The Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn ProFinder is a one-stop resource for this freelancer marketplace. The platform connects professionals and clients for short-term projects, helping both freelancers and the businesses who need them in today’s gig economy.
More and more companies rely on independent professionals to complete temporary assignments. While there are other freelancer marketplaces out there, LinkedIn’s massive database makes connecting more convenient, so the expansion of that platform from recruiting to freelance matching is logical.
Whether you’re a professional searching for clients, or a business that needs to outsource some short-term assignments, this ultimate guide to LinkedIn ProFinder is the resource you need.
Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn ProFinder
This guide covers the following topics:
- Introduction: what is LinkedIn ProFinder?
- How much does it cost?
- What services are available?
- ProFinder for Business Clients
- ProFinder for Freelancers & Professionals
At the end of each topic, I’ve included links to relevant videos. Be sure to visit my YouTube channel and subscribe so you can find out first when I’ve uploaded more guides to LinkedIn ProFinder.
Introduction to LinkedIn ProFinder
According to LinkedIn, ProFinder is “a marketplace dedicated to connecting consumers and small businesses with top quality freelance professionals.” Businesses post brief project descriptions and request proposals, and LinkedIn ProFinder notifies freelancers when their profile matches the skill set requested.
One of the benefits of using this service is the massive size of the existing database on LinkedIn. The pros’ ProFinder profiles are built from their existing LinkedIn profiles, and those looking to hire have to also have a presence on the site. Creating a place to make connections beyond job-seeking is a natural extension of their existing network.
Clients who need to hire someone for a short-term assignment will create a proposal request, commonly known as RFP. This is created by filling out a questionnaire that narrows down the scope of the requirements. The questions are specific for each service and are designed to provide the most qualified leads.
Once the questionnaire is completed, ProFinder analyzes its database of pros and freelancers. Qualified candidates then send a proposal. Instead of sending every single potential match to the client, a maximum of five are submitted.
At that point, the client can communicate with the best applicant directly and LinkedIn ProFinder’s job is complete.
See More: Introduction to LinkedIn ProFinder.
What Does LinkedIn ProFinder Cost?
The service has a different pricing model based on whether you’re hiring someone or you’re looking for clients. For small businesses and individuals who are seeking outside help, it is completely free to submit project requests. It doesn’t matter what kind of professional you need to hire, or how many.
Freelancers are able to submit ten proposals for free. After that, a subscription to LinkedIn Premium, Business Level is required. Not only does this subscription include an unlimited number of proposals, it also comes with all the benefits of a Business Level premium account.
With this level, you’ll be able to:
- View an unlimited number of profiles for people outside of your network to find quality leads.
- Contact 15 people per month who are not your connections with InMail credits.
- See who’s viewed your profile and how they found you. This could be particularly helpful in identifying warm leads.
- Have access to LinkedIn Learning, an online learning platform with thousands of expert-led video courses on business, creative fields and technology. If you were to purchase that service independently it would be $24.99 per month.
The rate for Business Level is $59.99 per month, or pre-pay for a year for $575.88.
What Services are available?
Before you decide whether or not to use ProFinder, you probably want to know what services are available. As you might expect with a database as large as LinkedIn’s, the represented services cover a broad range of categories.
There are several macro-categories that are broken down into more specific sub-categories. Below are the top-level categories, and you can see the entire list of ProFinder services here.
- Business Consulting
- Financial Services
- Home Improvement
- IT Services
- Real Estate
- Software Development
- Writing and Editing
As you can see, a wide range of business and personal services can be found in ProFinder.
- Freelancer Skills And Services on LinkedIn ProFinder and How To Edit: Find skills or services you can offer or buy in ProFinder. If you’re a pro, learn how to edit them, which is tricky.
ProFinder For Business Clients
If you’re a client or small business looking to hire a professional, it’s simple to get started with ProFinder. As I shared above, the service is completely free when you’re looking to hire someone. There are just four steps to finding freelancers for your temporary jobs:
- Tell LinkedIn ProFinder what type of work you need: You’ll be presented with a one page questionnaire which will ask you a short list of questions. These determine the kind of professional you’re seeking. Once you’ve completed it, qualified applicants will be invited by the system to submit a proposal.
- Review proposals: Within 24 hours you’ll receive up to five proposals. There may not be any proposals, but you’ll never receive more than five and they’ll arrive quickly.
- Respond to the most qualified applicant: once you’ve narrowed it down to the best person for the job out of the applicants who applied, you can reach out directly.
- Review and negotiate: At this point, you’re on your own. You and your potential hire can communicate to find out if it’s a good match, and settle any financial arrangements.
In this video, I take you through the process of creating a request for proposal.
ProFinder For Pros – Freelancers and Consultants
For freelancers, consultants and professionals, there are five steps to start selling services on ProFinder. But before you do this, you need to review and improve your regular LinkedIn Profile as described in my YouTube playlist. Your profile is used as the basis for your approval, so you’ll want to make sure it’s completely optimized.
These are the steps you’ll take to find clients:
1. Connect to LinkedIn Profinder
2) Apply and get accepted
3) Check your inbox regularly for Proposal Requests
4) For a project that is a good fit, submit a 1 page Proposal
5) If there is mutual interest, discuss and finalize details.
- How To Price Your Freelance or Consulting Services [2018 Strategy]: How should you price your freelance or consulting services, especially where you are giving a new client a quote on an platform like Linkedin ProFinder? Should you quote by hour or by project. When should the basis be your cost, the market or client value?
