Sure, you know that LinkedIn is important…kind of. You put up a profile, but you haven’t touched it in forever. Instead of just sitting there, your profile could be helping you get work—if you make some changes. Which changes are most important for a copywriter LinkedIn profile?
First, let’s take a quick step back to talk about why a good LinkedIn profile is so important. After all, “everyone else is doing it” just isn’t a good enough reason to have a profile.
You’re probably already aware that most recruiters and prospective employers take a look at your profile as soon as they get your resume. They want to see what your profile looks like, how you describe yourself, who you’re connected to and whether anyone has recommended you.
However, that’s not the only group you should be thinking about. Now that you’re a copywriter, you’re also interested in getting freelance clients, in addition to jobs. Many potential clients go on LinkedIn and simply do a search for “copywriter.” You want your profile to come back in that list of search results and you also want it to convince them to get in touch.
In fact, your LinkedIn profile should be bringing you job leads and recruiter connections without you having to lift a finger.
8 Steps to Creating the Best Copywriter LinkedIn Profile
The key to getting recruiters and potential clients reaching out to you via LinkedIn is to create a presence on the platform that is interesting, engaging, and really sells you as a professional copywriter.
Here are 8 small steps that will yield huge returns.
1. Optimize Your Title
This is one of the most important, but most overlooked parts of a copywriter LinkedIn profile. And when I say “overlooked,” I mean overlooked by you. Lots of people simply put in their title and their current company. But that’s vastly underutilizing it. At least part of your title should be what you want to be found for in search results. So, put copywriter in there!
Also, you want to get people over to your portfolio site, so put your portfolio URL in there, too. It’s an open field, so you can do with it what you will.
If people can’t see your portfolio, there’s a significantly lower chance of them contacting you for work. You could delineate it with a comma such as, “Copywriter, www.YourSiteURL.com.” Or you may opt for some other design method like a vertical line: |. But putting it in your title puts your URL front and center—exactly where you need it to be.
2. Add Your USP to Your Background Summary
So, you know how you write copy for a client to sell their product or service? Well, this background section (summary and experience) is really about using your copy to sell yourself. Your copy in the summary needs to convey your USP—what differentiates you from the copywriting competition?
At the same time, you also want to give the reader a feel for your personality and what style of professional you are. Your background summary is the best place to let these elements shine. This should be the place that the reader can get a quick hit of what makes you who you are and what makes you a compelling job candidate.
Don’t just copy your bio from your portfolio site, though; give them something new and interesting to read. Give them a reason to call you!
And you’re a copywriter, so this section has to be really, really good. Make it interesting, make it easy to read and make it enjoyable to read. This is the place to prove to your profile visitor that you can sell anything—including yourself.
3. Add a Photo
I’m still surprised at how many people don’t have pictures on their profiles. Sure, it can be a little odd to make your picture available to hundreds of thousands of strangers but there’s a simple fact at play here: Humans are visual creatures. They want to know what they’re going to get.
People want to see your picture to help them get a feel for you as a professional. Sure, it’s not very valid, but if a recruiter feels more comfortable getting in touch with a smiling face than not, why bother arguing? You don’t need a headshot from a pro photographer, you just need to look like a nice, friendly professional.
This has nothing to do with gender, age, attractiveness or anything else like that—people just naturally want to see what people look like and are more apt to trust you if you’ve uploaded a photo. There’s no point it fighting it; just pick a pic and upload it.
4. Background Experience
Many people just assume that they should copy and paste the experience section of their resume into this section. And maybe that’s okay for some professionals, but not for you. Why? Because most professionals’ experiences have taken place on the job, and that may not be the case for you.
Don’t be afraid to include project work you’ve done for clients—and don’t be afraid to include a little write up of how you solved their problem with a link to the piece on your portfolio site.
LinkedIn offers you the ability to create a mini portfolio site on your profile. And that’s great; I’d highly recommend putting two or three of your pieces up there…but not all of them.
Why? Well, on LinkedIn, they control the experience. They control what you’re able to show and in what way. People can also be looking at your profile, but get distracted by a link in a sidebar to something else.
