When is LinkedIn Premium a good fit?
If you are a career person, chances are pretty good that you have a LinkedIn account. Sooner or later, every LinkedIn user is faced with the decision to stay with the free plan or go premium. Well, if you have been wondering about the two, and considering what exactly makes the premium plan worth the cost, then this article is for you.
LinkedIn is not just some fancy, uptight place where people go to make the corporate world know what might be going on with them. Instead, LinkedIn can become an essential marketing tool for business owners in big corporations or Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SME) when used right. In fact, according to a study, LinkedIn users said they were 50% more likely to buy from a brand they engaged with on LinkedIn. That is, one out of every two customers are more likely to purchase from a brand they’ve previously or continuously engaged with on LinkedIn. This data reinforces LinkedIn as a vital tool to consider for any business. But of course, you already knew all of that.
So, let’s imagine you own a small start-up in the corner of town. You have been wondering if a LinkedIn premium account is worth it for your business. Now, this is a valid concern for a solopreneur or small business owner. Premium subscriptions on LinkedIn appear to be set up so that only big corporations can afford the subscription, ranging from $29.99 to $79.99 per month. But whether you are a sole trader, an SME, or a Freelancer, there are a few points you should consider before making a final decision.
There are four (4) tiers of service plans available through LinkedIn Premium. These plans range between $29.99 to $59.99 per month for job seekers, $79.99 per month for sales professionals, and $119.95 per month for recruiters. Annual billing offers slight discounts.
First things first, let’s talk about the different plans on LinkedIn. We know most people are aware of the free and premium plans. However, there are a few options under the premium subscription that one can choose. Let’s explore the various options you can subscribe to in promoting your business or personal brand on LinkedIn.
The Free Plan
Like the name of this plan implies, there is no cost for this plan. It is the most basic LinkedIn service anyone can have. For some people, the free plan is just perfect for their purposes on LinkedIn, though it has been said that most of the features which are being offered at premium fees now used to be available on the free plan.
One thing to note about the free plan is that the subscriber to this plan has a commercial use limit for searches they perform on LinkedIn. So if you intend to use LinkedIn to search for and find prospects for your commercial endeavors, you might want to consider other plans than freemium.
Here are some features of the Free Plan:
- Save up to three searches, and you get weekly alerts on searches.
- Build a professional identity on LinkedIn.
- Build and maintain an extensive, trusted, and professional network.
- View and search for profiles of other LinkedIn users/members.
- Users can request and provide recommendations.
- Receive unlimited InMail messages.
These are the key elements of the free plan’s distinct features as it help you connect with a wide array of professionals and businesses worldwide.
It is the most commonly subscribed plan, and for many professionals who use the platform, it is quite adequate.
LinkedIn Premium Plans
There are several premium offers on LinkedIn. LinkedIn allows you to try every premium service you intend to subscribe to for 30 days to make sure it is the right fit for you. Here are some of the features of the premium subscriptions:
LinkedIn Premium Business Subscription
Cost: $59.99 per month
Its features include:
- Who Viewed My Profile?
This premium feature allows you to see who has viewed your profile in the past 90 days. If you are a recruiter, it helps know who is performing their due diligence checks on job offers you’ve posted and generally helps spot potential leads no matter which end of the business spectrum you might find yourself.
You get 15 InMails with the ability to purchase more InMails when necessary under the Business Subscription. InMails allows you to send messages to people outside of your network on LinkedIn. It comes in handy when you want to reach out to somebody before sending a request.
- Extended LinkedIn Network Access
You get unlimited searches for commercial searches under this plan. This feature is useful for generating leads.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator Professional Subscription
Cost: $79.99 per month
This plan gives you all the features of the business subscription, along with other benefits such as:
While you get 15 InMails every month on the Business Subscription, the Sales Navigator Professional subscription gives you 20 InMails. Of course, you still get to purchase more InMails if necessary.
- Sales Navigator Advanced Search
This feature allows for narrow searches so you can reach your ideal targets more easily. It has advanced features which enable demographic-specific results.
- Saved Searches
You can save completed searches within a Sales Navigator account, and you get notified as new prospects are added.
- Lead and Account Recommendations
Based on your saved searches, saved leads, and sales preferences, Sales Navigator can recommend potential prospects relevant to you based on its algorithms.
- Job Change Notification
When a prospect updates his or her roles, you get alerted via a job change feature. This feature can be quite useful, as it can be a good icebreaker as you engage with prospects.
Now that you have been given brief descriptions of the various plans’ distinct features, what is your next move?
Sometimes, users tend to subscribe to premium plans irrelevant to their industry, seeing as some of them are designed as a tool for marketers, IT Professionals, PR agents, and so on, rather than mainstream “office jobs.” Before choosing a premium plan on LinkedIn, you need to consider your industry and the goals you intend to achieve using LinkedIn as a small business owner.
You might find these subscriptions expensive, and that is a valid concern. Several users have been recorded to have made this comment as well. But consider that you could boost your return on investment on the subscription fee when you get to land even one client. The advanced search feature gives you a head start over others without a premium account to pursue leads and landing potential prospects.
Lastly, you get to have competitive analyses and educational tools with LinkedIn Salary and LinkedIn Learning, which are tools available to you when you have a premium account.
Because you can try a premium plan for 30 days before making a final decision, you should give your business a chance at exploring the benefits available on LinkedIn premium service. Hopefully, you will be satisfied with the experience and be glad about your choice. `
If you’re still in limbo about LinkedIn Premium being the right fit for you or your business, you could sign up for our upcoming masterclass series now to help you make an informed decision.