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LinkedIn Premium: Worth the Cost?

Cherry Kwan
LinkedIn Premium: Worth the Cost?

We’ve all been tempted to sign up for LinkedIn Premium. I mean, who doesn’t want to have the aesthetically eye-catching open profile and large background photo? However, what’s so great about LinkedIn premium other than the logo on the profile?

Here I’m going to look at two types of LinkedIn premium accounts that most marketers and business professionals will make use of: Professional Sales Navigator and Business Plus.

LinkedIn Free User

As a free user on LinkedIn, you are able to view profiles of other LinkedIn members and provide very basic filtered searches. In the past, free users were only able to view up to 100 results and save up to 3 searches. A few months ago, LinkedIn improved their people search experience and allowed users, even those without a Premium account, to view the full names and profiles of anyone first, second and third degree in the network.

Although the search parameters have increased for free users, there is a limit to the amount of searches you’re able to make during a month. A progress bar appears to warn you if you’re reaching your limit and suggests you sign up for a Premium account.

LinkedIn Warning Bar

LinkedIn Premium: Four Types

There’s four different types of Premium accounts. They’re targeted for specific users and different uses. If you’re looking to find a job through LinkedIn, then the Job Seeker account would be best for you. Those looking to find sales opportunities and leads would benefit from Sales Navigator. If you’re a hirer or organization looking for talented individuals to join your company, you would prefer Recruiter Lite. Finally, Business Plus is perfect for professionals looking to grow and nurture their professional network.

LinkedIn Account Comparison

Of course, if you’re a company looking for Premium LinkedIn features for your team, you can also look into their Recruiter Corporate for recruiters and Premium Team for sales professionals. For this blog, we will focus on Premium for individuals. There are generally three types of subscription for individuals looking to get a Premium account.

LinkedIn Account Pricing

Open Profile and Messages

LinkedIn’s open profile allows other LinkedIn members see the full profiles of other members with Open Profile. In addition, anyone on LinkedIn is able to send you a message without InMail or and Introduction. You can also send Open Profile messages to anyone that has an Open Profile as well. If you want to receive messages from other LinkedIn members through Open Profile, you will need to turn that on as well.

Sending InMails

InMail are messages that can be sent directly to other LinkedIn members, even if you’re not connected. InMails are only available for Premium account members and there are limits for each subscription type.

Subscription Type Number of InMails
Business Plus 15 per month
Professional 15 per month
Recruiter Lite 30 per month

According to LinkedIn, InMails are 30% more effective than using regular emails for contact. They’re rather different from cold emails. Think of InMails as a community member connecting to another fellow member. They can be seen as less intrusive.

If the user doesn’t reply to you within 7 days, then your InMail credit is returned. Best of all, your unused InMails can accumulate over to the next month for up to 90 days.

Get Introduced

Free accounts are only allotted to 5 introductions. Premium accounts, on the other hand, allow you to have from 25 to 35 introductions, based on your subscription type.

Introductions are perfect for professionals with Business Plus plan to get introduced to other individuals through your own LinkedIn connections. It’s a great way to meet new professionals online and a higher chance of connectivity, since there is a common relationship.

Get Introduced on LinkedIn

Extended Search Listing

Extended search listings is a great feature that allows you to stand out when users are searching your name or your company. Whenever you appear in a search result, your profile is extended with a few extra lines. It helps to give users searching for specific individuals more information about you, which may encourage them to connect with you.

Extended Search on LinkedIn

Search Features

LinkedIn Premium accounts are perfect for business professionals, marketers or anyone looking to find specific individuals through their precise search filters. When you sign up for their Premium account, you have access to the basic features and premium accessible search filters, including groups, seniority level, interested in and company size. Unfortunately, if you’re looking to narrow down your search results with years of experience and function, you would have to upgrade your account to a higher package.

Advanced People Search - LinkedIn

This feature is great because it allows you to target search specific people you might be looking for. For example, if you’re a recruiter looking to connect with a professional or managerial talent within a large company, you can narrow your search through LinkedIn premium search filters. Although these search filters allow for more precision, it might not be suitable for everyone.

See How You Rank

When you’re a Premium user, you get special news feed prompts that encourages you to see how you rank in comparison to your connections. You can see updates on how some of your connections have performed this week.

LinkedIn Ranking

When you go to how you rank, it provides you with a great overview on your performance based on the last 30 days. Although these statistics are available on your free account, you would not be able to view all the connections listed to see who is ranking better than you in a basis of your connection, company, or professionals like you. These ranking statistics allow you to have a better idea on how you perform in comparison to other professionals and exposes you to potential individuals to connect with.

