Developing a presence on the world wide web is crucial for freelance success. One of the best ways to market yourself as a language practitioner is by optimising your LinkedIn profile. The following basic principles can help to set you apart from your competitors:

A professional photo

male and female icons Experts advise that it is preferable to use a professional profile photo. This means using a recent photo, wearing professional attire and putting on a nice smile. Do not use a selfie. Rather invest in the services of a professional photographer. Also, try to add a background photo that is relevant to your business, Personally, I created a word cloud, using words that are relevant to my business.

Your headline

Next in line is your headline. Your headline should be more than a mere job title. Focus on the value you provide for your customers and define your ideal customer. Remember that your services are not about you. It is about what you can do for your clients. The same applies to your summary. Your summary should tell the story of your business. It is important to communicate your brand values. Focus on how you can make a difference to your clients’ lives.

Your network

Growing your network is important for business success. You can grow your network by syncing your profile on your LinkedIn account with your email address book. List your relevant skills. Be true to who you are and to what you can do. Try to get endorsements and manage those endorsements. Edit those endorsements and choose which to show and which to hide.


LinkedIn is all about interacting with potential clients. Therefore, experts advise that you share relevant content and add comments. Establish yourself as an expert and a thought leader through the content that you post. Use your content to start conversations with potential clients. Be aware of the competition. Look at what your competitors do and follow relevant influencers in your industry.

Complete your profile

Make sure that every section in your LinkedIn profile is completed and that there are no gaps or blank spaces. Customise your LinkedIn URL to become more user friendly. Use search engine optimisation (SEO) principles to optimise your profile. Make sure that your profile includes relevant keywords. Join groups that are relevant to your industry and make sure you participate in them. Showcase awards, volunteer experience, organisations and causes you care about.

A networking opportunity

online handshake Remember LinkedIn is a networking opportunity. It is also a marketing tool. It is more than just showcasing your CV. Most people think of LinkedIn in terms of recruitment. However, as freelancers we are primarily business owners. Our survival depends on marketing and finding clients. This is the only way we can ensure sustainability of our businesses. Therefore think beyond your CV. Establish and cultivate business relationships. Build your contacts. Learn to communicate and to provide value. There is a lot of useful information on Google in this regard. There are even books on the subject. Educate yourself and empower yourself. It is all about relationships. In essence this is Relationship Marketing 101. Take the time to master this skill and you will reap the benefits!


References 2021. Business Solutions on LinkedIn | LinkedIn Business. [online] Available at: <> [Accessed 13 June 2022].

Photo credits: LinkedIn logo by Pete Linforth from Pixabay ; male female icon by Ronny Overhate from Pixabay; network image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay; online handshake by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of PEG.

About Anne Marais

Anne Marais has a passion for languages, writing, media and marketing. Her goal is to help her clients get their message across and empower them through language and communication. Through her background in translation, editing and communication science, she tries to make a difference, one step at a time.

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About PEG

The Professional Editors’ Guild (PEG) is a non-profit company (NPC) in South Africa. Since moving to online activities in March 2020, PEG has been able to offer members across South Africa, and internationally, access to an extensive online webinar programme. Continuing professional development remains a key offering and the first PEG Accreditation Test was administered in August 2020 to benchmark excellence in the field of editing.