird thing as well. There's a few things that can happen when you click message and the message button is in a different place depending on how connected you are with the person's profile you're looking at. For instance, if I go to my friend Kathleen profile here, she's a first connection and if I click "Message" is just going to open up the chat box directly and I can send her a message, there's no issues there. But say for instance, I looked at somebody who's outside my network, maybe their second connection here, the button for message is not going to be there. Instead there's gonna be a button for connect and then I can move over here to more and click "Message." Notice that when I click ''Message'' though, I'm taken over to sales Navigator, where I have 60 credits for which to contact somebody. On LinkedIn, they don't just let you message anyone and everyone, you often will have to use up credits or jump through some hoops. In my case, I had to sign up to Sales Navigator in order to message some people. Sales Navigator is a subscription per month, I think for me it's a $100 Australian a month, so that's in my currency, not very cheap. But the idea of this sales navigated tool is it helps you to generate sales using LinkedIn's extensive database of connections. From a business perspective, it makes sense a $100 a month, but for a lot of you guys out there, I know that's probably going to be a bit too expensive. I'm sure that there's some people on LinkedIn that you can message, it's not everyone I hit the ''Message'' button for on LinkedIn that force me to use Sales Navigator. Not sure if I could find some other examples here of other people that I can click on, for instance, if I click on this girl here, she's a third connection. If I click ''Message''. Yeah, it's just going to take me to sales Navigator. Sales Navigator good tool in order to be able to message anyone, you can also create lead lists and manage your sales process. A lot of sales people and I think recruiters use Sales Navigator, I'm using it to contact people that are outside my network. But I think one hack you can use to get around sales Navigator is to try and connect with them first and then once you've connected with them, you can probably messaged them without Sales Navigator, so that's one thing you might do, you might want to click here to connect. Just make sure if you're trying to connect with them, that you send them a personalized message, if you don't know them, telling them why you want to connect with them. I get so many people try and connect with me, but they don't write a note with it and so I just see a random person that I've never seen before trying to connect with me, it's not clear what they want. I definitely recommend if you can send them a connection request with a message, if you're going to connect with them first. That's pretty much the way you message people on LinkedIn, you find that profile, you click even the message button here, or click more, and then find it in this menu here, then if you want to connect with them, you can do that as well. In my approach, which you'll see a little bit later, I just skipped the How connection request altogether and just contact them directly. But I do have Sales Navigator, so that is a consideration there, but that's about it guys, that's how you message somebody on LinkedIn. Now that you've sent your message, what's next? Well, it's quite simple, we just wait for a response. In the bonus lesson, I'll share some of the actual responses that I've gotten to my outreach messages. But in general, one of three things will happen. One, you won't receive any response, that's fine, don't worry about it, as long as your strategy is working on at least some prospects, you don't need every prospect to respond. Number 2, you'll receive a response that acknowledges your message and essentially says, We'll get back to you if we need your help or if they have any specific questions, they might ask you that here as well. Then, of course, the ideal scenario, number 3, the prospect might need your service right away, in which case you move the conversation forward, getting them on a phone call or moving the conversation over to email. Either way, as long as your message is neither pushy or irrelevant, then you should be fine to repeat this process with as many prospects as you find within your target audience. All right, that's it for this section of the class. In the next bonus video, I'll be sharing actual examples of how creating content and doing outreach on LinkedIn has helped me to promote my service, extend my network, and attract new leads. I'll see you on the next video. 9. Bonus: Examples: In this bonus video, I'm going to share some of the results I've gotten by using LinkedIn. Of course, I wouldn't create a class on LinkedIn if I hadn't used these strategies to actually gain work and grow my network. I want to show you guys what you can actually achieve using LinkedIn. By no means am I saying I am the ultimate master when it comes to LinkedIn, but the principles and the lessons that I've shared with you in this class have been proven to work as evidenced by the opportunities that have been presented to me, and I just wanted to share some of that with you now. If I go into my messaging tab here, you can see some of the conversations I've had. I might be blurring out some of this because these aren't all conversations I want to have as public, but there's some opportunities that have come through in my inbox by doing all of the stuff I've talked about in this class with LinkedIn. Another place where I'm getting messages is my Sales Navigator inbox. Again, we talked about Sales Navigator briefly in a earlier video. I have used Sales Navigator to reach out to people outside my network to gain work, and that has been successful as well. I want to show you some examples of what I've done and how it has resulted in me finding work. If I go back to my messaging tab here, and actually, I'm going to go to Sales Navigator first. I believe I messaged somebody named Alistair at a company, I'm going to search it here. I sent him the message that I shared in a previous video here. Here it is again, a simple message as I broke down in an earlier video. I just want to get in touch with you and just putting it out there if you ever need support when it comes to Shopify theme development, don't hesitate to get in touch. I've listed my number down here which I've blurred out for you guys. What happened from that was I got a message directly on LinkedIn. I got to go back to this other inbox, which is again LinkedIn's weird with how it does messages, and I got a message from somebody at their firm, the founder and CEO. It says, "Hi Chris, Alistair passed on your details and mentioned you were looking for freelance Shopify plus work. We actually have quite a bit going on at the moment, so send me an email at this to start the discussion. Cheers." That simple message that was sent January 6. I got a message back from the founder of that agency two days later. About two days later, I started working with that client. I worked with them for a few months and did over 200 hours of work. Obviously, my little message here, putting it out there worked and there was quite a quick turnaround. Now, not saying that there's always going to be a quick turnaround, that was hit the nail on the head there in terms of timing, but some of my outreach, obviously, I don't get a response back from, some of my outreach they say, "Thanks, we'll keep you in mind." Some of them, I actually get a response back later on. See how here