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Using LinkedIn to get freelance writing assignments: Am I too sensitive?

I’ve been a student of how to market freelance writing services online for years, but a few weeks ago I ran into a “situation” that I find quite surprising and annoying.

I have been thinking about how to handle this situation—and then write an article about it—but I still haven’t come up with a resolution that really pleases me.

So I am asking:

What do you think?

Here’s the story:

I belong to several LinkedIn groups on insurance and financial marketing. I seldom comment because as a freelance writer who works on my own, I do not have first-hand experience with many of the sales and industry topics discussed in these groups.

Several weeks ago I decided to publicize my services in these groups. So I wrote what I thought was a professional post and posted it to each of these groups under the category of “promotions.”

Alas, I got no response at all.

A week or two later, another member posted the following under the category of “discussions”:

I am in a career transition and looking for a new financial writer position, full-time or freelance. Any info and recommendations are welcome. I can provide intel about my old job, which is open.

The posting showed only the individual’s first name, but I discovered his last name by clicking around for a little while.

I looked at his profile, which is impressive relative to financial writing, but I was unimpressed by his message to the group. (For starters, why is his old job open if he doesn’t have any solid opportunities for which to leave?) He has never commented to this group before (or since).

To my surprise, he got four comments, three with solid freelance leads, if not offers. And who knows how many private responses?

I debated about what I should do. Comment to the entire group and say “me too”? Follow up individually with each of those who commented and compete for the assignment semi-offered to him? Protest to the group organizer or even the entire group that this should have been posted as a promotion?

All the possibilities sounded whiny and / or Johnny come lately.

I thought social networking is about Know, Like, Trust but here it seems to be about Pity.

What should I have done? Am I too sensitive? Should I simply repost my email about freelancing as a new “discussion”?

What do you think?


Originally posted 3-25-12

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