Does it make sense to invest in one of LinkedIn’s Premium products? As you might imagine, it depends on your situation and goals. If you are a sales professional or a recruiter LinkedIn’s Sales and Recruitment products are a great investment. Otherwise, I suggest getting the most out of LinkedIn’s free version before investing in the paid version.
Another consideration, of course, is your budget. If your company is paying for LinkedIn’s Premium service then by all means let them do it. When the investment comes directly out of your pocket, then you may want to think about the value you get from the Premium services in light of your goals.
There are different categories of Premium memberships (Basic, Job Seeker, Recruiter, Sales Professionals) with monthly and annual pricing options starting at $49.95 per month. LinkedIn changes pricing and packages from time to time so check LinkedIn Premium options for more information.
Here are some of the added benefits of using the Premium service.
LinkedIn Premium provides you with a larger photo and profile header than the free version as well as a selection of images you can use for your custom background. Furthermore, Premium profiles are twice as prominent in LinkedIn search results as free profiles enabling you to display more information from your profile.
LinkedIn Premium allows you to send InMails (direct messages) to any LinkedIn member. The level of premium service you have determines how many InMails you can have outstanding at any one time. At the most basic Premium level, you get 3 InMails to start. When sending InMails, there are preset categories for why you are sending the InMail (e.g., expertise requests, business deals, consulting offers, job opportunities) and it is a good idea to see if the individual has specified what topics to contact them for.
Who’s Viewed Your Profile
The Premium service also allows you to see who has viewed your Profile going back 90 days. You are able to see their photo and professional headline. With the free version you can only see the last 5 people who have looked at your Profile within the past 90 days. The paid version provides analytics as to the industries viewers work in, their titles and their organizations.
View Full Profiles
LinkedIn’s paid services allow you to see full Profiles of individuals outside your 1st degree connections.
You can access more search filters in the Advanced Search area with the paid service. LinkedIn’s Advanced search for free members already offers filters such as keyword, title, company, location and industry. With the paid versions you are able to add filters like Groups, Seniority level, Function, Company size and others.
See More Search Results
When you search LinkedIn for people or jobs, you are able to see up to 300 records with the basic Premium service whereas you are limited to 100 records with the free version. In addition, LinkedIn free members get to save up to 3 searches when using the Advanced Search feature. Premium members can save 7 or more searches depending on the version of their premium service.
This Premium feature allows people who are outside of your network to message you at no cost to them, a great feature for networkers. Most people who may be interested in connecting with you will not want to pay for an InMail to contact you. When you choose to have an Open Profile they can send you a message for free.
One of the most helpful features of LinkedIn is the ability to see who your 1st degree connections are connected to and ask for Introductions. You can do this by phone or email, but LinkedIn also gives you the ability to ask for an introduction through their platform. With a free account you can have 5 Introductions outstanding at any one time, with a paid account you can have up to 15 introductions awaiting a response at the same time.
If you have additional Premium features that you’ve found helpful, please let us know.
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