Is LinkedIn Premium actually worth the money? Many users will often find themselves wondering this at some point when they are offered a free trial to experience the features LinkedIn Premium offers.
Although I am personally a LinkedIn Premium user, I'm not prepared to say everybody should be using it because that's simply not true. I get value from using LinkedIn Premium because I make use of the additional features it provides.
There are 4 different types of general LinkedIn Premium accounts:
- Business Plus
There are also 3 specialized versions of LinkedIn Premium that cater to three types of users:
If you're actively using LinkedIn as a social selling tool, here are eight reasons why it might be advisable to go premium.
1. Additional Search Filters
If you've read my book, The LinkedIn Code, you know one of the most valuable tools on LinkedIn is its advanced search. The advanced search results on LinkedIn are VERY reliable, because LinkedIn pulls the results from content within people's profiles where they tend to share more information not commonly found on sites like Facebook or even Google+.
Truthfully, you can access a lot of advanced filters already with the free version of LinkedIn but the premium filters give you (almost) everything you could ever want.
Premium Filters Included with Business & Business Plus
- Select multiple groups
- Company size
- Interested in (ie. Potential employees, entrepreneurs, hiring experts, etc.)
- Seniority level
Premium Filters Available Exclusively With Executive
- Years of experience
- Filtering Fortune 1000 companies and under
- Join date
2. More Search Results
Often times when you do a search on LinkedIn, you'll have far more results than you are actually able to access. If you have a free account, you'll see this once you try to access page 11...
You can see up to 7X the amount of results with a LinkedIn Premium account. If you're a sales professional that's trying to find leads beyond a tight, local area, this feature is a goldmine.
3. More Saved Searches
It's not unusual to keep doing the same searches often once you've dialed into your target market on LinkedIn using Advanced Search. A small but useful perk of upgrading to LinkedIn Premium is the amount of saved searches you can store at one time is increased from 3, all the way up to 10 in the Executive LinkedIn Premium plan.
You will receive weekly email updates of new members that fit the criteria you've specified. If you're a local B2B sales professional, imagine how powerful it is to be alerted when there are new prospects in your area that match the exact criteria you're looking for. LinkedIn literally will deliver leads right to your email inbox.
3. You Can Do Reference Searches
Want reliable feedback about a new prospect or a job candidate that you're looking at? Reference searches are a tool exclusively available to LinkedIn Premium members to quickly pull up a list of people that have worked at the same company as the person you're trying to learn more about.
To do a reference search, go to the profile of the person you want a reference for and click hover your mouse above the downward arrow next to the "Send NAME an InMail" button.
Select "Find References" from the drop down menu.
Sometimes you don't have time to connect with someone "the long way" and need a bit of a shortcut. InMails are a great way to get the attention of people outside your network by giving you an otherwise forbidden ability: sending private messages to 2nd and 3rd level connections.
Here are the official rules on using InMails from LinkedIn:
You can send an InMail by clicking the Send InMail link in the upper right of a member's profile page or from search results.
- InMails let you directly message members you're not connected to
- If you have a Basic (free) account, you can purchase up to 10 InMail credits
- If you have a premium account and want more credits than the number you've been allotted, you can always purchase up to 10 more
- Compare account types to find an account that meets your needs
- Learn more about InMail expiration and renewal
5. More Introductions
Want an introduction to someone outside your network? The introductions feature is a great way to facilitate that if you have someone in your network that's already connected to someone you'd like to meet.
This might not be a big deal to you if you've never used the Introductions feature on LinkedIn but if you have, you know that you only get 15 with a free account. You get up to 35 depending on which LinkedIn Premium account you go with.
6. See Full Profiles For 1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree Connections
You can already see your 1st degree connections and their profiles but becoming a LinkedIn Premium subscriber will lift the veil for everyone else.
7. Open Profile
This is a great feature for LinkedIn Premium users as it gives you the option to allow people outside your network to send you a message. This is a huge benefit for premium subscribers and one of the reasons I remain a paid member. InMails can be costly and potential prospects aren't going to pay to reach out to you. Open Profile removes a key barrier between you and the prospects outside your 1st level network.
8. Gold Badge
Who can forget that fancy gold badge you get on your profile and beside your name in the search results? It's a very small benefit that identifies LinkedIn Premium users but anything that makes you more eye catching in the search results is positive. At the end of the day it's the features, not the status, that will compel you one way or the other.
Are You A LinkedIn Premium User?
Don't take this post as a promotion for LinkedIn Premium. If the features mentioned don't sound like they are going to be immediately useful to you, then you're fine using the free account. I still highly recommend the free account to many clients and friends if it's clear they won't take advantage of the additional benefits.
Do you subscribe to any of the LinkedIn's Premium accounts? Why or why not? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.