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Crack the Code: Leveraging Recruiting Agencies for Product Management Gigs

The Product Freelance market is rough, I know. Here’s how to navigate the landscape effectively.

Image Credit: Sören von Sebelin

After two incredible years as a freelance Product Manager, I can confidently say that the freedom, the challenges, and the experiences are unbeatable.

I’ve worked with eight distinct clients, each project averaging around four months. But achieving this wasn’t easy, and within these 24 months, I’ve had five months of downtime.

Finding valuable leads that turn into actual gigs remains a tough nut to crack.

Here’s how I navigated the market to secure consistent freelance opportunities.

Spoiler alert:

  • Recuiting agencies
  • LinkedIn Keywords
  • Scaling reach (with a little surprise at the end 🤩)

The Agency Dilemma: The Key and the Problem

Recruiting agencies are crucial players in the freelance ecosystem, yet they come with significant challenges. Understanding their pros and cons is essential for any Product Management freelancer.

Pros of Recruiting Agencies

  1. Access to Opportunities: Agencies often have access to a wide range of job openings that aren’t publicly advertised. They can connect you with high-profile clients looking for specialized skills.
  2. Time-Saving: Agencies handle the initial vetting process, which saves you time in searching and applying for positions.
  3. Negotiation Support: Good agencies can help negotiate contracts, ensuring you get fair compensation and terms.

Cons of Recruiting Agencies

  1. Timing Issues: Agencies frequently contact you at the wrong time — either too early or too late. They might need someone immediately or in the distant future, making it hard to match their timelines with yours.
  2. Poor Filtering: Many agencies lack a deep understanding of product management. They might filter candidates too early or based on irrelevant criteria, leading to missed opportunities.
  3. Volume and Specificity: You need to connect with as many agencies as possible to improve your chances. Since agencies look for specific profiles at specific times, luck plays a significant role.

Keyword Optimization on LinkedIn

The biggest driver of my success in getting the attention of agencies was optimizing my LinkedIn profile with the right keywords. Here’s how I did it:

  • Keyword Research: Start by researching the job market. Look at job postings and identify common keywords and phrases used among your target audience. Analyze recruiter messages to see which keywords they use.
  • Profile Review: Ask a friend or mentor to review your profile. Their feedback can reveal whether your profile clearly communicates your strengths and expertise.
  • AI Tools: Use AI tools to analyze and summarize your profile, highlighting key terms and phrases. Ensure critical keywords appear multiple times throughout your profile.

Research and Select: All agencies are different. Research agencies that specialize in product management or have a strong track record in your industry and approach them proactively.

Networking: Attend events and engage in professional groups where agency recruiters are likely to be. Building a personal connection can make you more memorable. Moreover, as freelancers usually know the worth of their network and will always look for strategic partnerships and connections — as a Product Management community, we must equally stand together.

How to Scale Your Agency Network

Scaling your network with recruiting agencies is crucial to maximizing your freelance opportunities. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  1. Maintain Relationships: Regularly check in with your contacts at the agencies. Update them on your availability.
  2. Stay relevant: Update your profile and availability regularily and early. Play the buzzword bingo well, and attract attention with the newest trends.
  3. Scale your reach with Product Freelancer List: To streamline the process and give freelancers peace of mind, we’ve built Product Freelancer List
    Here’s how it works:
  • Automated Updates: Your availability is automatically sent to all subscribed agencies monthly and as a welcome mail, keeping you top of mind without the manual effort — and for free.
  • AI-Generated Keywords: Our platform uses AI to generate keywords based on your CV, ensuring your profile stands out to agencies.
  • Quality over quantity: This is an invite-only community, and due to an automatic monthly availability reset, we make sure to share the crème-de-la-crème who are really available. 

Surprise 🎉 

We offer a waiting list for early access, only for a limited time.

Only for the start, to give early adopters a chance to enter the community first, you can join the waiting list now. With a manual vetting, we prioritize quality over quantity. Moreover, when you join early, chances are very high you make it into the first slots of all lists! 
Join the waiting list now

Conclusion: Master the Agency Game

Recruiting agencies are both a key resource and a challenge for Product Management freelancers. 

By understanding their pros and cons, strongly optimizing your LinkedIn profile keywords, and scaling your agency network effectively, you can secure consistent gigs and reduce downtime. 

I sincerely wish you peace of mind, and lots of gigs!

So… ready to scale your reach? Sign up for the waiting list at Product Freelancer List and start getting the opportunities you deserve 🙏🤗

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