Short answer….YES….LinkedIn is the most powerful social network available for freelancers to land new clients….especially when you proactively use it to grow your network with targeted connections and fill your sales pipeline consistently.
Long answer….there is a lot of competition out there nowadays and more freelancers are joining the “gig economy” every day. In fact, a global survey by Deloitte: Global Human Capital Trends 2016 found that 42% of U.S. executives expect to use more contingent workers (the technical term for freelancers) in the next three to five years. The report also said that one in three workers in America are freelancers and that the number is expected to grow to 40% by 2020.
And…as noted in this article on Next Avenue by “unretirement expert” Chris Farrell…the “gig economy” is an ideal way for baby boomers to bolster their income during their unretirement years. Which is no doubt significantly contributing to the increasing numbers of freelancers entering the marketplace over the coming years.
So, as a freelancer, you need to find any competitive advantage you can to stand out from the crowd and attract your ideal clients. With that in mind, LinkedIn has made it easier for prospects to find and hire you using their new service.
LinkedIn Profinder Connects Freelancers With High Quality Leads
In late October 2015, LinkedIn launched LinkedIn Profinder as a pilot project in San Francisco and has since expanded to New York, Dallas, Chicago, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia in March 2016. (NOTE: This service is being rolled out to more cities and countries over the coming months)
Basically, how it works is that users can search the LinkedIn database of registered “pros” to find freelancers that can help solve their problems. There are a number of pre-set freelancer categories including:
- Writing & Editing
- Real Estate
- Software Development
- IT Services
- Business Consulting
- Financial Services
All “pros” are vetted by LinkedIn’s concierge team. Users answer a few questions about the services they need and LinkedIn introduces the best local professionals from a curated list. Those “pros” then provide a proposal to the potential client and are then chosen based on their experience, portfolio, pricing, etc.
Will it help you land new gigs as a freelancer? Maybe…….
But, the reality is, you really have nothing to lose by signing up for the service…..so why not give it a shot?
But, please don’t stop growing your targeted network on LinkedIn thinking this service will be the end of your client search challenges. At the end of the day, you may rise to the top of the LinkedIn Profinder ladder and land some gigs, but you can’t replace the value of proactively connecting directly with your potential future clients and making them aware of the products and services you offer.
BONUS TIP: Once you get signed up as a “Pro”, add a LinkedIn Profile badge to your email signature and link it to your LinkedIn Profinder profile.
Can’t Access LinkedIn Profinder Yet?
Now, for all of us that can’t yet take advantage of the LinkedIn Profinder service, here are a list of other “Freelancer Marketplaces” where you can create a profile to attract your next client! (and there are a LOT of them!)
- https://clarity.fm/ (personally the only one I use currently)
- https://www.upwork.com/ (acquired Elance & Odesk)
Have you signed up as a freelancer on any of these platforms yet? If so…have you landed any gigs using them? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below!