The Worst LinkedIn Advice I’ve Ever Seen!

By Nick Nichols

In a Biz Journals Upstart article (that has since been archived behind password protection), the author claims that “LinkedIn just made it super-simple to win new business.”

The article contends that LinkedIn’s new “ProFinder” feature makes LinkedIn “serious about moving beyond its core use as a full-time job-seeking / hiring platform.” ProFinder is a service that purports to match freelance providers with clients needing their help. This is LinkedIn’s response to sites like Upwork and other freelance matching services and its desire to be a player in “The Gig Economy.”

If you are in the advice business, if you provide premium services, and charge – or want to charge – premium prices, run, don’t walk, away from LinkedIn’s ProFinder! You cannot afford to participate in The Gig Economy – at least not as a seller!

I maintain that ProFinder will HURT freelancers, not help them because it will turn providers who participate into commodities where price will be the main reason to hire someone, instead of overall value. The WORST place a premium provider should be is among a herd of other providers who will charge low prices just to get the business.

The very nature of the way ProFinder works is inherently flawed:

1. Tell us what you need
“Answer a couple of questions about the services you’re looking for and we’ll introduce you to the best local professionals from our curated list.”

Answer a couple of questions? Maybe if you want a commodity service like website design. Anything else and it takes more than a couple of questions to define what you want in a way that is meaningful to a potential provider.

2. Get free proposals
“You’ll receive up to 5 offers from professionals ready to help. Each offer will include a personalized message, price quote, and access to the pro’s LinkedIn profile.”

The LAST thing you want to do as a provider of premium services is to be part of a scheme (scam?) like this! Without having a dialog with potential clients to engage with them and establish the true value of what you do, there’s no way to give them an accurate price quote because there’s no way you can know exactly how you can best help them!

3. Hire with confidence
“Select the right pro based on their experience and portfolio. If you need any help, the ProFinder concierge team will be with you every step of the way.”

It would be difficult to get any more superficial than this! How can “the ProFinder concierge team” possibly get to know thousands of providers well enough to help potential buyers understand the value differences among them?

I’ve long maintained that LinkedIn is not the first place people go to look for a premium service provider. ProFinder now means I’ve been right all along!

Sure, having a well-developed LinkedIn profile will help validate your credibility, but usually only AFTER a potential client has found you another way. I’ve been on LinkedIn since 2006. (My member number is 8192457.* That’s 8.19 million out of 500+ million.) To my knowledge, I have NEVER had anyone contact me via LinkedIn who wanted to hire me, but I get contacted by people who want to SELL me something all the time. Perhaps you’ve had the same experience.

This is not to say that it’s not possible that you’ll get business from LinkedIn simply by having a profile. It’s just not very likely. Oh, and in case some LinkedIn “expert” says you need to post content to LinkedIn if you want to get business… to that I say, “Hogwash!” The only people who read content posted by a typical LinkedIn user are other typical LinkedIn users who post content.

Asking and answering questions on LinkedIn is a complete waste of time because the people who have the desire and money to pay you premium fees don’t ask questions on LinkedIn, and they don’t read answers. They are too busy to be bothered!

LinkedIn is an example of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Aside from people who sell LinkedIn books and training, the only people who are making money consistently through LinkedIn are the people who use LinkedIn as a supplemental prospecting tool to approach potential buyers directly. I challenge anyone to prove that writing LinkedIn posts, asking and answering questions, or having a killer profile led directly to being approached by and then doing business with premium clients on a regular basis. In other words, show me the money!

If you want to stop being perceived as a commodity and start attracting clients who will appreciate your value and pay you premium fees, I invite you to click here to see if you qualify for a telephone marketing strategy session with me that is guaranteed to give you at least one breakthrough idea that can catapult your business to the level you deserve.

*To see what your LinkedIn member number is, log into your profile and do a “View Source.” About 56 lines down you should see a line of code like this: