Why Freelance Professionals Should Be Using LinkedIn ProFinder
While I’m incredibly fortunate to have a steady client base that grows mainly through word of mouth, I don’t take anything for granted. I pay close attention to opportunities to connect with potential clients. When I read about LinkedIn ProFinder last year, I was intrigued.
ProFinder is a platform to connect freelance professionals with clients. LinkedIn is the ideal marketplace for this, given that it’s already used for professional networking. Both the professionals seeking work and the clients looking to hire are easily researched and vetted.
For professionals, set up is simple. ProFinder profiles source information from your existing LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn considers recommendations essential to the platform and I agree: trust is an integral part of collaborating with a freelance professional. Fortunately, even before I launched Mixto Communications, I had optimized my LinkedIn profile to highlight my experience and recommendations.
ProFinder is free for clients and professionals. Clients list projects and LinkedIn matches these to appropriate ProFinder professionals based on the services requested and geographic area. While this is a passive method of finding clients, I personally prefer this to browsing jobs on similar sites. Most posts on competing platforms are seeking low-budget freelancers based overseas. That’s not my competition. My rates are based on my expertise, along with the personalized service and value I provide to clients throughout our relationship. In my experience, businesses and individuals with projects on ProFinder understand that they’re hiring highly qualified professionals and budget accordingly.
Preparing proposals is quick and straightforward. As a professional, I provide an hourly or project estimate, a brief summary of why I’d be a good fit, and check a box if I’d like to offer a free 15 minute phone consultation. (I always offer the free phone consultation – it’s an important opportunity for the client and I to get to know each other.)
Since joining in September, I’ve received thirteen leads, which averages out to about one every two weeks. (To give some context, that’s roughly double the leads I’ve received directly and organically.) Of those thirteen leads, I’ve passed on ten, about half because I couldn’t make time in my schedule for new clients and the other half because the project or client wasn’t right for me. I’ve sent out three proposals: one that didn’t garner a response, one that is currently in conversation to determine if we’ll move forward, and one that resulted in a new client. I’m now managing email marketing for SPCA International, an organization committed to advancing the safety and well-being of animals. Thanks to LinkedIn ProFinder, SPCA International hired a professional with extensive nonprofit and email marketing experience and I’m working for a client on a cause that’s personally meaningful.
I’ve spoken with a few members of the ProFinder team; they’re incredibly responsive and enthusiastic about making the platform even better. New features will soon be rolling out based on user feedback. One feature I’d like to see implemented is the ability for clients to mark professionals as hired and I’ve been assured that it’s in the works. If you use ProFinder, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the service or how I can help you make the most of your experience.