Linkedin’s latest venture launched on April 26th
Late last month, Linkedin quietly launched a new venture which could have big implications for agents: Linkedin ProFinder (you can find it under the Interests category on the Linkedin toolbar).
The new venture allows customers to look for freelancers and professional talent using the huge reservoir of user data already on the Linkedin Platform. By building off the more than 433 million registered members, Linkedin now offers customers a way in which to quickly, easily effectively find a professional or freelancer in a variety of services. With the ability to filter searches based on one’s network, connections, and geographical location, ProFinder can tailor a search to find just the right match.
Best of all, as of right now, this service is completely free for both vendors and customers.
So far the site allows an individual to search for an insurance professional for auto, homeowner’s, commercial, small business, life and health. Here is a screenshot of the services currently available to search for:
Why should this matter to an independent agent?
One of an independent insurance agent’s hardest jobs is to find new clients. Linkedin ProFinder has essentially opened up the playing field to allow any agent to sell their insurance products on the Linkedin site. By signing up as a Pro an agent has the ability to connect with new clients without having to leave their office. For those agents who also sell Real Estate, this service is also now offered on Linkedin ProFinder as well, effectively giving you to avenues in which to connect with new clients.
On the flip side, another one of an agent’s hardest jobs is finding the right employee or freelancer to help run one’s agency. Linkedin ProFinder can help with that as well. For example, for those looking to improve their agency’s content marketing strategy or SEO efforts, agents can submit a specific proposal to find the right freelancer to get the job done. According to Linkedin, Boston is the fifth best city in the U.S. for freelancers.
Not on Linkedin – why every independent agent should be
Just the numbers alone should convince an agent to join Linkedin. In the United States, more than 128,000,000 people are registered members of Linkedin, with two members added every second. It is essentially the biggest and best networking opportunity that an agent may ever have access to.
Unlike Facebook which is more personal, or Twitter, which is more like a news feed, or Instagram, which is essentially an online photo journal, Linkedin is the place to do business. More than any other social media website, Linkedin is geared to helping professionals grow their careers and businesses whether that be exchanging information via Linkedin Groups, networking via your connections, finding a new job or acquiring new business with its new Linkedin ProFinder service.
The vetting process to become a Pro…
The most interesting aspect of Linkedin’s ProFinder is that it requires all individuals who would like to be listed as a professional to be vetted by the Linkedin ProFinder team. This extra level of effort will likely result in a high quality site because of this extra “seal of approval” from Linkedin. That coupled with the professional information already available on Linkedin, makes looking for an agent on Linkedin a natural and easy choice.
How does an agent become a Pro
The first thing to do is to sign-up for Linkedin if you have done so already.
The next thing is to request to become a pro on the Linkedin ProFinder page:
This means the following:
An agent has signed up to Linkedin;
- The agent has filled out the various sections on the Profile;
- The profile includes recommendations from past clients or colleagues;
- The agent has published something on the Linkedin platform.
One Mass. agent is already leading the pack
We thought it interesting to note that one Massachusetts agent has already started taking advantage of Linkedin ProFinder with great results. After searching for insurance agents in most of the categories provided for, Geoff Gordon of the Andrew G. Gordon Agency, already appears as the number one professional listed.
Always leading the pack, we thought it of interest to note that he was also one of our first Agency Interviews back in 2011. See Agency Checklists: Talking with Geoff Gordon of the Andrew G. Gordon, Inc. Insurance Agency. He also did a great Checklists for other Mass. agents when the time comes to move your office. See Agency Checklists’: A Checklist Before You Make A Move
Have more questions?
Here is the Linkedin blog post announcing the launch of ProFinder which is probably the best place to start. It features an interview with VB Goel, Group Product Manager, LinkedIn ProFinder. You can also look at the Most Frequently Asked Questions which is at the bottom of this Linkedin page.
All of our screenshots are courtesy of Linkedin and Linkedin ProFinder.