LinkedIn ProFinder provides a platform where freelancers, consultants and professionals can find short-term project work from small businesses and other professionals.
When businesses hire on a short-term basis, and when freelancers work multiple jobs, they spend some of their valuable time finding each other.
Since LinkedIn is already a massive database of business skills and expertise, the expansion of that platform from recruiting to freelance matching is logical. Further, the Profinder team reviews applicants to be sure freelance pros have the skills they claim, and the network of connections facilitates reference checks using each person’s connections.
LinkedIn Profinder Series
This post is the first in a series that will dig deep into LinkedIn ProFinder, and related posts can be found below. LinkedIn ProFinder is helping both freelancers and the businesses who need them connect in today’s gig economy, and this series will help you navigate this service effectively and efficiently.
What is ProFinder?
LinkedIn says that ProFinder is “a marketplace dedicated to connecting consumers and small businesses with top quality freelance professionals.”
Basically, businesses post brief project descriptions and request proposals, and LinkedIn ProFinder notifies freelancers when their profile matches the skill set requested.
Why Should Freelancers Use ProFinder?
This type of marketplace already exists with services like Upwork (formerly Elance), so why would a freelancer want to join another network? I’ll do a direct comparison to Upwork in a future post so you can see the pros and cons of both, but the simple answer is because LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network.
- Chances are the freelancer is already there, and so are the potential clients.
- This also means that there might be shared connections, so both the freelancer and the potential client can get feedback through existing connections.
- Getting set up with ProFinder is pretty easy. To find jobs and leads, make sure your profile accurately presents your skills and what you can offer clients, and then fill out a short application. We’ll go through how to create that robust profile in a future post.
Of course, just because it’s relatively simple to apply doesn’t mean you’ll actually find work, so I’ll also detail whether or not LinkedIn ProFinder is effective, and for whom, in this series.
Why Should Small Businesses Use ProFinder?
For the same reason that freelancers should use it: they’re already on the platform, and so are numerous freelancers. After the first year there are already 70,000 freelancers using LinkedIn ProFinder (source).
- Business representatives and individuals already have a profile and network of connections on LinkedIn, so it is easy to tap into ProFinder.
- ProFinder limits the number of proposals the person needing the service has to wade through. When a business posts a project, they’ll receive up to five bids from vetted professionals. That’s much more efficient than organizing an avalanche of proposals from people who may not be qualified.
- The business can check out potential contractors using feedback through existing LinkedIn connections.
What Types of Services are on LinkedIn ProFinder?
LinkedIn ProFinder breaks the types of services down into 17 macro specialties and 130 subcategories (as of October, 2017). You can see all of them listed on the Services page. Options range from 3D Design to SaaS Development to Massages, so both business and personal services, but not home services. One glance and you can see why freelancers have become such an integral part of the workforce.
I’ll cover the various categories from the perspective of both freelancers and businesses later in this series.
How Much Does ProFinder Cost? Is it Free?
So far, LinkedIn ProFinder is free for business clients, and it uses a freemium model for freelance pros.
Freelancers can submit ten proposals at no charge. After that, they’ll have to sign up for LinkedIn Premium. At $59.99 per month, or $578.88 per year (discounted for annual payment), the charge is not insignificant. However, freelancers get more than just the ability to submit unlimited proposals. They’ll also get the following:
- 10 InMail credits per month to contact any out-of-network LinkedIn members, and up to 30 can roll over for a period of 90 days.
- Alerts to unlimited profile views of members outside of your network (up to 3rd-degree) — good potential leads.
- A more complete list of who has viewed your profile and how they found you through searches (important for identifying warm leads)
- Access to LinkedIn Learning. This online learning platform has thousands of expert-led video courses on business, creative fields and technology. This alone is a $24.95/month value.
If you’re not satisfied, you can cancel within 60 days of signing up for Premium and get a full refund.
Questions about ProFinder?
What would you like to know about LinkedIn Profinder? Just ask the question in a comment.
- How does LinkedIn ProFinder work for freelancers?
- How does LinkedIn ProFinder compare to Upwork?
- Can You Find Freelancers Using LinkedIn Profinder?
- Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn ProFinder
Meanwhile, check out my video series on how to use Profinder on YouTube