As a freelancer, how do you list your profession on LinkedIn?
It depends on what you want your LinkedIn profile to do for you.
Most people on LinkedIn are looking for traditional employment.
As a freelancer or consultant, LinkedIn is a way for you to attract clients.
But listing “Freelance” in your tagline (ex: Freelance Web Designer) won’t help you attract clients. It describes what you do instead of the outcome of what you do.
Prospective clients care about what outcomes — what results — you can create for them. That’s how you draw their interest.
First, write down the results you can create for your clients.
Example: You’re a web designer, and your latest eCommerce website re-design boosted the client’s revenue 33%.
You could write a tagline like this:
I help eCommerce brands increase their revenue by 33%+.
Notice how it doesn’t speak to your technical ability. Instead, it focuses on the result of your technical ability.
Most importantly, it’s going to get people working at eCommerce brands to think “how do they do that?”— and then click through to your profile.
If your tagline had read “eCommerce Web Designer”, it wouldn’t have created the same level of intrigue.
As a freelancer or consultant, don’t list your profession — at least not until later in your profile. You aren’t looking for a profession. You’re looking for new clients.
So start with the result that your clients want, and put that in your tagline. You can tell them how you do it once they’re on your profile.
What are the benefits of having a personal website?
I recently published a post on the 29 best personal websites, where I asked each person this question:
In what ways does having a personal website help you?
Sharing a few of my favorite answers below!
“My personal website is also my resume — anyone can Google my name and learn what I do. It’s like a magnet for ideas, like-minded people, and work opportunities.”
-Ana Lorena Fabrega, Teacher & Podcaster
“It provides a hub for fans of my podcast & writing to access for new, exclusive content.”
-Chris Williamson, Podcaster
“It’s a great way to build my email list and generate income. It’s also a great portfolio for my work and connects me to people who are looking for speakers or someone to reach out. The website is working for me even when I’m away from the computer. It’s a great set up for any passive income I want to generate.”
-Ed Latimore, Author & Blogger
“It creates a strong, professional impression for my brand and business. It helps with SEO and allows me to showcase much more than I can on social media alone.”
-Zuby, Rapper & Speaker
“I love the people I meet – people who are drawn to me because of what I’ve shared on my site, then contact me. But that would happen through other corporate platforms, too. So the main benefit of having this on my personal site is keeping it un-commerical, un-monetized, and personal. I like the security of knowing that since it’s a static HTML site, not dependent on any framework or platform, that it can last forever.”
-Derek Sivers, Entrepreneur & Author
You can read more — including each person’s #1 tip for people who want to build a personal website — in the full post below:
What is your advice for starting a personal website?
I recently asked 29 for their advice about starting a personal website — and “just start” was the gist of it.
Because your personal website — like you — will evolve over time. But if you never start, it never will have the chance to evolve.
Below is the question I asked the people with the best personal websites — and a few of their answers!
What is the #1 tip you have for people who want to build a personal website?
“Don’t overthink it. Just do it. It’s better to start small and simple and improve over time, rather than to waste time trying to get it ‘perfect’ right away. Websites can always be updated and changed when necessary.”
“The main thing I’d say is to have fun with it. This is your little slice of “internet utopia”—it’s yours to do with as you please. It’s your art (even if it’s also your business). For me, I work hard to keep my site “no frills” and minimalistic so I can focus on the content. But that’s just me. Your idea of utopia might be completely different. Have fun with it. 🙂”
“Live life. This is a lot easier to do if you have something to say and you’ll have something to say if you’ve experienced life.”
“Just start. Everyone overthinks it. My first version of my website and my blog was horrible. I had no idea what I was doing. But I just started. And once you start, commit to publishing something once a week for at least 90 days. That will help you push through the initial hump and build a base of content that you can leverage for years to come.”
“It is essential to have your name, a picture, one paragraph of how you can help other people and your contact details. This is the MVP. Writing a compelling personal story, sharing your past work, testimonials, downloadable resume, publishing new ideas in a blog. All of these add value but come later. It is better to have something than nothing at all! Everyone should have a personal website.”
What are examples of well-designed personal websites?
I recently went out to find 29 of the best personal websites, and here are a few of the best looking ones (and why they have them):
“My personal website is a place for me to write & connect with people who love my work.”
“I see my personal website as my “hub” on the internet. It’s the place for people to find access to the projects I’m working on, to learn more about me, and to link out to all the other platforms I’m on. It acts as a single URL you can send people to to find out about all of that stuff!”
“My personal website is a place for me to share my thinking and to let others know what I’m all about.
I think of it as my online resume, but it’s more robust than a resume could ever be because it shows what I’m thinking about, how I think, what I’m curious about and more.
It also allows me to share things that I’ve learned with a broader audience.
The best part is that people can access all of this without taking any of my time in the present.”
“My site’s been around for 16 years now, and it’s always been a bit of a Swiss army knife. It’s never had a single purpose, but serves as a hub to all things I’m involved in. Priorities have changed over the years, but if you want to learn more about me and my interests, see some of my work, check out my hobbies, and read my thoughts on video games — you can do it all in one place.”
“My personal website shows potential clients my process. It also showcases my work, thoughts, and a way to know me online.”
“It’s kind of funny because I honestly don’t think of it as a personal website. My goal is always to serve others through what I offer there.
In my case I am focusing on helping businesses communicate to their customers through targeted and compelling photography. It’s a huge passion of mine because I believe small businesses are where big things happen.
There’s nothing more rewarding to me than helping a business owner – who has worked hard to build what they have – communicate their reason for pushing forward.”
“I love documenting and sharing what I am learning along the way with my entrepreneurial journey. In a way, my website is a place for me to write and publish things that are a reminder to my future self.”
As you can see, each personal website is designed for a different purpose. So, the best personal websites are designed to achieve their specific purpose.
It’s not just about making a personal website that looks good — it’s about using it as a means to an end.