PROskore is a newly launched business network that ranks your social media activity and influence in combination with your professional experience in order to give you a score denoting your overall professional influence. At first glance, it sounds a lot like Klout, the popular service that measures online influence.
But unlike Klout, PROskore takes into account your business connections and actual work experience in its scoring methodology. It’s also built specifically for business networking purposes, allowing its users to focus on growing their companies. Meanwhile Klout, via its Klout Perks program, is more focused on help brands and advertisers grow their own businesses instead.
According to CEO Bill Jula, there are three main differences between PROskore and Klout. To paraphrase:
1) All of its user profiles have been created by people (that is, manually). Meanwhile, many of Klout’s profiles have been imported from Twitter.
2) PROskore is about your professional reputation, but Klout is about your social influence.
3) PROskore is a business network, while Klout is about benefiting its advertisers.
The system is actually more nuanced than a simple “social” ranking. For example, as explained by this company blog post, a Web designer in New York with a score of 45 is not the same as a Web designer in a small town in Georgia with the same score. In other words, scoring and rankings are relative to your region.
To create its scores, PROskore uses your social influence (this would be the aspect most similar to Klout), plus your activity on PROskore itself (e.g., the number of connections you have) and your professional resume. When building your profile, there’s a heavy emphasis on adding connections that are related to business, not social influence. For example, it asks you for your Facebook fan page URL, not your personal profile URL.
The site’s users can search for other members via the “Find a PRO” section at the top of the site. For those who have filled out what services they offer, this section can help generate leads which are automatically sent directly to your PROskore inbox and optionally forwarded to your personal email inbox.
Based in Sarasota, Florida, PROskore was spun out of an existing online business network called Fast Pitch! which had five years worth of revenue and over 100,000 members. However, a large percentage of the former Fast Pitch! members have not completed the profile wizard to generate their PROskore on the newly revamped network.
PROskore is currently self-funded, thanks to the ongoing revenue generation that came from Fast Pitch. The company operates on a freemium model, with options to pay monthly, quarterly and annually for access to the site’s advances features, like its automatic leads generation. Paying users can also take advantage of other business-focused apps like the email marketing system and tools for press release creation and distribution. Jula says that the site’s conversion rates are just over 10%.
In the short term, PROskore is focused on maximizing its viral growth and will be introducing a half-dozen profile badges for members (although not “cutesy” ones like on Foursquare, Jula assures us).
The company has discussed taking in additional funding to improve its marketing efforts, but no decision has been reached.
Below, what a PROskore user profile looks like when complete.