Freelance Interview Series – Creating Multiple Income Streams

Freelance Interview Series – Creating Multiple Income Streams

Elna Cain is content writer for SaaS businesses as well as a mother to twins. Over the years she’s helped Smartblogger, Zapier, GoDaddy, Optinmonster and more grow their traffic and lead generation strategy. Her own blog has been cited as the top 100 best sites for freelance writers seven years in a row. When she isn’t writing, she’s playing with her new kitty and shuttling her twins to sports.

"The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to go at it slowly."

Tell us about your business and the different revenue streams you have created.

I started freelancing in 2014 when my twins were around 15 months old. It wasn’t until around 2016 when I started offering 1:1 coaching sessions. I had an email list and had cultivated an audience around my blog, so I sent out an email asking if anyone was interested in 1:1 coaching with me and many were.

It was difficult managing my freelance clients and my coaching students when I first launched. I would write and pitch during the day, spend an hour or two on the phone with my coaching clients, and then another two to three hours writing up a plan for my students following. This turned out to be too much, and I had to do something to free up my time. Soon after, I decided to consolidate my learnings into a course to help my coaching students. Instead of hour-long sessions, I would enroll them in a course and answer any questions that came my way. This course evolved over time to include a Facebook group, expert training sessions, audits, challenges, swipe files, and templates.

During this time, I also started a new blog, Twins Mommy. I wanted to write about the challenges of working from home, while seeing if I could monetize this channel. I wanted to try affiliate marketing and other ways to grow my traffic. Since my freelance niche is digital marketing, I found the tactics I was using for Twins Mommy helped with the content I was writing for my clients too. I ended up creating a course for this audience too, and more courses for my freelance audience as pain points meshed well with my current learnings.  At this time, through trial and error, I had created a freelance income stream, an affiliate marketing income stream, and a digital product income stream.

Over the next few years, I started other websites and two YouTube channels. I then turned my focus to monetizing those channels, and signed up for Mediavine to gain some ad income.

Why did you start to build additional revenue streams?

My niche is digital marketing and I was learning about different ways businesses monetized their brand. Since I wanted to learn more about my niche, I thought, well, why not TRY these methods out?

And that’s what I did. I started with coaching, then affiliate marketing and then digital products. I was practicing what I was writing about and over time, I added more to my revenue streams.

How do you make time for creating outside of your normal freelance work at a macro-level?

Now, I make it a point to only do part-time freelance work. This means I’m working with no more than three clients at a time. This leaves me room to focus on my students, my email list, my products, and my YouTube channels.

I’m learning to be a content creator and, at times, I lean into content creation more than freelancing. But I have control of my day and that means doing what I want to do. This year, I decided to focus more on freelancing than content creation. This means more pitching, more networking, and more LinkedIn posts.

How do you balance client work and building additional revenue streams on a micro level?

I batch my tasks throughout the week. Mondays and Tuesdays are video production and editing days. Wednesdays and Thursdays are client and blog days. And Fridays are catch up days or educational days. I may have to edit a client article, so I will leave that to Friday and check out a podcast or copywriting training video.

And the weekends are family time. I have two 11-year-olds, and I’m either at a ski lodge or a hockey arena.

What other advice would you give to creators or freelancers building multiple revenue streams and/or distribution channels?

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to go at it slowly. I think offering another service, creating an eBook, or opening up a paid newsletter or Patreon account is the simplest way to break into the creator economy. Another way to build additional revenue is with affiliate marketing and creating digital products.

For me, many of my SaaS clients had an affiliate program, so I could also become an affiliate for them. I also became an affiliate for products by freelancers. An example is a finance book created by Alexis Grant of the Write Life and her dad, an accountant. She opened up her book for affiliates and I knew this would help out my audience – and it has!

If creating a digital product seems too difficult, you could always start another service. I did coaching, but you could become a strategist or analyst for businesses.

