LinkedIn adds marketing tools for small accounting businesses

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LinkedIn added a new feature Tuesday for freelancers and small business owners to market services such as accounting and tax preparation.

The new "Open For Business" marketplace showcases an individual’s availability, industry expertise, skills and geographic location, indicating that they are "open for business" and ready to connect. The marketplace connects the social network to active freelancers and small business owners searching for people to regularly do business with. For accounting, users will be able to share that they are skilled in the following areas: "tax preparation," "personal tax planning," "bookkeeping," "financial accounting" and "small business tax."

To set up the feature, a user would click on the "showcase your services" tab on their LinkedIn profile and fill out information about their services. A freelancer or small business owner setting up (or updating) their profile would be able to pick either "accounting" or "finance" as the answer to "What does your business do?" From there, users can select from a dropdown menu of services they offer in their chosen field and add it to their profile for LinkedIn members to see. (LinkedIn will also display an "Open for Business" sign for them.) Fellow LinkedIn members will be able to find them through a "service providers" filter when doing a search and send a free message to inquire about their services.

“This feature can impact a lot of people, including accounting and tax professionals, by allowing them to harness the power of their own personal network of clients, friends and peers to be able to bring in new work,” said Vidya Chandra, group product manager at LinkedIn. “We want to make it simple and easy for the LinkedIn community to see who is available for work, and what services they provide at a glance."

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