LinkedIn recently launched a “freelance-for-hire” service they’ve dubbed “ProFinder”. The service matches people looking for a service or product with a qualified freelance professional.
LinkedIn’s search function links the client to the best freelance option based on categories, keywords, search terms, connections, and physical location, if it’s pertinent.
As of now the ProFinder service is 100% free for both the searcher and those wanting-to-be-searched.
It’s free, but if you would like to be “featured” in certain categories pull out the plastic. Yes, being featured will cost you, but prominent placement on LinkedIn may be just what your freelance shop needs.
For the cost – free – and the exposure – 420 million members in 200 countries – ProFinder is probably worth looking into.
Let’s assume you already have a stellar LinkedIn profile. If not, hop over there and take care of that. (Here’s a piece on how to create a profile in less than 5 minutes that people will want to read. Note: I’m NOT a fan of his all caps suggestion).
Making sure your LinkedIn profile shines is even more important now because your ProFinder profile pulls information from your LinkedIn profile.
The interface and correspondence you receive from LinkedIn about ProFinder is a bit ugly, but we’ll forgive them that if they let us market our services to 420 million people for free.
Make sure you have a few recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations are key in the LinkedIn universe to getting a look from a potential freelance client.
Rid your mind of junior high dance rejection and ask current or former clients or co-workers to recommend you on LinkedIn. If you’re afraid they won’t know what to say, toss them a bone. Ask for their help saying,
“World’s Greatest Client,
Hello. I hope the [insert project name] continues to go well. It was a pleasure to work with your team [timeframe]. I am currently looking for other fun freelance opportunities. Would you mind writing a recommendation for me on LinkedIn? The brief recommendation could mention what specific obstacle I helped the team overcome, the benefit you experienced from my assistance, and an endorsement for others to employ my services. Thanks so much for this favor. Let me know how I can help you.”
Sure, it might not be a ton of fun asking someone to “tell me I’m great”, but that’s not what you’re doing. You helped solve a problem and you would like that recorded. Wipe off those sweaty palms and ask.
If it is appropriate for you to recommend that person, do that. Seems only fair and right, and if you do it without them having to ask, they will appreciate it. Save them the sweaty palms.
To make sure the recommendation ends up on your LinkedIn profile, follow these steps:
- Go to your profile and click the down arrow to the right of the button near your profile picture.
- Click “Ask to be recommended” from the dropdown.
- Follow the prompts to request the recommendation.
- Click Send.
With your LinkedIn profile fluffed and buffed, some recommendations added, you’re ready to click a few buttons to sign up for ProFinder. First select which general service you provide, i.e. Writing and Editing, Marketing, Accounting, etc. Then click a few more buttons to highlight your expertise within that area and you’re set.
If you get one lead from it, it will be worth the investment. And we all know one lead leads to another (does anyone else hear the song from The Fixx One Thing Leads To Another in their head when I say that?).
Let me know if you’d like help writing, editing, fluffing, or buffing your content for your LinkedIn profile, resume, website, or print projects. I’d be happy to help.
Enjoy the free, freelancer.
Editor’s Update: This post was originally crafted in 2016. LinkedIn has changed this function multiple times since then. But one thing hasn’t changed. There is PLENTY of money to be made and people to serve as a freelancer. I turned my freelancer gigs into my own business and I now several freelancers work for me.