I say, "If you're ever in need of support when it comes to Shopify, don't hesitate to get in touch." Some of them actually do get in touch months down the track. That happened recently with this particular client here. I have a slightly different message here that I'm sending to them, but it's the same structure. "I just wanted to get in touch with you because your firm offers Shopify development as one of their services." Starting straight away with why this message is relevant and why I'm messaging this person specifically. Then of course ending with, "If you ever need, let me know." He accepted it. He said, "Always good to have some extra contract as handy." He asked me a question about my experience with headless Shopify using Gatsby. I said I haven't done Gatsby before, but I have created a headless e-commerce app project before, sent him the link, and then I followed up because there was no response. We didn't end up working together for, as you can see here, that was in July, and we didn't end up working with each other until September when he had a few Shopify sites coming up. The point is here that they might not always have work for you straight away, but you're just building that connection. You just putting it out there. This is why you don't want to be pushy. Maybe they don't have the work right then and there, but they will have in future. The way I see it is by doing this outreach, I'm just saying, "Look, I'm here, I'm the ideal person to help you with this need once it comes up," and if they really need help with something, they'll keep me in mind. In this case, it did. It came through. Now, those are two examples of times where it's come through for freelance work on LinkedIn. Sometimes I've spoken with a few people and actually connected with them on the phone, but for whatever reason, it wasn't working out or they didn't like my rates. These aren't the only two examples of it working. But oftentimes, there's other factors involved and sometimes they want somebody to come on full time, or it's just not the right fit. You're going to get a whole lot of different responses back. One of them being no response at all, so be prepared for that. But I think this approach of just giving them a soft little promotion of what you do and putting you in front of them is a nice little strategy to get you some possible work. I will mention here that the message is optimized for the service I provide. I know that these agencies continually provide this thing that I help with, but they might not always need it. It works for my industry. Make sure you use your own common sense here and you are an industry knowledge. For your industry, you might not want to say, "Hey, I do this. If you ever need help, reach out." Maybe you are aware that they need something right now, so maybe you do want to be a bit more, let's say, salesy. Again, it all depends on your industry. The main principle I want to get across here is that, if you do have a targeted profile, it's clear what you do and who you serve, and you reach out to those people who you serve directly, then there's not much bad that can happen from that and you might just end up getting some work or some referrals through it. As is the case for me, I definitely got some work through LinkedIn. I want to show you something else that's not related to outreach. Through doing all that I've done with my profile, I've have gotten companies outreaching to me specifically. I had an interesting opportunity come up with a fashion brand nearby called LSKD. As you can see here, I had Keith reach out here, and he was interested in my experience, and he's looking for a developer to work on the Shopify store, and they were looking for somebody on a consultancy basis. Obviously, recruiters use LinkedIn. It's a primary tool they use to find talent. You can use a lot of what I've said here to find a job if you're interested in, and maybe an interesting opportunity comes across your profile and you want to take it up, and maybe you pursue that rather than a freelance job. But also sometimes you might get a recruiter reach out and want to work with you on a consultancy basis as well. I ended up having a core with these guys, ended up going into the office. In the end, it didn't end up coming to fruition. I think in the end they hired somebody full time. But it just goes to show that if your profile is targeted, that opportunities can find you as well. This is not the only opportunity that's come my way. I'll sometimes have referrals come through. For instance, if I just roll down here, I had this person who's part of another group that I'm involved in, wanted me to work with one of their clients on Shopify store development. Unfortunately, I was at capacity at the time. Let me have a look at what else we've got here. I also had this guy reached out to me. He says, "We would like to enhance and customize a purchased Shopify theme. We have our own designer who'll provide the artwork. Once you reply all share the full brief where for discussion." Again, opportunities can find you as well as you seeking opportunities for LinkedIn. I definitely like that about LinkedIn, that it's a larger audience. Professionals use it, It's the premier network. Not everyone is on app work obviously, and a big deterrent of using Upwork is all the business that you generate on Upwork has to go through Upwork, and go through their system, which a lot of people aren't going to want to do. I'm liking LinkedIn at the moment. But the reason why this all works, and the point that I've been stressing throughout the whole video, which you'll hear me say one last time here, is that if you know exactly who you serve and the service you provide to that target audience, then you can reach out directly to them on LinkedIn and start promoting yourself to a wider audience by positioning yourself as an expert in that particular niche. Those are a few examples of opportunities I've gotten through LinkedIn. Again, wouldn't teach you stuff that hasn't worked for me, so rest assured that the information in this class is coming from personal experience. If you have any questions on this, obviously you can leave it in the discussion box below. If you have anything to contribute, definitely leave that in the discussion box below. We're all here on Skillshare to learn and grow. It's not about one person having all the answers. If you want to share your knowledge on this class as well, I'd appreciate that. But otherwise, that's the end of the class. I will see you in the conclusion where I will tell you that what I am looking forward for your class project. Thank you for watching, and I'll see you in the next video. 10. Conclusion & Class Project: In this class we've covered an the approach to LinkedIn that freelancers can use to promote their services and gain new clients. Remember, as I've said throughout this class, it starts with a clear idea of the service you provide and to whom you provide that service to. If you're not quite there yet when it comes to finding your niche, feel free to revisit this class at a later date. For those of you who have your niche in mind, I want you to update your LinkedIn profile to become a targeted profile for your particular niche as this classes' class project. After you've updated your profile, make sure to post your profile in the projects section of the class for feedback. As always, if you need any help or guidance, leave your comments in the discussion section below. Best of luck with your journey on LinkedIn. Thanks as always for watching and I hope to see you again on some of my other classes.