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Xcelerate Business on LinkedIn
It depends.The key question here is: will you really use these specific features? Because if you don’t utilize the Premium tools you paid for, the upgrade won’t make any difference for you.
Think of it this way. If you purchase a vehicle with a turbocharged engine and are using that function routinely, then it is well worth it. However, if you make that purchase and never or rarely engage the turbo function, then it is a waste.
So, back to the answer, it depends on what you want to accomplish. If you simply want to stay in touch with your network, check in occasionally and stay abreast of professional conversation in your network, then the free plan gets the job done.
With a basic account you can:
- Find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates.
- Request and provide recommendations.
- Search for and view profiles of other LinkedIn members.
- Receive unlimited InMail messages.
- Save up to three searches and get weekly alerts on those searches.
Even with the limitations of the free membership, LinkedIn is by far the ideal spot for B2B businesses and salespeople for what I call the 3 C’s
Regardless of which level you choose, LinkedIn is a standalone as it is related to finding, connecting, conversing and engaging in B2B.
If you are looking to do granular targeted prospecting, gaining a regular lead channel, conduct unlimited searches toward your ideal client base, then Premium Business or Sales Navigator is required. Every business needs are different and each business leader should think about their presence on this business networking platform.
I’ve consolidated information into a comprehensive comparison guide that describes the features, tools, costs and benefits of each LinkedIn membership level.
Download that here: LinkedIn Memberships Comparison Chart
Here is a snapshot overview on the premium plans
There are 4 types of premium LinkedIn accounts. Each has different options to meet certain needs. The following options are designed to help in core ways:
1. Premium Career: find a job and access the extensive learning resources to upgrade current skill set and knowledge.
2. Recruiter: to locate, store and retrieve data on ideal passive and active candidates.
3. Business Premium: grow your network strategically and do some small scale prospecting.
4. Sales Navigator: research qualified prospects, boost your sales and acquire new customers.
Currently the premium plan options are as follows when paid monthly (less when paid annually):
- Premium Career: $29.99/month
- Premium Business: $59.99/month
- Sales Navigator Professional: $79.99/month
- Recruiter Lite: $119.99/month
Here is a look at the Business Development Side
- Premium Business gives you additional information about businesses and unlimited people searches. You also get 15 InMail messages per month.
- Sales Navigator Core gives you advanced search filters to narrowly define your ideal target client. There are 50+ filters to sort, segment, save and create leads lists within the system. It also comes with 50 InMail messages, and the ability to make notes on user profiles, as well as advanced tracking tools. It is essential for those who are focused on acquiring new prospects and customers in a very disciplined way.
Element included in Premium Business: Like the “Career” plan but with 15 InMail messages; you can browse more profiles — up to 3rd degree; see business insights (e.g. “Employee distribution and growth by function,” “Notable alumni”).
1. Who’s Viewed My Profile
This section lists all the people who have viewed your profile over the last 90 days (you can see only the last five people with a free account.) This feature is one of LinkedIn’s most popular components on the platform. Human nature is curious, especially when it comes to who is looking at us! It can uncover potential leads.
If you want to send a message to someone with whom you are not yet connected to this will require use of InMail.
InMails can be useful when you want to reach out to a potential prospect before you send them a connection request or if they haven’t accepted your connection request. Interestingly, using InMail has a much higher statistical acceptance rate than email by a significant margin. (LinkedIn does a great job of telling you all about this. This proprietary feature comes only with a premium subscription. Your account is allocated a certain number of InMails every month. You can certainly purchase more. One way to message someone with whom you are not directly connected is via if you are in a shared group, you can message that member via the group and not use your InMail allocation.
3. Extended LinkedIn Network Access
With Extended LinkedIn Network Access, you have unlimited search results access and don’t fall under the “commercial use access” threshold of the free account.
Activities that do not count toward the limit include:
- searching profiles by name using the search box
- browsing your 1st-degree connections from your
- connections page
- searching for jobs on the jobs page.
Sales Navigator Premium
LinkedIn offers a free 30-day trial of Sales Navigator. After your free month, you pay $79.00/month or less when billed annually.
With Sales Navigator you get 50 InMail messages, use of highly specified sorting and search tools; the proprietary lead-development tool; lead lists as well as lead recommendations. The focus of this premium subscription is with its highly advanced features and is geared for focused prospecting.
The extensive search filters found in Sales Navigator offer an intense level of detail and it simplifies automated sorting and filtering. The search filter capabilities alone have upwards of 50+ search filtering options; the resulting ability to get granular on lead prospecting is unparalleled. This service allows one to search for ideal clients with precision while the ability to to receive new results daily, weekly or monthly.
Notes and lead lists
You can add Notes to the profiles of your prospects and/or the companies you wish to follow. You can create multiple “lead Lists” you create and set up multiple tracking tools within the Sales Navigator tool.
Every time you find a prospect or connect with a person, you should add them to a Lead List in Sales Navigator, based on who they are. Common categories would be: a prospect, a strategic partner or an existing client.
One of the most powerful elements within Sales Navigator is the ability to set up trigger events, which notify you of happenings such as a job change within the most recent 90 days.
Sales Navigator makes it incredibly easy to locate prospects with its Recommended leads & accounts features.
Sales Navigator suggests leads based on two parameters:
similarity to leads you have recently saved
sales preferences you saved in your Sales Navigator settings.
You can easily see and interact with the suggested profiles as well as save them as leads.
Premium Business gives you additional information about businesses and unlimited people searches. You also get 15 InMail messages per month.
Sales Navigator Core gives you advanced search filters to narrowly define your ideal target client. It also comes with 50 InMail messages, and the ability to make notes on user profiles, as well as numerous sales tools. It is essential for those who are focused on acquiring new prospects and customers in a very disciplined way.
Many people using LinkedIn for lead generation often choose to upgrade from the free to a paid LinkedIn subscription for the following reasons:
they feel they are missing out on opportunities
they’d like to accomplish more in less time
they are not tapping into the full potential of LinkedIn for their business.
Upgrading to a paid LinkedIn membership may not be right for everyone, but it certainly will make sense for those who can find, connect and build relationships with their ideal clients on LinkedIn.
I hope this comparison helped you decide which LinkedIn membership level will work best for you.