 

3 Steps to Aligning Your Personal Brand with Your Aspirations

3 Steps to Aligning Your Personal Brand with Your Aspirations

This is a guest post contributed by Indiana Lee. Indiana Lee is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest who often writes about business, leadership, and marketing. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Freelancing is one of the most flexible and personally enriching paths you can follow, so people often think of it as the antithesis of corporate life, which can be more rigid. However, it’s wise to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are components of traditional business that can help freelancers not only stay in demand, but hit their career goals. One of these is strong branding.

Personal branding for freelancers is a tactic that helps you stand out among the growing crowd of independent professionals. By building an aspirational brand that represents where you want to be a year or even a decade from now, you can attract aligned clients and find opportunities that help you actualize that vision.

Clarify Your Objectives

Clarity is key when it comes to aligning your brand and your career aspirations. Having a clear vision gives you a goal to move toward. So when it comes to building your brand, the first step is to set clear objectives.

You can begin by creating a long-term career plan. This isn’t just an idea of where you want to be in a few years. It’s a structured roadmap that outlines the practical actions and milestones that will help you get there. Here are some of the elements of a solid career plan:

  • Self-assessment: Take an honest look at where you currently are in your career journey. Think about your interests alongside your relative strengths and weaknesses from a skills and attributes perspective. Importantly, highlight where you want to go from here, in both the short and long term.
  • Skill development: Do some research into the skills, certifications, and attributes needed for the career goals you’d like to reach. It’s also wise to look into possible mentorships and on-the-job experiences that might help you. You can then plot out which to pursue along your plan timeline.

While there are more actions to explore, these are two of the most useful for personal branding.

Build Your Expertise Narrative

It’s often helpful to think of branding as a form of storytelling. The way you create a narrative about who you are, where you are, and where you want to be can open up opportunities. In particular, aim to build a narrative that highlights your growing expertise and why you’re a valuable contributor to the types of projects that would most positively influence your path.

Your career plan can act as a roadmap for your journey — though it’s wise to stay open to detours along the way — and you can tell the story of this journey as your expertise develops with each milestone.

Here are some ways:

Maintain a regular blog about your experiences 

Write about the types of projects you’ve been pursuing on your path. Explore how these have affected your perspectives on your industry or role. This type of asset effectively tracks your progress, demonstrates self-awareness and consistency, and can act as a unique portfolio of projects to share with potential clients.

Keep a reliable social media schedule 

Use your social media channels to promote your expertise. A recent study found that 42% of freelancers use social media to find work. You can share your blog posts alongside content from other thought leaders in your industry, post images of your projects on Instagram and LinkedIn, and create videos with tips and insights you’ve gained from your journey.

Remember to not only focus on your successes. Discuss your challenges too. Highlight what you’ve learned from them and how they helped you develop and innovate. For example, it’s well-documented that your job can affect your mental health, especially when it comes to burnout. Other freelancers and professionals can benefit from hearing how you navigate the mental health challenges of the modern work world.

You’ll find your self-awareness not only makes you more relatable to other freelancers who may share your content, but it demonstrates authenticity, which engenders trust from clients and peers.

Seek and Leverage Relevant Collaborators

Aligning your personal brand with your aspirations is not something you need to do on your own. Yes, you’ll be strategizing and driving your efforts, but others can help you along the way. Seek relevant contributors to your personal brand development, and leverage them to influence your career.

One way to start immediately is to make meaningful connections through networking. The digital landscape means that freelancers can network worldwide and even gain international clients. Your commitment and authenticity can open you up to a diverse range of partners who can offer opportunities to boost your career and spread the word about your personal brand.

When reaching out to new contacts, be sure to personalize all of your communications — emails, DMs, and more. Research recipients’  backgrounds so you can make the content of your communications more relevant, showing genuine consideration for their interests and activities. Also, don’t be afraid to clearly state your career aspirations. This helps people to determine how they can best support you. Be considerate of their time and aim for mutually beneficial outcomes.

Aligning your personal brand with your aspirations helps you create a solid freelancing business and set your sights on aligned goals. This doesn’t mean you’re shackled to the career aspirations you identify now, though. Remember to take the time to regularly review your needs, so you can adjust your personal brand accordingly as you find your true north.