- LinkedIn ProFinder – Find Freelance Jobs & Consulting: LinkedIn ProFinder is a platform where business people with projects can request proposals and those offering services can bid on them. Learn how it works from a freelancer’s perspective in this video
- Find Clients on LinkedIn ProFinder – Freelancers & Consultants (Dec, 2017): Are you a Freelancer, Consultant or Solopreneur who wants more clients to grow revenues? Learn here how LinkedIn ProFinder, and LinkedIn more broadly, can help you fill your job pipeline, grow revenues and achieve both your business and personal goals.
- LinkedIn ProFinder Skills – Which Bring Work? [2017-8]: Consultants and freelancers often ask, what skills work best in LinkedIn Profinder? I talked to the ProFinder Team and they told me what skills got the most traction in 2017 and where they are investing their marketing dollars in 2018.
ProFinder vs Upwork as a Lead Gen Platform
If you’re trying to decide which freelance marketplace to use, you’ll want to compare LinkedIn ProFinder and Upwork. While they both have the same end goal of connecting freelancers with clients, they operate very differently. These differences include the application processes, business models, geographical specifications, and fees. There are pros and cons to each, and you’ll want to know what those are and weigh them for yourself before diving in to either platform. I break down these differences step-by-step in How Does LinkedIn ProFinder Compare to Upwork?
- Upwork vs ProFinder  4 Differences, Costs Explained: Learn 4 differences between Upwork and LinkedIn’s ProFinder – application process, costs, location and industry verticals. In particular, expert Theresa Goodrich explains the hard-to-find Upwork fee structure.
ProFinder Application Process For Pros
The actual application process is very simple because the system draws heavily on your existing LinkedIn profile. This means that, while applying may be easy, you’ll want to make sure your profile is optimized to showcase the services you’re offering before you start the process. The key elements are:
- Summary that emphasizes your ProFinder skills
- Blog Posts on LinkedIn Pulse/Publisher
- Education and Experience
If you want to put your best foot forward and impress potential clients, review LinkedIn ProFinder Profiles for Freelancers – Best Practices and download my free LinkedIn profile for ProFinder checklist.
- Linkedin Profinder Profile Example And Acceptance Letter: See the letter you receive after you have been accepted in LinkedIn ProFinder and an example of a real ProFinder Profile. Learn how it is different from the typical LinkedIn Profile. Get oriented on how and where to respond to prospective clients.
- ProFinder Application Process – Screenshots To Apply As A Pro: After you have looked at the Profinder topics and subtopics to decide which fit your skills, and after you have revised your LinkedIn profile to highlight those, watch this video to see the screens in the Profinder Pro application process. This is the easy part!
ProFinder Pros – Proposals
After you’ve optimized your profile and have applied for a few jobs, you should start receiving some requests for proposals. There’s a maximum of five proposals submitted for each job, and you can give yours an edge by following a few best practices. Watch the video and then review the following posts and keep these tips handy, because you’ve only got 24 hours to submit a proposal:
LinkedIn ProFinder Proposal Requests – Freelancers, Get More Relevant Ones Learn why, as a freelancer or consultant, you are not getting the LinkedIn Proposal Proposal Requests you want, and how to fix that.
LinkedIn ProFinder Proposal Tips for Freelancers Learn LinkedIn Profinder Proposal tips and best practices to find the best freelancers for your project. Discover how to get the results you need.
LinkedIn ProFinder Proposals – How To Write Ones That Result in Leads Learn the mistakes one freelance consultant made on his ProFinder Proposals, and find best practices to turn those leads into clients.
- Get [Relevant] LinkedIn ProFinder Requests From Prospects: Are you a freelancer or consultant who gets ProFinder requests through LinkedIn ProFinder, but not the RIGHT requests? Learn why now and how to fix that so you get more of the right Proposal Requests in this video.
- LinkedIn ProFinder  Vacations [Freelancer Best Practices]: Learn how to take a break or vacation while using LinkedIn ProFinder.
- LinkedIn ProFinder  Out of Area Requests – What To Do: Learn how to handle out-of-area proposal requests from LinkedIn ProFinder clients. Do you only deliver your services in person? If you like to meet potential clients face to face so that you can build the relationships and potentially develop more business, then this video is specifically for you.
- LinkedIn ProFinder Badge – What It Is, How To Create One: Learn what a LinkedIn Profinder Badge is and how to create one for your website.
ProFinder Pros Review the Platform
What do LinkedIn ProFinder reviews by various pros say about its ability to build business profitably? See what coaches, consulting, writers etc say in this round-up post of LinkedIn ProFinder Reviews by Freelancers. I also interviewed a success coach who’s become such an expert that she teaches a class on the platform. Read about her impressive results, and a hack she uses to get the most out ProFinder, here: Success Coach’s Review of LinkedIn ProFinder – And Her Class On It
- LinkedIn ProFinder (2018) Is It Worth The Cost for Consultants, Freelancers?: Can you get profitable work from LinkedIn ProFinder, or is it just a platform for those starting out? What factors affect the proposal requests that you receive? I answer all this in a quick 5 minute video.
- Linkedin ProFinder Review  Speech Consultant: Is LinkedIn ProFinder worth it? Can you get leads and business from it? Listen to a ProFinder Review from a seasoned public speaking consultant and get his tips on its use.
For more information on this freelancer marketplace, visit LinkedIn ProFinder Blog, Social and Resources. This post has links to the LinkedIn ProFinder Blog, contact form, social media properties and help pages. These resources will help you make better matches, whether you’re a small business seeking help or a professional who needs more clients.