Finding the right freelancer can be a challenge, which is why LinkedIn.com created LinkedIn ProFinder, a service that pulls from over 70,000 vetted freelancers to meet your business needs. However, before diving into a new service, it’s important to familiarize yourself with any freelance reviews available.
This way, you can arm yourself with the information you need to know whether or not LinkedIn ProFinder is worth it. But what is ProFinder exactly?
No matter what industry you’re in, if you need freelancing help to complete a project, LinkedIn ProFinder claims that within 24 hours, you will have at least five proposals from individuals in your network.
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Whether you're looking to have a new logo designed or want an update to your website, the LinkedIn ProFinder platform was developed to connect you to the right freelancer.
To use it, you answer some questions about whatever service you need. Next, ProFinder will put you in contact with freelance professionals in your network who are local to you and vetted for their experience.
Then, you can expect to get up to five proposals from those freelancers. The proposals will be free, including pricing information, and have a personalized message. Plus, you'll get access to the freelancer's LinkedIn profile to see if they have the experience you're looking for.
ProFinder claims that if you have trouble picking which freelancer is right for you, then they have a concierge team to help you make your decision.
ProFinder specializes in a few freelancer categories, however. These include graphic designers, marketers, developers, and what they call "other services."
Their team of freelance graphic designers specializes in logos, graphics, and web content. The marketers they offer focus on social media, SEO, and digital content. If you need a developer, you can find one for web content, software development, or applications.
Otherwise, you can also find help with career coaching, graphic design, accounting, or even freelance writing. They further subdivide categories into things like real estate, business consulting, IT services, and much more.
As with any service provider, there are positives and drawbacks to using LinkedIn ProFinder. Thankfully, there are plenty of good reasons to use LinkedIn ProFinder.
Unfortunately, no freelance network is perfect. There are a few things you’ll need to consider before you commit to using LinkedIn ProFinder.
While the LinkedIn ProFinder was originally a free service during its testing period, it now comes with a sizable price tag once you get past five free proposals.
Unfortunately, you can't pay for the service as you need it but instead must buy at least one month of a LinkedIn Premium subscription. This will cost $60 for each month you want to use ProFinder. During any month you have a subscription to LinkedIn Premium, you can create an unlimited amount of client requests with the ProFinder service.
Then, once you've made a project query, the freelancers will get back to you with their own prices. All you can do is set the level of relevant experience you're hoping to get.
Thankfully, you’ll be given a selection of freelancers to choose from, so you can decide what’s most in line with your budget versus the experience you need for your project. Further, if you only want to try it out to see how it works, you can do so for up to five proposal requests.
When it comes to knowing a service’s worth, there’s nothing that compares to the opinions of actual users. Unfortunately, the only people talking about LinkedIn ProFinder on Reddit are freelancers themselves. It doesn’t appear that anyone hiring has left a review or posted a query about the quality of work you can expect to receive.
With that in mind, however, it seems that the overall freelancer experience of ProFinder has been a mixed bag over the past couple of years.
A few Redditors revealed that they had been seeking out gigs over the course of several months without yielding any luck.
In contrast, others had secured steady work, though one Redditor suggested that success may depend on where a freelancer is located as ProFinder focuses on finding clients local to your business. Those in larger metropolitan areas are bound to have more success.
What that means for those looking for a freelancer is that the larger an area you’re in, the more responses you’re likely to get and the more experienced individuals you’ll have to pick from.
Others found clients wanted something specific, such as a ghostwritten book, but could not afford the projected price. Indeed, one Redditor expressed their suspicion that the clients they have encountered are either insincere or have unrealistic expectations about what a project should cost.
Because the freelancers seem a little jaded overall on Reddit, you may not actually receive a large volume of proposals, or you may not connect with freelancers who are serious about their work.
Quora is a question and answer website that is often home to many experts in their respective fields. Some of these individuals have had experience in hiring freelancers through ProFinder. Unfortunately, as with Reddit, most of the reviews seem to be from the perspective of the freelancers themselves.
Some commenters found that the platform was better suited for more modest enterprises, such as an individual or a small business looking for a relatively inexpensive freelancer.
Like with Reddit, they noticed that freelancers who put out prices on the higher end of the spectrum, due to their ample experience, were less likely to find success when pitching a proposal.
That may mean you’ll get a mix of responses when you put out a query for freelancers to respond to. As you might expect, those who have the most experience will likely charge higher prices. That can be worth it if you need someone to deliver a high-quality product, especially on a tight turn-around.
However, if you’re budgeting or just starting out with your business, this can also be a boon for you. Because it’s a competitive environment, you can search for freelancers who haven’t been in their field as long and pay a smaller price.
Of course, with that savings in price, you’ll likely receive a poorer quality end product. Depending on your budget and needs, that can be a compromise you’re willing to make.
At the end of the day, whether or not LinkedIn ProFinder is worth it as a freelance marketplace will be up to you and what your business needs specifically.
While you do get five free proposals from freelancers, at $60 for a monthly fee, it could be quite an expense. If you’re only looking for one or two projects a month, it might not be worth it.
Then again, if you need multiple projects filled, that $60 may be worth the cost. Businesses that are more established may find it useful to attract new freelancers to work with regularly, and small businesses that are just starting out may be able to use it to fill a project on a limited budget.
Bear in mind that what sort of a response you get and how many proposals are sent to you may actually depend on where your business is located. Because LinkedIn ProFinder focuses on freelancers local to you, if you’re in a small town or another remote setting, it may be difficult to attract quality workers.
LinkedIn ProFinder seems more worth the cost for business owners in large cities with an expendable budget to find new freelancers. Those in rural settings might rather spend a bit of extra time looking through classic LinkedIn to find a freelancer themselves and save a bit of money doing so.