How to Request Testimonials From Your Clients ( + Free Templates)

How to Request Testimonials From Your Clients ( + Free Templates)

This is a guest post contributed by Philip Oyelola. Philip is a marketing enthusiast & content marketer. He helps tech companies with content that builds trust and educates their audience. He enjoys writing on topics like HR, client management, and content marketing.

Requesting testimonials from your clients can be a bit awkward, especially if you’re new to it. But testimonials from satisfied clients are a powerful form of social proof that can win over prospects who’ve been on the fence and enhance your brand trust and credibility.

In this post, we’ll share a simple but effective process for generating client testimonials.

Implement an Offboarding Process

A full-blown client offboarding process might feel like overkill to many freelancers and business owners, but it’s a great way to gather testimonials, which are crucial to your long-term success. Plus, it’s a professional way to end a client relationship on a positive note, which might even mean return clients down the line.

Here’s a checklist to help you seamlessly offboard your clients:

  • Send a follow-up message or survey to your client after completing the project to gauge how satisfied they are with the work.
  • Write them a personalized “thank you” message expressing gratitude for their confidence and partnership.
  • Highlight what you accomplished together and recap the project deliverables. This showcases the value of your work and lays the foundation for a good testimonial.
  • Archive all the project documents, like reports and communications, and package them up nicely to send over. This also makes it easy to locate important files if the client comes back seeking info on the project.
  • Showcase additional products and services that might be relevant to your client.
  • Ask for referrals, recommendations, and testimonials.

Get the Timing Right

Before asking for a testimonial, it’s key to have a strong rapport established with your client. Make sure your work is complete and they’re satisfied with the final product. The timing of your ask will depend on your industry and the kind of work you offer. But in general, asking for a testimonial at the end or near the end of a project is ideal.

Let’s consider a few examples. If you run a SaaS company, the best time to ask customers for testimonials is after they’ve experienced first-hand success with your product. If you’re a freelancer who offers services like writing or video editing, it’s smart to wait until the project is complete, or until you’ve hit a particular milestone — like the completion of a key deliverable. If you offer ongoing services, wait until your clients have experienced visible results from the work you were hired to do.

Prioritize Customer-Centric Testimonials

There are two kinds of testimonials: self-serving and customer-centric.

A self-serving testimonial prioritizes the interests of a company or services instead of describing how a service or product benefits the customer. It often falls flat with prospects, because it fails to illustrate the positive impact your clients experience from working with you. Here’s an example of a self-serving testimonial:

I’ve worked with many different freelance writers over the years, and MIke is the best writer I’ve worked with. His motivation and expertise distinguish him from the rest. He’s a great guy, you should work with him.

On the other hand, a customer-centric testimonial centers on the value and impact your work has had on the client. It can nudge prospects to work with you because they can identify with the client and imagine the results they’ll experience too. Here’s an example of a customer-centric testimonial:

We had several challenges before working with Mike. Our conversion rate was below our desired expectation. None of our blogs ranked on the first page of Google. From the initial consultation, Mike impressed us with his deep understanding of SEO and BOFU content. He asked insightful questions about our brand, audience, and goals.

Working with Mike has improved our conversion rate from 50% to 200%. 25% of our blogs now rank high on the first page. Mike is a professional freelance writer who delivers results. His expertise in audience/product research, SEO optimization, and content writing are clear.

The second testimonial is far more powerful and descriptive of what potential clients will accomplish by choosing to work with you.

Ask Politely

How you ask is just as important as what you ask. If you’re too demanding or persistent, you might drive your client away and even sour your relationship. Stick to friendly and professional when requesting testimonials.

Here are some tips:

  • Ask clients who’ve had a positive experience with you and your product/service, and who you believe will speak highly and thoughtfully about your work.
  • Begin your ask by expressing how much you enjoyed working with them.
  • Explain why you’re asking for the testimonial and how it can help your business.
  • Offer clear instructions to help simplify the process for your clients. You can also offer different response options (video, written quotes, social media posts, or even a more formal case study).
  • Be clear about where their words will be shared (e.g. website, social media, email marketing, other promotional materials).
  • Ask open-ended questions. They lead to more detailed feedback. Here are some examples:
    • What was your biggest challenge before you started using our products/services?
    • How have our products/services helped you overcome these challenges?
    • How would you describe the overall experience of working with us?
    • What kind of impact did our collaboration have on your business/life?

