How I Transitioned to Freelance Writing With LinkedIn

About two years ago, I got the feeling that I needed a change. I needed to do something that scared me.

After nearly 13 years in a corporate job doing employee communications for a large hospital system, I decided to take the leap. I became a freelance writer.

I started ramping up my online presence, starting with my LinkedIn profile. I updated my resume, work experience and sharpened my personal statement.

I figured I should specifically mention the major projects I led, the special skills I acquired (graphic design and photography in addition to writing) and any leadership responsibilities I had.

Showing that I had well-rounded experience would set me apart from someone else vying for the same job. I also wanted to make sure my personality came through and that my profile wasn’t boring. Plus, showing my skillset to its best advantage highlighted that I’m a one-stop communications shop.

No sooner than I made my updates, a recruiter reached out. She was from a firm that placed creatives with clients who needed long- or short-term help.

It seemed I was off to a good start.

She set up an interview with the client, we met, and it was agreed: I’d begin the following week billing at a pre-determined hourly rate worked out between the client and the agency.

While having steady clients in my pocket was great, freelancing isn’t always steady and work ebbs and flows. I still wanted to add to my client list. Luckily, I was about to get a break.

Through my network on LinkedIn, a someone connected to a person I worked with in my corporate life reached out to me. This person was a total stranger who had a new, online publication that highlighted local businesses. He wanted to know if I’d be interested in submitting my resume and clips to be considered for a writing job.

In the short time I’ve been freelancing, I’ve learned one very important thing: keep an open mind.

I sent him my info and waited (another talent I learned freelancing).

A few days later, I heard back. He wasn’t interested. I didn’t have enough multi-source reporting experience. That was the third rejection I received that day.

However, I wasn’t about to give up. I took on another client, a magazine, which was my first venture out of corporate communications and into journalism. Things were good.

Five months later, I decided to give it another go and see if the magazine clips would help me persuade the multi-source reporting editor to give me a shot. So, I sent him an email:

Hi Guy,

A few months ago, I applied for a freelance position at Local Business News. Since then, I’ve published more material and hope it meets your expectations.

Here is the latest issue of Macomb Now Magazine. I have three articles: a profile on a start-up skincare business, a man who grows lilies and how to improve your summer garden, and the Making a Difference section featuring the Macomb County food truck.

As a life-long Eastsider, I can help you expand your reach into Macomb and Wayne counties. Some ideas I have for you include:

-The Whistle Stop Hobby and Toy Shop: As independent toy stores fade away, the Whistle Stop has been a St. Clair Shores staple for years. Family owned and operated since 1969.

-Wally’s Frozen Custard: Owned by Matt Ahern and his wife, the custard shop on Harper is known for it’s firetruck that makes appearances at local events.

The Eastside is also home to the original Nino Salvaggio’s, the original Tubby’s Sub Shoppe and Morning Glory Bakery in Grosse Pointe.

Please let me know if any of these ideas sound interesting. If you’d like to do a trial run, I’m open to that, too.

Additionally, I’ve updated my website to include more of my recent work.

Thanks for considering,


I wasn’t sure if that was done in the freelancing world, but I decided if it was considered faux pas, at least it would show tenacity and determination.

It worked.

I’ve been writing for that publication for more than five months now. The work is steady and interesting, and the pay is good. The editor and publisher are great, and oddly enough, even though I’ve never met them in person, I feel appreciated and supported. I’m so glad I gave them another try.

Like with all freelancers, not every client has stuck around. The one in the beginning of my story decided to go in another direction. And that’s fine. It’s the ebb and flow. That client leaving freed up enough room in my schedule for the same recruiter who connected with me on LinkedIn to find another contract writing position for me. It’s with a larger company with more project growth potential.

For me, LinkedIn has been an invaluable tool for my freelance career. To keep my network aware of my projects, I make sure to post links to my stories and give a little anecdote about writing it: how interesting it was, something quirky about the topic, an emotional moment during the interview. Anything to get eyeballs on my article.

Building a large network, so I can cast a broad net has proven one of the most useful tools I have. My hope is that more connections read and share my articles, leading to new clients and new projects.

It’s always an adventure and I’m up for the challenge.

Rebecca Calappi is a freelance writer based in Southeast Michigan. Her portfolio includes writing, editing and graphic design work for clients in health care, retail, entertainment and journalism. She has a journalism degree from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.


We send you writing jobs.

Sign up and we'll send you 3 companies hiring writers now. Plus, we'll send more companies as we find and review them. All in our free email magazine.

We're the magazine for freelance writers.

We send you companies hiring writers.

Subscribe and we'll send you 3 companies hiring right now.

We'll also send you a guide that gets you started.

We're completely free.

Subscribe now. (It's free.)


About Us

We're dedicated to helping freelance writers succeed. We send you reviews of freelance writing companies, assignments, and articles to help build your writing career. You can view our privacy policy here, and our disclaimer. To get started, simply enter your email address in the form on this page.