As you may or may not be aware, LinkedIn quietly launched a new service called ProFinder recently that matches LinkedIn members in need of services with freelance professionals in a variety of industries – including insurance and financial services.
And it is completely free.
Most insurance professionals already have a LinkedIn profile, as it is an important networking tool that also helps establish credibility in the minds of potential prospects that want to do a little checking up on an agent or advisor before becoming a client.
What ProFinder – modeled after popular “freelancer-for-hire” sites like Fiverr and Upwork, adds is the ability to make your services known and available to LinkedIn members who are actively searching for them. It offers the ability to filter searches based on one’s LinkedIn network, connections, and geographical location. Because of its treasure trove of LinkedIn user data, ProFinder is able to quickly show the most well-matched professionals for the prospect’s specific needs.
In a nutshell, here’s how it works. To participate, freelance professionals must “register” and are vetted by the ProFinder concierge team. Once accepted, you are eligible to receive high-quality warm leads from other LinkedIn members who make requests for services they need. ProFinder matches the requests with professionals that meet the request’s criteria, and forwards the request. If interested in the request, the professional can respond with a short proposal, and the prospective client can then reach out to take the next steps.
Currently, LinkedIn allows members to search for an insurance professional for auto, homeowners, commercial, small business, life and health insurance. Members can also seek out CFPs, Chartered Financial Analysts, retirement planning, CPAs, wealth managers, and tax specialists.
“Now, with this new service, you can fill out a brief project description – which takes a minute or less – and then get matched with qualified professionals who are a best fit for your specific project. It provides a fast, easy way to find freelance professionals who you can hire with confidence,” said Vaibhav (VB) Goel, Product lead for LinkedIn ProFinder in a Q&A blog introducing the service.
“From a freelancer’s perspective, it’s an improved experience because you’re hearing directly from potential clients who are already looking for the services you provide rather than having to spend valuable time searching for leads. Plus, you get details on who they are and exactly what they’re looking for, so you, too, can commit to a project with confidence,” Goel said.
Goel added that LinkedIn obviously has a lot of members who are accountants, lawyers, realtors, insurance agents and other types of freelancers. “These professionals aren’t getting the kind of value from LinkedIn we wish they were, and that is how the idea for LinkedIn ProFinder was born. We want to provide a marketplace for freelance and independent professionals who aren’t looking for a new full-time job, but are looking for new leads,” Goel said.
Because it is free, and has the sheer volume (420+ million registered users worldwide, including 128+ million in the U.S. alone), it seems like a no-brainer for an agent to sign up for ProFinder as a huge free networking and lead generation opportunity.
But be aware it isn’t necessarily a slam-dunk by any means. Geoff Gordon, CFP, CIC, CRM, of the Andrew G. Gordon Inc., insurance agency in Norwell, Mass., an “early adapter” of ProFinder, says that he has so far received only two leads through the ProFinder program. One – a small request he said he would be hesitant to bother with if they had called in – was already closed by the time he responded, less than two hours later.
“Obviously, the people that are utilizing it are good at really fast responses,” Gordon said, adding that he thinks agents interested in having success with ProFinder had better have good email monitoring systems in place. He did add that signing up and getting approved was a quick, easy process.
You can find LinkedIn ProFinder under the “Interests” category on the LinkedIn toolbar.
• Are you signed up as a professional on LinkedIn ProFinder? Do you think it has potential, or much ado about nothing? Please share your thoughts or experience on this thread: Anybody using LinkedIn ProFinder yet?