If you’re a business professional looking to network, obtain leads and makes sales, LinkedIn is a must have item in your business toolkit. It’s also super helpful for job seekers and recruiters. But is it worth upgrading to LinkedIn Premium?
Let’s take a look at the free version of LinkedIn. With LinkedIn being the only social network focused on business, the free version is a great starting point for professionals as you can benefit from the following:
LinkedIn’s Free Features
- build your professional personal and corporate brand
- search for and view profiles of other LinkedIn members
- message LinkedIn connections
- grow and maintain a large professional network
- find and reconnect with previous colleagues
- take part in relevant discussions in Groups
- request and provide endorsements and recommendations
- save up to three searches and get weekly alerts on those searches
The majority of people stick with the free version but there are good reasons for considering the paid version of LinkedIn for business users, called Premium Business, and often referred to as Premium. There are also Premium account options for job seekers, sales and recruitment professionals.
There are a number of features that are unlocked by upgrading but in summary; Premium helps you to grow your network, advance your career, improve your skills and do better business. Here are the specific features that you can benefit from:
LinkedIn’s Premium Business Features
1) InMail – this is a significant benefit which gives you the ability to message any of LinkedIn’s 665 million members. The only exceptions are high profile people like Richard Branson. InMails are 7 times more likely to be read than email plus they are 2.6 times more effective than email and cold calling according to LinkedIn. You can target your InMails by using LinkedIn’s search features plus recipients receive an email as well as the InMail so they are hard to avoid. You’ll receive 15 InMails per month and get a credit to your account when you receive a reply. If you don’t use your credit it’s rolled over to the following month, for a maximum of 3 months. So the most InMails you can have for use at any time is 45.
2) Access to LinkedIn Learning – LinkedIn Learning provides a huge range of professionally produced online video tutorials presented by industry professionals on a wide range of business subjects. For example, there are 150 courses on Project Management and 121 courses on Microsoft PowerPoint. It’s an excellent resource to improve your business skills and only available on Premium.
3) More Search results – When you use LinkedIn Search with the free version, the maximum number of profiles that are displayed in results is 100 but on Premium there are no restrictions.
4) Access to LinkedIn’s Salary Checker – Even though there’s another Premium subscription called Premium Careers, there are 3 features included in Premium Business that can help you with your career. Firstly, you can view a detailed breakdown of salaries by job title and location using LinkedIn’s Salary Checker. Great for negotiating your next pay rise and for checking the salary of new roles you’re applying for. Secondly, you get access to Job Insights. See 5) below for more information. Thirdly, you can use LinkedIn’s CV Builder. These 3 features are not available on the free version of LinkedIn.
5) Access to Job insights – You”ll get to see whether you’d be the top applicant for roles according to your experience and skills which shows you have an edge over other candidates. You can view any such roles on the LinkedIn Jobs page if you have Premium. You’ll also see the number of people who’ve applied to the job you’re viewing, a list of top skills among the applicant pool, including those you have in common plus the experience and education levels of applicants. This data is extremely useful if you are considering or applying for a new role.
6) Build your CV – LinkedIn’s CV builder is a quick and easy way to create your CV using your LinkedIn Profile. Once you’re done you can download as a pdf or print. The tool also provides you with handy tips and useful examples.
7) More Saved Searches – Once you’ve set up a suitable Advanced Search (see point 3) you can use Save Search. This is much more convenient than having to enter your search criteria manually each time. Whether you are on free or Premium, new results are emailed to you too. With the free version you can save 3 searches. On Premium you have 7; handy for targeting different business sectors or roles and a real time saver.
8) More results for ‘Who’s viewed your profile’ – LinkedIn restrict the display of both the number of people who have viewed your profile and their profiles on the free version. To see everyone who has viewed your profile in the past 90 days you’ll need Premium. This is a great feature for building your network and obtaining leads.
9) Access to Company Insights – Premium provides valuable insights on your competitors’ LinkedIn Company Pages with details on employees, notable company alumni and job openings.
Should you upgrade to LinkedIn Premium?
In recent months, LinkedIn have become more commercial and have restricted some of the features available to free members. For example, there’s been a reduction in the number of search results. LinkedIn are also encouraging LinkedIn members to upgrade. For example, you could get a message encouraging you to upgrade if you are running a large number of searches or regularly using ‘Who’s viewed my Profile’. LinkedIn Premium users are also benefiting from new features such as =Salary Checker (see 4 above) and CV Builder (see 6 above) so as time goes on, the argument for upgrading becomes stronger.
I’d suggest that you make the most of LinkedIn’s free version and before long you should start to see benefits and you’ll find yourself using it every day. At this point, you should strongly consider upgrading to Premium. The good news is that LinkedIn now provide everyone with a free one month trial. Once the trial is over you’ll pay £49.99 per month if you don’t cancel. But before you hit the upgrade button, make sure that you have a plan including targets for how you are going to make maximum use of LinkedIn Premium every day. For example; who are you going to find using Advanced Search and how many searches you’re going to run, who are you going to send InMails to and how many are you going to send? At the end of your trial month, you’ll then be able to make a decision on whether to continue. If you’ve obtained leads or made sales then the decision will be easy but don’t forget the many other benefits that could well be worth more than £50 per month.
Make the most of LinkedIn
To learn how to make the most of LinkedIn, join me for Power Up Your Business With LinkedIn in Cardiff on 11 December, or get in touch to book an in-house workshop or a one-to-one LinkedIn training session.