It is no secret that the global pandemic forced many businesses to pivot their operations by adjusting to allow for remote workers.
Some companies already outsourced tasks like Content Marketing and production of materials before the pandemic. When remote working became the norm, more companies sought to utilize more freelance workers.
As a result, the gig economy grew exponentially. LinkedIn recognized the changing business landscape as an opportunity and created a service called LinkedIn Marketplaces.
By now, most people know that LinkedIn is an online platform designed to connect the world’s professionals. Part showcase for personal accomplishments, part social media platform, part job hosting site: LinkedIn has it all.
LinkedIn is a one-stop-shop for the largest professional network on the internet. With over 740 million users worldwide, the social media is a natural place to marry freelancers with job postings in an all-new platform.
Still in development, this platform is set to be called Marketplaces.
Learning about and using LinkedIn Marketplaces will allow freelancers to search for positions from anywhere. It will also provide businesses with a platform from which to locate, employ and pay freelancers.
In this article, we will address the following topics:
What Is LinkedIn Marketplaces?
LinkedIn Marketplaces is a new platform to help freelance workers to connect with potential clients.
Set to launch in September of 2021, there is a lot of speculation about what it will look like. In other words, a lot of the information about Marketplaces is unknown. However, there are quite a few things we know so far.
First off, LinkedIn is not reinventing the wheel. For years, sites like Visual.ly, Upwork, and Fiverr have been around, providing places for freelancers to find gigs online.
These sites are now both publicly traded companies showing growth from the first ring of the bell. The growth of this type of company indicates that LinkedIn is tapping into an emerging and lucrative market.
What Are the Features of LinkedIn Marketplaces?
No, we don’t know exactly what Marketplaces will look like. However, there have been some reports about when it was created and the features it will contain.
In 2019, LinkedIn purchased a startup called UpCounsel. This organization targeted freelance lawyers and was designed to connect them with businesses online.
The CEO of UpCounsel is reportedly leading the team that is responsible for developing Marketplaces.
First off, we suspect Marketplaces will have broad-based functionality. It looks like Marketplaces will focus on consulting, writing, marketing, and graphic design jobs.
This isn’t the first time LinkedIn has ventured into the freelance arena. LinkedIn launched ProFinder in 2016.
LinkedIn ProFinder is “a professional services marketplace that helps connect the best freelance or independent professionals to you in your area.”
ProFinder allows LinkedIn users to search for job applicants. It also allowed users to toot their horns and advertise that they were “open.”
It appears Marketplaces will be a similar but more advanced platform. From what we can gather, the platform will allow players to search through a virtual marketplace of freelancers.
Additionally, users will have the ability to post their proposals for freelancers. This will allow users to attract specific freelancers for each job.
We also envision a social media aspect will be part of the platform. This will allow employers to engage freelancers with posts and/or articles, much like the current version of LinkedIn.
Additionally, employers will be able to review freelancers once a job is completed based on their work product and other useful metrics. Think of it as the Yelp of the freelance world.
Of course, there has to be something in it for LinkedIn, right? We expect LinkedIn will take a portion of the transactions facilitated through Marketplaces.
There could also be an ad component for freelancers. This would allow freelancers to advertise and generate additional revenue for LinkedIn.
One of the most unique features, perhaps, would be the implementation of a digital wallet.
Controlled by LinkedIn’s parent company, Microsoft, the digital wallet would allow employers to pay freelancers through the platform. With the rise in remote workers during the global pandemic, an online payment platform works.
The rollout of Marketplaces stands to make LinkedIn appeal to a broader audience. It will not just be for professional contacts anymore.
LinkedIn will appeal to small to medium-sized businesses looking to outsource work and provide them the ability to easily hire and pay for gig workers.
How Can LinkedIn Marketplaces Benefit Freelancers?
Marketplaces are advantageous to freelancers because they can kill two birds with one stone. They can make professional connections on LinkedIn while marketing themselves for future jobs. It essentially monetizes the time freelancers utilize LinkedIn.
The service could make LinkedIn a lot more useful for many people — not just a place to connect with professional contacts.
Marketplaces sound like a marriage of the ProFinder tool and LinkedIn, allowing more people to get value out of the platform.
Step-by-step Instructions for Freelancers on LinkedIn Marketplaces
Over 59 million Americans are somehow self-employed. That means there are a lot of people looking for and getting freelance work.
How do you get started? If you are just dipping your toes into the freelance market, it can be overwhelming.
Where do you look? What do you need to include as part of your response to a job posting? How do you get hired?
Here are some steps we recommend taking to get started on Marketplaces:
Develop Your Portfolio
Resumes contain useful information, but examples of your work product are a more solid way to show an employer what you can do.
If you don’t have a compilation of your best work at the ready, there is no time like the present.
Use only your best work
It can be tempting to give it the kitchen sink approach, but choosing the cream of the crop will be more impactful to potential employers. Stick to less than 10 examples.
Provide details about each project
It will be important to potential employers to see more than the finished work product. Let them know the who, what, why, where, and how of each project.
Did you have a lead role or a supporting role? Did your project lead to a positive outcome for the employer? These details can be included in a caption for each project.
Make your examples relevant
If you are applying for a job as a doctor, it probably isn’t important to include the fact that you like to eat Brussels sprouts on your resume.
This logic also applies to your portfolio. Try to create something content specific for each job posting.
Continue to edit your portfolio as you gain experience
As you complete more freelance jobs, you may need to reorganize or reduce your portfolio. Keep it fresh by reviewing it on a biannual or triannual basis.
Know Your Limits
Freelance work is plentiful. Set your work hours and try to stick with them. It can be easy for the line between work life and home life to get blurry with a freelance job.
78% of freelance workers say they’re happier than those working traditional jobs. Setting your work hours and knowing your limits will contribute to your success.
Once you’ve decided to become a freelance worker, you can’t just expect the work to fall into your lap.
Get out there and market yourself. Take advantage of platforms like LinkedIn to post and share information with other professionals. Start a blog about your freelance passions.
You should also consider your pricing. You want to be competitive but recoup the cost of doing business. Take into account the hardware and software you need to complete your jobs, as well as any insurance or taxes you will have to pay.
If you are working online you should update your online presence. If you have a website, make sure it is edited on a routine basis. Put yourself in the best position to get gigs.
There are a variety of things that you can do to make yourself more attractive to employers. The first thing to do is get out there and get started.
It doesn’t matter if you have been in the freelance world for years or if a global pandemic forced you to find new employment opportunities. LinkedIn Marketplaces will soon be a go-to place for new gigs.
For now, think about how you can prepare yourself for the launch of this new and exciting platform. If you want to learn more, make sure to read our article on the Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide: the story behind LinkedIn Marketing Hub!