LinkedIn Ranking

Who Viewed Your Profile

This is one of my most favourite features of LinkedIn. The ability to see who viewed your profile in the last 90 days and which industry they are in. In a free account, you weren’t able to get detailed information on who those individuals are. When you have a Premium account, you’re able to see who viewed your account based on where they work and where they live. In fact, you can even see what they’re profession is and the industry they’re in.

Profession or Industry on LinkedIn

Should I Go Premium?

LinkedIn Premium definitely has great benefits, but they’re catered towards specific individuals. If you’re a professional like me, just using LinkedIn to connect with other talented individuals in the industry, then these features may not be necessary for you. It’s not often that we send messages through LinkedIn or need to filter searches to such definition.

However, if you’re looking in a B2B perspective and connecting with individuals in the industry that are sales prospects, then you can consider using LinkedIn Premium to find specific individuals. It allows you to know who has viewed your profile and the opportunity to connect with individuals outside of your connection. Job recruiters can also benefit from LinkedIn Premium to find prospects with their search filters and connect with talents through InMail credits.

Are you using LinkedIn Premium? If so, why do you use it and what do you like most about it? If you’ve tried LinkedIn Premium and stopped using it, why did you do so? Let us know in the comments!

Cherry Kwan

An experienced member who is always happy to help.

Cherry is a digital marketer passionate about engaging and growing the online community through social, content, and all things digital. She loves the challenges that the ever-changing digital marketing world brings.
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Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

I have a question. My company want to approach more potential clients. If I upgrade my free account to Premium Account, shall I reach all other Premium accounts in Open Profile unlimited? Or I just send only 15/20/30 inmails for those people?

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Linkedin just charge me 31 dollars after end of 1 month free subscrition. They did not notify me, no message in my account... suddenly I see a 31 dollar charge in my account! thought linkedin had some goodwill but was taken aback by this unprofessional attitude! Atleast they could have sent me an email . What were they thinking that I will not notice the payment in my credit card bill?
Wow! Sounds like a terrible situation. Did the fine print for the free trial mention that you needed to cancel within a specific amount of time?
Nice article, Cherry!

I'm currently doing another free month of Premium. I had my last trial about a year ago, and I was waiting to see what had changed ... unfortunately, not much in my opinion to warrant paying for it.

(Still love regular ol' free LinkedIn, though!)
Cherry Kwan F

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Kathleen Garvin
Thanks Kathleen!

I gave both the Business Plus and Sales one a try to see how they differed and if it'd be a good bang for the buck, but it didn't really do much for me. I agree, I feel like the pricing is too much for the features they're offering.

Although, it was nice having the "Premium" gold icon on my profile :P
Cherry Kwan F
I think a big part of it is for the status of having that icon on there. That might not be important for everyone, but in our industry, LinkedIn is another digital tool that may be considered an important investment.

When I was searching for a job and applied here at SEMrush, I used the free month of Premium. I felt that it made me seem as serious as I was about working in digital publishing - plus, it was free! :)

Over a decade ago, a former manager told me to stay connected on LinkedIn. Glad I followed that advice...the resource allows me to see an active return on my investment of time. I love that you can type in the name of a company or publication and see who you know there or how you're connected. I've used it to find guest bloggers, pitch publications, and help friends get connected for employment opportunities.
Cherry Kwan F

Occasionally takes part in conversations.

Tara M. Clapper
That's wonderful, Tara! I agree that the Premium icon gives an extra "oomph" and extra touch to a profile. :P
In fact, I believe if you apply to jobs through LinkedIn, a premium users' resume is placed higher on the list!

I never thought of using LinkedIn as a mean to find guest bloggers and publications. It's definitely something I should look into as well! That's a good way to use the search filters offered.

Do you guys think more people will choose to use LinkedIn Premium if the prices were lower?
Cherry Kwan F
LI needs to do a better job of selling the benefits of their paid accounts. Even a 10-point "Did you know you get all this with LinkedIn Premium?" graphic would rock. I feel like I'm on my own to figure out how it can help me.

Until they do a better job of that, I wouldn't pay any amount for a subscription.
Todd Lohenry

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Hmmm. I'm really surprised this site is not optimized for mobile. Hard to read.
Todd Lohenry
Thanks for the note, Todd. Our developers are looking into it.

Either just recently joined or is too shy to say something.

Todd Lohenry
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