Quick question: how many paying gigs have you received from your LinkedIn profile?
Over the years, I’ve attracted a few students to some of my programs and one or two private clients. Moving forward, that could change with the launch of LinkedIn ProFinder.
When I started seeing an article on Inc.com circulating among my colleagues on Facebook, I was intrigued. The article, LinkedIn Just Made a Savvy Business Move and Nobody Noticed revealed that LinkedIn had quietly launched a new service called “ProFinder.” It’s a freelance-for-hire marketplace. I’ve not seen much mention of the service on LinkedIn, nor have I received any announcement, but they’ve been beta testing it since October 2015. So I checked it out.
LinkedIn bills ProFinder as the easiest way to find the expertise you need. And you, as a service professional, freelancer, solo business owner, coach, or consultant, have an opportunity to apply and then receive Requests for Proposals when the criteria meet your skills and experience.
My focus in this article is on you: the person who offers services for hire.
Sign Up for LinkedIn ProFinder
The application process couldn’t be easier. Go to the application page and sign in with your LinkedIn account. You’ll be asked to choose the category of service you provide and then click Submit. At this time, applications are all reviewed by ProFinder concierges. You’ll be notified by email when your application is approved. My application was approved in less than 24 hours and that seems to have been the case for many professionals I know.
Once you’re approved, you’ll get a link to your ProFinder page. You’ll see a link for your projects (for which you’ve requested proposals), and Client Requests, which is the list of requests you’ve received for proposals. Of course, when you first sign up, you will not have received any requests. What you’ll see is a list of the previous projects that matched your profile. This is a gold mine of information.
Primp Your Profile
There are five parts of your LinkedIn Profile that show up on your ProFinder profile. And, there are three segments that will be critical to your success in getting client work from ProFinder:
- An awesome profile summary that matches the expertise you declared when you signed up*
- Recommendations from past clients*
- Articles published on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform*
As stated in the FAQ:
All the information in your ProFinder profile is sourced from your LinkedIn profile. So any changes made to your LinkedIn profile will be reflected in your ProFinder profile.
This is a good opportunity to fine tune your profile, add accomplishments and projects and update any relevant information. [I’m working on this! Below you’ll see the summary portion of my profile, my headshot, and the background banner.]
Pro Tip: After you’re approved for ProFinder, spend time reviewing the expired requests that were made (before you signed up) matching your service expertise. Study the language used to describe the type of projects and the details, specifically. Make a note of the keywords that match your skills and experience. Knowing the language your prospective leads are using to describe the type of service your provide can help you tweak your profile.
Next, take a look at clients, customers, and students who you can reach out to and request a current recommendation for the services you provided. I realized it had been over a year since the last recommendation I received. Yet, I’ve worked with many people since then, so I’m contacting former clients to get recommendations.Get the full benefit of LinkedIn ProFinder by primping your profile, getting new recommendations and republishing your articles.
Then, if you haven’t started publishing articles, or republishing your blog posts, on LinkedIn… start now!
I’ve written about the benefits of publishing on LinkedIn and encourage you to take advantage of the platform for getting your content in front of more people. Now, with the emphasis on showcasing your expertise, publishing your articles is more important than ever.
Here’s what you’ll find in the LinkedIn ProFinder FAQ:
The quickest and easiest way to publish on LinkedIn is to repurpose your best, high value, evergreen blog posts. It’s unlikely that all of your LinkedIn connections have seen your content and I assure you, you will not get penalized by Google for having duplicate content.
If you need some guidance around how to repurpose your content, join the free 7-Day Visibility Challenge. You’ll learn five ways to republish and repurpose your blog posts on the top social platforms.
Get Started Now!
What’s the bottom line on LinkedIn ProFinder?
It’s too soon to for me to give it up a thumbs up or down. Once I go through the proposal process, I’ll have a better sense of the value. However, in keeping with my nature and how I advise my clients, I do recommend signing up now if you are a professional service provider. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain if you increase the number of leads you get and close new business.
Take some time to apply, primp your profile, get new, current recommendations and publish your articles on LinkedIn. And then, see what happens. [Please let me know if you get gigs and how well they match your expertise!]
Have you tried LinkedIn ProFinder yet? If so, what’s your experience been like? I love to read your thoughts in the comments below.