June 06, 2021
Your freelance work matters.
It helps complete your profile's story.
So, how do you package it in your profile?
Now that can get a little tricky.
In this guide, I want to show you how to list freelance work on LinkedIn, so that you can fully complete your profile.
Let's do this.
First of all, freelancing is a "full-time job".
A lot of growth hackers have spent hundreds of hours more freelancing than dealing with their regular, traditional day jobs. Others, have even turned it into a full-blown career.
We can't dismiss the importance of freelancing because it helps hone your skills and the results help add to the credibility that you're trying to cultivate online.
I've met so many freelancers that maintain a traditional job, but have gained prominence in a particular field because of the number of hours they've spent in.
You can't just brush that aside.
If you have gotten yourself a couple of contracts in the past that gave you skills that complement what you're doing right now, you need to add that in. It shows potential prospects your worth and how effective you are if they take you on.
It doesn't end there.
Freelancing is also a sign that you go beyond your comfort zone – especially if you have multiple contracts or balance two things at a time – to improve your skills and grow as a person.
Who doesn't like people like that?
You can think of freelancing as personal growth hacking.
Here's another reason.
If you have gap years in your official employment, stating the freelance work you did in the middle helps people figure out what you've been doing chronologically.
This is why recruiters will always advise you to add your freelancing work because it makes your resume or CV more complete.
Here's the problem.
LinkedIn doesn't have a specially designated place for you to stick in the freelancing work that you've done in the past.
What it does have thought is the option for you to indicate if a work experience is a freelance gig or not.
Now, we personally don't mind if you list down all your clients, but if you're doing freelancing work on a larger scale, then that might not be feasible.
You'll end up with too many gigs and clients distracting your prospects.
So, the question is how should you structure your freelancing experience?
One of the easiest ways of how to list freelance work on LinkedIn, is to group things by specialty.
Now, all you have to do is add a new section to your LinkedIn under "Work experience" and fill out the role that you are currently fulfilling for your freelance clients.
The title represents your unique freelancing skill and for "Employment type" click on "Freelance" from the drop-down menu.
For example, if you do writing gigs, you can be a content writer, copywriter, etc.
You don't have to fill out the company name since you're trying to group your products by specialty and it's an optional field.
Once you're done with this section, scroll down a little bit and make sure that you've ticked the box captioned "I am currently working in this role." This tells people that you are still active and that they can hire you for this skillset. (Also it keeps this particular freelancing skill in the top 5 – more on this later.)
You don't really have to change out the other areas like your headline.
Write yourself a bada** description of what you do, list down your skills, and include a rundown of your previous clients.
You want to make sure that you scroll all the way down to a section where you can upload media and showcase it to your prospects.
I strongly advise that you upload a photo that serves as a conversion tool like your header image.
You can even include a graphic with all of your client's logo that can be used as "trust by association" signals that can help you score even more clients.
Another thing that you should look into is adding samples of your work. This should be easy as you can include links, pages, and even a video.
I like to advise people to take it a step further and even add landing page so that people can find out more about what you do.
There's a more advanced way of pulling this off, and we'll discuss it in the "Advanced" section of this guide. (Trust us, it's pretty dope.)
Although I like the first option of grouping by freelancing ability, you also need to separate your bigger clients from your smaller gigs.
The simple rule is that if you've had a previous client where your mere association with them gets you places, then they deserve a spot of their own on your work experience section on LinkedIn.
Also, by doing this, you can show samples of your work with that client and that adds even more points to your credibility.
If you're not using the featured section on LinkedIn, then you're missing out on a lot.
It was one of the most prominent areas on your profile, and it allows you to post almost any type of media of your choice.
Combine that with large thumbnails and enough room to write a convincing CTA, you've got a recipe for a good showcase.
Now, you should be posting highlights of your current job here, but it's also a great place to mention your freelancing achievements.
I've seen a lot of people use it to show samples of their work and it helps the convert.
If you have a major project that you want to share or if you just want to highlight that you're great at a particular skill, then you should be leveraging this section to the max.
After you're done organizing all your freelancing projects, the individual skills also have to appear under the skills section to give your profile that extra credibility.
Start by adding these specific skills down and once you're done, make sure you endeavor to get people to endorse you for these skills.
This means reaching out to both your previous clients and colleagues and asking them to get in a recommendation for you.
Reach out to your current clients as well and get them to vouch for the skills that you have.
We at BAMF have always advocated for an active approach to your endorsements once in a while. You get to reconnect with people and open the doors to new opportunities.
Check out our guide on how to get more LinkedIn skills endorsements here.
If your freelancing works form a majority of the experience that you have, you need to make sure that it's in your headine.
Regardless of the main thing that you do, make sure that you include it somewhere in the headline.
If you're using our technique of multiple items in your headline, then include it as the third or fourth item.
Headlines that convert? Use our LinkedIn headline generator.
That's not all you can do.
Include your freelancing experience in your about summary as well.
This is a good place to talk about why you're into freelancing activities and your relevant skillset. Think of it as an introduction to the work experience section where they can view your previous projects.
If possible, use the explanation to complement the main body of work that you do.
This is a powerful technique that we use with our clients.
Not only does it organize the freelancing skills and experience that you have, but it also helps you increase the surface area of your presence on LinkedIn.
What you want to do is to is to create separate company pages for each freelancing skill that you're good at.
Say you do writing projects but a little coding on the side, you can create a company page for the content that you produce and another one for your software development.
Here's a good example.
Since I'm also an author and I want to showcase that fact, I made sure that I created a company page that had my name on it and where it can feature my writing work.
I'm also an instructor in the BAMF Academy, so we made sure that there was a page for that as well, even though it's not my full-time thing.
We give the same advice to people who hold multiple positions in a particular organization or want to highlight extra things on their work experience that they're proud of.
By creating your own company pages you can better organize your freelancing gigs into different individualized "companies" that can stand on their own.
Plus, these company pages can also host landing pages – like a mentioned earlier – where prospects can drop in their details and get in you funnel.
Now, how's that for a little optimization?
Here's the thing.
You have to make sure that five of the most significant work experiences that you have are also the most recent.
LinkedIn only showcases the last five job experiences in this section.
This means that if you have more than 5 freelancing stints they will all fight for important visual real estate on your LinkedIn profile along with your regular jobs.
You want to be able to leverage that exposure.
Aim to include some of your freelancing work in the five experiences.
If you do maintain a main job or function such as a day job or your entrepreneurial work, make sure that comes up first.
You can always set your freelancing work to come up perpetually on your top 5 as long as you don't provide an end-date to the job experience listing.
Your freelancing work should be highlighted as much as your regular job roles.
It helps define you, shows prospects that you are working towards growing and honing your skills, and that you are talented in multiple disciplines.
In fact, based on our research, a lot of prospect clients actually appreciate people who maintain their day jobs and freelance on the side.
It’s a show of tenacity and a commitment to growth.
LinkedIn might not have a section dedicated to freelancing work, but with the right planning you can structure your profile to show your prospects who you are and what you can do.
If you structure it well enough, you can optimize your profile to get you even more freelancing gigs.
So, let me ask you this.
Have you included all the freelancing work that you’ve done in the past?
If not, what’s stopping you?