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Sortlist for Client : How does it work?
Sortlist for Client : How does it work?

What can you expect from working with the Sortlist platform, how it's 100% free for clients, and how do we choose our service providers.

Anne-Gaëlle Sy avatar
Written by Anne-Gaëlle Sy
Updated over a week ago

💡 If you are based outside of Belgium, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Germany, or the MENA region, please refer to our other article describing the Sortlist Client Process for our International market.

Just like 78,000 before you, you are on your way to finding the perfect service provider with Sortlist.

But maybe there is something holding you back for now.

In case you have any doubts or hesitations, we’re here to break down the process for you. Here’s our guide to explain to you how finding the right service provider works with Sortlist, what you can expect throughout the process, how to make the final choice, and best of all explain to you how this is all free.

5 Steps To Finding Your Service Provider With Sortlist

Here are the 5 simple steps to finding your perfect match with Sortlist.

Creating the brief

Once you get to the end of your brief, you can have the option to either keep it as a draft or publish it. Here’s what those two options mean for you:

Publishing your project or keeping it as a draft

Keeping a project in draft form

By keeping your project in draft, you’ll have access to your new Sortlist account where you can take your time to finish your brief. Here you’ll also be able to read and watch a few testimonials of some of our previous clients as well as navigate through our FAQs for any doubts you may have.

If your briefing score is relatively low, you may be contacted by one of our advisors to help you complete the brief or to answer any doubts you may have.

Publishing your project

By publishing your project you’re just a few clicks away from finding your perfect match! Within the first 6 hours of publishing your project, you will start to receive applications from service providers interested in collaborating with you.

Please note that this is not a fixed engagement nor are you under any obligation to the agencies. You can discover their profiles, portfolios, and range of expertises, and meet with them at your own pace before making your final choice.

The whole process on our platform is also 100% free of charge.

You will gain access to our fully personalized matchmaking service to find the most suitable service provider. Our team of advisors will also send your project over to service providers they find most convenient for you. You’ll receive a maximum of 4 applications to review, although you can always request more options if you are not satisfied with the initial round of service providers.

Meeting your advisor - if you wish

Every project that comes through our platform is assigned an advisor. They are there to provide you with personalized assistance to help you find the perfect match.

You can make the choice whether to seek help from the advisor or simply navigate the process by yourself.

Your advisor is there to help you at any part of the process. You can ask them to:

  • Help you to better understand your needs and fill out your briefing

  • Advise you on the type of partner, budget, and strategy you should aim for

  • Prepare you for the next steps to start meeting service providers

  • Etc.

To book a 15-minute call with your advisor via Google Meet or phone, you can do so directly here.

If you are not quite ready yet, you can do it at any time by:

  1. Selecting the option directly in the briefing, (you may already see the option to “Get free assistance” before publishing the brief)

  2. Clicking on the button “Get advice, it’s free” on the homepage of your Sortlist account

  3. With the link at the bottom of the confirmation email you received after publishing your project

Meeting the service providers

Once you publish your project, our advisors, along with an AI algorithm will select a shortlist of service providers to present your project to.

Once we get confirmation from those who are interested in collaborating with you, you will receive an email and text message with a personalized introductory message from the service provider (4 maximum at first). The message will invite you to view their application which includes:

  • A brief introduction

  • Their contact information as well as a link to book a call

  • A link to their Sortlist profile

  • A few examples of previous works

  • And some latest reviews from previous clients

Remember that our services for you are 100% free of charge and any meeting you have with a service provider has no cost, we only ask you to respond to the agencies that get in touch with you by clicking on the thumb up or thumb down button of their application.

Further down the line, if you have any meetings set up with a service provider, please try your best to attend said meeting, and if for any reason you can no longer attend, make sure to re-schedule in advance.

The final choice

You have found your perfect match! It is time to close your project. Simply let your advisor know via e-mail that you have made your final choice. Also, make sure to let the other service providers whom you may have spoken with that you will unfortunately not be proceeding with them via your preferred method of communication.

If you are having a hard time making the final decision, you can always discuss things with your advisor. They can give you further guidance or present you with other agencies if you are not yet fully convinced.

Who are the Sortlist service providers, and how do we choose them?

The Sortlist service provider

With more than 53,600 service providers in over 150 countries, Sortlist offers an extensive range of options from which you’re sure to find the perfect match.

