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LinkedIn’s premium accounts offer substantial advantages over the free version, but the fee puts off many would-be users. We take a look at why you should consider the payment an investment in yourself and your business and how you can make the most of the extras available.

Choosing your account

There are four different options on offer. From cheapest to most expensive they are Career, Business, Sales Navigator and Recruiter Lite. Each has some benefits in common and we take a look at those first.

InMail

All of the four different types of paid account offer a number of InMails, ie. the ability to be able to send an email directly to someone outside of your connections and with whom you don’t share a group. This is one of the most valuable benefits of subscribing. People are more likely to respond to a LinkedIn InMail than a cold email and it gives you an edge in connecting with those who could be important to you or your business.

Extended LinkedIn network access

The free version of LinkedIn limits the number of searches that can be carried out each month, meaning that if you are using the platform regularly to find people you may be stopped from searching for a while until your searches refresh the following month. The limit can be reached quickly if you are searching regularly, with a warning issued as you approach the maximum permitted. Once you reach that point, your searches are limited. The basic paid version also has limited searches, but the other three Premium packages allow unlimited access.

If you are able to keep searching throughout the month, any marketing or connection efforts can continue uninterrupted, allowing you to maintain a flow and rhythm in promoting yourself and your business. If you are forced to stop partway through the month, it will be harder to return to.

Profile views

With the free version of LinkedIn, you can see details of the most recent five people who have viewed your profile, provided you are not in anonymous/hidden mode in your settings. The paid options allow you to see everyone who has looked at your details over the previous 90 days. It is irrelevant if you are in an open or anonymous setting at the time. This is great for making connections with people who are already interested in you and what you have to offer. I regard this as the prime reason why you would upgrade to a Premium package. On your website, you can’t tell exactly who viewed your website, only male/female, area, etc. This information is invaluable in giving you a head start to approaching those people who have an interest in your services.

Open profile

For those wishing to receive connections from everyone, LinkedIn Premium gives the option to switch your profile to open. This allows anyone to contact you, even if they don’t have a Premium account themselves. By making it clear that you welcome enquiries and that you’re happy to chat things through with potential clients or customers, as well as by establishing yourself as an expert in your field with good quality content, you can increase your inbound leads.

Access to courses

The different levels of paid subscription offer free access to articles, information and courses. These range from salary insights and helpful suggestions for interview preparation available to Career subscribers to video courses and sales insights for Sales members.

Benefits specific to each package

As well as the above benefits, each type of paid membership has other advantages, tailored to each specific subscription.

Premium Career

This includes salary information and the ability to see an overview of other candidates and where you rank with them in terms of experience. You can also make use of the interview preparation feature, which provides video training and tips from experts and hiring managers.

Premium Business

Business members have access to business insights, including information about trends, as well as helpful video courses. They are given 15 InMails each month and the ability to browse 2nd and 3rd degree profiles.

Sales Navigator

The sales package includes lead recommendations, insight into the sales market and advanced search capacity, all of which can save hours of manual sifting through prospects. There are more than 35 extra search filters available than offered in the basic package to allow you to target exactly the right people.

You can save up to 1,500 leads once they have been identified. There are 20 InMails each month as well as integration with your email system (Gmail or Outlook) and the ability to add notes and tags.

Recruiter Lite

This offers 30 monthly InMails to people you are not connected to, the highest of any of the four packages. It will also make smart suggestions of potential connections, help you track candidates, set reminders for follow-ups and allow you to see an overview of your candidate pool. You can use eight Premium search filters to zero in on your ideal candidates, create a holding facility for those who are of particular interest and organise your potential hires into job groups according to their abilities and your requirements.

Summary

You may find by looking at the top right-hand side on your desktop version of LinkedIn, you are being offered the chance to try Premium subscriptions for free for a month. Be aware that while the paid versions offer excellent opportunities, there is still a need to understand how LinkedIn works and how the system can really be used to your advantage. It won’t negate the need to put in the effort, but it does offer bigger and better rewards. By finding exactly the right people and being able to connect with them more easily, your unique network should offer better scope for doing business. By building an engaged network, the LinkedIn fee should easily be recouped.

Links2Leads offers tailored and flexible one-to-one LinkedIn coaching to help you make the most of your LinkedIn membership. Those who have gone through coaching with Rachel Tombs attest that her targeted approach has helped them achieve their business goals. Find out more here, speak to Rachel on 0118 380 5980 or fill out our Contact Form.