Create a Testimonial Request Template

A template saves you the stress of rewriting your testimonial request every time. It also serves as a guide for those who’ve never written a testimonial before.  Here are some examples of templates for testimonial requests and when to use them:

#1 – Formal Testimonial Request

Hi (customer’s first name),

I’d like to express my gratitude for your partnership this past (duration). After completing projects, we love to ask for feedback and a testimonial to feature on our website.

Would you be willing to share your thoughts on our work together? You can check our website to see examples from other clients (insert link).

Here are a few specific questions/prompts to consider, but you’re welcome to share any other details you’d like:

  • What were your biggest challenges with your company’s social media account before you decided to work with us?
  • How would you describe your overall experience working with us?
  • Have we improved your business/life in any way with our services? If yes, could you describe how?

Thank you for your loyalty, support, and business.

Regards,

(your name)

 

When to use: This testimonial request template is best used right after you’ve wrapped up a project with a client and the work is still fresh in their minds.

#2 LinkedIn Recommendation Template

Hi (customer’s first name),

Thank you for your confidence in my services. I have a small request for you. I try to keep my LinkedIn profile fresh to offer an accurate picture of my skills and experiences. Would you be willing to write me a LinkedIn recommendation describing your experience working with me ([insert link)?

Here are a few specific questions/prompts to consider, but you’re welcome to share any other details you’d like:

  • What were your biggest challenges with your company’s social media account before you decided to work with us?
  • How would you describe your overall experience working with us?
  • Have we improved your business/life in any way with our services? If yes, could you describe how?

    Please let me know if you need help or guidance.

    Best,

    (your name)

     

    When to use: If you want to up your credibility on LinkedIn specifically, this is the template for you. It can help you generate recommendations that might sway prospects, who often check social profiles before committing to a service provider.

    Ensure that Your Client Consents to the Testimonial

    Using someone’s words to promote your business without their consent is unethical and can tarnish your reputation, or even lead to a lawsuit in more extreme cases. This is why it’s critical to ask for consent before sharing someone’s words publicly (especially if they weren’t shared publicly originally). Make sure you’re crystal clear about the fact that you’ll be using their testimonial to promote your services. You can even name the specific channels where you might share their testimonial (e.g. website and social media).

    Conclusion

    Generating testimonials is such an important part of operating a successful, trusted business. Over time, your clients’ words can help grow your business and expand your reach. People trust word-of-mouth marketing over all other forms of marketing and advertising. It’s well worth your time to invest in a solid, repeatable strategy to generate more of them. Good luck!

    How to Deal with Seasonality in your Small Business

    How to Deal with Seasonality in your Small Business

    This is a guest post contributed by Esther Akinsola. Esther is a freelance content marketer for travel and tourism brands who want to build authority and convert their prospects with helpful content. She is currently the principal strategist at Zippa Marketing.

    “Contract crunch” is a fun term for a not-so-fun thing: when your freelance work dries up for a prolonged period of time. It can happen because of a recession, personal life events, seasonal fluctuations, or a change in client demand.

    Instead of viewing your dry periods as pure losses, consider them learning experiences — opportunities for transformation and growth.

    When business is slow, it gives you room to diversify your skills, cultivate resilience, and emerge even stronger on the other side.

    In this article, I’ll delve into the nuance of contract crunch, exploring strategies to help you navigate it with grace.

    Effects of Contract Crunch

    “The common theme I’m experiencing is potential clients not being able to make decisions or taking a long time to make decisions and low-balling across the board.” Lindsay Tague

    During this phase, clients are less likely to explain their reasons to you. Some call it a management issue, while others refer to it as internal. But many could also be cutting back on costs to sustain the company. As a freelancer, you could experience the following as a result of their slow decision or temporal rejection.

