The Self-Employed, Consultant, or Solopreneur on LinkedIn

THE SELF-EMPLOYED, CONSULTANT, OR SOLOPRENEUR ON LINKEDIN

Ditch the pitch and starting building relationships with people on LinkedIn. Don’t try to sell people right away.

As a self-employed sole practitioner, I am a member of the “job seeker” club with the millions of others searching for jobs. However, I am a job seeker of resume and LinkedIn clients, rather than the full-time W-2 job, until I complete my doctoral dissertation. Then, I will seek opportunities in higher ed career services. 

Because of the “corona times” we are in, I find that many people are sending me pitches on their financial services, franchise opportunities, animated videos, social media services, transformational coaching, etc. and they don’t even know me. They could be across the country or across a few continents, and they are already pitching me in their first communique after we connect. 

PLEASE DON’T DO THAT ON LINKEDIN!

If you are desperate for work, explore LinkedIn’s Profinder to register yourself as a freelance or independent contractor. Although I am registered on it, I have never processed any client work through it, as my work comes from word of mouth referrals to fill my pipeline. 

There are groups on LinkedIn for freelancers, like The FlexJobs Group, so explore that and see if there are any opportunities for you there. 

If you really want a very comprehensive list for W-2 remote jobs, freelance links, and other resources that took many hours to put together, you could save yourself a lot of time and become a member. Make sure you save the link in the automated receipt that comes from our Salesforce immediately upon purchasing as a Bronze member (or apply as a BENG member if you are a mid to senior-level or C-Suite or a business owner). For 9-½ to 13 cents a day, you can’t beat this investment in your career, and all the time it will save, as the research has been done for you.

Write your business plan to set up your one to many.

As a solopreneur, you need some kind of platform to get your “one to many”, so read this Harvard Business Review article on The Best Business Model in the World, and perhaps you will gain some insights. Speaking of business models, don’t miss Chester & Delaware County SCORE’s upcoming October 8th workshop on Leanstack Canvas Business Plan on a Page. I’ll be there!

Make sure that you use keywords on what you do, rather than stating CEO or President of XYZ Company, in your LinkedIn headline. Think logically about what someone would type in Google to find someone like you. They would use keywords because they have never even heard of XYZ Company before. 

Since LinkedIn has recently expanded the character count to 220 characters in your headline (from 120), take advantage of using more keywords to explain what it is that you do. 

Another thing you can do in the Experience section is click on “Self-Employed” under the Employment Type drop-down rather than leave it blank. The other options, just for the record, are Full-time, Part-time, Freelance, Contract, Internship, Apprenticeship, or Seasonal.

Stay tuned for more upcoming articles if you are participating in the gig economy with a side hustle or are a small business owner or are considering it. Read this article too.

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

Career Education Organization Receives Award as They Help Job Seekers
Even nonprofits that help job seekers can scale as a small business.

Help job seekers is the answer! The question is … as a small business owner, whether a for-profit or a nonprofit, what do you do when you want to scale your business? How do you get help so you can help others?

First, let’s define what scaling means. According to SCORE, “Scaling a business means setting the stage to enable and support growth in your company. It means having the ability to grow without being hampered. It requires planning, some funding and the right systems, staff, processes, technology and partners.”

SCORE provides further details for these five steps to accomplish scaling:

  • Evaluate and Plan
  • Find the Money
  • Secure the Sales
  • Invest in Technology
  • Find Staff or Strategically Outsource

Let’s add a few more challenges. Let’s say you are a nonprofit and have little to no money, you just built a website to begin to monetize, are volunteer-based with no employees (yet), and have emotional attachments to what you do. Now what?

How do you get out of your own way and get a fresh set of eyes to have someone review your business? How do you get helpful advice and recommendations?

Contact SCORE, of course! There are chapters across the country, so you can find a chapter near you to get help and request FREE mentoring sessions!

Although I volunteer for more than one SCORE chapter, there is one particular SCORE chapter I want to highlight today, which is Chester & Delaware County SCORE.

Why? Not only have I been a SCORE volunteer on the SCORE speaker’s bureau since April 2013, but I reached out to SCORE to request a mentor as a small business owner.

I got great ideas from my mentor, Frank Millheim, that I shared with my Board of Directors and steering committee to scale. Our success story and others written about this 10th-anniversary awards celebration will be added to this Google doc.

Register for the virtual celebration.

The annual celebration for the small business award winners is on Thursday, September 24, 2020, from 12 to 1 PM, and it’s virtual, so register here.

Thank you to Citadel Credit Union for sponsoring this 2020 event and honoring me with the 2019 Community Hero Award.

To let my network know about this award and ceremony, I will be leveraging LinkedIn and will also be driving traffic to my website. Could you do the same for your business with your story?

Here are four tips of what you can do on LinkedIn, even with a free account:
  • Publish a full article on LinkedIn or write an enticing first paragraph on LinkedIn that makes people want to click your read more link that leads them to your blog, which drives traffic to your website. Or include your BIO with website links in the article.
  • Share short posts with a link to your article or blog on the feed on your homepage. It’s best to post on your company page and then share that company page link (three dots at the top right) on your home page. LinkedIn’s algorithm likes it when people stay on the platform longer, which is a way of accomplishing that.
  • Share short posts in groups following the same technique as above, but sharing the link from your company page.
  • Include a native video in your post (rather than take people off LinkedIn to Youtube or Vimeo), so they remain on LinkedIn longer. Again, the algorithm will like it more if people stay on the platform longer. Speaking of video, watch the 3-minute video about my SCORE story on our home page or our Youtube channel.

This article was originally published on vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

BIO Lynne M. Williams

Lynne M. Williams, Ed.D. Candidate is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, an all-volunteer 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides career education and networking connections for: 1) jobseekers in career transition, including veterans and 2) employed and self-employed for career management. In addition, Lynne is also the owner of Around the Clock Executive Helper, a writer of resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Lynne presents unique research-based workshops on LinkedIn, resumes, the Applicant Tracking System, the Art of Networking In Person & Online, and other career-related, social media, and technology topics. She is currently working on writing her doctoral dissertation and is a contributing author to Find Your Fit: A Practical Guide to Landing the Job You Love along with the late Dick Bolles, the author of What Color is Your Parachute?. In addition, she writes a weekly career column in Vista.Today Montco.Today and Delco.Today and other publications with LinkedIn tips and more. Connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/lynnewilliams with a personalized message and visit the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group website and read our SCORE Success Story!