A recent report by Intuit suggests that by 2020 (that’s just a few years away folks) more than 40 percent of the American workforce – approximately 60 million people – will work as freelancers, contractors, and temporary employees.
With an increasing number of people jumping into the freelance talent pool, LinkedIn recently expanded its professional services marketplace dubbed ProFinder.
The service, which LinkedIn began piloting a year ago, but only recently made available nationwide, allows those who are looking to hire to cast a wide net by simply answering a few questions. It starts by asking “What service do you need?” Categories range from accountants to lawyers, graphic designers to public relations consultants. The questions further drill down into more specifics to help you find the right person. For example, if you’re looking for a writer do you want a technical writer, a grant writer or a blogger?
Once you narrow it down, click on the “Get Free Proposals” button and you’re off.
LinkedIn looks to find the best person suited for your request from area freelance professionals, like myself, and sends the recommendations to you.
For those who are looking to get hired, Profinder also helps you to get clients. Click here to get started.
While this aspect of the service can help you to land a job, don’t expect the offers to start pouring in unless you are very active on LinkedIn. LinkedIn says its Profinder concierge team vets its experts and many of those who LinkedIn considers “tops in their field” have more recommendations than the average user.
For example, a quick look at top event photographers finds those on the recommended list with 30 or more recommendations. The same can be said for many of the other fields. Some have 40, 50 and even 60 recommendations.
There are some things you can do to help you to stand out. LinkedIn recommends:
Don’t want anyone to know you are looking, simply go to your settings click on Privacy at the top and go to sharing profile edits. Click on change and it will give you the following option: “Should we let people know when you change your profile, make recommendations, or follow companies?” Click on “no” and you are good to go.
LinkedIn says the new platform already features more than 50,000 freelancers across more than 140 service areas - each of whom have been hand-picked based on their expertise and high quality recommendations. That’s a lot of competition out there but this is another tool that freelancers can use to bring in new business.
I have made a few changes to my LinkedIn profile already and consider it a work in progress.
Susan R. Miller is founder of Garton-Miller Media, a full-service, South Florida based public relations firm. Susan is a former journalist with more than 30 years of experience. In addition to public relations, she provides web content writing, press releases, social media, photography and videography. She has two daughters, three golden retrievers and two cats, but just one guinea pig who is happy not to have to share his cage or his daily stash of veggies with anyone.
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.