    • Financial Concerns: Let’s be real; when contracts are scarce, the first thing that feels the pinch is your wallet. You start doing the budget dance, prioritizing bills, and maybe eating more instant noodles than you’d like.  And if you have considerable expenses to cover, dependents to care for, and no savings to fall back on, that can be all the more scary. Practical steps like budgeting and — if need be — seeking short-term gigs or part-time work can help you stay afloat when money is tight.
    • Imposter Syndrome: It’s perfectly normal to question your skills and choices during a contract crunch. “Did I make the right decision?” you wonder. Impostor syndrome might convince you that your slow months are a reflection of your skills and worth. Keep the larger context in mind. And focus on all the data points you have to show that you know what you’re doing, like prior client feedback, past successes, and everyday wins

    How to Deal With Contract Crunch

    1. Upskilling: There’s no better time to diversify your skill set than now. Take advantage of the downtime and broaden your knowledge. So, if you’ve been interested in learning prompt engineering or how to create stunning infographics, then get on it. Doing this during the dry spell will position you for better opportunities down the line. If you’re cash-strapped, start with a skill share or Class Central on YouTube.While you still hunt for gigs, block out time to invest in yourself.

    2. Invest in your feast season: Sometimes your resilience and how you manage the “contract crunch” season depend on what you made of your feast. There are over 1,000,000 videos on the internet teaching us all how to make money from our skills but only a handful telling us how to invest or save our income. So, brush up on your financial knowledge. Ask people you look up to how they invest their money.  Start making savings goals for the short-term, mid-term, and long-term, so you can act on them when your cash flow improves.

    3. Start a side project: If there’s something else you are passionate about within or outside your creative work, now is the time to do it. While it’s smart to dabble into side projects you can easily start and quit, it doesn’t hurt to have an additional stream of income that could lead to more income. This could be starting a blog and monetizing it, creating digital projects, starting a mentorship program, selling courses, or affiliate marketing. You can also simply expand on your existing services. For example, if you write PR articles you can consider offering SEO content writing on the side.

    4. Invest in marketing: This is one thing freelancers don’t share enough. It’s okay to invest in paid ads or hire appointment-setters. It can be hard to focus on client work if you have to do everything yourself in your feast season. But to minimize your risk during your slow season, you’ll need to ensure your calendar is constantly booked and outsource tasks if need be, so you can always have something to fall back on.

    5. Create a system for consistent work. Freelancers are used to offering one-off pricing for their clients, but moving to package offerings is often a better setup.  Not only does it increase your bottom line, but it ensures that your clients stick around longer. For example, say you charge $2000 for website development. Your clients simply pay for that one gig and move on. But in reality, that website will need ongoing support and maintenance. You could offer a package deal that includes error fixing and tech support maintenance. Offering bundle plans helps you land recurring work and ultimately negotiate higher pay.

    6. Networking: During a contract crunch, you need all the support you can get. Talk to other freelancers to understand what they are doing differently and how they’ve been able to fill their pipeline with leads. You never know who might pass your name along and help you land your next gig.

    The bottom line: Slow seasons are tough in many ways. But they also offer opportunities for growth. Use your time wisely, and you may just set yourself up for an even bigger feast than you’d imagined next season.

    Using LinkedIn to Attract and Convert Freelance Clients

    Using LinkedIn to Attract and Convert Freelance Clients

    This is a guest post contributed by Antonio Gabrić. Antonio is an outreach manager at Hunter. He is passionate about testing different outreach tactics and sharing results with the community. When he is not connecting with industry leaders you can find him on his motorbike exploring off-the-beaten paths around the world.

    Having a steady stream of quality clients is vital for sustaining your business. But attracting your ideal client can be challenging in an increasingly crowded and competitive market, with 1.57 billion freelancers.

    LinkedIn has become an invaluable platform for freelance networking, thought leadership, and lead generation. It boasts over 930 million users worldwide and serves just about every niche. By implementing strategic best practices, freelancers can optimize their LinkedIn presence to connect with prospective clients and grow their businesses.

    This guide is full of actionable tips to help you stand out on LinkedIn, nurture professional relationships, create valuable content, and convert more leads into paying clients. Let’s dive in!

    Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

    You want to transform your profile into a place where clients know how you can help them achieve their goals.

