While ProFinder Pros appreciate the platform for the business and exposure it brings, they also have suggestions for how to improve LinkedIn Profinder. Here are their slightly edited suggestions.
BRIAN WEISKE Graphic Designer, Creative Director, Marketing Director | Best of LinkedIn ProFinder, 2016 & 2017
- I think one of the greatest improvements ProFinder could make to the Proposal steps would be to gain an understanding of the requester’s budget for the project. At times, I’ve found that some of the requests through ProFinder aren’t necessarily looking for “Pros”. As an example, someone may be requesting a complete website designed and developed, copywriting for each page, all imagery researched and procured, and possibly a cart process with multiple categories and product. However, after a brief conversation it is discovered that they would like to pay something that is the equivalent of $10-$15/hr.
MARJORIE KAVANAGH Named to LinkedIn ProFinder’s Best of 2017 Resume Writers | Architect of Confidence! | President, Panoramic Resumes
- Create a ProFinder app
- When a LI member completes a request for services, convey that Pros do not receive ProFinder requests all at the same time. They should therefore not consider the timing of the receipt of the proposal as part of their decision-making process.
- Some of the categories of services can further be refined. For example, Resume Writing is listed in the “Coaching” section of the main services listing. Coaching and resume writing are related to careers – but really not to one another. In this case, perhaps consider renaming “Coaching” to Careers or create a new category titled, Job Search. Resume writing might be crossed indexed in the Writing Section.
- Add to the Pro request form – What are the most important characteristics you are seeking in your (insert Pro category here).
AUGGIE DIAZ Linkedin Profinder’s Best of 2017 Internet Marketing Consultant Digital Marketing Real Estate, Insurance, Local Business
- Pros need a bit more space to create a more informative proposal. Not a novel, but enough room to write or link to a small brochure would be nice.
DAVIE NIEKER Copywriter, Creative Director, LinkedIn Profinder Best of 2017
- The ProFinder proposal form didn’t contain enough information to reply with an accurate estimate/proposal.
PAUL LEROUX Executive Speaking Coach | Presentation Consultant | Angel Investor | Entrepreneur | Public Speaker| Publisher
- Send ProFinder proposal requests to Pros at two specific times of the day so that they don’t have to constantly check email and can block out time to respond promptly.
- Open to 10 proposals so clients have greater choice of prices and experience.
- Allow Pros to pay an annual premium to bid nationally on all proposals in their category.
- For services delivered in person, like speech coaching, open the bidding nationwide and label distance for clients so they know there will be travel expenses
- Change the order of the proposal elements so that the custom box comes first. Make the text box larger to encourage clients to provide more details to help pro respond appropriately. Add field for biggest problem or concern.
- Allow clients to rank from 1 to 3 the order in which they value price, experience and in some cases location.
- Send quarterly data to Pros who have responded in a category about the range, mean and median category pricing.
- Clarify the criteria for “Best of Pros” and publicize that so all pros can work towards it. Publish annual lists by region and promote them with blog posts and press releases.
- Give clients the option to send feedback on each proposal by adding buttons for “Experience not on target,” “Different location,” Poor proposal,” “Insufficient information,” “Too Expensive”
- Encourage clients to respond more promptly to Pros, perhaps by setting a specific date for responses to go out, say 5 days or proposals are void.
- Improve User Experience to allow Pros and Clients to pass on proposals in the first email, without having to log in and click the Pass button. On the platform, make the Pass button much bigger and more obvious to get prompt feedback when clients are not interested.
- Ask 1 additional clarifying question to provide pros with better info on fit. I’d get 15 emails a day from ProFinder asking me to answer a request. If you don’t answer within about an hour, 5 coaches had already answered, so it was like waiting at your computer to be first. So the person doesn’t get the best or most relevant coaches – people would rarely be specific enough about what they wanted so I didn’t even know whether we were a good fit in the first place. it felt like people were treating it like a commodity – how much are you per hour than everyone else?. I didn’t get any clients out of it, and it was clogging up my email so much that I just dropped out after about 2 months
- Charge a nominal fee to businesses to get more motivated buyers and to cut down on people just price shopping the competition. It is very discouraging to not even have people read the responses. When I did get to the request fast enough and I thought there was a match, very few people actually follow through – didn’t even READ your answer.
PEG CORWIN – Helping Freelancers & Consultants Get Leads and Business with LinkedIn | ProFinder | Facebook Ads | Google Adwords
- Pricing is not tailored to need or benefit. It strikes me as an ad hoc decision to make pros pay Business Premium when they do not want to pay for learning, inmails etc. Furthermore, the risk is totally shifted to the freelancer. The client has an incentive to abuse the system by not reading, price shopping. This discourages the freelancer. Rethink the pricing incentives to motivate clients and enable pros to pay for results, not retainers.
- Rather than offering skills broadly, pick a couple niches, enable more precise & common skill searches and promote the niches aggressively to both its businesses and pros. (Amazon’s strategy of mastering books before moving on to another niche.) For example, in advertising. Add subcategories for Adwords, Facebook Ads, social media ads, print ads. You are dealing with a two-sided market here and you have to focus to launch each and tailor the marketing to the industry.
JENNIFER BARNCARD – Traditional Marketing & PR / Digital & Social Marketing / Educator / MA, BA, LMT
- I would like to see Profinder require an initial phone contact. Half the battle is making that personal connection to discuss what the client needs and talk to each other to see if the project is right. You can tell within the first five minutes if you will be a good fit.
- Profinder also needs to allow more time/notice for those to apply. There is a disconnect when the request is published to when the email goes out. There needs to be another way of being notified so we can have a better response time, for those no on IN 24/7.
ASHLEY MARTINS – Writer | Health + Wellness + Fitness | Digital Marketer
- I would really like to see opportunities that are more applicable to my line of work (i.e. less book writing and instead more blog post writing opportunities or smaller writing projects and not 100+ page books).
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions on how to improve LinkedIn ProFinder. This post has been shared with ProFinder reps.