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The Ultimate Guide to ProFinder Automation

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What is LinkedIn Profinder?​

LinkedIn ProFinder is a two-sided marketplace that connects pre-qualified freelancers with individual clients and business owners. It differs from other talent platforms, such as Upwork and Freelancer.com, in that it has an application process and limits the proposals sent to customers to the first five submitted. After a customer receives five proposals, the job is closed to additional submissions. That means being quick to the draw is just as important as your marketable skills.


Your profile on ProFinder is an extension of your LinkedIn profile, which is great if you have plenty of client reviews, case studies, and articles that previously weren't easy to share on other freelance platforms. As ProFinder is only open to US-based talent, the services listed are generally considered higher-priced and more specialized than others.


From the customer standpoint, the RFP process is extremely streamlined thanks to a short questionnaire about the project requirements. This allows the customer to save time and only receive proposals from the most qualified applicants.​


After an RFP is created, ProFinder notifies each freelancer via email and requests a proposal. Many freelancers complain about this highly-manual and time-consuming process as it requires a freelancer to always be tied to their devices ready to submit a proposal at a moment's notice or lose leads to a faster freelancer.


What is ProFinder Automation?​

ProFinder Automation is the process of removing repetitive, time-sensitive, and risky manual proposal writing and sending on LinkedIn ProFinder with computerized or hybrid automation that sends proposals on your behalf around-the-clock. A service like ProAutomatr ensures that you're "top of the stack" in competitive freelancer platforms, such as LinkedIn ProFinder.​


Automation is generally associated with businesses ready to scale-up, but without the need for additional headcount.


Freelancers or a small business owner automating their proposal sending are able to send 3x - 4x more proposals to clients without an interruption to their daily workflow.


Is ProFinder automation right for your business?


There are some businesses that were born to prosper on ProFinder. When you think of LinkedIn, what usually comes to mind? If you're thinking about "professional development, winning jobs, and networking" you're spot-on. You're less likely to think about, say, landscape architecture when it comes to LinkedIn.


So, if you're a career coach, resume writer (or someone who services other white-collar clients), you've come to the right place for leads. While LinkedIn has about 150 categories of service providers on ProFinder, coaches and writers dominate the market (and there's the demand to match).


You may be generating significant business from ProFinder already. From our surveys, we see solo entrepreneurs frequently exceed $100K in yearly billings from the platform alone.


If you're looking to scale-up, the automation of this channel is a must. However, you'll want to have an entirely optimized process beforehand, otherwise, any automation will simply magnify the bottlenecks in your workflow.


That's why the first thing we ask our clients is "Are you ready for automation?" Surprisingly, it's not for every business.


Why Manually Sending Proposals Doesn't Work

LinkedIn ProFinder is a remarkably simple platform. However, it makes one unkind assumption. LinkedIn assumes that pros are waiting by their computer 24/7, ready to craft a proposal in realtime and pitch their business.


Due to the number of freelancers on the platform, quality leads do not last longer than 30 minutes without becoming filled with the "top 5" providers.


LinkedIn's algorithm is able to notify users outside of the local geographic region if a proposal is filling-up too slowly.


From our internal research, time is a more important factor than customization in proposals. A highly-customized proposal that doesn't hit the "top 5" will never reach clients.


As you know from your other lead generation strategies, hitting the client at the right time is often more important than with the right message.


A ProFinder automation service (like ProAutomatr) will ensure that you're top of the proposal stack every time.


Is ProFinder Automation Safe?​

Before you can automate anything on LinkedIn, let alone your lead generation strategy, security must be taken seriously.


LinkedIn carefully monitors all activity on its platform. Anything that looks non-human puts your account at risk.

There are hundreds of software companies offering tech that dangerously plugs-into LinkedIn via API (communicating with LinkedIn via code, rather than from human input). This is a surefire way to compromise your account and put your business at risk.


Here, your business has two secure options.


  • Hiring a skilled virtual assistant or a team that can work around-the-clock

  • Using a hybrid service (humans and computers) that interact with LinkedIn just like you would is totally safe


From our research, virtual assistants are anywhere from 2-5x more expensive and error-prone than using a dedicated automation service.


​Don't hire a human to do a robot's job.


How to Segment Your Leads

Once you have designed the perfect LinkedIn profile, that represents clearly what you do, how you can help, and showcases measurable results, it's time to look at how leads are segmented within the platform.


Would you use the same proposal to address recent grads versus executive clients? Of course not.

When clients initiate a project on ProFinder, they are asked to provide self-categorize their experience (somewhere between in college and an executive). ProFinder shares these categories with each lead, so it's easy to deliver a unique proposal that speaks to an individual's professional experience and needs.​


You can also you this strategy to provide more accurate pricing and quotes.


How to Write the Perfect Proposal

After understanding the need for segmentation and the unique needs of each segment, it's time to start marketing your service.


Both LinkedIn and our internal research have shown that "less is more" when it comes to LinkedIn ProFinder.


​LinkedIn ProFinder limits you to 1500 characters, but we've found that about half of the limit is plenty.

Here is our recommended outline for your proposal copy:


  • Professional introduction (who you are, credentials, unique perspective)

  • How you can help (a clear summary of your services)

  • Showcase results

  • Price range (optional)

  • Establish a clear CTA (phone call, webinar, site visit)

Your service should solve your target customer's problem in as few steps as possible.​


Establishing a Clear Sales Funnel


We recommend getting your client off of LinkedIn and into your sales ecosystem quickly.


Do:​

  • Send clients to a simple calendar page, like Calendly, or

  • Design simple landing pages with one, prominent CTA (Book Here!, Call Now!, Join the Webinar)

  • Ensure there's clean branding wherever you direct traffic to your business



Don't:

  • Direct clients to a multipurpose website where they can get lost

  • Confuse your clients with too many products or service offerings from your business

  • Send clients back to your LinkedIn profile

Closing the Client

You were first in line with a great proposal. Now, the client is interested in your services. What happens next?​


First, reinforce your funnel. If the next step is a phone call, don't engage in a meandering LinkedIn chat.


Second, deliver a custom case study on your touchpoint. We recommend preparing details around a similar client profile and quantifying the achievement. Did you help a technical project manager win a new job in under 30 days?


This is the time to share the news.


Finally, follow-up with written collateral. The client will be interviewing several other providers and branded materials will provide a sticky point to ensure you're top of mind during the decision making process.


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