    Here is how to do it:

    Craft a Client-Focused Headline

    Your headline is one of the first things people notice on your LinkedIn profile — so make it count!

    Summarize your freelance services in an attention-grabbing yet professional way. Make sure to include relevant keywords that prospects might search for to find you. Use persuasive language to indicate how you solve client problems.

    Here is an awesome example:

    David tells visitors three important things:

    • What he does – “Senior Content Writer”
    • Who he helps – “B2B & B2C” clients
    • The outcome he provides – “grow your audience and get more leads”

        The Power of a Persuasive Summary

        While your headline hooks people, your summary section reels them in by persuading them to reach out.

        Briefly share your career story, discuss the types of organizations you work with, and explain how you help clients reach their goals. Sprinkle in strategic keywords for greater visibility in LinkedIn search.

        End by calling visitors to action — invite them to get in touch to discuss potential projects, or prompt them to visit your website, where they can view your portfolio and client case studies.

        Here is a great example:

        Antonio does everything mentioned but also adds quantified successes to outline his expertise.

        Showcase Your Portfolio

        One incredibly valuable yet often neglected aspect of LinkedIn is the Featured section where you can showcase examples of your best work.

        Curate 3-5 pieces demonstrating your revelant expertise and the business impact you’ve delivered for real clients. Seeing tangible outcomes builds trust and credibility.

        For example, if you’re an SEO specialist, add case studies from successful site optimization projects. If you’re a copywriter, share samples of your best writing.

        Here is a cool example:

        On this content writer profile, we can see:

        • Personal blog
        • Publication on a high authority website
        • Client work

        This balance is a great way to showcase the diversity of your skillset.

        Building a Strategic Network

        The average number of LinkedIn connections is 1,300. Your goal should be to grow the number of right connections.

        Here is how to combine quality and quantity to build a strategic LinkedIn network:

        Connect with the Right People

        Quality beats quantity when building your network. Don’t just add strangers randomly — strategically identify relevant contacts instead.

        You can search for potential clients by company, groups, job titles, and interests/skills using LinkedIn filters. Connecting with influencers in your industry also helps.

        When sending connection requests, personalize them. Outline shared groups/interests you have in common, or explain why you want to connect with them.

        Taking the extra minute or two to tailor requests makes a strong first impression and builds authentic relationships rather than appearing spammy.

        Engage with Content

        Actively engaging with content posted by your connections and influencers greatly expands your visibility on LinkedIn.

        Comment on updates, share articles, and react to posts to enter conversations and join communities around your niche. This shows your expertise and credibility on the topics clients care about.

        When sharing contentfrom others, always add original commentary providing your insight rather than simply reposting. This positions you as a thought leader.

        Here’s a good example:

        Utilize LinkedIn Groups

        LinkedIn Groups support more focused networking and give you direct access to your target audiences, making them an ideal place to find clients.

        You can find groups by typing in your desired niche and filtering for “Groups.”

        Once in a group, start engaging by commenting on other people’s posts or creating a valuable post on your own. The idea is to do this consistently and avoid immediately pitching your services. Be helpful first, and freelance business leads will naturally follow.

        Content Marketing on LinkedIn

        Only 9 million LinkedIn users showcase their content, which is a great opportunity to start content marketing on your profile.

        Create Valuable Content

        The 5 most popular content types that attract clients on LinkedIn are:

        • Carousels
        • Blog posts
        • Third-party content
        • Native video
        • Text only
        • Photos and illustrations

        Use them to create helpful content around pain points in a specific industry.

        Here is an example of a thoughtful LinkedIn post:

        Most agree that the ideal LinkedIn publishing frequency is 2-5x/week, between 8 AM and 10 AM. Utilize this data to time your posts so you’ll get in front of more people.

        Leverage LinkedIn Articles

        While regular posts have great value, creating full-length articles for LinkedIn gives you more opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise.

        The main benefit of publishing LinkedIn articles is the amount of flexibility you get with the higher word count.

        Your articles can explore virtually anything relevant to your target audience, from inspiring stories and case studies to practical how-tos and guides.

