Recently, I was asked a question about winning a freelance job through LinkedIn’s ProFinder job board.
If you’re not familiar with it, LinkedIn (owned by Microsoft), has created it’s own internal job board system called the ProFinder. It’s a place where companies can post projects and receive from Pros (you and me).
I have experience with the ProFinder system and have won projects although it is not my favorite place to find new clients.
However, sometimes, you can find some very good clients.
I personally found a very good clients hire me for additional work (outside the LinkedIn system) once their initial LinkedIn project was completed. They gave me great testimonials and I was able to get good referrals from them.
In situations like this… I hit a real winner!
But, that isn’t the norm. At least, not that I’ve experienced.
In my opinion, ProFinder’s bidding system is far from perfect (especially from the Pros perspective).
One particularly annoying aspect is that LinkedIn asks you (the Pro) to declare a project estimate (or worse, an hourly rate) without requiring the hiring member to release enough details about the project.
So, what happens when you submit an estimate and you get no response?
I’m assuming that most of the work is going to low-ballers since most legitimate freelancers don’t base on hourly rate and value the relationship before the purchase/sale.
This makes it tough to really get your head wrapped around the project if the business doesn’t provide you with good details.
Still, there are good jobs in the ProFinder system, which could very easily lead to longer-term work.
So, is it worthwhile to toss your net in the water.
If you’re prepared and know how to communicate well, I would say the answer is Yes!
3 tips that will help you get that crucial initial touch point with your LinkedIn ProFinder prospect.
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile is in top shape. Endorsements are helpful and recommendations are very helpful. LinkedIn builds your ProFinder Profile directly from your LinkedIn profile.
- Make sure that you have chosen your list of services carefully. There are a lot to choose from and you can include 10 in your profile, but make sure that you pick the best services for you.
- Craft a quality proposal. Be warm in your communication, but not friendly. Present you offering from the position of an expert, and be very clear about showing the person what problems you can solve for them (not just a resume or skills list). Include a short quote from a past satisfied customer (especially if you served them using the ProFinder system). If they are missing a key point of information in the project description, ask them about it? Any question shows that you understand their problem (and the solution). You want the buyer to make a connection with you at the pain-point level. They are reaching out because they have a specific need. Let them know that you have the skills to ease their pain.