According to a report by The Information, LinkedIn will launch a new service that allows users to locate and hire freelancers.
The service, called LinkedIn Marketplaces, will go live in September.
It’s happening according to “two people with direct knowledge of the matter.”
In this article, I’ll go over what we know about LinkedIn Marketplaces.
Competing With the Big Boys
You’ve probably heard about other find-a-freelancer sites like Upwork and Fiverr. The new service by LinkedIn will compete with those types of online resources.
Work began on Marketplaces way back in October 2019. That’s when LinkedIn acquired the assets of UpCounsel, a resource that connected freelance lawyers with businesses.
In fact, the former CEO of UpCounsel, Matt Faustman, now leads the development effort for LinkedIn Marketplaces.
But don’t take my word for it. Just check out Faustman’s experience section on LinkedIn where he describes himself as the “Marketplaces Product Lead.”
So I’d say The Information has good sources.
Also, The Information got a statement from LinkedIn claiming that the pandemic led to an increase in demand for freelance workers.
What kind of freelancers do people search for these days? People with experience in marketing, design, software development, and executive coaching.
Yes. Executive coaching.
It Works Both Ways
LinkedIn Marketplaces won’t just give freelancers the opportunity to brag about their histories and experiences. It will also allow businesses in need of contractors to post requests for proposals.
Note: businesses can post an RFP on Upwork but I don’t think they can do that on Fiverr.
(Also, hardly anything costs only $5 on Fiverr anymore. They should probably change the name.)
The RFP feature will give businesses the opportunity to compare rates between freelancers. Although cheaper certainly doesn’t mean better, it’s a great way to gauge the market rate for specific types of services.
LinkedIn Marketplaces, like most “job” boards, will give both sides the opportunity to review the individual or team they partnered with. So everyone has an incentive to play nicely.
And, unsurprisingly, the service will take a cut out of whatever revenue freelancers haul in. Microsoft ain’t a charity, after all.
Yep. LinkedIn Marketplaces will give freelancers the opportunity to promote their businesses on the most popular B2B social media platform in the world.
It will also enable contractors to monetize the time they spend on LinkedIn.
As it stands now, lots of freelancers use LinkedIn to promote brand-name awareness and position themselves as subject matter experts. But that’s as far as it goes.
Once LinkedIn Marketplaces goes live, they can go on the site to bid on RFPs, advertise, and maybe even land a client from organic outreach.
LinkedIn recognizes that freelancers currently struggle to find a whole lot of value on the platform. That’s why the site needs to make advances in content marketing.
Daniel Roth, LinkedIn editor-in-chief, recently tweeted that the company is “building out our creator management team and I’m hiring someone to lead it.”
Roth also issued a call for resumes in that post.
Further, the job posting for the new Head of Community position reads as follows:
We’re starting a community management team to support and grow our content creators, with the mission to source, nurture, uplevel, and retain these important voices. Creators set off incredible ripples, helping others find their community and develop their own voice. The more people who give and get help, the faster we all grow.
Wrapping It Up
During the past year, LinkedIn made some great strides in advancing its advertising opportunities. Now it looks to move ahead even further with direct competition against sites like Upwork and Fiverr.
That’s going to make the so-called “Facebook for Adults” an even more attractive option for contractors in the B2B space. Keep an eye on this one.