LinkedIn Free vs. Paid – Which is Right for You?

linkedin premium vs freeI love LinkedIn premium, and ROI is huge for me, infact, I can’t imagine not having all the bells and whistles. I get hundreds of people asking me, if it is right for them…and I say one thing:

“If you are working LinkedIn the right way, and you keep getting little pop ups that say ‘if you want to see this upgrade’ it is probably time to pay. If you are not seeing the message, your fine with the free.’

What a Paid Account Includes:

Social networking service LinkedIn is free, but if you choose to upgrade to a paid account, you have access to additional features. What are the four top advantages in updating your account?

  1. Send messages directly (InMail), without waiting for an introduction from one of your contacts which essentially is cold calling on LinkedIn
  2. View more profiles when you perform an advanced search, free accounts limit you to 100 search results, 1st level paid gets you 300 and so on.
  3.  Access more specifics on who’s viewed your profile. This is huge – the free account you can see only the last 5, the paid account you can see the last 90 days
  4. Advanced Search has a much deeper dive into company size and seniority level. If you sell to larger companies, this is a very valuable feature.
  5. Saved searches is a great way to build your sales pipeline. The free account gives you 3 saved searches and each paid level gives you more.
  6. OpenLink As a Premium member, you can get messages from any LinkedIn user at no cost to them. This is allowing anyone outside your network that is also an OpenLink member to send you a message – this is not LION – LinkedIn Open Network members.

There are three types of premium accounts:

Business, Business Plus and Pro. The Business account costs $24.95 per month and allows you three InMails per month, 300 profiles per search and five folders in the Profile Organizer.

Business Plus costs $49.95 and allows you 10 InMails per month, 500 profiles per search and 25 folders in the Profile Organizer.

The Pro account costs $499.95 per month, allows you 50 InMails per month, 700 profiles per search and 25 folders in the Profile Organizer.

There are also paid accounts for recruiters, job seekers and sales professionals that are part of a large organization – this is called Sales Navigator.