By Scott Vollero
There are very few who would argue the premise that LinkedIn ranks as the most powerful social network on which freelance workers can land new clients. This can be especially true when LinkedIn is used on a proactive basis to grow your network of targeted connections. It can be invaluable in filling your sales pipeline on a consistent basis.
When it comes to the “gig economy” of today, LinkedIn has just upped its game with its ProFinder pilot project. This platform connects freelancers with high-quality leads in their area and elsewhere. For those interested in using this service, there’s a “how to” page on the LinkedIn website that’s helpful. But there’s always a few tips that can help make using a new service a bit easier. We’ve collected a few pointers here to help you with ProFinder.
Scott Vollero’s Tips on Setting Up your Profile
If you want to make use of the services that ProFinder has to offer, you have to first become a registered member of LinkedIn. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a professional offering expertise or a prospective client looking for available services, you’ll need your own account. Take the time to create, completely, a comprehensive profile. This will give everyone who is interested the necessary introductory information to get the ball rolling.
The importance of this profile cannot be stressed enough. While it may seem like a static thing that never really does anything, nothing could be further from the truth. Your profile is what allows you to turn up in search results, which in turn lands you employment opportunities. So spend the time putting together a profile that looks and reads professionally.
Let your LinkedIn Profile Fill Out Your Résumé
There was a time when you could just list your job title on LinkedIn and people would find you on a search. Those days are gone. With ProFinder, the algorithm has changed. It is worth your time to fill out the description areas of your profile.
Use the space made available. Settle in and fill out the character description areas for each job title you list and in your general summary. If you’ve done contract work, list it and the results you got. Also make note of how long the assignment lasted. You can upload or link to available examples of your work. Be sure to fill out the sections for projects and publications. List courses, certifications or patents that you hold. Also include any volunteering that would highlight relevant skills you’ve mastered.
How to Connect with Others Strategically
Once you have your profile in order, you’re ready to connect with others. Rather than connecting all willy-nilly around the world, think about the connections you’re making. Concentrate on connecting with existing professionals and personal contacts that you already know. Link up with friends, classmates, current and former co-workers, and others in your industry that you know.
Anytime you have a positive interaction with someone who you may want to stay in touch with, send him or her a LinkedIn request. When you get connection invitations, take a look at that person’s profile before accepting. Even if they are not a potential employer or client, they could be a useful connection in the future.
Here’s How to Get Sneaky
This particular perk of the service requires that you have a solid network of connections forged. Once you have this, you can use LinkedIn to find former employees or freelancers who may be able to give you valuable insight into the culture of a company you’re considering for employment. You can also make use of the service for the reverse, if you’re the one doing the hiring. If you’re unsure about a freelancer or applicant, look for a colleague of yours that may know him or her. Then do a bit of reconnaissance on your own.
And Last, But not Least
The final tip is simple: keep your profile current.