The toughest times as a freelancer can be those where work seems to dry up. You’ve hit up your current clients for extra projects. You’ve updated your availability on your socials. You’ve reached out to past clients to see if they need a hand. But no one’s biting, and the bills are racking up.
Now there’s a new place to turn when you’re on the hunt for your next freelance gig: LinkedIn Services Marketplace. We’ve always really rated LinkedIn as a way to connect with new and potential clients, and Services Marketplace takes this to the next level. It can help connect freelancers offering services with businesses and hirers who are looking to fill gaps in their skillsets or hire to specific projects. It has a lot of similarities with sites like Upwork, People Per Hour and Fiverr, but also makes unique use of LinkedIn’s existing map of connections, recommendations and freelance networking to make the whole process easier.
What is LinkedIn Services Marketplace?
If you’re a freelancing professional, you can set up your business as a “service” page. This is connected to your existing personal LinkedIn profile, so you can show off all those hard-earned credentials and keep any endorsements you’ve earned. Your service page will display:
- A list of the things you can do for potential clients
- Connections that you and the client have in common
- Reviews and ratings from past clients
Your services page will be searchable from within LinkedIn, and you can tag it with all the services you offer from a selection of over 250 job titles. It’s free to sign up for one of these and begin promoting your freelancing services. Interested clients can go ahead and request a project from you, connect with you or message you.
Clients can seek bids for projects from freelancers using the “request a proposal” feature. Here, a client can outline the job they’re hiring for, and freelancers offering that service will be invited to put in a proposal for it. The client can either allow LinkedIn to filter the request to trusted providers, or search through the service pages to find freelancers they think are a good match. It also makes great use of LinkedIn’s networking tools – anyone with a need for a freelancer can ask their connections for recommendations.
At the moment, however, there’s no way for freelancers to actively search for opportunities and projects on the platform. It’s a matter of getting your page set-up, selling your services in the best way and hoping that clients come to you. But this isn’t an entirely passive endeavour. There are things you can do to make your freelance LinkedIn page stand out and give yourself the best chance of being invited to put in proposals for projects.
How can freelancers list their services on LinkedIn?
To set up your LinkedIn to display your services in the Service Marketplace:
- logg into your profile and select “open to”
- click “Providing services”
- fill in details of your freelance business into the form.
Here are our top tips for freelancers thinking of listing their services on LinkedIn:
- Make sure your network is wide. Before you add this feature, it’s worth spending some time on LinkedIn adding clients (old and new), colleagues and bosses from previous employment, and fellow freelancers that you’ve collaborated with. Remember part of the system depends on connections you have in common with potential clients, and recommendations play heavily too, so get as many people on your team as possible.
- Use your “About” blurb to sell your skills, giving concrete examples of your relevant experience. You only get 500 characters here, so it’s short and sweet! Keep it positive and focused.
- You can add up to 10 services to your page. Adding more services may make you more likely to show up in different search results, but make sure you can deliver on what you promise! Similarly, offering just one or two services will show that you’re a serious specialist in your field.
- There are a few things to be cautious about. Unlike some of the other freelancing platforms, payment and invoicing for services aren’t done within the LinkedIn system – you’ll need to sort these out separately with the client. You might want to make sure you have a contract in place and negotiate a rate for the job with some payment upfront if it’s a large piece of work and the client is unfamiliar to you.
How to gain more freelance work
LinkedIn Marketplace is one extra pipeline of freelance social media for you to try during periods where you’re seeking work. When freelance business is slow, it’s helpful to have several different channels and methods for winning projects. Get your fingers in as many metaphorical pies as possible! If you’re looking for more advice and inspiration on how to grow work as a freelancer, check out our blog on how to gain more clients.
Remember that one of the flexible features of Dinghy’s freelancer business insurance is the ability to pause your policies when you’re not working. So if you’re between jobs, switch your cover down at the touch of a button to save yourself money. Just remember to turn it back on again when the work starts flowing! If you haven’t yet sorted your business insurance, get a quick quote straight to your inbox via the Dinghy website.