Should you pay for an account on LinkedIn?

By: Viveka Monday February 25, 2013 comments

Paid Accounts on LinkedIn

Are they Worth the Money?

LinkedIn's Paid Accounts

Why Now?

As I work with clients and customers, I'm discovering a new trend on LinkedIn. People who have newer accounts can't do much.

I used to say that if you have a big enough network, you really didn't have to pay for an account on LinkedIn. That is still basically true for people who have had accounts for more than two years. But I have certainly changed my mind for newer members.

LinkedIn has taken away many of the search functions from you newer members. So even if you have a big network, you still might not be able to see all the information you need to in order to communicate effectively with other members on LinkedIn.  Its no surprise they recently released "Personal Plus" for about $99 a year.  Which gives you OpenLink and better searching.

While you certainly don't need a  $500 a month recruiter account - the basic Business paid account (which works out to about $19 a month if you pay annually, or $25 a month if you pay monthly) is definitely worth the investment.

Even if you have an older account, you may find the monetary investment is a fraction of the time you save with the paid account.

Here are some things you get with a paid account:

Premium accounts

Better search results and more search options

With the paid account, you are able to see your first, second and third level connection's first name and last name. This is incredibly important if you are sourcing candidates or looking for prospects.

It also allows you to see a member's entire profile. People who have the free account don't get to see the profile of their third degree connections anymore.

You also get to search by Seniority level, Fortune 1000, Company Size, "interested In" and Openlink.   These definers might render your search result more accurate.

With even the most basic paid account you also get five saved searches. I don't know about you, but I find the fact that LinkedIn will essentially send me leads to be a very good thing!

InMails and introductions

The LinkedIn paid account also gives you a minimum of three inMails and 15 introductions. With the new connections search, the ability to use introductions is much more interesting to me than it used to be. I still don't use all my inMails, but then I have an abnormally large network. Chances are you will use at least the minimum of three inMails with your basic paid account.

Who's viewed your profile and profile statistics

With the free account, that you can see the last five people who viewed your profile. With even the most basic paid account, you get to see everybody. Again, I consider these leads. I cannot tell you how many jobs I've gotten from sending a simple "I see you viewed my profile.  Please let me know how I can be of service" message.

You also get to see how you show up on LinkedIn. What keywords are people typing into LinkedIn to find you. Are they the right keywords?  If you are not showing up under the keywords that you think you should be, then you probably need to adjust your profile to reflect the search you want to be effectively found in.

Profile Organizer

LinkedIn also offers its profile organizer to the paid account. You get five folders with the basic paid account and that allows you to organize your entire network into five different categories or folders.

While I don't find this a terribly useful tool, I hear rumors that LinkedIn will be integrating a CRM system soon. And my guess is you'll have to have a paid account to use it.

In Conclusion

So, while I don't get any commission from LinkedIn for recommending you have a paid account, I definitely think it's worth the monetary investment.  If only for the amount of time you'll save.

What do you think? Share your comments below, or join us for the #LinkedInchat on Tuesday night at 8 PM EST. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

#LinkedInChat Questions

Q1:  How long have you been using LinkedIn?

Q2:  Do you have a paid account on LinkedIn?

Q3: If you don't have a premium account - what is prohibiting you?

Q4:  If you do have a paid account - do you find it worth it?

Q5:  What is your favorite premium feature?

Q6:  Do you use all your InMails each month?

Q7:  Do you use your Introductions?

Q8: Do you use the Profile Organizer?

Q9:  Do you use your LinkedIn Stats?

Q10:  Do you use "Who's Viewed Your Profile"?

Q11: What would you say to someone on the fence about using LinkedIn's Premium account?

Q12: Why would you talk someone out of a Premium Account?


About the Author: Viveka

Viveka is author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”.
CEO of Linked Into Business, she also hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter.  Forbes has listed her as a top social media influencer for three years running, and she has been cited in Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Mashable, Simple Living, Bloomberg, LinkedIn's Small Business Site and "The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn, The Miami Herald, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner!

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