We have a service provider for every need; expertise, size, specialized industry, budget, and location.

This number may seem overwhelming, but with the personalized guidance from advisors as well as our AI algorithm, we filter out the ones that are perfect for you and provide you with a top 4 list.

The algorithm

The purpose of the algorithm is to help you filter through the service providers that fit certain criteria of your project brief.

It evaluates providers based on certain factors and assigns them a ranking score. These factors include:

  1. Whether or not the provider is specialized in the expertise of your brief (e.g. graphic design, online advertising etc.)

  2. If they speak at least one of the languages you have requested

  3. They are located in a limited radius of your preferred location (if specified)

  4. They have previous works in your budget range

Role of the advisor

Although seeking help from your advisor is optional, they can greatly help you in selecting the best service provider for your project.

Our advisors know our agencies well. They are in constant contact with them and know which fit best for each project.

They are there to provide you with personalized help by providing you with a list of service providers that they believe could be a good match, in addition to those generated by the algorithm.

But not only that, they are also there to guide you through any part of the process, from clarifying any doubts about the brief, to booking calls with service providers or helping you make the final choice.

Remember that you can always book a call with them via a link at the bottom of any e-mail you receive from Sortlist and that this entire service is free.

Your list of service providers

Your list of service providers is unique to your project. The list only displays poviders that meet the criteria you have specified for the project.

As mentioned before, your complete list of providers will be selected by our advisors with the help of our AI algorithm.

The service providers chosen have been directly contacted by the advisor themselves and presented with the project. Providers can either accept or reject the project, but must pay a fee to be considered a candidate. This ensures that only the providers who are truly interested and capable of delivering will accept the project.

This approach saves you a significant amount of time, as you can be confident that the service providers on the list are well-suited to the task.

They will be introduced to you personally via e-mail with a personalized message and their application for you to take a look at.

How and why Sortlist is 100% free for clients?

Is it really free?

Our platform is 100% free for project holders like you. At no part in the process of selecting a service provider will you be charged nor asked for payment details.

So how does Sortlist make money?

Sortlist charges its service providers for the service we provide them with. They can receive two kinds of benefits from being a Sortlist-verified service provider for which they pay:

  1. Visibility - Providers can decide whether they would like to appear on our directory for which they pay on a CPC basis.

  2. Opportunity - The service provider is presented with opportunities (projects) by advisors and pay for the ones they wish to be considered for.

How does the client benefit from this model?


With the opportunity model, service providers are only required to pay a fee if they would like to be considered for your project and have a meeting with you.

This ensures we get specialists for your project.

How? By charging a fee for this opportunity, providers are incentivized to only pursue projects they are confident they can win because of their expertise, and they match your criteria.

To illustrate, let's consider an extreme case: a graphic design agency would never apply for a web design project. Not only would they be unlikely to win your trust, but their fee would also be lost. The same applies to the finer details of the project brief. For instance, if you're looking for influencer marketing, a non-specialist agency would be unlikely to apply. They would find it challenging to compete with agencies that specialize in this field and have extensive experience in it. In such a scenario, non-specialist agencies would also risk losing their fee.

We always limit the number of service providers that can apply per project as not to overwhelm the client with options. With this limit, it is in our best interest as well to select the right providers for the projects for them to apply to the opportunity.


With the visibility package, service providers pay to be seen, but you have the control to make the choice. The directory provides a full list of verified providers that have paid for increased visibility. If you find a service provider that meets your project requirements, you can send them a direct briefing from their profile.

How Sortlist can help you find a service provider in 72 hours

Our history

Since 2014, we've been committed to helping businesses find their perfect service provider match. Last year, we had the privilege of helping over 78,000 project posters, just like you, to find their ideal service partner.

Our clients have included some of the world's leading companies, such as Nescafé, KAYAK, Al Jazeera, Grammarly, and Air France. But also some more local enterprises trying to get started such as Outboxe, a small boxing studio in Paris, or Aimmoz, a start-up real estate agency.

Time saver

Over the past few years, we have worked tirelessly to develop the best possible product to connect businesses with marketing agencies. By combining the knowledge of our experts and data analysis, we help both sides save valuable time and money on fruitless searches and unsuccessful collaborations.

By telling us your specific needs, you can skip the tedious task of scrolling through Google to find a service provider that meets your needs. Instead, we'll do the research for you and present you with a tailor-made list of agencies that are perfect for your project.

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