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here are what I've been trying. Which is most effective?

  1. I send a LinkedIn invite to every potential hiring manager that is not a 1st connection. In the invitation, I say I'm an available contractor, and give my contact info.

  2. I email each 1st connection hiring manager.

  3. I try to call each hiring manager and offer my services. This is time consuming, but there is nothing like getting a YES.

Which is best? Are there other ways to utilize LinkedIn?

  • Define 'hiring manager', are you talking about HR responsibles at random companies or recruitment firms? – user3244085 Feb 28 '17 at 20:22
  • Have you tried freelancing sites like Upwork? These sites usually take around a 10% cut of your pay, but if you're spending more than 10% of your business hours trying to network with new clients, that might well be worth it. – user45623 Mar 1 '17 at 21:47
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I'm a freelance software developer too and I pretty much get all my work through LinkedIn. The thing is, my connections are a lot of (pre selected) recruiters. I know a lot of freelancers hate recruiters, but I don't get that. Recruiters often have a foot in companies, you yourself just can't get in. Going through an intermediate also takes away a lot of risks for you and the company... Like if a company goes belly up, you still get paid. The other way around, it saves you making contracts and of course "cold" calling/mailing people for a possible contract, what is often seen as spam.

Just make sure you have all your skills listed and a good description.

I don't care they take a percentage, as long as I get what I want out of it, it's a win win... also when you stay in good contact, it are the recruiters who will probably help you get a contract, when times are less good for freelancers.

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Having been on LinkedIn since approximately 2008, I am proposing that your question begs the question. That is, it assumes that one should use LinkedIn at all. I have yet to see a benefit other than staying connected with colleagues for networking purposes. Over the past 9 years I have had personalized, step-by-step assistance from both free and paid consultants to build my LinkedIn presence. I have followed every article about using LI most effectively. I am constantly updating information, writing articles, etc. I have followed all best practices (and had objective parties review my attempts) to reach out to possible clients. Despite all of the best efforts, including all of the techniques you mention as well, I have yet to see benefits from using their site. I wish you the very best, but I hope you'll not put too much energy into them as a resource. In short - try everything and then some, but don't get your hopes up too high.

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  • Have you tried freelancing sites like Upwork? They take a percentage of your pay (I think 10% is average), but if you're spending huge amounts of time networking then it might be worth taking the cut in order to have easier access to more clients. And you can always set your rate on the freelance site 10% higher than you would otherwise. – user45623 Mar 1 '17 at 21:44
  • Agreed - even though I have gotten one contract via LinkedIn, that actually seems like the exception rather than the rule. – morsor Mar 31 '17 at 7:07
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This seem like enough. I have been contacted on their initiative numerous time, and they seem to lack software engineers. So I would say that they are happy now when someone actually contacted them first.

If you do not hear from them in a few weeks, ping them again.

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