        LinkedIn Messaging Strategies

        LinkedIn InMail has an impressive 18-25% response rate. Here is how to make the most of it.

        Craft Compelling Messages

        Organically attracting clients through your LinkedIn presence is only one part of the puzzle. The other part is reaching out to them directly.

        With outreach, the key is to personalize your prospecting messages. You can do so by:

        • Addressing prospects by name
        • Opening with what initially interested you in their company, project, or post
        • Asking questions to kickstart a conversation tailored to them

        Here’s an example of a well-crafted personalized invitation:

        Avoid vague invitations to connect or chat; intriguing opening lines spark better response rates.

        Follow Up Without Being Pushy

        You won’t get an immediate reply on every outreach attempt, and that’s part of the reason effective follow-up is crucial. But you want to avoid coming across as overly pushy.

        Here are a few strategies to consider:

        • Focus the message on the prospect’s pain point.
        • Lead with value.
        • Show interest in the prospect.
        • Follow up multiple times, as this can double your response rates.

        If LinkedIn outreach is still cold, it’s time to try email outreach. Most LinkedIn members don’t disclose their email addresses, so how do you find them?

        With an email finder tool.

        First, get a potential lead’s first name, last name, and company name from LinkedIn.

        Then, plug this data into the tool. It will scrape the web and,Iin most cases, you’ll get the prospect’s email address. Then, you can attempt outreach again — but in a more direct way. Many people check LinkedIn infrequently, so don’t be shy about following up via email if you don’t hear them after a number of days.

        LinkedIn Analytics and Adjusting Strategies

        You are 23 times more likely to attract clients if you implement data-driven decisions. Here’s what that means for your LinkedIn lead generation strategy.

        Understand LinkedIn Analytics

        LinkedIn Analytics provides insight into the activities and content that resonate most with your target audience.

        Take note of these metrics:

        • Follower growth rate
        • Follower demographics
        • Page views
        • Engagement rate

        These signals will indicate what content and activities are the most effective at attracting leads. Use analytics and feedback you get on your content or discussions to improve your lead generation strategy.

        A/B Test on LinkedIn

        To determine what works the best at attracting leads, test different variables, such as:

        • Headlines – with numbers or questions?
        • Call to action – direct or indirect?
        • Images – stock images or original images?
        • Text length – shorter or longer posts?
        • Content type – carousel or text post?

        Never stop experimenting — use the tools at your disposal to maximize success.

        Advanced LinkedIn Strategies

        Here are two bonus strategies that can help nudge along your client acquisition on LinkedIn.

        LinkedIn Ads for Freelancers

        There are 4 LinkedIn advertising options available:

        1. Sponsored Content
        2. Sponsored Messaging
        3. Dynamic Ads
        4. Text Ads

        Sponsored Content and Sponsored Messaging are arguably the best for freelancers. They allow you to target decision-makers with your best content and reach out to them directly on LinkedIn

        Using ads for LinkedIn is most effective when you know your target audience. Otherwise, it might be frustrating. Consider testing small monthly budgets to maintain steady visibility, and determine what kind of content and messaging has the highest ROI potential.

        Once you get the hang of that, LinkedIn Ads can be a powerful lead magnet.

        SEO for LinkedIn

        Don’t ignore the power of SEO for LinkedIn — as 93% of B2B marketers use it for organic marketing. The first step is to optimize your profile for keywords your leads might search for.

        Here is one easy way to do it:  Use generative AI tools to help you with brainstorming keyword ideas.

        Here is an example of the prompt in action:

        Once you have the keywords, you should use them in your profile headline, summary, and job history.

        You can go even more granular too, weaving keywords into the content you post on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to provide genuine value though. It’s not all about the keywords, but they help you show up for certain searches.

        Wrapping Up

        LinkedIn isn’t just another social media platform — it’s one of the most pivotal channels for freelancers to network and convert high-value clients.

        By optimizing your profile, creating client-centric content, strategically connecting, and utilizing a couple growth marketing strategies, you can leverage LinkedIn to secure your client pipeline.

