Should you pay for an account on LinkedIn?

By: Viveka Monday February 25, 2013 6 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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[...] Should you pay for an account on LinkedIn? Linked Into Business [...]

- Summary Sunday Curated Ca

While I could never explain why I seem to have more capabilities than members with unpaid accounts, you nailed it. The Basic paid account is worth it's weight in gold! Thank you for sharing!

- Connie Hill

Hello Viveka, my compliments on a nice clean article short and to the point. I have to agree with Sean's comments that the money LinkedIn charges for it's paid accounts is way out of the ballpark in my opinion. I've previously had paid accounts in the past and can say personally that cost is not it. Now for someone who is on LinkedIn and seriously chasing leads and using it as lead generation source then it can be argued that it is a worthwhile investment. With regards to the, "who view your profile", to me it would make more sense to allow users to see this even with free accounts, it would be more likely that would subscribe in order to be able to communicate with those of interest to them. I for one would pay a flat yearly feel again as Sean has suggested. On a separate note I would love if you wrote and an article on Best Patrice Lead Generation on LinkedIn include the subject of Power Networking as for me, I cannot for the life of me understand all the networks LION and ONA for example. People want connections to get past the 500 connections but nothing seems to come of this, what is the point if people are doing this power networking if they do nothing other than get a new connect with which they do nothing with. Thanks, Kieron

- Kieron

Who View Your Profile is very important to build relationship. Out of 10, I could build 8 genuine relationship and get business. For me, that is the biggest reason to get paid account.

- Kent

What's disturbing reading these comments is the suspicion that those who are willing to pay the price to get 'genuine relationships' are the same people who are spamming their connections, writing endorsements for people they know nothing about and generally debasing the currency of Linkedin.

- Lindy Asimus (@lindyasimu

[...] a different perspective, see Viveka Von Rosens recent post, Paid Accounts on LinkedIn, Are they Worth the Money? which does a great job of outlining what you get for your money on a regular paid [...]

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