Finding work on LinkedIn is one of its stellar features, but it looks like the platform might be getting a massive upgrade this year.
LinkedIn Marketplace could soon dominate the freelance market and everyone’s excited.
But, the question is, how’s it going to help you?
In this guide, we take a look at what we know so far, find out the implications of this move for the platform, and find out how we can optimize to take advantage of this advance in LinkedIn marketing.
Upwork and Fiverr, watch out.
Someone new is in town.
LinkedIn Marketplace is a new feature that LinkedIn is rolling out this 2021 which allows freelancers and clients to transact with each other in a common marketplace.
Clients can post jobs that they need to be done and freelancers can advertise the skills that they have. Using a combination of search and filters, both parties can find each other, transact on the platform and get some work done.
It's almost like LinkedIn's own version of Upwork.
Here's the thing, a lot of people might confuse this with LinkedIn ProFinder.
Just to be clear.
LinkedIn Marketplace is said to be different from LinkedIn ProFinder.
ProFinder is designed to help clients that need specialized services find professionals to help them out. Potential employers send out proposals to vetted pros and these freelancers decide if they're up for it.
As the name suggests, it helps people "find pros".
"Pros" must then leverage advertising to make sure that they're ahead of the pack when LinkedIn ranks people out.
LinkedIn ProFinder is built with the client in mind while LinkedIn Marketplace prioritizes both parties.
There’s still no information of LinkedIn Marketplace have the same advertising features for job seekers as it's intended to be more of a freelancer marketplace.
LinkedIn is king when it comes to professional social networking.
And, it knows that.
With three-quarters of a billion users, there’s a lot it can do to fill in the gap between professionals who are job hunting, and employers who have project needs.
This is not to mention that they probably have the biggest repository of information about professionals in the world.
There’s just so much that they can leverage.
Their entry into the freelancer marketplace makes a lot of sense given that a lot of businesses have been making the push to go digital.
Another possible catalyst is the health crisis that’s pushing a lot of businesses to change their business model.
For one of the biggest social networks in the world, it’s a no-brainer.
We also have to remember that it’s not their reputation as a directory for professionals that they have. Their parent company Microsoft has a lot of tech that they can use to drive growth.
We first started hearing about LinkedIn Marketplace back in the last quarter of 2019.
Then, rumors started circulating.
As the business landscape started to change in the following year, we soon found that the demand for freelancers started to grow.
The timing couldn’t be more right for Linkedin.
One of the highlights of the proposed LinkedIn Marketplace is its integration of a digital wallet from Microsoft.
There are reports that it will also help supplement LinkedIn’s paid content network. This means that tipping experts for the work that they do can probably become the new norm.
We’re yet to see how everything will be fully integrated.
Given Microsoft’s massive tech portfolio, it doesn’t seem like something too surprising.
We are also waiting for how LinkedIn will charge for escrow. Some marketplaces charge the freelancer a fee when using their services to make a profit. We don't know if LinkedIn will follow along the same footsteps or combine that with ad revenue.
According to some sources, advertising on the client's side will be available giving them the ability to post ads for the jobs that they have available.
LinkedIn still has to maintain its bottom line and making money from ads is a good way to give some clients the upper hand when securing top talent.
There are still no definite guidelines on what ad parameters will be featured.
Just like Upwork and Fiverr, LinkedIn Marketplace will give previous employers the ability to rate freelancers on the Marketplace platform.
These ratings are vital for future employers to assess whether a potential hire lives up to the expectations that they have.
This is a great feature to have for both parties, employers can get social proof of how good a potential freelancer is and freelancers who are great in their field can compete for the quality of service.
However, there is still no word on combating the potential abuse of the feature.
We cannot stress this enough.
You need to make sure your profile is optimized.
Profile optimization is the cornerstone of LinkedIn success because it’s your very own landing page on the platform.
Everyone has the same virtual real estate on LinkedIn so it’s up to you to make the most out of it.
to make sure that it stands out from the rest of the people on the network.
Now another benefit of LinkedIn is the ability to use it as a passive lead generation tool.
Regardless if you get noticed on the new LinkedIn Marketplace, you can be sure that people who land on your profile will be enticed to work with you.
This makes it an essential landing page for passive lead generation.
People with a solid presence on LinkedIn will always be able to stay a cut above the rest. They’re regarded as thought leaders and as some of the people who are the best at their field.
This is why we’ve always advised and pushed our own clients to become influencers on the platform.
In this way, they can have their own voice and their own audience.
Creating a presence on LinkedIn starts with the former section, optimizing your profile for passive leads.
Once you’re done, you should try to put out at least 3-5 posts in a week, preferably at times when your audience is active.
However, it can’t just be any kind of post.
They have to be posts that are of value to the audience.
We’re talking about posts that are filled with information that’s actionable and relevant.
Templates, guides, inspirational stories, articles, slides, infographics, video, live video, LinkedIn stories, etc.
Find out how to use LinkedIn stories to supercharge your growth!
Every freelancer should have a portfolio ready.
But, this doesn’t mean dumping every single piece of work that you’ve done in the past on our profile.
You should start selecting your best and most prominently featured pieces as examples of the work that you can do.
The trick here is to curate your portfolio.
When picking out the best examples of your work make sure you include:
It also helps to include some work that you’ve done for a cause or for free.
By doing this you can also showcase your commitment to your work and that you’re not just into your skills for the money.
People love working with people who view their craft as a vocation.
(Just steer clear of people of intentionally don’t want to pay you.)
One of the highlights of the proposed LinkedIn marketplace is the presence of a digital wallet, so before it even launches you should decide on your pricing.
Deciding pricing can get tricky, but here are some tips.
LinkedIn has been awfully quiet about the official release date lately.
But, there's reason to believe that they'll launch sometime in September of 2021.
Given that at the time of this writing it's already September, we might see the release date be pushed later.
We think that LinkedIn should have done this sooner.
They are the biggest professional social media network in the world and they have the clout and resources available to pull off something of this magnitude.
But, beyond this, it's good news.
This opens the door for a lot of people to find employment.
The more markets there are, the more chances there are for transactions to occur.
This could be the biggest market yet, and it means a lot of opportunities.
For marketers and freelance consultants, this means more clients and more experience.
And, that translates to more growth.
Does your business need more awareness, leads, and sales?