        Be intentional, get creative, and add real value. The effort you put into a thoughtful lead generation presence on LinkedIn can pay huge dividends for your freelance business.

        My 2023 Reflections & 2024 Goals

        My 2023 Reflections & 2024 Goals

        In the closing weeks of 2023, I immersed myself in introspection, reflecting on the year I had just lived and all of the experiences that fueled my growth. I contemplated which pieces of 2023 I wished to carry forward into 2024 and what I needed to release or shift.

        With these reflections as a backdrop, I dove into planning for 2024, crafting a vision of what I desired it to be. I created four different categories to anchor my goals: personal wellness, relationships, money & fun. I spent hours shaping and refining my goals, plans, and priorities for the approaching year.

        What you’ll find below are my 2023 reflections, alongside my aspirations for the year to come. I know my journey is different from yours, and that’s a beautiful thing. But if I can provide one ounce of inspiration as you look forward to your upcoming year, then my work here is done.

        PS: if you want to go through this process on your own, you can start with the clean template here.

         

        2023 Reflections

        (1-2 sentences)

        1. What did you love about 2023?

        I loved the freedom, fun and personal growth I experienced. A lot of core memories were made.

        2. What made you feel good in 2023?

        I felt a ton of love from my personal and professional community and felt well supported.

        3. What did you struggle with in 2023?

        I struggled to figure out who I was; what qualified as rebellion vs. who I truly was at my core.

        4. Which decisions had positive impacts?

        Spending time alone out of a relationship to get to know myself, spending time traveling and having experiences.

        5. Which decisions steered me off course?

        Spending time and energy on people who were judgmental, drained my energy or unapproving of my lifestyle and choices.

        6.  What do I want to take with me from this year?

        The prioritization of fun and what feels good.

        7. What am I ready to let go of?

        Any and all insecurities and judgments of myself.

         

        2024 High Level

        (1-2 sentences)

        What do I want the next year of my life to look like?

        The next year of my life will be filled with joy, physical and mental health, financial success, generosity and beautiful experiences with people I care deeply about.

        2024 Goals

        High-Level Guiding Word: Intention

        High-Level Guiding Phrase:

        The next year of my life will be filled with joy, physical and mental health, financial success, generosity and beautiful experiences with people I care deeply about.

         

        Personal Wellness

        Guiding Phrase

        I will prioritize my mental and physical wellness to help me show up as my best self in other areas of my life.

        3-5 Goals:

        1. Go to workout classes (cycle, yoga, barre) 3-5x/week.
        2. Build movement (stretching, walking) and/or getting outside into each day.
        3. Book 1 big wellness item/month (massage, facial, body wrap, sound bath, etc.)
        4. Go to one extended wellness retreat.
        5. Go to therapy/life coaching 2-3x/month.

         

        Relationships

        Guiding Phrase

        I will prioritize showing up authentically with people who energize me.

        3-5 Goals:

        1. Spend time with friends and family who make me feel loved and accepted.
        2. Pay attention to the people who drain my energy or make me feel judged and de-prioritize those relationships.
        3. Share more vulnerably with the people around me who provide a safe space.
        4. Express my feelings and opinions openly and without reservation.

         

        Money

        Guiding Phrase

        I will build wealth and businesses that support my lifestyle and allow me to be generous to others.

        3-5 Goals:

        1. Hit annual revenue goal from all income streams.
        2. Make one big investment (real estate or tech).
        3. Grow my personal and Harlow online community (grow to 50k+ followers, 10k+ newsletter subscribers).
        4. Partner with 8-10 consulting clients who align with my work values.
        5. Donate at least $10k to charities (cancer, supporting children/youth).

         

        Fun

        Guiding Phrase

        I will spend ample time enjoying the things that feel good to me.

        3-5 Goals:

        1. Take 10+ trips with people I care deeply about.
        2. Visit at least 5 new places.
        3. Live in accordance with *my* wants and needs.
        4. See at least 2 new artists in concert.
        5. Try one activity that I’ve never done before (skydiving, bungee jumping, new sport, etc.).

         

        Accountability

        Print this out and put in office.

        Reflect back bi-weekly or monthly to assess progress.