LinkedIn recently launched a new tool called ProFinder, which is a valuable resource for both business owners and consulting freelancers. Since the ProFinder release has not been officially announced, however, not everyone is familiar with the tool. Here is how ProFinder can help your business:
How it Works
LinkedIn ProFinder taps into the growing service networking niche, connecting freelancers to open projects just like companies such as TaskRabbit, Fiverr, HourlyNerd, and Upwork do in their respective fields. You can use ProFinder to find professional services in categories such as: design, writing and editing, accounting, marketing, legal, real estate, software development, IT, business consulting, and more.
To request a service in ProFinder, simply log in with your LinkedIn account and submit a description of your project specifying the type of service needed and the scope of the project (one-time or ongoing). You will then receive free pitches from experts in that service category who want to tackle your project. Each project request stays open for up to 24 hours, or until it receives 5 proposals from local professionals — whichever comes first.
To offer services through ProFinder, you must first be vetted by the ProFinder concierge team to verify that you have expertise and consulting experience in the service category you select. The ProFinder FAQs specify that LinkedIn is primarily looking for freelance or independent professionals to be service providers. Once approved, service providers can view open projects for their chosen category and pitch to projects that match their skills.
How can ProFinder help your business?
1. Find qualified professional freelancers for your projects
ProFinder is a designed to be the ideal tool to find professional freelancers to take on specialized project that help build your business. Whether you are looking to update your website, revise your marketing strategy, or delegate some of the copywriting for your company blog, ProFinder can efficiently match you to a nearby expert in that field, saving you valuable time in your day.
In addition, since LinkedIn vets each service provider, you can be confident that your project pitches come from qualified professionals with experience working with clients on a consulting basis.
2. Generate warm leads
If you are a freelancer or a business owner who regularly does consulting work, ProFinder provides the invaluable advantage of letting you target prospects who are actively seeking for solutions to a problem. Unlike with cold calls or internet searches, the interaction begins directly in the pitch stage. In fact, your prospect has spelled out their exact business need to you in their project request — all you have to do is demonstrate that your business provides their solution.
As with any business interaction, you should tailor your pitch to each ProFinder project you submit to. Requesters will appreciate the extra effort you put in to say something beyond, “I think I would be a great fit based on my qualifications.” While your ProFinder Profile (which is a simplified version of your LinkedIn Profile) does play a key role in your proposal, don’t pass up the opportunity to use your pitch to make that crucial first impression.
3. Expand your client base
Pitching projects through ProFinder helps increase your business’s exposure. Even if that particular pitch is not selected, that requester now knows about your company’s offerings, and can revisit your pitch at a later time if they need your particular services.
For those proposals that do get chosen, completing projects through ProFinder is big step towards building a long-term relationship with that client. People prefer to work with someone they trust and someone they know will deliver quality work on time. Your ProFinder clients will be more likely to become returning customers than prospects who have never worked with your business, which is why this tool is ideal for business owners looking for another way to expand their client base.
Finally, you can get Profile Recommendations from your ProFinder clients to build your business’s brand and reputability — increasing the likelihood that future clients will reach out to you for their projects.
ProFinder helps fill the gap between cold calls and referrals, allowing both freelancers and consulting business owners to extend their business’s reach and build their client base. Although the tool is still gathering momentum under a quiet release, this makes it the perfect time to establish your business’s presence on ProFinder and gain a powerful addition to your professional toolkit.
Have you used ProFinder? Share your experiences in the comments below.
For more information about how to use ProFinder and other LinkedIn tools to grow your business, you are welcome to connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at: [email protected]