If only there was a way to connect those who needed a service with the professionals who provide it. Well actually, there is. The service is called ProFinder and it’s a feature that is available right here on LinkedIn.
ProFinder connects clients with vendor freelancers and allows them to get proposals. It’s also a way for freelancers to get more business.
How It Works: Freelancers
If you’re interested in offering your services on ProFinder, you must apply to be part of the service. Start by visiting www.Linkedin.com/profinder/pros and click on the “Apply Now” button. Then, answer a few questions about the services you provide. At the end of the process, make sure you click “Submit Application.”
Once you are accepted, you will see client requests that match your services appear in the Notifications section of LinkedIn. [pic] Click on the “View requests” link to go to your ProFinder Client Requests page.
Here, you can view the details of the request and submit a proposal by answering a few questions. The proposal that will be sent to the client is a standard form and will look the same for all freelancers who respond. However, there is a text box at the bottom of the form where you can enter information to help make yourself stand out.
Once that particular request receives five proposals, it will expire and will no longer accept proposals. So responding to requests as soon as possible is a must if you want to be considered for the job.
While freelancers can use ProFinder for free when they first sign-up, they will eventually have to become paid, Premium members to continue responding to proposal requests. That’s a cost of $59.99 per month, or nearly $720.00 annually!
How It Works: Clients
Those looking to hire a freelancer can do so at www.LinkedIn.com/ProFinder. There, they can enter the service for which they are looking in a field, then answer a few multiple choice questions to narrow down the options.
Once that process is finished, the client will receive up to five offers from qualified professionals. From this group, the client can decide which freelancer they would like to hire. They can also request more information or a more detailed quote.
When the proposals have been received, clients can view the freelancer’s ProFinder profile. The information on this profile is presented differently than their normal LinkedIn profile. The Summary and Recommendations sections are near the top, followed by the freelancer’s LinkedIn articles and the Experience section. It’s all designed to highlight the skills of the freelancer.
When viewing a freelancer profile, clients can also get proposals by clicking the “Get Free Proposals” button.
According to Forbes.com, over 70,000 freelancers use the service. Since its nationwide launch in August 2016, the number of requests for proposals has increased by 400 percent! A recent LinkedIn survey shows that 80% of those looking for services are small businesses.
It’s not clear how much income freelancers have picked up from ProFinder. It simply isn’t tracked. So there’s no way to know how well the service is actually working. But 20% of the freelancers surveyed did report that they will make a six-digit income this year.
Since it only has 70,000 users, ProFinder seems like a great service that not many know about. Will you make millions using it? Probably not. But if you can land one or two jobs that more than exceeds your $720.00 Premium membership, then it’s a great way to find more business.
Bob Turner is a Digital Marketing Consultant in Cincinnati, Ohio.