LinkedIn is a useful network to connect with potential clients as well as remain connected with past and present clients so that they can send more work your way. A few more tips:
Update your work history
Just like your resume, ensure your profile on LinkedIn remains current. Include a concise, but catchy summary of your job background; this is what shows after your profile picture and the thumbnail sketch of previous job titles.
Include work samples
Your work should speak for you. Include links to your portfolio in your summary or upload actual samples and/or put links under Projects to show your work experience. The more compelling the profile is, the more likely you are to secure new clients. Pick out a few of your best pieces and have the link to the rest as part of the summary.
Use the social networking element
Create interesting articles, post them and share. Also, comment on and like articles written by other people. This is the easiest way to build your connections and keep them alive. You can track the number of views, likes and shares on each post to determine how much grip you’ve gotten in your networking.
Join groups and engage relevantly
LinkedIn groups provide a great opportunity to network. You can message contacts with who you share a group even if you aren’t ‘linked’, though your settings should be configured to allow direct messaging. Request to join relevant groups if approval is required and join the open ones, and then engage with others in the group meaningfully.
Ask for recommendations
Tactfully and politely request for recommendations from past clients, colleagues or bosses. You can use LinkedIn, telephone, e-mail or other channels depending on the nature of previous interaction. Another way is to recommend a connection with some valued skill, subtly inviting them to give you one as well.
Search your connections’ connections
You’re more likely to get a good reception to a prospective client if you’ve been introduced by a mutual friend than if you ride it solo. Browse through the connections of those to whom you’re connected; you might be surprised with what you find.