On your own site, though, you control the experience and they have the opportunity to get truly immersed in your site. So put two or three of your best samples up there and then create an image that says “See the rest of my samples at [YOUR URL]”
Portfolio link in the title, portfolio links in the experience section, portfolio link in the portfolio section—are you seeing a theme here? You want to get them over to your portfolio where they can be wowed by your work and where it’s really easy to contact you.
Next to your samples and your bio, the next most influential element on your copywriter LinkedIn profile is recommendations. These are proof—from the horses’ mouths, so to speak—that real people have worked with you and have really liked your copy.
If you don’t have any recommendations, now’s the time to start reaching out. Go ahead and get in touch with people you’ve written for (even if your job wasn’t specifically as a copywriter) and let them know that you’re trying to build up some recommendations about your writing skills on LinkedIn.
Now, each person has to upload the recommendation themselves (you can’t do it for them), so it’s also worth asking if you can republish those recommendations on your portfolio site, too.
It could be as simple as, “Hi NAME, I really enjoyed my time at COMPANY and I hope that the work I contributed continues to help. If you wouldn’t mind, would you be willing to write me a short recommendation on LinkedIn? You could upload it right here [include link]. It’s completely at your discretion, of course, but I’d appreciate any insight you can offer. Thank you!”
You can expect that some people will forget to write one or just generally don’t offer recommendations, so be sure to send out these emails to a couple of people at the company. Obviously, they need to be with people you directly worked with. But it’s a good rule to send a request to a direct supervisor, a coworker, and a design partner. Combinations of testimonials from these three groups help to show how valuable you are to all members of a team.
The more people see the social proof of your skills, the better.
Speaking of skills, this is a section I’ll mention because it’s easy to do, though it’s not exactly important on LinkedIn right now. In the skills section, you simply list all of your professional skills by doing a little search and clicking on the skill. Once you do this, people can endorse you for a skill (just by clicking) and you can endorse other people. Is this an especially important or useful feature on your profile? Not really, but it’s easy. Spend an extra two or three minutes to add some skills so you can start acquiring your endorsements.
It really doesn’t take long to update your LinkedIn profile. What it does take is some thinking, a few rough drafts and some polishing. Make your profile sparkle so people won’t be able to resist getting in touch.
8. Add Your Email Address
Right now, unless a potential contact has LinkedIn’s InMail fee-based InMail service, they can’t contact you through the site. Which is a problem, of course, because you want people who want to give you work to be able to get in touch with you.
If you’re comfortable doing it, post your email address along with an invitation to contact you at the end of your summary. If someone wants to discuss working with your after just reading your summary, you don’t want them to have to have to take any extra steps to do it. Yes, they can reach you once they click through to your portfolio site, but don’t make them take those extra steps. Give them your contact info and a call to action right away.
If you’re concerned about putting your regular email address up, you could always create a free account that you use only for LinkedIn—just be sure to check it daily. Sometimes work goes to the fastest responder!
Bonus Tip: Do You Want to Notify Your Contacts?
Right now, by default, LinkedIn will notify all of your contacts every time you make a change to your profile. If you’re going to be making a lot of changes and/or making changes over the course of a couple of days and don’t want your contacts notified every time, make sure to turn this feature off.
You Must Update Your Connection Requests
While you’re updating your LinkedIn profile, you’re likely going to send connections to former colleagues and other people you want to add to your network. You must change the auto-invite copy in your connection invitations. You’re a copywriter! If you don’t bother changing “I’d like to add you to my professional network” to something more compelling, how can anyone trust you to write great copy?
Be careful though—LinkedIn has set it up so that some kinds of invitations allow you to change it and some automatically send their copy. Currently, clicking on “Connect” below a title in the “People You May Know” right hand module on your profile page lets you change the copy, but clicking on it from the “People You May Know” page doesn’t give you that option if you click on it—you have to select “Add a personal message.“
What part of your profile are you going to change first? Let us know in the comments below!
Last Updated on October 7, 2023