Is LinkedIn Premium worth it?
This is the most common question I get from people reviewing LinkedIn features.
It’s a fair question, though. If you put your money into something, you want to get the most from it.
Having the premium badge on your profile is kind of cool. It gives you a higher status than other profiles.
But what else?
You’ll get superpowers (or something like that) and the people in your industry will be dying to do business with you?
Let’s figure it out.
What is LinkedIn Premium?
Here’s the main question: if you’re paying for a premium service, what will you get from it?
The strategy used by LinkedIn to market their premium features has been highly criticized over the years, basically because they didn’t create new features to include in the premium plans.
What they did, in a very smooth way, was take features from the free plans and include them in the paid plans.
So, here are some of the features that used to be free:
- Tag profiles
- Add comments to profiles
- Who viewed your profile
- Profile visualization
But the objective here is to figure out whether those differences are worth US$79.99 a month for the Sales Navigator subscription (2018 pricing).
In this post, I will focus on LinkedIn for business development purposes. So you’ll probably be interested in two plans: Business and Sales.
Let’s look at the different plans available right now:
Let’s say you’re paying the $47.99 a month for LinkedIn Business.
In that case, you’ll get extra features such as:
You have 15 InMail messages every month, which means that you can send a direct message to anyone on LinkedIn (even someone not in your network).
Is that useful?
Let me tell you something. You can send direct messages to ANYONE on LinkedIn for FREE. I showed you how to do it in another post. Seriously, I sent a message to Tony Robbins. You should check it out.
Why should you pay for something that you can do already for free? Clearly because not too many people are aware of that they can do it for free.
But if you’re considering paying for LinkedIn Business just so you can send InMail to prospects, maybe you’re not using LinkedIn correctly.
You’ll get the most of LinkedIn (free or premium), by sharing relevant content, building relationships, helping others and positioning yourself as an authority in your industry.
When you do your “homework” on LinkedIn, you don’t need InMails to get new prospects.
LinkedIn insights, online video courses and career insights are totally prescindibles, in my opinion. I definitely don’t want to pay for them.
If you want to develop your business (or your personal brand, startup, freelancing,etc…), the truly useful features are unlimited people browsing and who has viewed your profile.
Having unlimited searches is an essential feature if you want to get the most of LinkedIn – and to be honest, I’ll pay for the Business plan just for this one feature.
Unlocking the ability to see who’s viewed your profile is a very interesting feature if you want to follow up on those profiles.
Why? Because if they checked out your profile, they have a legitimate interest in what do you do, who you are, who you work for, or some other reason.
To follow up on that, an easy but useful tactic is to send an invitation to those people and say something like:
“Hi, I noticed that to you checked out my profile today. I thought that we might connect and chat about what brought you here. Thanks, Fran.”
Simple, but efficient. Try it if you want to expand your network.
The Linked Formula: How to rank to the top 1% in your industry and get NON-STOP leads as an industry authority.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
So far, so good. But should you pay US$79 a month for the Sales plan?
Let’s take a look at the key features you get with the Sales Navigator plan:
As you can see, there are some new things:
- Advanced search with lead-builder
- Lead recommendations and saved leads
Should you pay the extra money for those features?
Again, it depends.
- Do you have an optimized profile and company profile?
- Do you follow a content strategy that matches to your marketing persona?
- Have you defined your marketing persona/s?
- Do you have a clear strategy on LinkedIn groups?
- Are you following up with your prospects to share value before selling them anything?
If your answer is a clear YES for all those questions, then pay for LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You’ll get a lot of business from it.
Otherwise, I recommend that you review your LinkedIn strategy and marketing goals on this social network before paying a dime.
When is NOT worth to pay for LinkedIn Premium
At this point, we’ve seen the different features and pricing for both the Business and Sales plans.
But here’s something I really want to tell you, just so you can be sure you’re ready to pay for LinkedIn premium services or not.
As we’ve seen, the main benefit of paying for LinkedIn is that you can develop your business and expand your network.
Especially on Sales Navigator, whose search engine has very good filters that help you connect with highly qualified profiles.
On the other hand, you can share remarkable content, publish on LinkedIn Pulse, attract key contacts, expand your network, and ultimately build your authority using the free basic plan.
So, to pay or not pay – that’s the question.
Here is my recommendation: don’t pay for LinkedIn’s annual plan.
Let’s say you’re running a campaign to promote a new service and want to fill your pipeline with as many qualified prospects as you can.
IMPORTANT: I’m assuming here that you have an optimized profile and at least a basic LinkedIn strategy in place. If not, you can learn how to do it in this post. Or you can just take my online course to optimize your LinkedIn profile once and for all.
Anyway … if you do it well, after running your campaign you’ll get a lot of new connections – and more importantly, potential clients.
That means that you’ll have a lot of sales nurturing and follow-up to do!
What I recommend – and it’s something I do myself – is concentrate my campaigns in specific months, then pay for LinkedIn premium for a month or two.
The next month, I cancel my subscription and focus my efforts on attending to those new connections.
This is a more sensible approach. You won’t pay for premium features you won’t really use, and you can focus your efforts on converting new clients.
And clients will give you the ROI to evaluate in your particular case whether LinkedIn Premium is worth it or not.
Does that make sense to you, too?
Conclusions: Is LinkedIn Premium worth it?
Ok, enough talk about features, searches, strategies and so on. Should pay for it or not?
I’m so sorry to give you my “default consultant answer” again, but…
It really depends of your LinkedIn strategy, if you have one. It depends on whether you’ve optimized your profile. It depends on your offer. It depends on your knowledge of LinkedIn features.
But here’s something very definite:
LinkedIn premium gives you access to a worldwide network of potential clients. Not just clients, but key connections that will bring you new business opportunities, partnerships, collaborations, talented collaborators and employees, and much more.
You have basically two options at this point:
First, pay for LinkedIn Premium and add the golden premium badge to your profile.
If you don’t mind spending that money because you have the budget, cool.
If your company pays you to have an annual LinkedIn premium subscription, cool.
But the truth is, you won’t sell more just because you have a golden badge.
If you want to see a return in your investment, you must have a solid LinkedIn strategy in place, take action, share relevant and valuable content, connect wisely with other profiles, help others and build your authority.
Then, and only then, LinkedIn Premium will be worth it.